By Cassandra VanKeuren Herald Writer
LAKE STEVENS — Snohomish County has few good pastry shops, and I have been to all of them more than a few times. That is why I am so delighted to find Oven Monkey Bakery downtown.
Oven Monkey Bakery is a small bakery in a strip mall. It’s easy to miss if you’re not on the lookout for it. It has a handful of tables and is super cute inside. The staff is also quite friendly.
The first thing that greets you is a large refrigerated case full of delectable treats.
My family and I pretty quickly zeroed in on what we wanted to order. My husband: a cinnamon roll with a cup of coffee. My son picked the Monkey brownie, and I chose the cheddar bacon scone and pumpkin bar.
My husband’s cinnamon roll was a bit bigger than you get from a certain chain we all know of, and this one definitely had that homemade quality. The staff offered to warm it for him and then topped it up with cream cheese frosting.
What really struck me is how tender the dough was. Most of the cinnamon rolls I have had in other places have been too big and the dough was very dry. This was not the case here.
The filling was just the right amount of sugar and cinnamon and did not come oozing out the bottom. A very satisfying treat.
Also, the coffee is from Camano Island Coffee. I love the fact that they are using a local roaster.
My son’s brownie came with a little powdered sugar scene of reindeers and a pine tree. Very sweet (pun intended).
The brownie was fudgy and moist. It was so rich that my son could not finish it. Probably should have ordered him a milk to go along with his brownie.
My scone was medium in size and savory. Oven Monkey was not shy on the amount of bacon or the cheese. It would make a lovely breakfast.
The true standout of our meal was the pumpkin bar. The cake seemed to have been made in a sheet pan, as it was flat. It tasted of ginger, clove and cinnamon: such a comforting flavor combination. The frosting was vanilla, I think. Good, but not necessary — the bar could have stood on its own, bare and tasty. I would definitely come back just for the pumpkin bar.
Some of Oven Monkey’s other offerings were brioche, chocolate cake with cheesecake filling, cookies and orange brownies.
They also had about six different cupcakes and seem to always have cookies n’ cream cupcakes and red velvet. But then they have some seasonal cupcakes too.
The one I remember was The Matterhorn, a chocolate cupcake with mint frosting and chocolate drizzles. Delicious enough for any season.
The Oven Monkey is the perfect place to pick up a breakfast pastry or take your family to for a treat after dinner or church. I love the extended hours and the open kitchen. It really makes it easy to satisfy your sweet tooth any time of the day.
Oven Monkey Bakery
12420 20th St. NE., Lake Stevens; 425-334-2253; ovenmonkeybakery.com/contact-us/
Specialties: Pastries and crazy artistic cakes
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; Sundays by appointment only.