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Jan 11, 2009 08:21 PM

SEA: Svedala Bakery

In our household, birthdays are a multi-cultural event. Certain things are a "must" namely Chinese food for the birthday dinner, a breakfast tray loaded with baked goodies for the birthday celebrant and of course, a birthday cake. For some members of the household, the Cake is Sacred and immutable. For my husband and elder pup, only one kind will do: a Princess Torte. A princess torte for the uninformed, is typically made of layers of vanilla [yellow?] cake interspersed with raspberry jam, vanilla custard and whipped cream all overlaid with a solid sheet of marzipan.

When I first learned of my [future] spouse's fondness for this particular cake, I thought I'd make a good impression by making him his favorite birthday cake. PAUGH! As best I can tell, even Swedes [at least the ones in LA] don't bother trying to make a princess torte--this is the sort of thing that comes from the bakery. And like any dutiful spouse, I located a fine bakery source for the cake which provided us with many tasty birthday treats. Regrettably, princess tortes can’t be shipped. So when we moved to Seattle, my first big anxiety attack [after how do I get to the nearest Ranch 99 and score some fu?} was where to buy The Birthday Cake.

Thanks to fellow hounds, I trekked to Bellevue to the only bakery I could locate that made that particular cake. When we brought the first one home, I opened the package to find it was an ungodly shade of green.

Okay, you in the know are probably thinking all princess tortes are an ungodly shade of green. Yes but this was the wrong ungodly shade--a painted on watered down kelly green as opposed to the traditional first grass of spring green. And the taste had elements of green food coloring dye mixed with lots and lots of sugar with the green dye overwhelming the taste of the cream, the cake and the raspberry. Still the celebrant, my husband, was happy with it [isn’t that what counts?] so I resigned myself to a future of less than optimal princess tortes.

But no more. In the midst of the winter storms, I got an email about a new bakery called Svedala Bakery which opened in the Public Market section of the Pike Market, a bakery specializing in all manner of Swedish baking, including the elusive princess torte. The smallest pups and I raced over to purchase elder pup’s belated birthday cake. On the first attempt the shop was closed but our second visit was mostly a success. They were sold out of cake but one could be ordered and they did have a nice looking cardamon braid. We bought a cardamon bread, ordered our cake and waited with baited breathe and hungry tummies.

The cardamon bread was delicious—lots of cardamon and that chunky pearl sugar used in scandinavian baking. The family swede gave it two thumbs up. We could hardly wait to try the cake. When we got our cake, it was perfect–just the right taste balance of all the layers. Best of all–to my mind–the marzipan was not too sweet. I was told that Svedala Bakery uses all natural ingredients so their princess torte is not the traditional ungodly green nor will they paint your cake with icky tasting food coloring but you can choose between pink and natural marzipan color which is sort of tan. Elder pup chose pink which turned out just fine. The lettering on the cake was nicely done and the icing seemed to be some sort of butter cream–I typically do not like decorating icing on bakery cakes but this was yummy.

This weekend we were back at Svedala Bakery for a second birthday princess torte as well as treats for my husband’s birthday breakfast tray. We were delighted to see that Svedala carries mazariner [sp] which is a little cookie type crust filled with an almond paste like center topped with a splat of icing. I’ve always seen mazariner with white icing but Svedala also does them with raspberry. I would describe the raspberry but it vanished down elder pup’s throat before I could say “hey can I ......” We also tried a Skane gingerbread–this is the soft type not the hard gingersnap type–as well as some almond sprinkled cookies [short breadish type, 3 to a bag] and a small sticky bun. Everything was wonderful and delicious and alas, there were no leftovers.

Svedala Bakery is located in the small permanent stalls area at 1st and Pike. If you are standing outside facing the illuminated market sign, they are inside on the left down from the newsstand, next to the salami people or inland from the pig and the flying fish people. Their specific address is 93 Pike Street, #3, the telephone number is 206-890-9774. The hours are currently 10am to 5pm Monday through Saturday. I ordered our second cake by email to the owner and they were very responsive and able to have my cake ready on Saturday afternoon even though I placed the order at 8:30pm Friday night [bad wife! Bad wife!] They have a website at though right now there isn’t much information on it.

We will definitely be back and I urge partial to princess torte and good Swedish baked goods to try them out. As I understand it, they started their business just as all the nasty weather hit and like so many businesses, were closed or snowed out during too much of December. But they are making great & yummy stuff and I wish them much success.

Svedala Bakery
93 Pike Street, #3,
Seattle WA 98101
10am to 5pm Monday through Saturday.

