Back when I was still in highschool (which is really not THAT long ago), we had fieldtrips to Granville Island almost every year. Each time, my friends (who, I assure you, are non-imaginary) and I would always hang out at the Public Market where we’d get some bags of seeds for the pigeons (not sure if that’s still legal) and get some over-priced ice cream cones. As much of a glutton as I was back then (and am still now), I actually wasn’t nearly as into cakes then as I am now, and have never actually tried any of the bakeries there. One place that stood out in particular is Stuart’s Bakery, which produces a pretty gorgeous-looking variety of cakes, including several different flavours of cheesecakes, pastries, cookies, and various other treats. I’ve finally had the opportunity to check them out recently. I’ve got their Chocolate Decadence, Canadian Maple Cheesecake, Turtle Cheesecake, and Carrot Cake.
Chocolate Decadence ($5.50):
This consisted of layers of chocolate cake sandwiching layers of fruit preserves/jelly, that’s topped with a layer of frosting and coated by a layer of chocolate. The cake itself was tender and moist, while the fruit was quite tangy. I can’t really figure out what the fruit is: I initially thought that it was cherry, but it had a yellowish colour, so maybe it’s some kind of citrus. While I personally would have preferred a chocolate mousse in place of the fruit, its acidity did work well in balancing the sweetness of the chocolate. I did not care too much for their frosting, which I found to be greasy and a bit stale.
Canadian Maple Cheesecake ($5.50):
This consisted of a maple-flavoured cheesecake on top of a crust, and is decorated with cream and a white chocolate maple-leaf garnish. I absolutely loved the cheesecake: it was firm, dense and tangy, with a wonderful fragrance of maple. The crust was also tender and cut easily. I did find the cream and garnish to have a slightly stale, freezer-burned flavour, but that is only a minor issue.
Turtle Cheesecake ($5.95):
This consisted of chocolate-flavoured cheesecake on top of a chocolate crust, and is topped with chocolate frosting, chocolate, pecans and caramel. Again, the cheesecake was dense and firm, with a nice chocolaty flavour. While the garnishes didn’t have any stale flavour this time, the caramel was strangely bland. While this cake is certainly quite tasty, I did not feel that it lived up to the name of “turtle” cheesecake; it’s just more of a plain chocolate cheesecake with a few extra garnishes.
Carrot Cake ($5.50):
This consisted of a carrot cake that’s covered in a layer of cream cheese frosting and studded with walnuts. The cake itself was quite good: very moist, chocked full of carrots and raisins, and had a nice cinnamon scent. I was not very impressed by the frosting however, which was just sweet and did not have the tang that I enjoy from cream-cheese frosting, and was also a tad greasy. The nuts tasted fresh and lent a nice bit of texture.
I’m glad to have finally visited Stuart’s Bakery. The quality of their desserts does not seem to be the highest: I did find some of their garnishes and creams to have some stale, freezer-burned flavours. However, I did still enjoy all of their cakes, with their Canadian Maple Cheesecake being the standout. The prices are also fairly reasonable. I’d definitely recommend checking them out.