100 Favorite Dishes: Baum cake from Glaze by Sasa

Mark Antonation
Mini matcha green tea baum cake and macarons.
No. 96 Baum cake at Glaze by Sasa
1160 Madison Street

When the original Glaze bakery closed earlier this year, it was like losing a friend we'd just met. The intricate and time-consuming method -- not to mention the special oven imported from Japan -- caught our attention at just the wrong moment. Thankfully, co-owner Heather Alcott and her crew were not ready to throw in the whisk. Instead, partnering with Wayne Conwell of Sushi Sasa fame, they re-opened the space as an unlikely combination of sushi bar and bakery, featuring immaculate sashimi, a brief menu of Japanese-inspired dishes, delicate macarons, confections and, of course, the beautiful cakes with concentric, tree-like rings.

See also: First Look: Glaze by Sasa opens Monday, June 16

When sold from the bakery, the cakes come in several different styles and flavors. Our favorite, the matcha green tea baum, offers earthy, grassy flavors from powdered green tea built in dense yet not too heavy layers. Make sure and ask for the mini or you'll be toting home a tire-sized slab that will feed six adults.

Mark Antonation
Orange mount baum cake with cheesecake.

When ordered from the restaurant's menu, the orange mount baum comes as two artfully arranged wedges separated by a hemisphere of rosemary-citrus cheesecake. Glazed in orange liqueurs, the slightly sticky and chewy layers of the baum flake apart to reveal subtle almond flavor in addition to the orange. It's a sweet and savory duo that builds on the hint of rosemary and finishes strong with streaks of orange gel on the plate.

Whether you take your baum cake home or devour it in the cafe, it's a treat worth sharing for its elegance, beauty and flat out lusciousness -- just be prepared to defend your half. And watch the reaction of diners at nearby tables when they see your plate; they'll skip the dinner menu and order dessert first.

What are your favorite pastries and plated desserts in town? Let us know in the comments section below.

In advance of the Best of Denver 2015, we're already loading our plates with contenders for the best dishes in the city. And over the next nine months, we'll be sharing many of them with you, counting down (in no particular order) one hundred of our favorite dishes before the the Best of Denver 2015 hits the streets on March 26. In the meantime, if there's a dish you think we need to try, tell us about it in the comments section below, or shoot us an e-mail at cafe@westword.com.

Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2014 countdown are linked below.

No. 100: Chile Relleno at La Fiesta
No. 99: Gurage Kitfo at Megenagna Ethiopian Restaurant
No. 98: Cochinita Pibil at Work & Class
No. 97: The Greggers Tongue Sandwich at Olive & Finch

Location Info


1160 Madison Street, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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It was delicious, but in retrospect the price is such that I won't be returning. It's a $13 large donut with a proprietary cooking method. Whatever their overhead, too much of it sits on each slice of cake. If it was $6 or $7 per slice, I would be in that door several times a week. Done it, moving on.

The food marketing is lousy. Being offered a variety of slices already in plastic bags is like going to a sushi bar and being handed something in a to-go container. Every table in the dining room appears set up for lunch by Sushi Sasa. The experience read to me that this bakery was grab-and-go: the cake went directly into a paper bag with another plastic bag containing macarons (which all tasted the same, like sugar, no fresh bursting flavors). I didn't notice a menu of coffee or tea.

I was in the shop at 10am for about 5 minutes, asking the young brunet questions, but she seemed to have something better to do. She was describing the baum cakes, so I asked if they actually have any and she pulled out one slice, then another, then another. I felt like I was pumping for information.

As average as I appear, I think I'm an above-average customer. Friendly and glad for help. I wasn't greeted, thanked or invited back.

GLAZE is stale.

TheFabulousMarkT topcommenter

I'm sure it tastes delicious and everything. 

When they initially closed, the goodbye message they left (the one I saw anyway) gave the impression that they were closing permanently. The fact that they reopened so soon afterwards made it seem like the agreement with SaSa had been in the works for quite a while, and so the whole thing honestly struck me as very disingenuous.

Why not just be upfront about the new arrangement from the get-go? Why lead people to think they were gone for good (which is absolutely what some folks thought)? They may well have had the best of intentions but the perception that was created was, to use the technical term, "no bueno". :(

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