It’s only a few days away from Thanksgiving and I’ve already begun my meal prep. No, I’m not crazy (okay yeah I am), but when you have 14 people coming over and you are so obsessive-compulsive that you have to make EVERYTHING from scratch, believe me it is a multi-day process. Thankfully–no pun intended–I have my parents to take on the roles of Sous Chef and Grillmaster. (We are actually smoking one turkey so calling my dad the Grillmaster is completely accurate.)
With all this hustle and bustle of preparation, I can forget to take a rest. What better way to do that than sitting down to a makeshift afternoon tea with my mom? You’re right! Reviewing it for the blog IS better.
So we decided to pick up a selection from Sweet Butter Kitchen and check out how their baked goods stack up.
about sweet butter kitchen
This cafe (which serves an excellent breakfast/brunch and lunch by the way) is like one of those quaint little cafes you would host a garden party in. Most of the tables are outside and you would be able to forget that you are in the middle of a busy city if it weren’t for the constant zoom of cars heading down Ventura Blvd.
The inside, where you order, is small and chock full of food cases and bakery cases, and is therefore cramped. You have to place your food order before you get a table so the line of people inside makes everything even tighter. The baked goods are in a separate case and have a separate register. Their selection is quite extensive: muffins, cookies, scones, croissants, poptarts, doughnuts, and the like. Pretty much everything will make you salivate if you have even the slightest sweet tooth. And I asked for you, so I can confirm that everything is made on site daily. That’s my kind of bakery! It also means that they might not have the exact thing you are looking for as what is made is up to the baker’s discretion.
Now, off to review our little sampler plate.
blackberry oatmeal scone
This sounded like such a unique type of scone to find in a bakery that we had to try it over the more standard blueberry. The scone’s texture lived up to the uniqueness, marrying the softness of a scone with the heartiness of oatmeal. We appreciated that the scone itself wasn’t too sweet; it actually tasted like a British scone with some oatmeal mixed in. As for the blackberry part of the scone, sadly it was lacking in the primary mix-in. A small number of blackberries had fallen to the bottom of the scone dough and jellied up in the oven so there wasn’t enough blackberries to get that this was a blackberry over any other kind of berry scone. This was disappointing as I love blackberries.
The scone is topped with a divisive glaze. Why divisive? Mom liked it and thought it was necessary to add some sweetness to the scone. I didn’t like it and thought that the vanilla glaze made it too sweet and almost overpowered anything else. But I did like the whole oats sprinkled on top. Overall, this was a good scone and a much better breakfast option than most other bakeries in the States.
creme brûlée cookie
This cookie was easily one of the best cookies I have ever had at a bakery. A soft vanilla butter cookie with a topping of burnt sugar? Soft and tender all the way through? A perfect balance of sweetness between the topping and the cookie. I can’t really say too much more other than this is a cookie I would go out of my way to buy.
battle of the portraits: brown sugar vs. pumpkin pie
I feel like I should make a two column chart and literally compare these two poptarts side by side. They really are complete opposites, sharing only assembly and baking method.
Let’s start with the brown sugar poptart: A real poptart (one that doesn’t come out of a foil bag I mean) is essentially two pieces of pie crust encasing a filling, crimped around the sides to seal it in. While good in flavor, the brown sugar poptart’s crust tasted like a dried out basic piecrust. Since the majority of what you are eating is pie crust, a poptart really needs to have a strong crust, and this one just fell short. Speaking of falling, I was surprised to find that the poptart was hollow. With the height of the top crust, I expected a gigantic brown sugar mixture in the middle, but there wasn’t any more than a store bought poptart would have and lots of air. It was actually kind of funny.
Now, the filling also had its problems. I know the filling was brown sugar, but that is all it was. It needed some additional spices–maybe cinnamon and a little salt?–to cut through the sugar. Also it was very sticky and lingered on our teeth for a bit. To top it off (see what I did there?) was a…brown sugar frosting. We all know that the frosting is the best part of a poptart, but unfortunately this frosting was a deal breaker. It made the poptart, which was already sweet, way too sweet and worse it was a monotone sweetness. Kids will love it because it does taste like the ones in the store; however we wish there was some additional flavor layers.
And in the other corner we have the pumpkin pie poptart. I have to say that it’s a shame this is a seasonal offering because it really was great. For starters its crust tasted fresh. Again that is hugely important because you are mostly eating crust. The filling had a real pumpkin flavor spiked with some spices, nutmeg or cloves by my guess. But the pumpkin flavor stood out. It did not stand up; this poptart wasn’t hollow in the slightest. Excellent filling to crust ratio. The glaze was a simple vanilla glaze that did not overpower the rest of the poptart, and sprinkles are a clear winner of course. What isn’t improved by sprinkles?
And the winner is…the pumpkin pie poptart obviously. This is another item I would make a trip to Sweet Butter for.
Overall, this bakery in a cafe is one of the better ones I’ve visited in Sherman Oaks/Studio City. Grab a friend and enjoy a leisurely brunch, then hop back inside for some goodies to finish it off. And I recommend splitting the desserts. That way you can try more 😉
Sweet Butter Kitchen
13824 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Open 8 am – 6 pm daily