Oct. 24, 2017

Antoinette Baking Co.

The items speak for themselves, affirming that this is a new, bold, confident bakery that makes zero apologies for stepping out of the norm with flavors.

Once inside their doors you begin to feel the magic, but one look at the bakery case and you realize it isn’t just any magic--it’s a different kind, an adventurous kind.

Five years ago in September, co-owners Molly Martin and Andrea Mohn opened Antoinette Baking Company after their home-business grew too large to manage and too life-changing to give up. They needed a shop.

Their first location in Tulsa’s Brookside area was so successful it outgrew itself in just two short years. In need of a larger space, they found and began renovation of their current shop in the thriving downtown Brady Art District.

“At first, we were inspired by Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette and we wanted it to be a 1980s gaudy situation,” said Molly, laughing, “but it morphed. Now we like to think of ourselves as simply French-influenced and fun.”

As Molly explained, the original building in the Brady District had to be completely gutted while the original brick walls and some of the original floor--showing signs of “wear and tear”--were kept to add character to its already chic and bright personality.

White booths with tall enclosures sit beside the bakery case, making their own little nooks. Around the corner more wood tables congregate, all with simple metal chairs pushed up to them. Baby succulents in stone planters adorn each table giving a nice--albeit little--pop of green.

In the back corner a whimsical wallpaper lines the upper portion of the walls in a navy blue backdrop with gold metallic leaves. A perfectly-matched chandelier with crystal pieces that look like a flowering plant hangs above the corner booth.

“We’ve been friends since we were 12, but neither of us went to school for baking,” said Molly. “We both worked in a lot of restaurants growing up and loved cooking, but Andrea was really more of a home baker than I was. It took me awhile to get into the baking, and now I don’t know what to do if I’m not here.”

The vibe paired with the culinary selection, however, says that this has always been effortless, uncomplicated, and completely natural. The items speak for themselves, affirming that this is a new, bold, confident bakery that makes zero apologies for stepping out of the norm with flavors. And why should they when customers keep coming back to literally taste the newness?

“We did away with a menu a while ago,” said Molly. “From the very first start of the old bakery, we got bored immediately with making the same thing.”

Every day one or two of the items that line the bakery case are displayed on social media, but everything else available in-store is an instant, in-person surprise.

“We try to have completely new things all the time, whether or not it’s something that everyone knows of. Or, for instance, we may have ten different scone flavors, but we rotate them all the time, so it’s never the same every day,” said Molly.

Examples of the diverse and ever-changing menu include items like: Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie, Chickpea Shakshuka, Squash Apple and Shallot Galettes, Grilled Cheese made with herbed havarti, brie, arugula, apples and shallot jam, Sausage Brie Waffles, and Peanut Butter and Jelly cake, to name a few.

There are also items being sent all across Tulsa every day, a majority of which are cakes. Cakes for birthdays, office parties, cakes celebrating that it’s Wednesday. Cakes that look like a rainbow exploded, cakes with sprinkles in perfect, geometrical formation, cakes with icing “dripping” off the sides and dripping with flavor. There are also decadent wedding cakes going out all over Tulsa on the weekends, assembled from an impressive list of wedding cake options.

“Andrea does all the cakes for weddings. She’s really good; she’s calm,” said Molly. “I have no nerves for delivering. It’s a very anxious-ridden trip.”

But they get there, and when they do they hold up their end of the bargain on what so many people expect and are excited for at weddings. And true to the rest of their style, Antoinette cakes come in a multitude of batter, frosting and filling flavors. Cake batter flavors include banana chocolate chip, buttermilk, carrot, chocolate, coconut, lavender and lemon, to name a few. The butter-creams come in caramel, chocolate, cream cheese, lavender, raspberry, and so much more. And the specialty fillings come in flavors like blackberry jam, chocolate ganache, lemon curd and vanilla pastry cream. This is wedding cake--elevated.

Along with wedding cake is another item that has made Antoinette famous: macarons. Not to be confused with the macaroon, a soft cookie made with shredded coconut. A macaron is a French sweet meringue-based confection available in a variety of flavors. And Antoinette does not disappoint here either. Flavors of macarons include orange blossom, espresso, French 75, passion fruit, champagne, salted butter caramel, cookies and cream, toast and jam and many more.

The macarons are both colorful and have pops of fun accents like sprinkles or gold-brushed “paint,” making your selection feel like you’re picking out an accessory rather than a sweet treat.

There is one other item that is a staple at Antoinette (yet still ever-changing) and that is Pie Night. Pie Night is, in fact, how we first discovered the baking company years ago. Each Friday and Saturday night from 5-10 in the evening, Antoinette has a night filled with pies. You can still buy all the other treats that were available that day, but up to around seven different pie flavors are available until they’re sold out. Flavors include fan favorites like Mile High Chocolate, Vegan Pumpkin, Apple Blackberry, Pecan Bourbon Chocolate Chess, Lemon Sour Cream and Chocolate Banana Meringue, to name a few. Pie night has been one of the events that has made a name for Antoinette Baking Company. It’s been so successful that they’ve also introduced cake night, which has taken place once a month from April until this October. Cake night has three cake options and can be enjoyed in what Antoinette calls a “cake flight,” and has a pairing of a champagne flight to go with it if you’d like.

“We really try to make everything we do a really fun event that is all-inclusive,” said Molly. “You don’t want something that’s just the ‘same-old-same-old’ thing every day, and while we do make a lot of Instagram posts about what we have, you have to come in to see the rest.”

As to what Antoinette owes it’s success to, it’s simple. “Our goal is to make bakery life and restaurant life fun,” said Molly.

We thanked her for her interview time and she went back to the kitchen. As we approached the bakery case to see what awaited us that day, we smiled as a myriad of things we’d not seen there before smiled back up at us. We reached the macarons first. There were four flavors, all in bright colors.

“One of each,” we said.

After sharing all four, we sat there for a few moments relishing their flavors, sad to see them gone.

We agreed. “Yes, they’re some kind of magic.”

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Posted in: Space & Taste