In a Uganda Refugee Camp, Baking Bread to Heal and Feed

Macrina is donating all net proceeds from sales of our 30th Anniversary Confetti Cupcakes from August 14 – 26 to the ADAM Foundation and Bakery. Our Confetti Cupcakes are a tender butter cake filled with a dollop of huckleberry compote and topped with vanilla buttercream and funfetti sequins.

“I am happy now that I spend most of my days baking, and my nights are peaceful,” said Kareem, an eighteen-year-old refugee who lost his family to violence in Congo. Located near the Oruchinga Settlement Camp in southwest Uganda, the ADAMÂ Bakery serves over 9,000 refugees from East Africa. Jeffrey Hamelman and Mitch Stamm were brought in to train the bakers, a connection that inspired Macrina’s annual support. 

“When the refugees arrive, they are given four eucalyptus poles and a tarp,” says Jeffrey. Mitch adds, “They’ve been stripped of everything except their dignity.” 

With limited equipment, the bakery daily welcomes twenty-four bakers. These bakers not only earn but also distribute a portion of the day’s bread to the camp’s children. “Three-fourths of the bakers are women,” notes Jeffrey. Under the management of Angella Kushemererwa and Sophie Karungi, the bakery ensures that bread reaches the needy children daily. “Handing out the bread is an act of the utmost elation when you see the joy on the faces of the children who get the buns,” Jeffrey emphasizes, but the supply often falls short. 

The goal for the bakery is to become self-sustaining eventually, but for now, keeping it open costs about $5,000 per month. Construction is underway for an adjacent store to sell the bakery’s products, putting it on track to become a self-sustaining business. They’ve also nearly finished construction of a new kitchen and now have running water. 

“We know the needs are endless, but even small contributions benefit a large number of people,” says Scott France, president and co-owner of Macrina Bakery. “We made a significant contribution last year and we hope to top that this year. The money goes directly to the bakery and it makes an incredible impact on the bakers’ lives.” 

Jeffrey adds, “Some people might say you’re training 24 people…this is just wonderful,” but he acknowledges the bigger picture. Reflecting on the impact, he says, “You can tell half our heart is in Uganda. We know that we’ve changed their lives. They don’t know to what extent they’ve changed ours.” 

Order Confetti Cupcakes here and support this wonderful organization!

Peach and Summer Berry Tart

Late summer in the PNW is peak peach and berry season. It’s a joy to harness these seasonal gems in a simple yet delightful tart. The rough puff pastry creates a light, flaky crust that’s an excellent match for the vanilla pastry cream and, of course, the ripe, succulent fruit. Though I often turn to peaches and blackberries for this recipe, feel free to adapt it to the ripest stone fruit and berries you can find — be it plums, nectarines, blueberries or raspberries.
-Leslie Mackie
Printable PDF of this recipe here. 
Makes 4 to 6 servings.

½ cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp kosher salt
4 egg yolks
1¼ cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp cold water, divided
1 egg
Powdered sugar for dusting

4 medium peaches or nectarines*
2 cups seasonal berries
Powdered sugar for dusting
¼ cup warm apricot jam or honey

*Note: I prefer to blanch peaches to remove the skin, but this isn’t necessary with nectarines or other stone fruits.

In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add the yolks and whisk to ensure all lumps are dissolved.

Place milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat and gradually ladle the hot milk into the yolk mixture, whisking continuously.

Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and return to medium heat. Gently warm the pastry cream while whisking for about 3 minutes until it thickens. Be careful to not let it boil to avoid scalding or scrambling the mixture.

Remove from the heat and strain into a metal bowl to remove any lumps. Stir in the vanilla and cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent the cream from discoloring while cooling. Chill in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours.

Cut butter into ⅛-inch slices and keep chilled. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour and salt using the paddle attachment. Add the thin slices of butter and mix on low speed for about 3 minutes or until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add 2 Tbsp of water all at once and combine until absorbed, about 30 seconds.

Form the dough into a 4-inch x 5-inch rectangle on a sheet of plastic wrap, wrap it up, and chill for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare an egg wash by whisking together the egg and remaining 1 tsp of water. Set aside.

On a floured work surface, roll out dough to make a 12-inch x 7-inch rectangle, approximately ⅛-inch thick.

