Winner: Candied Bakery
Sugar might be a dietary villain, but we’re not the only ones barracking for the bad guy in Spotswood’s sleepy neighbourhood shopping strip. Candied Bakery pulls serious crowds. Marshmallow choc chip cookies, hot dogs and shakes are a salute to the red, white and blue; lamingtons and sausage rolls may as well be wearing a Southern Cross tattoo they’re so flamin’ Australian; and the croissants, and fresh pancetta and provolone stuffed panini, are a gap year in Europe for your lunch hour.
Candied’s version of the Philly cheesesteak roll consists of a pillow-soft long white roll (baked in-house), buttered and loaded with glistening caramelised onions, thin strips of hot, grilled beef and a handsome cap of molten cheese. Considerably daintier, a slice of savoury tart sports fluffy pumpkin cubes, slices of tomato and dabs of goats cheese suspended in a creamy egg centre.
Candied Bakery whip up their own soft serve from St David Dairy products and we clocked many a triumphant customer trotting out with a $5 matcha or vanilla cone in hand. A slice of apple pie with a properly short pastry is as big as a New York pizza, bulging with cinnamon-spiked stewed apples. For five glorious, carb-laden years, Candied Bakery has been juggling the desires of purists stopping in for a classic beef pie with those chasing their next big sugar rush from vanilla slice doughnuts and apple pie shakes (the apple pie is blended straight in). Little wonder that you, the people of Melbourne, have voted them Melbourne’s best bakery for 2017.