I am a lover of cinnamon. Cinnamon bun, cinnamon cake, cinnamon rolls…you name it, if it has cinnamon I will want to try it!
The year I moved to England, Alan told me about this little tucked away coffee place called the Nordic Bakery that made really good cinnamon buns. It was in Golden Square in Soho and being a non-native, when we went to pay a visit to it, it seemed to take forever to get to it (of course I’ve completely changed my mind now because I know that everything – well, mostly everything – in London is within walking distance of each other!). When we got there, the place was packed and very busy and we ordered a cinnamon bun. They packed it for us, and we took it back to the flat. I had it and was a tiny bit disappointed. It was nice – but to me, it was nothing to write home about.
I have, however, kept an open mind. I liked the vibe of Nordic Bakery while I was there (it was probably not even 5 minutes) but the blue and dark wood interiors were indelibly stamped in my mind. Every time we chanced upon Golden Square, I looked at Nordic Bakery and wanted to go in, sit down, have a coffee and a pastry (or four!).
Then just this month, I had the opportunity to enjoy the Nordic Bakery twice in 2 weekends. Everything was delicious! Even the cinnamon bun which I thought was disappointing the first time I had it. Everything was really good because, for me, a recalcitrant diabetic with a sweet tooth, everything sweet is to be taken in moderation, and the goodies on offer were not toothache-inducingly sweet!
With a lovely chocolate sprinkled cup of cappuccino (I loved their coffee but will probably try one with an extra shot of espresso next time)
I enjoyed their deliciously spiced lingonberry bun. There was a lovely aroma of cardamom that went really well with the sweet-tartness of the lingonberry jam that was generously spread over the top of the very light cake.
Yesterday, I had a selection of pastries: the savoury but deliciously creamy potato Karelian pie
followed by the yummy apple Tosca bun (it looked like it was going to be so sweet but it wasn’t! It was lovely and light and the apple flavour came through each beautiful bite!)
and I had the classic cinnamon bun to finish. The cinnmon bun is one of Nordic Bakery’s best selling products. By the time we had finished our coffee and cakes the once full basket on the counter was empty! This isn’t your typical doughy cinnamon roll. The layers are thin and light and oh-so-cinnamony. The outer layers are also thin but almost crispy that they crackle when you slice or bit into them. It has certainly redeemed itself! It goes way too well with a hot cup of coffee!
I was so intrigued by the Tosca bun that I had to buy the cookbook. It is filled with the wonderful recipes of all the Nordic Bakery favourites. It’s not going to stop me from eating at the Nordic Bakery but it will certainly tide me over until my next visit!
My first Nordic Bakery cookbook bake is the Tosca cake. It was so easy to make! Am so excited to have coffee this afternoon (it’s a bit sad, isn’t it?)! Join me for a slice?
You need to visit the Nordic Bakery if you’re in London. It’s a really nice place to have coffee and something sweet or something savoury. The staff are helpful and are ever so patient when you have questions about the food on offer. The service is quick and I love how everything is served in pretty plates, trays and mugs of varying shades of blue. I’ve yet to try the rye bread sandwiches but they look so delicious and I intend to try one when I pay my next visit. They have a branch in the Golden Square in Soho. Apart from the Soho branch, they have one on New Cavendish Street and on Dorset Street, both in Marylebone.