Along the border of the pastry, cut off a ½-inch strip of dough, brush with egg wash and stack around the perimeter of the crust to create a raised edge. Brush the top of the raised edge with egg wash. Use a fork to poke holes in the dough’s center to prevent air pockets from forming when baking. Chill for another 15 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown in color. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut stone fruit in ¼-inch slices and set aside.

Dust the pastry shell with powdered sugar, then scoop the chilled pastry cream into the shell and smooth it out evenly.

Arrange the sliced stone fruit decoratively over the pastry cream. Place the berries at the seams for a beautiful presentation. Brush the top with warm apricot jam or honey for a shiny surface.

Serve immediately or refrigerate the tart up to four hours before serving. Enjoy!

Employee Recipe Series: Scott Romine’s Chopped Cheese

We’re celebrating our 30th Anniversary by sharing some of our staff’s favorite recipes using Macrina Bakery products.

“I took a trip to New York City about a year ago with a buddy to see one of our favorite childhood bands that broke up when I was young and recently got back together. Our lunch each day was either an Italian sandwich or a chopped cheese from different bodegas around the city,” recalls Scott Romine, Human Resources General Manager at Macrina Bakery. This New York bodega staple left an indelible mark on Scott, inspiring him to recreate it at home in Seattle. “Our Ciabatta Bun is airy with a delicate crust but holds up to the filling,” says Scott.

The Chopped Cheese sandwich, for quite some time, maintained a subtle yet fervent following, adored by those who’d savored it in neighborhood bodegas since childhood, yet still a hidden gem to countless others  — earning itself a cult-like status in certain circles. The origin of this blend of ground beef, onions, and cheese on a hero roll can be traced back to the late Carlos Soto, a grill master at Harlem’s Blue Sky Deli (formerly Hajji’s). As Anthony Bourdain and others spread the word, the sandwich captured the hearts and palates of countless food enthusiasts beyond local bodegas.

At Macrina Bakery, the Ciabatta Bun has become a popular choice for many Seattle restaurants as their go-to burger bun. This “Italian slipper bread” is soft and airy, with a thin crust that makes it perfect for sandwiches and burgers.

Chopped Cheese on Ciabatta Buns Recipe


1 Tbsp olive oil (or your preferred cooking oil)
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, minced
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 thin slices cheddar cheese (think American Cheese slices)
4 Macrina Ciabatta Buns
1 tomato, sliced
½ head iceberg lettuce, shredded


Heat the oil in a pan, aiming for the highest possible temperature without causing it to burn. The goal is to imitate a kitchen flattop, so the hotter, the better.

Combine the ground beef, minced onion, garlic powder, chili powder, oregano, salt, and pepper in the pan. Cook until the beef is halfway done, then add the minced garlic.

Once the beef has browned, drain any excess fat. Return the pan to the burner and turn off the heat. Lay the cheese slices on top of the beef. Allow it to sit long enough for the cheese to melt, and then use a spatula to “chop” the cheese into the beef mixture.

Pile the cheesy beef onto the lightly toasted Macrina Ciabatta Buns and garnish with shredded lettuce and sliced tomato. Serve with mustard, mayonnaise, and ketchup, based on individual preferences.

Scott recommends accompanying the sandwich with a salad or another vegetable dish to create a more balanced meal. As a side, consider Tim’s original or jalapeño chips, and finish off the meal with an Olivia’s Chocolate Chip cookie for dessert. Enjoy!


Win Two Seats at our Maple Leaf Pop-Up Dinner on Thursday, August 10!

Five years ago, we threw a celebratory pop-up dinner for our 25th Anniversary — a smashing success. Now, with our 30th looming, we’re setting the stage again. Leslie Mackie, Macrina’s founder, will collaborate with our Savory Team to serve one of her favorite meals to 30 fortunate guests on Thursday, August 10, at our new Maple Leaf café. Enter to win two dinner seats by sending your treasured Macrina memory to

One of the best parts of the last pop-up dinner were the stories people shared. They illustrated the many ways Macrina has enhanced their lives. We heard stories of people discovering a community of food lovers at Macrina, or finding a home away from home. One woman treated construction workers remodeling her house to homemade goodies from the Macrina cookbooks every Friday for a year. An almost-daily visitor to Macrina started bringing her daughter to our Belltown café in a stroller 24 years ago. Her daughter now lives across the country, but when visiting she always insists on Macrina for brunch. A man met his future wife at the Sodo café on a blind date and celebrated their love story this Valentine’s Day with a pillow etched with “It All Began With Coffee at Macrina.” A new transplant to Seattle found solace in tea and pastries at our Queen Anne café. We could go on, but we’d rather hear from you.

