On any given day in the heart of Tacoma’s Theater District, take a walk down the 600 block of Fawcett Avenue and the aroma of cinnamon and sugar permeating the air is sure to have your mouth watering. That delicious scent is the product of the hard work of the crew at Corina Bakery. The bakery has been a Tacoma area staple for over a decade, and it only takes one visit to the shop to understand why.
The unique items they serve are appealing to just about everyone with a sweet tooth. One of their signature cakes is called the king’s favorite, which is banana cake topped with peanut butter frosting and then finished with a dark chocolate ganache. More traditional flavors like chocolate, vanilla, lemon and red velvet are also available.
There’s also the Tacoma tiramisu, which combines rum and espresso-soaked vanilla cake (rather than the traditional lady fingers cookies found in most tiramisu recipes), cream cheese frosting, and swirled vanilla custard filling, while chocolate ganache adds a rich finishing touch.
The bakery makes an assortment of pies in classic fruit flavors such as apple, cherry and marionberry. But there are also more decadent pies to choose from like the chocolate peanut butter cup, which is chocolate and peanut butter cheesecake swirled in rich vanilla with a chocolate crust and topped with mini Reese’s cups.
Other sweets beyond cakes, pies and cheesecakes include rum balls in a variety of flavors and a variety of cookies.
If sweets aren’t your thing, there are savory items to choose from as well. The eatery’s breakfast items include croissants, breakfast burritos, savory stratas, frittatas, and breakfast sandwiches. And if that’s not enough, there are also muffins, cinnamon rolls, scones and parfaits.
It’s not just their custom creations and scrumptious recipes that set the establishment apart. Corina Bakery also serves a wide variety of items that cater to those with certain food allergies or restrictions.
“We really like to be the bakery that can bake something for the person with dietary restrictions,” explains owner Molly Ott.
The eatery offers gluten-free, vegan and soy-free options, as well as some menu items that are both gluten free and vegan. The team at Corina Bakery also uses rBST-free milk and dairy and certified gluten-free flours in their dishes.
Besides their grab-and-go nibbles, the bakery is, of course, known for their specialty cakes for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, retirements and more. Molly says there have been numerous requests for custom cakes throughout the years, from a request for a cake with a Star Wars theme to custom shortbread cookies with a company’s logo on the frosting. The requests seem to have a rise and fall, as trends and customer interests evolve.
“I really like to see how the trends start to happen. Right now, there’s a big interest in the naked cakes, which is where the cake kind of peeks through in the icing here and there.”
Molly says another kind of cake that is seeing an upswing in popularity are candy cakes. This item is just as sweet as it sounds. These cakes are covered in various types of candies, such as a three-tiered cake covered in Skittles, or a cake covered in lollipops.
One of the most interesting requests the bakery has received was for a model wedding cake, created in an intricate design. “It was for a New Year’s Eve wedding where they served a dessert bar and the model cake served as a sort of centerpiece,” she explains.
The model cake, as the name implies, wasn’t made from edible ingredients and was created simply for its aesthetic appeal. The faux cake is seven-tiers high and is so visually stunning that Molly keeps it on display in the back seating area of the bakery.
It’s that ability to go outside of the box not just with edible confections, but also with things like model cakes that makes Corina Bakery so unique. Molly says the ability to have that level of customization is a real labor of love for her and her team.
“We’re not a corporate bakery where we have this kind of cookie-cutter realm of things we can create. We can get really custom with what someone wants from their cake, from the filling to the frosting and the colors.”