NOW CALLED KYRA’S BAKE SHOP (PREVIOUSLY CRAVE BAKE SHOP)
I’m a big fan of the Food Network and especially Cupcake Wars. So you can imagine my excitement when a gluten-free bakery won Cupcake Wars TWICE! And they’re from Oregon!
One of the owners of Crave is gluten-free and so she spent many years developing delicious recipes that are gluten-free. I’ve always been the type to try the gluten-free options out there regardless, but when Cupcake War judge Candace was quoted as saying she had no idea they were gluten-free I knew it was a place to absolutely, no doubt try (the exact quote according to their website is- “I think you guys are like magical gluten-free elves that are working over there in that kitchen because I cannot tell that these are gluten-free cupcakes”!)
Unfortunately with my short trips I don’t often find myself down in Lake Oswego. When I was at lunch at Scratch (blog post here) I remembered Crave and looked up where it was. It was only a few blocks away! I dragged my friend begrudgingly over to it in excitement before we headed to the wedding rehearsal. I got there and understanding was a bit overwhelmed as to what to choose (besides deciding to just get everything). The woman at the counter recommended the peanut butter cheesecake and chocolate cream puff and so I got one of each. She also mentioned that Thursdays are their only day of the week they have bagels. I never usually crave (ironic) sweet baked goods usually, but I often crave a bagel and cream cheese for some reason. Needless to say I had to get one. I of course also had to try their cupcakes so I got one of the birthday cake cupcake. And then I couldn’t say no to one of their sugar cookies.
I honestly think I exercised a great deal of self-control just getting those things!
I started with the cupcake and sugar cookie. The cupcake was moist and crumbled very similarly to a regular cupcake and the frosting was really good too. The sugar cookie was similarly good with frosting on top. With both I feel like it was very hard to tell it was gluten-free. Later on I tried the peanut butter cheese cake, which was really good with a small crumbly crust (although to be honest I probably ate it too quickly to really appreciate the crust) and the cream puff. The cream puff was interesting since I don’t think I’ve ever had one before (even cheating by having a regular one) so the texture of baked crust and cream in the middle and chocolate on top was really interesting and combined with a lot of flavors. All of them were delicious and not very gluten-free at all!
I was pretty excited for the bagel. As I mentioned bagels are one of the gluten-y things I sometimes really crave (along with macaroni and cheese). I was excited to have it toasted with some cream cheese on top. However on the drive from the rehearsal to the rehearsal dinner (the Oregon Golf Club in West Linn to Henry’s in the Pearl- quite the trek) I was getting really really hungry. Not being able to resist I ate the bagel plain and untoasted. Before I even took a bite I thought I’d be disappointed/guilty for not waiting. However that was not the case! Even without being toasted or having cream cheese the bagel was delicious! This was one of the things where it tasted almost exactly like a regular bagel and the same texture!
Crave is amazing! All their products were delicious and not gluten-free tasting at all! If you’re gluten-free and ever in the Portland-area you should definitely check it out! If you’re in Lake Oswego and not gluten-free I think you’d really like their products even if they are gluten-free and should check it out as well! I’m going to have to make some more trips to LO when I’m back in Portland!
UPDATE: I’ve been to Crave (now called Kyra’s Bake Shop) several times since this original trip, but on a recent visit (October 2015) I checked out their new location just down the street. If I’m remembering correctly, the old location didn’t have any seating inside. The new location is much much larger, has plenty of outdoor seating, and also has an expanded menu. The place was packed, which was exciting to see (I also saw people leaving with boxes and boxes of food). A friend had raved about their sandwiches, but once I got there, there were so many things I wanted to try that I decided to do the sandwiches another time. I did their macaroni and cheese, pretzel dog, cookies and cream cheesecake, chocolate chip cookie, peanut butter cookie, Snickerdoodle cookie, and cinnamon roll.
The mac and cheese was pretty good (a good gluten-free alternative). The pretzel dog tasted less pretzel-y and more like a hot dog wrapped in a full bun, but I was glad to have tried it. It was exciting that the new location has a lot of expanded options (including the sandwiches). The cheesecake hit the spot, but was very rich (it probably would have been the perfect treat by itself if I hadn’t ordered half the display case). My favorite of the cookies was the chocolate chip, although the Snickerdoodle was also good. The peanut butter wasn’t bad, but compared to the other two it was the one I liked the least. The cinnamon roll was the big winner! The friend I went with (not gluten-free) had stumbled across it and thought it was incredible. I agreed! It was extra soft compared to regular cinnamon rolls I cheated with many years ago. The flavors of the cinnamon and frosting were well spread out. The gooey softness with a little bit of crispiness was just the perfect treat. I never was a big fan of cinnamon rolls (gluten-free or regular), but I loved this one! I definitely want to come back to try the sandwiches and I’ll definitely be getting another cinnamon roll!
Crave Bake Shop- 599 A Ave, Lake Oswego, OR 97034