Breaking Bread: 10 Bakeries to Try Now
Calling all bakery lovers! If you crave quality, scratch-made cakes, croissants, breads, scones, muffins, and more, we’ve got you covered. Check out these top bakeries in town, plus pro baking tips and must-order items.
The Baker and The Cakemaker
The Baker and The Cakemaker—aka, the husband-and-wife team of Nathan, “The Baker,” and Alice Shreve, “The Cakemaker”— trained at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and brought their skills to the Sierra foothills to share with the residents of Auburn and its surrounding communities. Along with fresh pastries, croissants, scones, muffins, and so much more, they produce “handcrafted artisan breads using organic flours and top-quality seeds, grains, and nuts.”
TOP BAKING TIP: Don’t skimp on quality butter.
MUST-ORDER ITEM: Sunrise Sandi (toasted house-made bread, warm bacon, frittata egg, caramelized onions, melted cheddar, avocado, and fresh greens)
FUN FACT: We were a wholesale bakery for the last 10 years and recently opened a retail storefront bakery/café.
FAVORITE BAKING TOOL: Bench scraper
1102 Lincoln Way, Auburn, 530-537-2056, thebakerandthecakemaker.com
Northstar Home Baking
Maybe the happiest person in any job, anywhere, is Metin Emek of Northstar Home Baking. The fact that his happiness is on full display through his cakes and pastries will make you very happy also. Emek quit his job as a software engineer (he was happy there, too) and started baking full-time several years ago after friends and family told him, “You should do this for a living; you’re very good at it!” According to Emek, “I like to make people smile...when they eat what I bake, they smile!”
TOP BAKING TIP: Take your time and never take shortcuts; baking is best with patience.
MUST-ORDER ITEM: Belgian Chocolate Cake
FUN FACT: It’s a hole-in-the-wall with surprisingly amazing creations that will keep you coming back to see what’s next.
FAVORITE BAKING TOOL: The oven
2830 Sunset Boulevard, Rocklin, 408-656-0830, northstarbaking.com
Julian's Pâtisserie and Café
It’s always a great story when a hometown son or daughter leaves to learn and excel at their chosen profession and then returns home to start a business. Such is the case for Julian Perrigo-Jimenez of Julian’s Pâtisserie and Café. After perfecting his skills abroad and in the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, Jimenez moved his family back home to Folsom to open their pâtisserie. Featuring sweet and savory crepes, breakfast pastries, custom cakes, croissants, house-made chocolates, and more, the Folsom community have occasion to celebrate in the return of a prodigal son.
TOP BAKING TIP: Don’t be afraid to bake things to a dark golden brown. It’s that caramelization in the baking process that gives things their flavor. When baked goods are too pale, they lack in flavor.
MUST-ORDER ITEM: Almond Croissant
FUN FACT: Opening the bakery has been a longtime dream of mine, so now I get to create my favorite things all day and share them with others to enjoy as well.
FAVORITE BAKING TOOL: Dough sheeter
6610 Folsom-Auburn Road, Suite 7, Folsom, 916-936-4735, julianscafe.com
Frank Vilt's Cakes
In a not-so-unfamiliar story, Frank Vilt’s Cakes started with Vilt baking out of his home while working at Raley’s full-time. “I worked seven days a week and upwards around 80 [hours] for almost five years,” says Vilt. “I used to meet my customers at coffee shops and gas stations to deliver their orders. I hit my 20-year mark with Raley’s and decided to retire and open up my bakery full-time. [This year marks four years] at my current location, and I look forward to expanding my business in the next couple of years.”
TOP BAKING TIP: Prepare everything for your recipe the day before or sometimes up to a week before; it’ll help save time and ensure you have everything needed for the recipe. Also, measure out your dry ingredients and wet ingredients the day before baking.
MUST-ORDER ITEM: Napoleon
FUN FACT: We spend more on butter every month than we do on rent, sugar, and flour—combined!
FAVORITE BAKING TOOL: Cake knife
4100 Cameron Park Drive, Suite 117, Cameron Park, 530-409-7046, frankviltscakes.com
Cakesmith owner Heather Clennell proves success doesn’t necessarily start in a classroom, but more from hard work. Juggling her passion for the sweet science of cake making with her corporate banking job convinced her that she could do more than make ends meet as an entrepreneur: She could thrive. And thrive she has, landing guest appearances on Good Day Sacramento and Duff Goldman’s show Duff Takes the Cake. Her custom cakes, cupcakes, and cookies bring smiles to her customers, and a penchant for philanthropy has brought heartfelt thanks from individuals and communities suffering from a crisis.
TOP BAKING TIP: Experiment but stay true to the science of baking.
MUST-ORDER ITEM: NY Cheesecake
FUN FACT: I’m 100% self-taught and every month donate a custom cake to a single parent who has a child with a birthday, and can't afford one.
FAVORITE BAKING TOOL: Fondant cutters and good spatulas
Roseville, 916-540-0340, facebook.com/cakesmithroseville (by appointment only)
BAD Bakers (the ultimate misnomer) owners Katelyn and Vincent Tiuseco burst onto the scene in 2014 with their first brick and mortar in Natomas, followed by a Roseville locale in 2017. Known for “injecting” life (and a few other ingredients) into their donuts, breads, and savory baked goods, they’ve won legions of faithful fans along the way. According to their website, “It’s always fun to be a little BAD, but you always have to spread the love too.”
TOP BAKING TIP: If it looks good, it tastes good! Presentation is always key.
