Restaurant: Tracycakes Bakery Cafe
Cuisine: Bakery/Pastries/Sandwiches/High Tea
Last visited: December 18, 2010
Location: White Rock, BC
Address: 15015 Marine Drive
Price Range: $10-20
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
Food: 3 (based on afternoon tea)
- Baked daily cupcakes
- Known for cupcakes
- Home made foods
- Home baked goods
- Light lunches
- High tea available
- Patio seating
- Ocean view
- To-go baked goods
- Catering available
- Private party bookings
**Recommendations: Scones, lemon tarts
Tracycakes is a bakery, cafe, and tearoom with three locations in Abbotsford, Fort Langley and White Rock. Apparently the Abbostford location is the cutest, but I haven’t had the opportunity to check them all out yet. I was invited to the annual Tracycakes Jazzed Up Christmas High Tea and I decided to attend the White Rock location which faces a lovely ocean view.
The Jazzed Up Christmas High Tea was a special event, however I think their regular high tea service is almost the same, or at least similar. The event was open to the public and incredibly affordable at $16/person. I suggest calling to make a reservation because I’m not sure if there are anymore throughout the holidays. It was supposed to include piano jazz Christmas music, but unfortunately that was replaced with a Christmas CD. I’m guessing the word didn’t travel fast enough or the ugly weather kept people away, because it was a relatively quiet afternoon.
It was a cozy and quaint tea room, but they don’t have the fine details of authentic fine bone china cups or plates and the tea selection was quite limited. The high tea is much more American than British in style and almost everything was made in house. The food was okay and the baked goods were quite average, but for the price ($16/person), it’s definitely well worth it with decent variety.
Tracycakes is probably best known for their cupcakes which come in 40+ flavours. They also have baked goods to go, but I think I was left a little underwhelmed although it’s still fun and the experience was still nice.
To give you an idea, Applewood Country Gifts, Tea Room & Bakery in Delta and The China Cup Tea Company in Cloverdale (Surrey) charge $20/person for high tea. This is still considered inexpensive compared to the $30+/person high teas you are pretty much guaranteed to pay anywhere in Vancouver and especially in downtown. I haven’t tried the high tea at Applewood yet, but I have gone for lunch on a few occasions. Overall I would have to give it to The China Cup Tea Company for providing excellent high tea in Vancouver’s lower mainland.
Added note: I have to say that none of these places are actually offering high tea though. The service being offered is afternoon tea, not high tea. The terms are often confused, and I admit I wasn’t 100% sure of their meanings until a couple months ago after tweeting with @gastronommy. I knew that high tea usually consists of heartier foods like mini pot pies and wellingtons, but I didn’t know it’s usually had at 5-7pm before dinner. I still thought it took place in the mid-afternoon 2-5pm, but in this case it would be called “afternoon tea” and it would consists of the traditional crustless finger sandwiches, scones and pastries. Anyways that’s just a little background to set things straight.
On the table:
- Mighty Leaf served in your own pot.
- I was a bit caught off guard that it was Mighty Leaf, because I was expecting more of a boutique tea company or imported brand.
- Organic Hojicha Tea
- Slow roasted green tea leaves hold a rich nutty brew – it’s quite strong, bold and dark.
- African Nectar
- Organic African rooibos leaves – this was delicious. It was naturally sweet, floral with hints of vanilla.
- I have to say that The China Cup Tea Company still serves tea best – see here.
- English sandwiches, scones, dainties, Christmas cupcakes, coffee and tea $16/person (Price could be a holiday special)
- These were enjoyable. It was quite tangy with lots of sun-dried tomato, fresh tomato, cranberry and creamy goat’s cheese. The goat’s cheese helped to round out all the tangy flavours. It was served in a buttery tender tartlet and served warm.
Sausage Rolls – 2.5/6
- I loved the flaky buttery and crispy pastry, but there was a bit too much of it and I couldn’t really taste the sausage. The sausage filling was flavourful, soft and moist, but overall it seems dry because of the overwhelming amount of pastry used.
- Fresh baked scones $1.95
- Try them with Devonshire cream & jam +$1
- This is my favourite part to any tea time. I look forward to giant fluffy home baked scones and these ones were definitely the highlight of the meal. I’d come back for these.
- This is a holiday special and well worth ordering for Christmas morning! It’s a bargain for the size and very well priced in general.
- They were incredibly moist, soft and fluffy and perfectly baked with a semi-crispy exterior. It was almost biscuit meets muffin meets cake.
