Bakeries are naturally associated with sweetness — after all, sugar is one their main ingredients. But Sumi's Cakery in Squirrel Hill proves that just a little bit of sweetness can go a long way toward making a satisfying baked treat.
The Korean bakery opened last month and is the project of Sumi Chun, who hails from Seoul, South Korea and now lives in Cranberry. Korean baking, Chun says, is lighter and often doesn't include butter. It's also "not too sweet and not too salty."
Sumi's menu seems to cater to both tastes, however. "For Americans, mocha cake is my specialty," she says. "Koreans like the strawberry."
On the day I visited, the menu offered: cupcakes topped with sweet whipped-cream or green-tea icing, strawberry meringues, cakes, assorted pastries, loaves of bread and even shaved ice. Chun says that shaved ice is a tradition in Korea, and she serves it with green tea, red bean or strawberry ice cream.
The pastry buns were my favorite. The little pockets of dough had fillings both sweet (red beans, butter cream, mocha, crumbles, coffee) and savory (vegetables and sausage). The coffee bun had a pleasantly crispy exterior and a pillowy inside that offered hints of coffee. I shared the red-bean pastry with a colleague, who described it as having "a shiny, soft-but-pliable crust, with filling that was sweet but not too sweet, with a smooth consistency not unlike Fig Newton filling."
Take your sweet tooth to Sumi's Cakery, for a menu of new flavors.