5351 NE Sandy Blvd; bakeshoppdx.com
A scone is a scone is a scone … unless Kim Boyce is baking it. Then it’s something else, full of mysterious earthy notes and a sneaky eye-opener that whispers “candy bar.” Boyce stocks her new Bakeshop with this surprise of rye and roasted, salted pecans. A schmear of orange marmalade lends an air of jammy-chewy fruit pie, but the real magic is found in chunks of dark chocolate tucked in every nook and cranny. We’ll have two.
Nuvrei Pâtisserie and Café
404 NW 10th Ave; nuvrei.com
Nuvrei boss Marius Pop’s Danish is no sweet cheese square. Imagine a baroque French pastry on a blind date with a glazed doughnut. Croissant dough, carpeted with brown sugar, bread crumbs, and pastry cream, is rolled up like an ionic Greek column, then baked to mahogany glory. By the time it reaches your hands, the whole thing crackles in a thick, orange sugar glaze with deep reservoirs of dark cinnamon.
Baker & Spice
6330 SW Capitol Hwy; 503-244-7573
Hillsdale’s favorite sugar shack doesn’t traffic in the prettiest coffee cake. But sometimes just being the best is enough. Typically, coffee cake is a buttery wedge of niceness topped with “streusel.” Baking whiz Julie Richardson reverses that tired ratio: a little sour cream cake below a dense streusel that goes the distance with cinnamon intensity, rich egg yolks, and leavening for some rise and shine. Batches bake throughout the day, and the wise show up early. You can even choose a center slice or a crusty end. Now that’s service.
Aunt Miriam’s Vegan Sticky Buns
3039 NE Alberta St; dovetailbakery.blogspot.com
You don’t have to be a vegan to appreciate the soft squish of this yeasted bun under a gooey thicket of fat, sticky nuts. Craft is, after all, its own pleasure. Baker Morgan Grundstein-Helvey lives for the little details, like brown rice syrup to pour over pecans for a malty nose. Even the brown sugar at Dovetail is homemade, slapped with blackstrap and cinnamon to lift these pillows of butter-free dough, baked fresh every morning.
Brioche Cinnamon Roll
Ken’s Artisan Bakery
338 NW 21st Ave; kensartisan.com
In this colossus of cinnamon rolls, feathers of buttery dough count big—but this beauty swells to top bun status with a rare ingredient: natural leavening. (The same wild yeast gives Ken’s levain bread a rustic tang and complexity.) Toasty pecans swirl throughout, and glossy cinnamon icing glides over the surface. It’s big enough for two, but who’s sharing?