Journey to Thirty: The Joy of Artisan Baking

We’re celebrating our 30th anniversary with the opening of a new café and many fun community events throughout the summer. 

When Leslie Mackie opened Macrina Bakery on August 27, 1993, she could not have foreseen the role the bakery would play in so many lives. Approaching our 30th anniversary and reviewing letters we’ve received over the years, we are deeply touched by the community and neighborhood connections that our cafés have nurtured. This is the heart of Macrina. 

We have big plans to celebrate our 30th with our extended community. Of the many fun events scheduled for this summer, none is more exciting than the opening of our Maple Leaf café, our sixth in the Seattle area. “We’re so excited to open our first café since 2018,” says Scott France, president and part-owner of Macrina. “Our mission is to enrich our communities through the joy of artisan baking, and we’re eager to become part of the Maple Leaf community.” 

Situated at 85th Street and Roosevelt Way NE, across from Reservoir Park, the bright, airy space will be convenient for those on the go and comfortable for those wishing to linger. 

Other 30th celebrations also feature a baking demonstration by Leslie, baking classes, a special pop-up dinner, a new anniversary loaf showcasing local grains, entertaining children’s activities, and a fundraiser for the Adama Bakery located in the Oruchinga Settlement Camp in Uganda. 

We’re grateful for the incredible team of bakers, baristas, café employees, pastry chefs, delivery drivers, and everyone else who has contributed to our success. Without their passion, talent, and attention to quality and service, we wouldn’t be here. “We have grown deliberately, always wanting to provide a better work environment and growth opportunities for our dedicated staff,” says Scott. 

The development of our local grain ecosystem has significantly influenced who we are today. Increasingly, we use locally sourced ingredients in our products. Leslie says, “It’s an exhilarating time to be baking. For years and years, the origin of our vegetables and meat has been important to us. But in bread, we never asked which farmer grew the wheat. Now we can learn who grew the wheat, with what methods, and which wheat varietal they’re growing.” 

We work with Cairnspring Mills and the internationally renowned Breadlab, both located in Skagit Valley, to obtain highly flavorful and nutritious local grains for our breads. 

Finally, a huge shout out to the most crucial element at Macrina: our customers. No business reaches its 30th anniversary without ardent supporters. Our customers have helped shape our identity, and we look forward to many more years of enriching our community through the joy of artisan baking. 


Spring Spark: Oberon’s Rose Pavlova

What a night! Our Oberon’s Rose Pavlova won the playful competition for best dessert. The dessert was collaboration between PNB’s principal dancer Lucien Postlewaite and our pastry team, led by Sam Stout, our Retail Pastry Assistant Manager. They named their creation Oberon’s Rose Pavlova. It is a rose meringue with raspberry lychee mousse, fresh berries and gold dust.  

All the desserts were excellent and it’s no exaggeration to say there were only winners, none more than the attendees who enjoyed an indulgent evening.  

The other desserts were: 

  • The Strawberry Chocolate Spark, a sugar cookie exploding with chocolate a sweet burst of strawberry by Destiny Wimpye and Bell’s Cookie Co 
  • The Puck-Aron, a sweet, spicy and mischievous macaron by Eric Hipolito Jr. & Cecilia Iliesiu with Lady Yum 
  • Velvet Scoopability, a sophisticated and classic chocolate raspberry swirl by James Kirby Rogers with former PNB dancer Kari Brunson’s Frankie & Jo’s.  

We’re honored to have been a part of it and to have had the opportunity to work with Lucien Postlewaite and his world-traveler’s knowledge of pastries. 

Cornetti Roly Poly

As part of our 30th Anniversary celebrations, I’m revisiting some beloved classics. Long-time Macrina fans will remember the Roly Poly, my all-time favorite breakfast pastry. With the home baker in mind, I have scaled down the recipe and streamlined the process, making it more accessible.
The Roly Poly holds a particularly tender spot in my heart, as it takes its cues from the homemade cinnamon rolls my Grandmother Bakke would whip up for the family. I would watch my grandmother work her magic, tossing together flour, yeast, milk, and the like — never a measuring cup in sight.
While we use our cornetti dough in our café version, the filling — a mélange of raisins, walnuts, coconut, and sugar — remains a faithful homage to my grandmother’s original creation.
And take note, Roly Poly fans: we’ll be featuring them in the cafés beginning in May.  -Leslie Mackie

Printable PDF of this recipe here. 
Read more about Macrina Bakery on our blog.
Makes 6 large rolls


¾ cup whole milk
¾ tsp dried yeast
4½ tsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1½ cups + 1½ tsp unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
¾ tsp kosher salt
12 Tbsp (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, chilled

¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup walnuts, roasted and coarsely chopped
¼ cup seedless raisins
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

1 egg
1 tsp water

4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
4 Tbsp (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp milk

Warm milk up to 90°F and place in a medium bowl. Add the yeast, sugar and vanilla. Whisk to combine well. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to bloom and become frothy.

Add 1½ cup flour and salt to the bowl. With a spoon, combine the mixture, incorporating all the dry flour and scraping the sides of the bowl. Mix for 1 minute, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.

After the dough has risen, remove it from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.

Chop the chilled butter into small pieces and place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the remaining flour and, using medium speed, cream until the butter is smooth, approximately 2 minutes.

Scrape the creamed butter onto a floured work surface. Pat into a 6 x 6 x ¾-inch block.

On a floured work surface, pull dough out and pat into a 12 x 12-inch rectangle. Place the butter block on the right half of the dough. Cover with the left side evenly (so it looks like a closed book). Rotate the dough with open seam down and roll out dough to a 20 x 8-inch rectangle, then fold in a “book fold” by bringing the two far ends to the center and folding in half. Do one more turn following the same method, rotating with the open seam down and rolling the dough out to a 20 x 8-inch rectangle. Cover the dough with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove from refrigerator and do a final book fold. Rest the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

Brush sides and base of jumbo muffin tins* with canola oil. Line the base of the cups with a square 3 x 3-inch piece parchment paper. Set aside.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough out to 20 x 8-inch rectangle. Spritz with water and top with filling mixture, spreading it evenly over dough.

Begin rolling up the dough, starting with the top edge moving down towards you, into a long roll like a cinnamon roll. Finish with the roll resting on the bottom seam.

Cut into 6 equal pieces. Tuck seam under roll and place in prepared jumbo muffin cups. Cover with plastic and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove rolls from refrigerator and let them rest at room temperature for 45 minutes.

Whisk the egg and 1 tsp water together to make egg wash. Brush on top of the rolls and bake on the center rack for 40 to 45 minutes, or until deep golden brown.

Let cool for 5 minutes and invert rolls from the muffin tins (the bubbling sugar will drip down and cause them to stick).

Add the cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Mix for 1 to 2 minutes until smooth. At the end, add the milk to thin the consistency. Set aside.

Spread with cream cheese frosting and enjoy!