Svedala Bakery
93 Pike Street #3 Seattle WA (8101

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  1. Jenn, thanks for the recommendation. I lived in Finland for 5 years. was so excited when I heard about the big Scandinavian community on my move to Seattle, visited Larson's Bakery last week, but was so disappointed. They were simply too Americanized (aka sweet). With that in mind, I visited Svedala today, I had the Cardamom yeast bread (we call that Pulla in Finnish), the Semla and the Princess cake. They were SOOOOO DELICIOUS!! Fresh, tasty but not too sweet. Just as what I had in back in Finland and during visits to Stockholm. I am so glad that this bakery is here and will for sure to go there EVERY weekend (I live two blocks from the Market). Why don't they open on Sundays......<sigh>

    1 Reply
    1. re: gluggy

      Lucky you!---two blocks from the Market!

      They told me that they were open on Sundays during the holidays. Maybe if business picks up they will be open on Sundays and pick a different day to be closed. i guess we have to give them one day a week to sleep..........

      I know what you mean about the sweetness and the Americanization of stuff. Until Svedala, I was pretty bummed by what I found in scandinavian baked goods here too. In my experience, the Scandinavian influence in Seattle is quite diluted which --given how long ago people mostly came here from Scandinavia--I suppose should not be a surprise. Still, we were able to locate a scandinavian bakery in LA with stuff that was not so americanized.

      One place you might want to check for more meatish scandinavian things is.. . WAIT?!?!?! Did you say they have Semla now? Yikes, gotta go make a run!

    2. Another endorsement for Svedala - the mandelfläta (cardamom bread with marzipan) and princess cake are out of this world! Sweet, but not too sweet. I think this might be my favorite sweet pastry spot in the Market now.

      1. delightful story.! I'll definitely try this spot...didn't know about Swedish baking prowess!

        3 Replies
        1. re: staffstuff

          Does anyone know if they have limpa bread or yulekakka? My mom's swedish bakery in NJ closed, so I am charged w/ bringing home the baked goods next year. Was going to go to the scandanavian bakery in ballard, but this sounds so much better. won't wait for christmas to try it!

          1. re: bluedog67

            They definitely have limpa (Fridays and Saturdays according to their website - I've seen it in the case but haven't gotten to it yet.)

            Yule Kaka I haven't seen but then it's a long time until Christmas. They might take a special order even if it's not in their regular repertoire.

            1. re: terrier

              Thanks! I guess I could have checked the website (duh) and now have, i just got giddy about the discussion. I will test out the limpa and ask them about yulekakka. have plenty of time to sort our my order for the holidays. have a big family of swedes without baked goods!

        2. Damn it. I've been mostly avoiding gluten ever since discovering my digestion is better when I do. And then something delicious-sounding always comes along... like cardamon braid!? Sigh.

          Out of curiosity, do they have a moist, yeasted, ring-shaped coffee cake? I've been looking for the equivalent of one I ate growing up (Dumas in Manhattan). That bakery made a variety with pecans and raisins and another with almonds and almond paste. Not too sweet, no horrible white icing dumped on top. Every time I hear about a new bakery like this, part of me gets hopeful. But I haven't been around Pike Place lately.


          1. Only one more week to hit Svedala and buy semlor [singlular semla]. We went today and got a box of five. Youngest pup realized that the white stuff was whipped cream [SHRIEK!] and rejected his leaving 1 lonely semla uneaten. So my dear husband took up the challenge and ate two.

            Semlor, for the uninitiated, are these sweet yeast buns stuffed with marzipane and whipped cream and sprinkled with powdered sugar. You serve them in a bowl of hot milk and eat them with a spoon. Svedala makes AWESOME semlor.

            So anyrate, husband ate his semla and then he ate smallest pups too. And now he is off lying down. Seems two semlor is 1 too many.

            I doubt this will keep me from going back next week to buy more.

            Last day to buy semlor is Fat Tuesday. And they do run out so call and order some or go by early in the day.

            3 Replies
            1. re: jenn

              Hi Jenn, love your post. Semlor are usually served at Easter - I can only get them at my bakery here in Los Angeles around that time. Sometimes, I actually forget and then I have to wait a whole year!! Try the Limpa with some Norwegian Goat Cheese (and butter) - usually sold under the Sno Queen or Tine brands. YUM!!

              1. re: WildSwede

                why thank, i'm the same jenn who used to be in LA.......
                We had really good semlor in LA when we went to Swedish school. I think they were from bertilinas [sp].

                1. re: jenn

                  Hello! Yep, that is where I get mine! Berolina Bakery. Also for the Princesse Torta - yum! When I was little we always got them green. But like you said, you can still also get them "natural" or pink. For the goat cheese - it should be SKI queen, not Sno. It is brown and I have heard people call it caramel cheese. Either way, it is delicious!!