Many years ago, during my time as a food service technician, a phrase was said to me that I have since uploaded into my permanent usage file. I came home from work bearing a huge slice of multi-layered Red Velvet cake on an open plate. Sitting in the living room were some friends of my housemate, including one girl who was obviously hungry. She could not take her eyes off that slice on my plate. All of a sudden, out of no where, in the midst of numerous conversations going on around her, said girl blurts out, ” I WANT CAKE”, in a robotic monotone yell. Taken aback, I blinked my eyes a few times, then, as to any guest in my home, offered to share my cake with her. But no, she did not want my particular cake, just cake in general. I thought about that for a minute, puzzled, because I had never had an urge like that before…..until now!
In 2013, Spice Cafe opened its doors. Located in the heart of Poble Sec just off the pedestrian only street Calle Blai, the cafe has proven to be just what the neighborhood needed. Their motto “Coffee, Cake, and Community” says it all. Not only do they sell an amazingly rich, farmer direct, locally roasted blend of Brazilian, Nicaraguan, and Honduran coffee and homemade, uniquely spiced cakes and cookies, but they also provide a platform for community development through workshops, language classes, book clubs, and live music. Grouped around a large communal table, the classes and workshops are intimate, inexpensive, and come with a free coffee or tea. A monthly calendar of events is posted outside their door for easy viewing.
In the beginning, they were not making gluten-free products, but after hearing their customer’s desires and needs, baker and owner, Isidre, started experimenting. He used different combinations of gluten-free flours to see if he could achieve the same results as with normal flour. Lucky for me, I was able to be his guinea pig, tasting and delighting over each new creation he made. He finally has his recipe down, and the product is fantastic! Each one is perfectly moist, soft, and flavorful.
He makes one or two different gluten-free cakes each weekend, and the list of flavors is quite impressive. He started with his signature carrot cake, progressing on to such delights as pistachio lime, poached pear and almond, mandarin star anise, and almond dark chocolate with a raspberry chocolate ganache, to name a few. If there is a particular flavor you are looking for, they make whole cakes to order, and many times they can be ready by the next day. Their kitchen, however, is not 100% gluten-free. If you are severely allergic, be warned, there could be contamination.
Now I am hooked. Friday rolls around and all I can think of in my head is, ” I WANT CAKE”. I fantasize about what new flavors, or amazing repeats Spice Cafe will have. Its always a treat to pop in and talk to two of the friendliest cafe owners in the city.
Address: Calle Margarit, 13 , Poble Sec – Barcelona
Telephone: 936 24 33 59
Hours: Wed – Sun 4:00 – 9:00 // Tue and Holidays 5:00 – 9:00 pm