What are your Macrina stories?

To see this year’s menu, you’ll have to win two seats to the dinner — but here’s a glimpse of the last one. Guests were welcomed with a mingle session featuring sparkling wine, craft cocktails, and appetizers. The first course was a handmade pappardelle pasta with garden tomatoes and fresh herbs. For the main course, attendees selected between beef tenderloin or king salmon, served with smoked risotto, local corn, chanterelles, and gremolata. We poured a favorite Washington state Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. We finished off the meal with an indulgent trio of summer berry pudding, lemon tart, and chocolate torte with red wine glaze, fresh berries and sweetened whipped cream.

Reflecting on our last pop-up dinner, Leslie says, “Watching the guests arrive was a joy. I recognized many faces, mentally associating stories with people. Over the next three hours, the room buzzed with laughter and lively conversation. I flitted from kitchen to dining room, relishing the sight of strangers introducing themselves and soon sharing stories over a meal at Macrina. I heard new friends planning to meet up in the future!”

Send your Macrina stories to by August 1 with the subject line “Macrina Pop-Up Dinner Contest” for a shot at two seats to an unforgettable dinner!

Chocolate Cherry Pound Cake

With our 30th Anniversary approaching, I’m revisiting some of my favorite recipes. This version of our Chocolate Cherry Pound Cake is a lighter version of a gem from our first cookbook, Macrina Bakery & Café Cookbook, that was published in celebration of our 10-year anniversary in 2003. Our wonderful editor, Suzanne De Galan, loved this recipe and fervently lobbied to have it included. The original cake was an indulgent treat, rich and dense with chocolate, butter and sweet cherries. In tune with contemporary tastes, I’ve lightened up the batter and added fresh cherries to celebrate the lovely Bing cherries grown here in Washington state. Enjoy!
-Leslie Mackie

Printable PDF of this recipe here. 

Makes one 12-inch Bundt cake

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted + 12 oz unsalted butter (3 sticks), room temperature
2 cups fresh Bing cherries, pitted and cut in half (individually quick frozen cherries also work well)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1½ cups dark cocoa powder
2¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
3¼ cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp brandy or vanilla extract
5 eggs
1½ cups buttermilk

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325°F and prepare a 12-inch Bundt pan by brushing with 2 Tbsp melted butter and dust with flour. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine cherries and chocolate chips. Set aside.

In another medium bowl, sift together cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the remaining 3 sticks of butter, sugar and brandy or vanilla using the paddle attachment. Begin on slow speed for 2 minutes, then increase to medium speed for 3 minutes, until the mixture is pale and light in texture. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each one is fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape the sides of the bowl after adding a few eggs.

Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. With the last addition of flour, fold in the cherries and chocolate chips. Mix until all ingredients are just incorporated.

Pour or scoop the batter into the prepared Bundt pan, smoothing the top for even baking.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

While the cake is cooling, prepare the ganache glaze. Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan until it just reaches a boil, then remove from heat. Add both types of chocolate chips to the hot cream, whisking until the chips are completely melted and the ganache is smooth. Let cool for 1 hour.

Invert the cake onto a serving dish.

Drizzle the warm ganache over the cake, and garnish with fresh cherries and edible flowers, if desired.

Our New Seeded Multigrain Loaf

Our SEEDED Multigrain loaf is our most whole-grain loaf to date.

“When I started Macrina, thirty years ago, it was thrilling to be part of the artisan bread movement that brought French and Italian-style breads to many cities in America,” says Leslie Mackie, Macrina’s founder. “These days, I’m even more excited about the heritage grain movement. The new flours that are available now make me as excited to be baking today as I was when I opened Macrina.”

As our 30th Anniversary quickly approaches, and an increasing number of customer request whole grain breads, Leslie has created a new loaf that is our most whole grain loaf to date. In addition to providing a pleasing texture, the higher fiber in the whole grain flours offer greater nutritional density, an important consideration of ours.

