I’ve got to take a break from baking and recipes today to share a wonderful find with you.
Last week, my husband and I celebrated our anniversary. We spent the day in Portland, Maine and part of my gift to him was a scavenger hunt that took us all over the place. One of the main stops on the hunt was Two Fat Cats Bakery in downtown Portland. I got to scout them out the day before and go back again on our anniversary…lucky me!!
Two Fat Cats is located at 47 India Street. They’re not right in the hub of things on Commercial Street, and I think that’s one of the best things about them. They’re easy to find, easy to get to, and easy to stop by because they have their own parking. But even if the parking is full, there’s still lots of street parking.
I loved this place! When you first walk in, you go down a few stairs, which, for some reason, I thought was fantastic. It added to the whole atmosphere of quaintness that permeates Fat Cats. The first thing you encounter at the bottom of the stairs is a work area backed by a wall of shelving filled with all sorts of cake decorating paraphernalia. I adore the mason jars full of sprinkles!!
And there were all of these wonderful bowls of frosting sitting so close you could smell them! I used every ounce of restraint I possess not to stick my fingers in that chocolate frosting! Right next to these bowls was a big, covered baker’s rack full of cupcakes!
I am so happy that their sweets are made from scratch. I actually visited another Portland area bakery the same day that I was so disappointed in because they used pre baked, frozen cupcakes and big buckets of greasy, mass produced frosting. If I wanted that, I’d go to the grocery store, where it’s cheaper anyway. But at Fat Cats, I saw no sign of giant tubs of pre made frosting, or broken down boxes from shipments of frozen cakes and pastries. What I did see was a half dozen or so KitchenAid mixers (each one with something yummy looking mixed up in its bowl), a young woman behind the counter hand making something that was bound to be too tempting to resist, and a beautiful, rustic old display counter full of sweets (made from scratch)!
The left side was all about the cookies. There was five or six different types cookies to choose from and a lovely loaf of blueberry lemon bread on top (I deeply regret not taking that home with me). This particular day they were offering Oatmeal with cranberries and apricots, classic peanut butter, chocolate chip with pecans, classic chocolate chip, and lemon shortbread. I think these are pretty regular daily offerings, but I hear there is also a chocolate crackle cookie that I will be going back to get! This time though, we just got a lemon shortbread cookie. The hubster absolutely loves shortbread, so this was for him.
The right side of the display case was all about the cupcakes. Well, that and whoopie pies! They serve chocolate and vanilla cupcakes every day, but they also serve red velvet and carrot cupcakes on certain days. Their website also says that they have a lemon cupcake. I’m a sucker for lemon, so I hope I get a chance to have one of those! Soon. The above cupcakes, from left to right, are classic vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting, vanilla cupakes with chocolate buttercream frosting, chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream, and classic chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting. They also have some specialty frostings that aren’t served every day: lemon, mocha, cream cheese, coconut, and peanut butter. I was fortunate enough to sample all of the flavors pictured above, except the vanilla with chocolate buttercream, and I had specially ordered a chocolate mocha cupcake for HRH Beermeister to try (and which he was sweet enough to share).
This beautiful sight is what sits behind the counter! Pies, pies, and more pies. They make all of their pies on site and from scratch (of course), and they have a lot of flavors. Their fall/winter flavors include all of those seen above, plus chocolate cream, coconut cream, and pumpkin. Their spring/summer pies are blueberry, bourbon pecan, chicken pot pie, chocolate cream, coconut cream, key lime, mixed berry, peach, pumpkin, strawberry rhubarb, and sour cherry. If you’re looking for a specific flavor, call ahead to see what they’re offering for the day, or better yet, place a special order.
Two Fat Cats also offer special order cakes for your special occasions, as well as a wedding menu. Alongside the cookies, cupcakes, and pies in the bakery, they have an offering of quick breads and muffins too.
This is the lovely little lemon shortbread cookie we got. The shortbread was excellent! Light and crumbly, not too sweet, and the perfect texture. As for the frosting, we had a split decision. HRH thought it was too sweet to go with a shortbread cookie. This is a very sweet, very flavorful frosting. While he thought it was delicious, he also thought it was too much for the cookie. He feels like a frosting should enhance the mildness of a shortbread cookie, not hide it (I’m telling you, the man is all about his shortbread). I, however, had to disagree. I loved it. I love all things lemon, so this suited me perfectly. It had such a zing to it!! I think, in the end, he would have been happier with a plain vanilla frosting, or a plain cookie altogether, but I would order this cookie, just like this, every time.
As for the cupcakes, this is the vanilla/vanilla and it was wonderful! It was exactly what a vanilla cupcake should be, but it was only my second favorite. My favorite was the mocha chocolate cupcake! It was great. It was a basic chocolate cupcake topped with mocha frosting. Oh my frosting! I loved it!! It was, of course, chocolaty with a coffee flavored undertone, but there was also this caramel-y hint to that sealed the deal for me. I was hard pressed not to steal the whole thing from the hubster! But it was his, after all, so I only got a bite. One little bite. It was enough to make me want more. The mocha frosting is not always available, so call ahead if this is something you’re looking to try.
I highly recommend a stop to this great little bakery if you’re in the Portland area. And go early. My first stop was in the afternoon, and they had sold quite a bit of their goods. It was very refreshing to find a place that was clearly popular, but stuck with their ideals about making things from scratch. When we visited in the morning, they still had a great variety of everything and there were people coming and going the whole time we were there.
Two Fat Cats Bakery
47 India St., Portland, ME
(Back to baking Monday, I promise!)