One can order cakes as either rounds (six, eight, and ten inches), and traditional sheets (one-fourth, one-half, and full), or cupcakes of a regular or small size. Batters range from traditional (white, chocolate, yellow, marble) to the somewhat-less-traditional (lemon, almond, carrot, or red velvet). After having the red velvet, you may find it becomes part of your traditional menu, as it’s memorable enough to impress, but subtle enough to fit most tastes. The red velvet, with a buttercream icing, is a treat as either a cake or a cupcake. (I’ve carried the red velvet cupcakes to friends far outside the town, in places with intense competition among bakeries, and yet to find a recipient who wasn’t impressed.)
They’ve easily the talent to bake a fine wedding cake, or larger cake for another, special event.
I’ve had a good part of the menu, on many visits over two months’ time (and on other, earlier visits that are not part of this review).
You’ll find a daily choice of donuts, Danishes, cupcakes, muffins, scones, cookies, and croissants. My favorites include the raspberry croissants and blueberry muffins. There’s a cream cheese coffee cake muffin that’s perfect for someone looking for the richest possible muffin on earth. I’ve yet to find a scone that my wife did not like, among a number of seemingly-endless varieties.
Holiday offerings over Christmas included fruit pies and fruitcakes, both of which were excellent. The fruitcake may not look like what one has seen elsewhere, as they’re not so colorful as what one often sees. Often, that’s because mass-produced fruitcakes (of poor quality) rely on poor but colorfully-dyed ingredients. Having spent almost a lifetime enjoying fruitcake, since I was a small child, I can say the Bakehouse’s is among the softest I’ve had, and that’s a highly-desirable quality. Fruitcake gets a bad reputation, and is a joke to many, because it’s so poorly prepared. If you’ve shied away from fruitcake at Christmas, this coming holiday will be your chance to try a fine cake.
Inside, the Bakehouse has six stools along a window counter, and three tables (two small, one larger). Patrons entering on Main Street will see the kitchen as they walk in, with small seating area to the left from the door. Outside, there’s a drive-thru window that I’ve used successfully many times.
Aside from the principal offering of baked goods, the Bakehouse has an all-day breakfast menu (bagels, breakfast sandwiches, oatmeal, granola), and a small lunch offering (soup of the day, grilled cheese, and a ham & cheese croissant).
The coffee’s from the Just Coffee Co-Op, a Madison-based roaster. It’s a small roaster, with a colorful history, but I don’t think of it as a match for Ancora or Colectivo. It’s easily better than anything you’ll find at a fast-food restaurant, and probably better than at many restaurants in town. Some of what I’ve had in town tastes like instant coffee, instant coffee being one of the many mistakes of previous generations, now thankfully – for the most part – behind us.
Service is relatively quick in this small environment, either inside or at the drive-thru. Most patrons aren’t staying, though, so on my visits I’ve yet to see all the seats inside occupied.
I wrote about the SweetSpot Cafe recently, as a follow-up to an earlier review, and I’d say I prefer the Bakehouse on Main over the Cafe near Cravath. The Bakehouse is mainly one thing (with a bit added on) and does that one thing well.
LOCATION: 1185 West Main Street, Whitewater, WI 53190 (262) 473-5080. See, Google Map and directions embedded at the beginning of this review.
ONLINE http://www.sweetspotwhitewater.com/bakehouse/ and http://sweetspotwhitewater.com/Downloads/CakeMenu.pdf
OPEN: Mon-Fri 6 AM-6 PM, Sat & Sun 6 AM -3 PM.
PRICES: Croissant and coffee for about $5, classic cakes from $15 for a 6-inch round cake to $75 for a full sheet, speciality cakes for about 30% more.
RESERVATIONS: Unnecessary for regular service, including some cakes awaiting purchase; obviously needed for specific cake orders.
DRINKS: Coffee, tea, juice.
SOUND: None that I noticed.
SERVICE: Friendly, relaxed.
VISITS: Many (morning, afternoon, evening).
RATING: 3.5 of 4. Easily recommended.
RATING SCALE: From one to four stars, representing the full experience of food, atmosphere, service, and pricing.
INDEPENDENCE: This review is delivered without financial or other connection to the establishment or its owner. The dining experience was that of an ordinary patron, without notice to the staff or requests for special consideration.