The donuts at A Baker’s Wife in South Minneapolis aren’t slathered in unicorn glitter frosting or showered in Fruity Pebbles and crushed Oreos. They’re just good old-fashioned cake donuts, blue-collar to the core and ridiculously satisfying in their simplicity.
While Homer Simpson would surely drool over everything in the shop, our top pick isn’t its neon-pink, sprinkled nod to Sector 7-G. It’s the State Fair-style cinnamon sugar donuts shown above. Warm and pillowy and dunkable after a quick dip in the fryer, they’re best enjoyed two blocks away, on a quiet park bench or picnic table overlooking scenic Lake Hiawatha.
A Baker’s Wife has been around since the early ‘90s. Longtime customers swear by the shop’s buttery lemon bars and American tea cakes, which taste like a caramel-forward take on France’s sugar-lacquered Kouign-amann. The bakery’s original owner, Gary Tolle, perfected both pastries after learning the ropes at The Plaza Hotel in New York City, a luxe landmark known for hosting The Beatles, Miles Davis, and Truman Capote.
Tolle retired in 2016, but new owner Eric Shogren keeps his most popular recipes in rotation, along with bread and cake additions from Shogren’s other recent acquisition: the long-running (75 years!) local chain Wuollet Bakery. He has also taken steps to modernize the business, dropping the old cash-only policy and allowing customers to pre-order over the phone.
While Shogren is a Minneapolis native and alumni of The Blake School, he actually built his fortune founding two major chains in Russia: Siberia’s first New York-style pizzeria and a coffeeshop named Kuzina. This may or may not explain another sugar-dusted confection that caught out eye here: Russian tea cakes. Next time!
A Baker’s Wife
4200 S. 28th Ave., Minneapolis, MN; 612-729-6898.