Getting into the St Patty’s Day “spirit” at Sweet Escape Patisserie

A friend tipped me off that a bakery in Toronto’s Distillery District had joined the “spirited baking” trend by declaring March to be “Drunken Dessert Month”. What better time to check out some beer-drenched or Irish cream-laden treats than on St Patrick’s Day weekend!?

The Sweet Escape Patisserie is nestled in the heart of the Distillery District, and has been there since 2008. This bakery aims to take a “whimsical spin on classic pastry”. Sounds intriguing.

We’re there soon after they open at 11:00 on Saturday. Not too busy yet, so I’m able to carefully consider the selection and ask a few questions of the owner, Michelle Edgar.

DSCF4277 Distillery district Toronto

Turns out they’ve actually been dabbling in spirited baking for a while (with Mill Street Brewery located just across the lane, it was meant to be).

Distillery district Toronto

One regular on the spirited menu that caught my eye was:

Tank House Beer Brittle

And a specialty for March: Millstreet Brewery Vanilla Porter Doughnut

vanilla porter doughnut

St Patty’s cupcakes: Vanilla Irish Cream & Chocolate Guiness:

We also tried an Oatmeal Raisin Spent Beer Cookie. Well, I tried a few crumbs. This guy got his mits on the bag and before I could say “save some for dad”…..


So what did I learn from my trip to The Sweet Escape? That my suspicions about spirited baking were correct: It is fun. The bitter Guiness notes in the rich chocolate cupcake counteract the sugar perfectly. The lightly glazed vanilla beer doughnut was the perfect Sat morning treat, and the pleasantly fibrous “spent beer” in the oatmeal cookie…all creative, and all pretty tasty.

One thing I may try next time:

Maple bacon doughnut

Maple bacon!

This place also makes 30 different flavours of shortbread both sweet and savoury AND in the summer months, they whip up their own unique ice cream flavours in house….two more very good reasons for me to become a repeat customer.

Happy St Patrick’s Day everyone, and enjoy your spirited desserts!


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