MUST-ORDER ITEM: Hot Spanish Rolls (Staxx)
FUN FACT: We’re husband-and-wife owners who both came from a medical background but found our creativity and passion through baking and sharing it with our family and community.
FAVORITE BAKING TOOL: Our taste buds, or our daughters’ taste buds. They’ll always let us know if something is good enough to keep producing!
1420 East Roseville Parkway, Suite 180, Roseville, 916-883-2253, badbakers.com
Trained as a pastry chef for the restaurants of luminary San Francisco chefs Wolfgang Puck, Joyce Goldstein, and Jeremiah Tower, Sierra Rizing owner Teal Triolo decided to take her resume to the beauty and serenity of the Sierra foothills, specifically the Coloma-Lotus Valley. Since launching in 2002, Triolo has cultivated her business from a simple small-town bakery into a catering and specialty coffee purveyor serving breakfast and lunch that would be the envy of many of her former SF colleagues. "I was one of the lucky few kids who knew what I wanted to do to when I grew up and made it happen. I enjoy coming to work every day, and the days I don't are few and far between."
TOP BAKING TIP: Read a recipe thoroughly before starting, and make sure you have all your ingredients!
MUST-ORDER ITEM: Flourless Chocolate Torte
FUN FACT: Sierra Rizing opened 18 years ago in 2002, because of dog biscuits being made out of my house.
FAVORITE BAKING TOOL: My grandmother's 120-year-old solid wooden rolling pin; it weighs about 15 pounds.
7310 State Highway 49, Lotus, 530-642-1308, sierrarizing.com
Lovebirds Coffee & Tea Co.
Moving can be stressful, but Jasmin and Garrett Sanders of Lovebirds Coffee & Tea Co. of Placerville are embracing their upcoming expansion and relocation. Their new digs are slated to open this spring in Diamond Springs (4181 State Highway 49, Suite 100) and include an additional 1,500 square feet, a drive-through, and a courtyard. Starting in 2015 as “a full Italian café,” Lovebirds retooled and became a coffee and tea house with fresh-baked pastries. Featuring one-of-a-kind, locally roasted coffees, they also serve over 40 loose leaf teas. The results speak for themselves. “We have far outgrown our Broadway location and look forward to many more years serving our amazing community,” says Jasmin.
TOP BAKING TIP: Always use real butter, not margarine or shortening.
MUST-ORDER ITEM: Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls
FUN FACT: Everything is handpicked, hand-rolled, and handcrafted. No bread machines!
FAVORITE BAKING TOOL: Dishwasher
*1390 Broadway, Suite C, Placerville, 530-300-9891, facebook.com/lovebirdscoffee (*Moving soon to 4181 State Highway 49, Suite 100, Dimaond Springs)
Karen's Bakery and Café
Karen Holmes of Karen’s Bakery and Café likes tradition and sharing, and offered her philosophy on the subject with us. “Develop something that will be your go-to specialty, and perfect it. People will recognize your specialty and the warmth you bring with it (because you're proud of it). That's building a tradition and sharing traditions is what brings our cultures together and is a way of sharing a delicate part of our humanity. The world needs more of that.”
TOP BAKING TIP: Just bake, as in, just do it.
MUST-ORDER ITEM: Apple Walnut Muffin
FUN FACT: We do all our own laminated doughs in-house (croissant, puff, danish). There’s nothing like a real, made-by-hands-in-house, first-day croissant.
FAVORITE BAKING TOOL: Parchment paper and a plastic bowl/dough scraper
705 Gold Lake Drive, Suite 340, Folsom, 916-985-2665, karensbakery.com
Bakerie & Latte Chateau Arme
Helen Rostami of Bakerie & Latte Chateau Arme in El Dorado Hills has been baking almost all her life. Prior to opening, she was a lead baker for the Hilton and a preferred hotel in Minnesota as well as a pastry chef at several high-quality restaurants in the Midwest. “I’m proud of my business being in the El Dorado Hills community for 25 years,” says Rostami.
TOP BAKING TIP: Enjoy what you do and put love into everything you make.
MUST ORDER ITEM: Zucchini Bread
FUN FACT: Our bakery is a social gathering point for the community. Customers have created a strong, positive atmosphere for everyone to enjoy each other's company while savoring a gourmet cup of coffee and freshly baked goods.
FAVORITE BAKING TOOL: The best tool is still, and will always be, using your sense of touch with your hands.
2222 Francisco Drive, Suite 500, El Dorado Hills, 916-939-0834
By Lorn Randall
BAKERIES WE LOVE
*Baker & A Black Cat
299 Iron Point Road, Suite 200, Folsom 916-467-7243,bakerybitesusa.com
402 East Bidwell Street, Folsom
Brissa & Co.
409 Natoma Street, Folsom
Divine Desserts by Aguirre
6045 South Walnut Street, Loomis
Farmer's Delicatessen & Bakery
3952 Cambridge Road, Cameron Park
*Go West Baking and Events
Icing on the Cupcake
6839 Lonetree Boulevard, Rocklin
330 Palladio Parkway, Suite 2027, Folsom
Nothing Bundt Cakes
2793 East Bidwell Street, Suite 200, Folsom 916-984-4383
1112 Galleria Boulevard, Suite 140, Roseville 916-780-2253
350 Palladio Parkway, Suite 1935, Folsom
1220 Roseville Parkway, Suite 140, Roseville 916-886-5050, pushkinsbakery.com
*Savannahs Savory Sweets
2030 Douglas Boulevard, Suite 16, Roseville
1090 Pleasant Grove Boulevard
Suite 150, Roseville
*Sweet P's Bakery
*By appointment only