Baking is a labour of love, especially when the ovens are the beating heart of a boutique business where small-batches of breads, pastries cakes and other treats are crafted with care and made from the best ingredients.
Luckily for us, the number and quality of artisan bakeries in Ireland is on the rise. From traditional Irish to francophile boulangeries, from artists that craft show-stopping cakes to inventive operations offering great products with a difference, the options when it comes to baked goods have come a long way from white or brown.
Below, some of Ireland’s best boutique bakeries. Don’t call them baked goods, they are baked awesomes.
CAFEFACE – KILKENNY
Husband and wife team Rory and Laura Gannon returned home to the Marble City after learning the secrets of authentic French patisserie in prestigious kitchens across France and London. They make unique, beautiful cakes that are as aesthetically pleasing as they’re tasty. They use unusual flavours and classic techniques to create exciting desserts. They also have a range of artisan breads, and in their inviting Kilkenny shop, you’ll also find light lunches and great coffee.
More information: cakefacepastry.com
KELLY LOU CAKES – PORTLAOISE
Kelly Ging opened her boutique cake business in 2012, in a corner of her family’s hardward store. She specialises in bespoke cakes for weddings and other celebrations, but thanks to the popularity of his bakes, she also offers portions, cupcakes, macarons and other sweet goodies in her two Kelly Lou Cafes in Portlaoise. She bakes everything from scratch sources Irish ingredients as much as possible for her creations.
More information: kellylou.com
FACCHINO’S BAKERY – KILDARE
This innovative and wonderfully creative bakery was founded by the gloriously talented, Jodie Facchino. Jodie’s style and exquisite eye for details flows through each and every one of her unique creations. From beautiful breads to cute cupcakes and the most elegant occasion cakes. This is a Kildare based bakery that is most worthy of a visit.
THE BAKERY BY THE CUPCAKE BLOKE – DUBLIN
The King of bringing modern twists to traditional bakes, Graham Herterich is the Master Baker behind this beautiful bakery. While quite rightly known for bringing the most decadent and colourful cupcakes to notoriety here in Ireland, Graham’s unique talent is for creating flavour combinations that will literally stop you in your tracks. We recently indulged in the Lemon, Ginger & Pistachio Tea Brack and oh goodness, talk about leaving a lasting impression. Make sure you pop a visit to the gem on your list!
COVE CAKE DESIGN – GLASTHULE
One of Ireland’s best wedding cake artisan business, Cove Cake Design was founded in 2013 by Suzanne Brady. A scientist with a PhD in biochemistry, Suzanne discovered her passion for baking and contemporary cake design and went on to study her new trade. She works closely with each client to offer something truly unique and her stunning creations have graced the pages of numerous wedding magazines in Ireland and abroad. She also offers private classes for those wishing to learn her delicate technique.
BRETZEL – PORTOBELLO
A Dublin institution, this bakery has been in business since 1870. While they now produce from a larger facility on Harold’s Cross, their original site in Portobello remains open, and in there you’ll find an inviting coffee shop and bakery. They bake a variety of breads both Irish and from different parts of Europe, including sourdough, granary loaf, Italian Tortano crown, and French style Pain de Campagne, just to name a few. While they’re relatively big, they still manage to retain the great quality and artisan values that set them apart.
RIOT RYE BAKEHOUSE & BREAD SCHOOL – CLOUGHJORDAN ECO-VILLAGE
This multi award-winning bakery and school was founded by sourdough pioneer Joe Fitzmaurice and Julie Lockett. Located in Cloughjordan Eco-Village, they focus on producing breads without any industrial additive of chemical, exclusively using organic flours and natural ingredients. Their courses will give you the secrets to making real sourdough with no shortcuts and are suitable to different levels of expertise, including beginners. They also sale organic flours and baking equipment.
BREAD 41 – DUBLIN
Bread 41 is an Organic bakery located in Dublin 2. Specialising in long fermented breads that are made using traditional methods and just a few simple ingredients; flour, salt and water. All breads are hand made over two days using organic flour and other wholesome ingredients including nuts, seeds, grains and dried fruit. Bread 41 supply like-minded retailers, restaurants, hotels and cafés with bread and fresh pastries daily.
2018 saw the launch of their very own bakery/eatery Bread 41, which is located next to the bakery on Pearse Street in Dublin 2. The cafe downstairs is open each day and the upstairs 40 seater Eatery opens Friday to Sunday – the ideal spot for a leisurely weekend Brunch.
BUILÍN BLASTA CAFE & BAKERY – SPIDAL, GALWAY
This charming artisan bakery and Irish language café in the heart of Galway’s Gaeltacht is reopening this mont (March ’22). Offering pastries, cakes and breads baked in-store daily. Among their speciality breads you’ll find baguette, red pepper cumin loaf, olive focaccia, cinnamon buns, treacle bread, sourdough rye and brioche to name but a few. We are looking forward to checking out the new menu this summer.
MC G CAKES – SLIGO
Brian of McG Cakes has created a Luxury Bakery & Coffee Hatch that now opens each weekend at Ballintogher, Co Sligo. Shipping Cake-Mail ( yes, you read that right!) nationwide, Hatch 22 offers freshly baked pastries, indulgent cakes and confectionary on the counter to go with Full Circle roast coffee. Brian is highly revered for his wonderful wedding and occasion cakes.