Story and Photo by Marlene Wandel

It’s not every day an opportunity for escape presents itself. Sweet Escape Cake Café and Bakery is open for a little escape into indulgence; that it’s hidden in a little nook off Bay Street just makes it that much more of an escape.

Julie Einarson opened the cake café and bakery’s doors last March, with a clear understanding that sometimes you need cake late at night. I discovered the café, tucked in behind Portobello Home, at the tail end of an evening neighbourhood ramble in the middle of a snowstorm. There is much to be said for finishing a cold, wet walk with a pocket full of biscotti, and the knowledge that, five nights of the week, I could wander down for cake as late as 10 pm.

While the baked treats like cookies and biscotti are more portable, it’s the cakes that keep me coming back. The walls are adorned with Duncan Weller’s colourful art, but it’s the display case with the round white cloud adorned with raspberries and the tall, smooth column of chocolate that command attention. It is indeed a challenge to choose between a Raspberry Dream or a slice of Seventh Heaven. In the end, like many who visit Sweet Escape, I dive into the Raspberry Dream, which is everything a cake should be: both decadent and light, with a generous accumulation of white chocolate on top. We somehow manage to avoid splashing anything on the artwork, despite the enthusiastic consumption of the red velvet cupcake by one of the small fry in my company. Next time, we’ll try the Seventh Heaven or the pecan pie, but only if there’s no Raspberry Dream.
Sweet Escape is located at 2-271 Bay Street and open from noon–10 pm on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday to Saturday.