The Seeded Multigrain Loaf features locally grown and milled organic flours from Cairnspring Mills located in the Skagit Valley. The best reason for using local flours is the flavor, but it’s also good for the local economy and reduces shipping distances. Additionally, the farmers growing the grains Cairnspring purchases and mills use environmentally friendly farming methods to reduce their carbon footprint.

To make the loaf, we start by toasting and soaking a nine-grain cereal. Then we add our Casera starter — the first ever created at Macrina — and a blend of flours, including whole grain wheat and rye flours, ground pumpkin and sunflower seeds, sea salt, and a touch of honey and molasses. The fermentation period is over eight hours, which adds flavor and longevity. Before baking we roll the loaf in toasted sunflower seeds and bake it to achieve a crisp and caramelized crust.

Leslie says, “This loaf celebrates our local economy, our reverence for the great work Bread Lab and Cairnsprings Mill are doing, and meets our customers’ desire for a tasty whole grain bread.”

Check out all the upcoming events we have in store for our 30th Anniversary! 

Grand Opening: Our New Maple Leaf Café Opens Friday!

Our new Maple Leaf café opens on Friday, June 30 from 7a.m.-6 p.m. 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. Offerings at the new café will include Macrina’s artisanal breads, cornetti (Italian-style croissants), distinctive pastries, cakes, tarts, sandwiches, soups, weekend brunch, a full range of coffee beverages and many other sweet and savory items. “We are excited to open our first café since 2018,” says Scott France, president 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.” The café opening is the centerpiece of our 30th Anniversary celebrations, which also include two baking classes, a special pop-up dinner, an anniversary loaf showcasing local grains and children’s cupcake and cookie decorating. Visit our website for more details. 

Check out all the upcoming events we have in store for our 30th Anniversary! 

30th Anniversary Celebrations: Baking Classes with Leslie

We can’t think of a better way to celebrate our 30th anniversary than by sharing the joy of baking with our beloved community. As part of our 30th Anniversary celebrations this summer, Macrina’s founder, Leslie Mackie, will teach two hands-on baking classes this July.

Leslie will guide a select group of seven guests through the art of baking some of our favorite summer treats. These classes are a unique opportunity to learn from one of Seattle’s finest culinary talents, regardless of whether you’re a seasoned baker or a curious novice.After years of travel, training, and working with acclaimed chefs and bakers, Leslie opened Macrina in 1993 in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood with just six employees. With the upcoming launch of our Maple Leaf café, Macrina will have six cafes, employing many more people. Over the years, Leslie has authored three cookbooks, been featured on Julia Child’s Baking with Julia, and even been nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award. Her dream for Macrina has ascended to heights she never imagined.

Both classes are limited to seven people and will take place at our Belltown café (July 11) and Sodo café (July 18). There will be plenty of tasting and camaraderie with fellow baking enthusiasts. Without our dedicated community, we would never have reached our 30th anniversary. These classes aren’t just a part of our celebrations, but also a way to share our love for baking. Here’s to you, our community, and to the many more anniversaries to come.

Pie Making Class – July 11th, Macrina Belltown Café

Join us on Tuesday, July 11th, from 4 P.M. to 6:30 P.M. for a hands-on pie making class. Leslie will kick things off by demonstrating how to prepare the dough for a flaky pie crust. Then, you will have the opportunity to create a gorgeous Blueberry Nectarine Pie and Rustic Apple Cherry Tartlets. Each participant will take their pie home to bake and will also prepare and bake the tartlets on-site. Leslie will provide samples of baked pies for everyone to taste. From mastering the perfect lattice crust to crafting tartlets, you’ll depart with a newfound appreciation for the art of pie making.

Baking with Raspberries Class – July 18th, Macrina Sodo Café

There’s nothing quite like the raspberry days of summer! If you relish the just-picked, bright flavor of raspberries straight from the vine, join us for Leslie’s Baking with Raspberries class on Tuesday, July 18th, from 4 P.M. to 6:30 P.M. Leslie will guide you through the process of baking with raspberries. You’ll create a mouth-watering Raspberry Lemon Coffee Cake, which you’ll bake on-site to take home. You’ll also learn how to assemble elegant Summer Berry Charlottes, which you’ll take home to chill overnight and bake the following day. Leslie will have samples for everyone to taste.

