Portland Gets Its Cake

As Northwest’s Two Tarts Bakery launches a new line of “Palace Cakes,” Southwest’s Baker & Spice cooks up a cake-shop headquarters, unfolding in mid-October.

By Karen Brooks and Tuck Woodstock October 2, 2013

A sample of the wares at Palace Cakes

Palace Cakes

"I was out with a girlfriend and we just wanted a great slice of cake,” says Elizabeth Beekley, owner of Northwest Portland’s little cookie kingdom, Two Tarts Bakery. The mood and the moment (and lack of options), sent her off on a year-long quest to create a line of simply delicious cakes in the style of Two Tart cookies, showing off little more than good butter, good flour (Washington’s Shepard’s Grain), good chocolate, and seasonal fruits. The storefront search—and dream of a night-time cake destination—continues. But the first cakes have arrived, about a dozen of them, available by advance order only and picked up at Two Tarts, 2309 NW Kearney St.

Palace Cakes' lemon cake

Homespun and simple—no fondant, no coloring, no artificial anything. Always four stacks high. Frosted or separated with  “bucky’s”—big, pointy dots of buttercream or  gananche tinted with the likes of purple plums or Thai basil. That’s a Palace Cake. From the changing repertoire: yellow cake with chocolate malted icing; flourless gluten-free number (chocolate or caramel); and a wintery carrot cake with farmers market carrots, pecans, wide coconut flakes, classy Saigon cinnamon, and in place of pineapple, fresh orange pulp. Prices run $20 (4-inch cake for two) to $48 (10 inches, “big enough to serve 20-25”).

The name pays homage to Beekley’s grandmother, who supported her family during the depression with a job at the Palace Pastry and Bakery in Walla Walla, Wa. 

Listening to Beekley, “Born to Bake” could be the family tattoo. “I have 10 siblings …all great cooks and bakers,” she said in a recent interview. But not everyone feels the call. “I suck at cooking and baking,” confesses her nine-year-old son, Ivan, standing nearby.  “But I’m really, really good at building.”

Honesty. It tastes as good as an old-fashioned slice of cake.

Palace Cakes
48 hours advance orders only

Baker & Spice Cakery

After 14 years of sweetening the neighborhood, Julie Richardson is bringing twice the spice to the Hillsdale community. The Baker & Spice owner announced plans this week to open a second location—a mere eight doors away from her flagship bakery in the Hillsdale Shopping Center. The Baker & Spice Cakery will serve as cake central for the bakery, hosting an expanded array of the made-from-scratch sweets also found at the original bakery site. The shop will also stock baking equipment, specialty ingredients, and cookbooks—likely including Richardson’s own publication, Vintage Cakes, published last year.

The new storefront will also house Pages to Plate, a 40-seat multifunctional event space intended for cooking classes, discussions, and demonstrations. The pop-up culinary event series begins on October 10 with a cooking demo and book signing by Le Pigeon’s Lauren Fortgang, and will continue on the 16 with a Jewish pastry demo by Nick Zukin and Michael Zusman. 

Baker & Spice Cakery will open in mid-October, and will be open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 7 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm.  

Baker & Spice Cakery
6306 SW Capitol Hwy

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