Glaze Baum Cake Shoppe is the newest and sweetest addition to the Congress Park neighborhood. A creation of Denver entrepreneur Heather Alcott, Glaze is a highly specialized Japanese-inspired bakery that focuses on the multi-layered Baumkuchen (or, as Glaze calls it, Baum cake). The Baum cake is the result of melding German and Japanese cultures into a hollow, concentric cake made by applying layer after layer of batter on a spindle that rotates inside an incredible oven nicknamed the Red Dragon. While the cake may have been created long before, it was brought to Japan after World War I. It quickly became not only popular but a staple of Japanese sweet treats.
Heather Alcott, a Chicago native that has lived all over the United States and several places abroad, was living in Singapore when she first tried this cake in a Tokyo bakery. Love at first bite it was and Alcott quickly decided to bring it back home to the United States. The biggest trick for replicating a Japanese favorite dessert on a different continent was the special oven that brings the cakes to life- the Red Dragon.
The Red Dragon is a star and it is also what makes the Baum cakes possible. Highly trained bakers would not be able to replicate the magic of this Japanese treat without this red beauty that weighs more than a small car. At 2200 pounds and six feet tall by five feet wide, the Seki Ryuu, or Red Dragon, features more buttons than the control panel on a 747. On its six rotating spigots, the oven can bake up to 90 cakes at a time all at a temperature that can reach 600 degrees. The only one of its kind in North America, the Red Dragon requires weeks of rigorous training and certification to operate.
Glaze offers several kinds of cakes- from the original Baum Cake to the Matcha Baum and Apple Baum - all baked in the Red Dragon, using Japanese recipes and ingredients of the highest quality: Macha green tea from Japan's finest source, premium almond flour, and the freshest dairy, produce, and nuts, all sourced from Colorado farms. Attention to detail is what makes these cakes exceptional: for the Mount Baum, for example, two sugars are imported to create the texture- one from Canada and another one from Japan. The glaze on these cakes ranges from Belgian Callebaut chocolate to white chocolate, Cointreau, limoncello, and rum.
The Glaze space is minimalist and simple with a Tokyo-like standing counter in the front, a bar where customers can both enjoy their treats and watch the bakers craft the cake batter, and a storefront-like display area for the Red Dragon at the core of the shop. Illy coffee is served only as espresso and a variety of teas are available, including Matcha served the traditional Japanese way.
Glaze Baum Cake Shoppe is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.