We have this recurring dream.  We go to all the best restaurants; A.O.C, The Little Door, Campanile (moment of silence), and we skip dinner.  We just go straight to dessert.  Newsflash, Sleepyhead.  The Bittersweet sweet fantasy is real, and baking beautifully in Pasadena.  Rub your eyes and get out of bed.

So wait, I have to schlep to all those restaurants? 

As if.  We’re moms – we get to go to one of those restaurants a year, when we’re lucky.  So in a genius move, owner Pastry Chef Danielle Keene consolidated her wealth of talent  (previously flaunted at the all the aforementioned eateries, just to namedrop a few), and founded Bittersweet Treats – a Pasadena post and beam lighthouse of lusciousness.  The place is delectable, edible art.  Literally, we wanted to eat every mountain of toasted merengue (it frosts the chocolate crunch cake:  Chocolate.  Crunch.  Cake.). We marvel at Mom’s Magic Bars (If most moms could bake anything that tastes like this it’d be an act of magic too!). And the apple cranberry crumble?  Tastes of Fall, we’re in love.  And for our gluten-free friends, a hummingbird cake that sang the sweet song of serious talent in the kitchen with Dinah.

And here’s the amazing part: this is a spot that appeals to parents (gorgeous, delicious, pedigreed desserts) and kids equally (for how tasty and beautiful the sweets are, there’s nothing precious or adult flavored about them). Pasadena?  Are bakeries the new destination location?

Depends.  If Pasadena is a schlep, then yes, get your motor running – this one is worth the drive, even with kids who don’t love car rides.  With its tasteful towers of apricot oat cardamom scones, coffee cakes, crumb cakes, whoopee pies, and whopping colossal cookies, all artfully stacked in graduated layers of loveliness, tap into your inner Griswold and go.  Everyone in the family will find something delectable to dream about for days (weeks, years…).

Sometimes good taste is far to find.

And Yet, Somehow, The Cookie Takes the Cake.

Chocolate salted caramel tart.  Vanilla malt cake.  A frosted fantasyland of made from scratch sensations and yet somehow the kids always go for the cookie with the icing on top.  Ah well, if they’re gonna get them anywhere, best get them here.  Go Bittersweet or go home.  We’re right behind you, kids.


-Written and photographed by Jolie Loeb

Bittersweet Treats
1731 East Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91106
Phone: (626) 796.8655
Online: bittersweettreats.com

How far will you go for the perfect pastry?  The tastiest tart?  And where is that place?  We want to go!