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Dutch Oven Bakery (Altadena) - muffin review

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I'm either blessed or cursed with a whole variety of muffins from Dutch Oven Bakery sitting in my office break room.

These things are sinful. They are baked with some sort of honey (i think) over the top, which glazes, caramelizes and sinks into the muffin - leaving the outside with this thick, sticky - almost crunchy crust. The muffin itself is SO moist -- and definitely leaves a buttery residue on your fingers! I have a high threshold for sweets consumption - but I think 1/2 a muffin is just the right serving size -- eating a whole one would definitely put me over the edge! (at least in one sitting...)

So far, I've tried the blueberry (SO GOOD) and lemon (also quite good).... there's a ton of different ones (poppyseed, bran, cranberry - and other different unidentifiable ones) - most of them have some variant of the honey coating - some more coated than others.

I haven't been to the actual place - but for those making the trek to get Bulgarini Gelato - might as well stop by for some muffins - as it's right around the corner. Given how moist these are - they definitely would keep well for a few days. I need to stop in and find out how they do it!

Dutch Oven Bakery
2281 Lake Ave
Altadena
626.794.3555

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  1. I happened to peek into the bakery for the first time last Saturday (we stopped by that healthfood store that's just a couple doors up). I understand they open at 5am! Sounds like a place I'll have to try out real soon. Thanks for the recommendation.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Augusta

      I went in there twice, and looked around as if I was interested. But I had a couple questions, and the person working there was engrossed in just light gossip with someone (who didn't appear to be carrying product or buying anything) and ignored me. I kind of hung around and left. This happened again a few months later. I don't normally have that kind of feeling, but it just seemed funny, like maybe since I wasn't a regular? Or had egg on my face or something?!

      1. re: MaryT

        I've never had that kind of experience there. The owner, at least, has been downright friendly without being corporate-friendly, a la Starbucks.

        It's an interesting little place, long known to Jane and Michael Stern fans. The Oracle describes the unusual honey muffins well, and I recommend strong coffee to cut through the rich sweetness. (I usually eat the muffins in the parking lot at Jones Coffee in Pasadena.) The Dutch Oven also makes such down-home delicacies as sweet potato pie, which I like, but I generally stick to the moist and bitey honey muffins, especially the pineapple. These treats are delicious (but so rich that I can't eat them every day).

    2. OMG! I used to go to this place when I was a little girl with my grandfather who went for the dutch crust bread (I believe) also coffee cake. He was an old german who would frequent this place or Norens Hillcrest on Washington (long gone). Are the owners the same here from years ago? If so I must go back. I was in the area not long ago and noticed it was still there.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rantsnravesnreviews

        It's been under new ownership for 17 years (see writeup at roadfood.com), so the long-remembered items might be long gone. I recommend a visit, anyway, because it's a nice place, locally owned and managed, and the honey muffins are unusual and very good.