Clintonville’s Pattycake Bakery Still Shines After All These Years
Now located at the former Flowers & Bread storefront, Clintonville’s co-op vegan bakery has room at grow.
There’s something troubling about qualifying Pattycake Bakery as a vegan sweet shop. As if this phrase somehow relegates the serious, skilled baking happening inside these Key West pink-and-teal walls to a separate column. Or, even worse, leads to the inaccurate utterance of, “It’s good for a vegan bakery.”
Let’s draw a hard line in the sand, shall we? Yes, Pattycake goes to pains to source animal-free and mostly organic products. It also serves some of the best sweets in town, from cleverly flavored cakes dripping with plant-based buttercream to chewy cookies to good-as-you-remember whoopie pies.
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This is why Pattycake faithfuls (myself included) broke into a happy dance when the bakery announced it had purchased the former Flowers & Bread building in Clintonville. Pattycake had long ago outgrown its starter home of 16 years—a 650-square-foot space configured to maximize every inch.
Now just a mile up North High Street, the co-op bakery (currently owned by eight employees) has more than quadrupled its footprint to just shy of 3,000 square feet, much of which is dedicated, for now, to expanded storage, kitchen and prep space.
The decision to buy the building was unanimous, says co-owner Jennie Scheinbach, adding that they’d looked at roughly 20 other buildings over the last few years. “There was always a discussion. But with this space, everybody fell in love with it.”
For all its gain in room, Pattycake hasn’t lost an ounce of charm. Nearly every paintable space pops with teal or pink, brightened by natural light. The soul-hugging aroma of toasting sugar, vanilla and flour floats on the air. It remains a grab-and-go experience with a small merch and granola display, a fridge filled with 6-inch cakes, and a butcher block display counter spilling over with cakes, cupcakes, cookies, muffins and several gluten-free options. Here are a few things not to miss:
Cookies ($2.95) range from classic chocolate chip to peanut butter to snickerdoodle. The Chocolate XO is a love letter to the complexity of chocolate—a rich and earthy cocoa cookie with chocolate chunks. The Everything Oatmeal swaps raisins for dried cranberries, lending a pleasant tartness—plus chocolate chips, pecans and coconut.
The bakery’s adorable cutout cookies are the benchmark by which all other sugar cookies should be judged. They are soft like cake, mildly spiced and just plain homey with a firm icing.
Expect a small line out the door on Saturday mornings when folks in the know come to grab sticky buns ($4.50), only available this day. These magic spirals, so soft they bounce back like an energetic spring, come in a range of flavors, from orange glaze to Watershed bourbon pecan icing. The classic is coated in fragrant pure vanilla icing and dusted with cinnamon and sugar.
And always, always, get a slice of cake ($5.50) to go. Keep an eye on Pattycake’s zodiac series with a different cake inspired by whatever sign is in season. Virgo was up during my visit—a maple-sweetened cake with vanilla icing and a spice drizzle.
As for what’s to come, this is a bakery heading into fall and the holidays—so there will be pies come early November. In September, the team was busy sourcing organic apples and fresh pumpkins to turn into a pumpkin roll for an October special.
“We have all kinds of ideas—we just want to grow sustainably,” Scheinbach says. “We want to be here forever. That’s the beauty of being a co-op. And now that we own this corner, we can.”
3870 N. High St., Clintonville, 614-784-2253, pattycakebakery.com
This story is from the October 2021 issue of Columbus Monthly.