First, about the donuts. They are cake donuts with substantial, creamy insides and crisp skin, hugely satisfying in a way that lightweight raised donuts cannot be. They are not spectacular to see and they are modest-sized, but even a pair provides ample eating to accompany a cup of coffee and a refill. (And Cle Elum Bakery’s coffee is excellent.) They come plain, cinnamon-sugared, glazed, and chocolate-frosted.
Like its donuts, Cle Elum Bakery’s maple bars are simple characters — simple and well-nigh perfect. While the chocolate-topped bar and nut-festooned crunchy maple twist are each welcome variations on the theme, it’s the plain and basic maple bar that wins my heart. That might have something to do with the fact that my first visit to the bakery was at dawn, and the bar was painfully fresh — soft, warm, fluffy, its maple topping still soft and creamy. But the one that I packed away and ate later that afternoon was almost as wonderful.
The bakery is a happy little place with a few tables indoors and on the sidewalk for coffee an’ from 7am to late afternoon.