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!

Baking Demonstration with Leslie Mackie at Book Larder

It’s our thirtieth anniversary and to celebrate we’re opening a new café in Maple Leaf early this summer. To mark the occasion, founder Leslie Mackie will host a baking demonstration and cookbook signing at Book Larder on Wednesday, June 21, at 6:30 P.M. Participants will learn how to bake a Summer Berry Galette using a recipe from our Seasons cookbook, enjoy samples, receive a recipe sheet, and have an opportunity to buy and have cookbooks signed by Leslie.

For this event, we’re collaborating with Cairnspring Mills, a state-of-the-art flour mill with a dedication to old-fashioned, sustainable agriculture located in the Skagit Valley. They work closely with nearby farmers to mill each batch of grain separately, ensuring the unique flavor and integrity of each field is maintained. We’re excited to use Cairnspring’s Glacier Peak flour in our Summer Berry Galette baking demonstration. “Cairnspring provides a steady supply of the high-grade flours we need, and the consistency is remarkable,” Leslie affirms.  

Seasons, our third cookbook, pays tribute to local ingredients. Each recipe showcases the unique flavors of the Pacific Northwest’s spring, summer, fall, and winter. Leslie crafted these recipes with the home cook in mind, utilizing readily available ingredients for most dishes. For less common items, she includes alternative suggestions. Apart from a few recipes, most can be prepared in under an hour, allowing hosts to spend quality time with their guests while enjoying a taste of the good life. 

The Summer Berry Galette celebrates berry season in the PNW. Perhaps nothing grows better around here than wild blackberries. Throughout the summer, foragers know where they’re available for the picking. Leslie developed this delicately sweet recipe to utilize the abundant wild blackberries she picks along the rural roads and meadows of Vashon Island. Simplicity is its strength. With few ingredients, the galette is an elegant showcase for the ripe berries. The sweet creaminess of the custard is the perfect accompaniment to the tart berries. The recipe calls for blackberries but it can be modified to work with whatever seasonal fruit you have on hand. 

Given the limited space, we recommend getting your tickets early. There are two options available: Book Included, or Author Talk Only. You can purchase tickets through Book Larder 

We look forward to seeing you there! 

 

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

 

Ingredients
DOUGH
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

FILLING
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

EGG WASH
1 egg
1 tsp water

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


DOUGH
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.

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.

EGG WASH
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).

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
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!

Baking with the Stars: PNB & Macrina Bakery

The worlds of dance and dessert are set to collide this spring, as Macrina Bakery partners with Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) for the Spring Spark — a whimsical fundraiser where creativity, community, and confections take center stage.

The Spring Spark, a one-night event, will see the transformation of the Francia Russell Center into a fantastical culinary wonderland, where ballet dancers, local distilleries, and Seattle’s dessert virtuosos join forces to create never-before-tasted delicacies. Guests will have the pleasure of sampling and voting for their favorite desserts and signature cocktails. 

Get your Spring Spark ticket here! 

Macrina’s baking team, including founder Leslie Mackie, Pastry Chef Katarina Ducharme and Pastry Associate Manager Sam Stout, has partnered with PNB star Lucien Postlewaite, who is nearly as passionate about the culinary arts as he is about the stage. “Lucien has a world-traveler’s knowledge of pastries, and we had inspiring conversations about his favorite pastries in Paris and Spain,” Leslie says. “It’s an honor to collaborate with him, and I can’t wait for the world premiere of our dessert.” 

Lucien says, “I see food as I see ballet — an opportunity to layer sensation, emotion, flavor, texture, and beyond. I’m thrilled by the opportunity to work hand in hand with Leslie and the Macrina team to craft a dessert that dances on the palate.” 

As May 6 fast approaches, Sam has taken the lead. “When you get people in a conversation about food and you can tell they’re really passionate about flavors and profiles and mouthfeel and the experience of a well-made dish or dessert, that’s when it really gets fun. Lucien has quite the palate and many great ideas.” 

The collaboration has been nothing short of sweet as Sam, Leslie, Katarina and Lucien work to get everything just right, work through a final dress rehearsal, and, at last, the big-stage performance. 

And, in this playful competition in which there are only winners, let us not forget the other enchanting collaborations: Destiny Wimpye is paired with Bell’s Cookie Co, Cecilia Iliesiu with Lady Yum, and James Kirby Rogers with former PNB dancer Kari Brunson’s Frankie & Jo’s. And as a palate cleanser between bites of divine confections, guests can indulge in the savory culinary creations of James Beard-nominated chef Melissa Miranda of Musang. 

Come join us for the love of community, for the tantalizing food and drinks, and to support the electric magic PNB brings to our lives. Order your tickets for the Spring Spark here and ignite your passion for dance. 

For those unable to attend, but curious to taste the magic they conjured, we’ll be selling their wonderful creation in our cafes the weekend of May 5-7!

Local Supplier Focus: Cairnspring Mills

A century ago, thousands of wheat farms across America supplied numerous local mills. Today, however, most of those mills have closed, and milling has become centralized turning flour into an international commodity.

In Washington State, Cairnspring Mills bucks this trend, collaborating with nearby farmers dedicated to sustainable agriculture, milling each batch of grain separately to maintain the integrity and unique flavor of each field. At Macrina Bakery, we prioritize using locally sourced ingredients for several reasons, including enhanced flavor and nutrition.

Leslie Mackie, Macrina’s Founder, says, “Cairnspring works directly with the baker to customize the milling process to their needs. The regenerative conventional and organic varietal grains are highly flavorful, especially when milled in the Cairnspring fashion.” 

Supporting the local economy is another reason Macrina purchases ingredients from nearby sources. Leslie notes, “This approach reduces our carbon footprint, ensures fresher products due to close proximity, and invests dollars back into our community.” Our commitment to Cairnspring is long-standing and stems from our enduring partnership with the prestigious WSU BreadLab that breeds grain for flavor, led by Dr. Steven Jones. These locally-grown grains are milled at Cairnspring Mills and baked into many of our breads. Many of the loaves using local flours are among our most popular breads. “Cairnspring provides a steady supply of the high-grade flours we need, and the consistency is remarkable,” says Leslie. 

Cinnamon Swirl French Toast


Of all the recipes in Seasons, our latest cookbook, this recipe gets used more by our crew than any other. The creamy custard gives new life to bread slightly past its prime. Thick slices of day-old brioche make the best French toast. Fresh brioche works, too. Just be careful to dredge the tender slices—not a deep soak—since the fresh brioche will fall apart if oversaturated. Top each serving with a medley of berries and a dollop of vanilla whipped cream. Serve with maple syrup.
-Leslie Mackie

Printable PDF of this recipe here.
Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients
FRENCH TOAST
½ cup heavy cream
5 eggs
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 loaf Macrina Cinnamon Swirl Brioche
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 pint raspberries
1 pint blueberries
Maple syrup, for serving

VANILLA WHIPPED CREAM
½ cup heavy cream
2 tsp sugar
1½ tsp pure vanilla extract

 
FRENCH TOAST
Whisk together the heavy cream, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and vanilla.

Cut brioche into 1-inch-thick slices. Dredge pieces in custard mix. Sauté brioche in a pan with vegetable oil and butter until both sides are golden brown. Top with fresh raspberries, blueberries and a dollop of vanilla whipped cream. Serve with maple syrup.

VANILLA WHIPPED CREAM
In a medium bowl, combine heavy cream, sugar and vanilla. Whip until mixture holds its shape, about 2 minutes.