Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hazeldean Bakery - Edmonton, AB

My mom likes to tell the story of the time she lost me at Safeway when I was about 4. As she tells it, I was gone by the time she turned around, and as she frantically searched over the next half hour or so, she eventually found me in the middle of the bakery, calmly munching on a free cookie the bakery lady had given me. Apparently I had followed my nose to where I knew there were treats to be eaten. I haven't changed much since, always seeking out more delicious eats. When I saw The Tomato's list of the top 100 best things to eat or drink, it was a perfect chance to learn more about what Edmonton has to offer.

Hazeldean Bakery's cinnamon buns and apple fritters came in at #98. On a lazy Friday when we were craving something sweet, we decided to give it a try. The bakery is nestled in a strip mall next to a shoe repair shop in the quiet Hazeldean area and without seeking it out, it's not a place you'd take notice of.
Inside, the bakery is as small and plain as you'd expect from the outside, with no seating area. There is only one shelf, one display case, and one fridge selling the day's baked goods, so if you plan to visit Hazeldean Bakery, it's best to go early. By the time we made it (around 3:00), there wasn't much selection left. Only a few donuts, cookies, and loaves remained. We ordered a raspberry jelly bismark donut and a custard filled donut, and the friendly lady behind the counter (who I assume is the owner) offered us another plain glazed donut for free, bringing our total to $1.50 for three donuts. We didn't want to leave without trying at least one other item, so we also bought a banana bread loaf for $4.75.

The donuts were fresh and light. The plain glazed donut almost tasted like a Chinese donut, as it was much less sweet than a standard Tim Hortons donut. We felt the jelly and custard donuts could have used a bit more filling, but overall the donuts were satisfying without being too heavy. The banana loaf was good, but tasted like something that could be made at home.

Overall, Hazeldean Bakery sells donuts that are fluffier and less sweet than the average offering, perfect for those looking for a lighter option. It's all about the goods at this no-nonsense, gimmick-free bakery, allowing them to keep their costs low. The donuts weren't so amazing I'd make the trip regularly, but I'd like to return to try the cinnamon buns and apple fritters. Their menu can be found here, and in addition to the daily offerings they also make custom cakes with the option of rice flour.

Update: I returned to try the cinnamon buns and apple fritters. The cinnamon buns ($6/6) were soft and fluffy, but I wouldn't say they were outstanding. The apple fritter had sizeable pieces of apple and the dough was crispy on the outside and, as above, light and not too sweet on the inside.

Top Pick of the Day: Custard-filled donut


3/5 Erics

Hazeldean Bakery on Urbanspoon

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