Editor’s note: This is part of The Know’s series, Staff Favorites. Each week, we will offer our opinions on the best that Colorado has to offer for dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities and more. (We’ll also let you in on some hidden gems).
When it comes to measuring Denver’s tastiest baked treats, Cake Crumbs Bakery and Café is my yardstick. The airy bakery and coffee shop at 2216 Kearney St., in the historic Park Hill neighborhood, is a gathering spot that attracts school kids, retirees, laptop jockeys and the occasional stay-at-home parent. (On one afternoon, there was even a nimble young jazz trio performing next to the display cases.)
I’ve been going there for so long that I’ve outlasted two rounds of in-house T-shirts (which current employees don’t even recognize); the previous owners; and at least a couple of point-of-sale rewards systems. I was first compelled to visit Cake Crumbs when its popular Denver Cupcake Truck was making a name for itself — just as the food-truck trend was hitting Denver in the late 2000s and early 2010s — and have never looked back.
While its immaculately baked and designed cupcakes (think shimmering glazes, ample frosting and a kaleidoscope of colors) were far from the only game in town, they were the trendiest for a time. It’s a hard-earned reputation: with springy, spongey cake (and “lovely structure,” as “Great British Baking Show” judge Paul Hollywood might say) and inventive flavors and classics, my family has become a platinum-level financial supporter of Cake Crumbs.
It’s also a good stop-off any time of day, with a light selection of salads and sandwiches, and some of the best filled breakfast pastries this side of downtown (ham and cheese, and ricotta and spinach). That’s especially impressive given the explosion of Denver eateries, with high-quality bakeries regularly popping up across town.
Cake Crumbs’ authority distinguishes itself from the rest, with toothsome pies and hand-decorated sugar cookies that pull on my nostalgic Midwestern threads. My kids, 4 and 9, have become dependent on their croissants and cake pops, and my wife and I can’t help but guzzle the coffee.
Cake Crumbs doesn’t have much neighborhood competition — Honey Hill Cafe a few blocks west is probably the strongest contender — but it doesn’t need to. The staff’s commitment to low-key excellence shines in all its products. The calories are always worth it.
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