Best of Columbus Weddings Winner: Pattycake Bakery

Pattycake Bakery wins in the Baker: Special Diets category for the second time this year

Peter Tonguette
A wedding cake from Pattycake Bakery

The staff of Clintonville vegan/organic shop Pattycake Bakery rightly takes pride in accommodating its customers’ dietary restrictions even beyond its animal-product-free offerings. “We can make a lot of gluten-free things,” says Molly Shea, one of the cooperative bakery’s eight owners. “We can do a lot of things for different allergies.”

At the same time, Pattycake Bakery has made its name on the sheer scrumptiousness of its goodies, in the process attracting a clientele beyond those with allergen sensitivities. “I would say probably 40 percent or less of people are coming here for specific allergen needs,” Shea says. “A majority of our base are just folks who enjoy our baked goods. Whether they even know that they’re vegan or not is sometimes a pretty big question.”

The bakery often begins with a traditional home recipe and reverse-engineers it to become vegan, rather than starting with a vegan recipe and then trying to improve the flavor. “Some of them go through a lot of trials,” Shea says. “Our blueberry muffin is one of our most popular items, and that went [through] over 40 trials.”

A wedding cake from Pattycake Bakery

Weddings represent a significant part of Pattycake’s business. “During wedding season, sometimes we have five in a weekend,” Shea says. Befitting its back-to-basics approach to baking, the bakery specializes in cakes with a rustic or natural design. Natural food dyes are preferred—“We’re not going to get your fire-engine red, but we’re going to have a really beautiful rich, red color,” she says—and icing is appropriately rough rather than perfectly smooth. “A tiered cake with a little bit of rustic icing is so beautiful,” Shea says. Other offerings, from cookies to cupcakes to truffles, are perfect for a sweets table of bite-sized goodies.

Whether couples are drawn to Pattycake for dietary reasons or simply due to their taste buds, the bakery is grateful for their support. “It’s so special that people want to have our products on one of the most remarkable days of their lives,” Shea says.