How to Enter:

  1. Take a photo of something you’ve baked from a Macrina cookbook or one of our recipes of the month OR share your favorite Macrina product/Macrina story
  2. Post it or message it to us via Instagram by July 7
  3. Tag @MacrinaBakery and mention the date of the class you’d like to attend in the comments.

The top 25 entries for each class will be entered in a drawing for available spots. We will notify the winners on July 7.

Want to see all the upcoming events for our 30th Anniversary celebrations? Click here!

Celebrate Juneteenth by Dining at a Local Black-Owned Restaurant

Monday, June 19 is Juneteenth and we encourage you to join us in dining out at one of Seattle’s many Black-owned restaurants as part of your celebration.

Here are six of our favorite wholesale customers that we highly recommend you try:

La Spiga
La Spiga: Capitol Hill’s beloved Osteria La Spiga has been serving northern Italian cuisine since 1998. It’s like dining in Italy — without the plane fare. Chef Sabrina Tinsley consistently makes elegant dishes ranging from handmade pastas to roasted meats and vegetables. It’s poetry for the mouth.

Boon Boona CoffeeBoon Boona Coffee: Founder Efrem Fesaha was born in Eritrea and came to Seattle as a child when his father took a job with Boeing. He opened Boon Boona as a showcase for top-quality African coffee. He sources and roasts the coffee. Enjoy coffee drinks, pastries and savory items at the Renton, Capitol Hill, and University Bookstore locations.

Plum BistroPlum Bistro: Chef/owner Makini Howell makes food so good that you forget everything is plant-based. Her airy, contemporary restaurant is in the lively Pike/Pine corridor. Recognized in 2019 by The New York Times as one of 16 Black chefs changing food in America, Makini has a creative, healthy approach to food and serves beautiful dishes.

Poco Bar and LoungePoco Bar & Lounge: Established in 2006, Poco Bar & Lounge is a casual, cozy neighborhood wine and cocktail bar located in a two-story space on Capitol Hill with a private lounge and outdoor patio seating. They serve Mediterranean tapas-style snacks and mains, signature cocktails and wine.

Lil Red's Takeout and Catering
Lil Red’s Takeout and Catering: Located in the Rainier Valley just north of Columbia City, Erasto “Red” Jackson runs not only one of Seattle’s best BBQ joints, but one of the best in the nation. Lil Red’s Jamaican BBQ and Soul Cuisine landed on a prestigious list of top 20 Black-owned BBQ spots nationwide. The tender meat is exquisitely smoked. Sandwiches are served on Macrina’s brioche buns.

Ms. Joyce's CateringMs. Joyce’s Catering: Long one of Seattle’s choice caterers, Central District gem Joyce’s Market and Café closed their retail business in May to focus on catering. Joyce Hosea, the driving force behind the fabulous community spot, can cater to nearly any occasion, big or small, letting you focus on the guest list rather than the food.

Macrina Celebrates Pride by Supporting Lambert House

For the week of June 19–25, we’ll donate all net proceeds from the sale of our Pride Cookies to the Lambert House.

When Katarina Ducharme, our head pastry chef, came to us suggesting a Pride Week fundraiser, we leaned in. The more we listened, the more we got excited. Choosing to support the Lambert House was an easy decision for us.

Lambert House, nestled in the heart of Seattle’s Capitol Hill, is more than just a building — it’s a sanctuary for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, a place where they can be themselves. Lambert House provides a supportive environment for 20 to 40 daily visitors from diverse backgrounds and zip codes. They gather here to participate in various programs designed to impart essential leadership, social, and life skills. Activities range from support groups and planning meetings to dances and games. Amenities such as a pool table, a music station, a library rich with LGBTQ literature, and a computer lab offer spaces to unwind, connect, and learn. It’s a cornerstone of Seattle’s LGBTQ community and a beacon of acceptance, understanding, and unity.

Buy one of our Brown Sugar Shortbread Pride Cookies the week of June 19–25 and we’ll donate all proceeds to the Lambert House.

“I’m grateful to work for a company that is proud and willing to put their resources into helping all parts of the LGBTQIA+, particularly at times when it would be easier to remain silent,” says Katarina. “I also feel lucky to live in a state and a city that puts laws in place to protect the LGBTQIA+ kids that live here, as well as kids seeking refuge. But we need to do more to support the kids in our community who really need help, especially trans youth.”

Order Ahead Online!