- The inside was so moist that it almost seemed under baked, but it was actually perfectly baked. It’s probably extra moist from the melted white chocolate which I think could have been directly incorporated into the batter.
- It had a great balance of sweet white chocolate and tart juicy real cranberries. There wasn’t really pieces of white chocolate so it wasn’t too sweet either and the powdered icing sugar topping was a great touch. I only wish they were served warm.
- It was served with jam and lemon curd which I think are both store bought. The jam I’m almost certain, and even if the lemon curd wasn’t it had an artificial flavour and gluey thick texture. It does bother me too because I expect homemade jam and real lemon curd from any tea room of this style.
- The devonshire cream is made in house, but it tasted like the easy method of devonshire cream, which is adding cream cheese to whipped cream. It was quite thick, sweet and tangy, but almost cheesy too. Nonetheless I did thoroughly enjoy it with the scone.
- Cucumber & Cream Cheese, Egg Salad, and Turkey & Cranberry crustless sandwiches.
- The combination of white and brown bread made for great flavour and texture, but none of the sandwiches had enough filling and it was almost all bread.
- Some of the bread on the sandwiches was also a bit dried out, and there’s no reason for these simple sandwiches to be pre-made if they were.
- My favourite was probably the turkey and cranberry, which was simply deli turkey shavings and canned cranberry sauce. It’s something you could do at home, but it was the sandwich with the most filling.
- The egg salad was also very good, but there was hardly any in the sandwich. It had a little dill and great savoury flavour and it wasn’t too much on the mayo either. A little green would have been nice as well.
- The cucumber and cream cheese sandwich was exactly that, but not enough of it.
Lemon Tarts – 3.5/6
- These lemon tarts weren’t that traditional, but I still really enjoyed them.
- The lemon filling was baked and almost solidified, and it looked like a jelly candy, but it was deceivingly good.
- The lemon custard centers were sponge like and squishy, yet creamy, fluffy and mousse like after biting into them. They were sweet, but also tart and it had a slightly grainy texture that actually worked really well with the buttery tender and soft tart shell.
- It was an obvious homemade custard, so I don’t know why they don’t use it for their lemon curd they serve with their scones as well…
Sugar Cookie – 3/6
- I enjoyed the sugar cookie the most. It was soft, sweet and buttery and it was almost like shortbread and melted in your mouth quite easily.
Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti – 2/6
- Made with dark bittersweet chocolate, very lightly sweetened and a bit hard and stale in texture, but not in flavour.
Gingerbread Cookie – 2/6
- The cookie was almost thick and fluffy and it wasn’t that sweet. I could taste the ginger, but it didn’t taste like a traditional gingerbread. It was spiced, but a bit dull and not really sweet. I wasn’t keen on the flavour.
Black Forest Cookie – 2.5/6
- I’m not sure if that’s what it was, but that’s what it tasted like and it had a Maraschino cherry in the middle. It was like a black forest cake in cookie form and the cherry flavour was in the chocolate cookie batter as well. I’m not a fan of chocolate and cherry really, but I didn’t mind this.
Oatmeal Raspberry Thumbprint Cookie – 2.5/6
- It wasn’t a soft and chewy cookie, and again it wasn’t that sweet. I didn’t mind it, but it wasn’t that memorable either.
- Egg Nog Cupcake, Candy Cane Cupcake, Oh Holy Night Cupcake, Mint Chocolate Cupcake (with a whipped cream filling).
- Cupcakes come in two sizes – regular ($3.25 each, $14.50 for six or $29 per dozen) or babycake ($1.40 each, $11.95 per dozen).
- They offer 40+ cupcake flavours and they get pretty creative as well. They all have buttercream icings.
- The cupcakes are more or less their specialty and what they’re known for, so my expectations were high.
- I can’t say I was a major fan of them and I found them quite inconsistent with some of the cupcakes sticking to the paper liners. Although they’re baked daily I felt like some of them had been sitting in the fridge for a while.
- Most of them were moist, but the icings overpowered the cake. The icing was much too sweet for me, and I wouldn’t have guessed it was buttercream because it tasted like sugary icing. As sweet as it was it was hard to avoid because the icing is what carried a lot of the creative flavours rather than the actual cake portion of the cupcake.
- My favourite was the Mint Chocolate Cupcake because it was the most balanced in flavour without being too sweet. The whipped cream filling was also a great addition to keep it moist.