After getting pretty bummed out by current events (note to self - must stop doom-scrolling), I needed a pick-me-up, specifically a sugary and delicious one.
As a resident of a westside suburb, I tend to stick to places on the westside. But I felt like trying something new, so I decided to venture further east and went to Baraona's Bakery, a shop in Maple Heights.
When I walked in, I was wowed by the selection. There were cookies, cannoli, brownies, baklava, and so many other delectable-looking delights.
In spite of my lactose intolerance, I love cheesecake, and Baraona's cheesecake slices looked so good. Ignoring the protests of my sensitive bowels, I got myself a slice. And because I've heard great things about Baraona's cassata cake, I got a slice of that as well.
In addition to looking delicious, both slices were pretty hefty. The slice of cheesecake weighed half a pound, and the fat slice of cassata cake nearly took up the whole plastic container.
I tried the cheesecake first, and it was fantastic. The texture of the filling was smooth and creamy, and the graham cracker crust was crisp but still easily cut with a plastic fork.
The cassata cake was just as good and had just the right amount of sweetness. Between layers of light, moist yellow cake were layers of custard and a layer of glazed strawberries, and on the outside was smooth whipped cream frosting. To balance the sweetness of the smooth custard, frosting, and cake, I tasted a hint of lemon, and the fresh-tasting strawberries offered a bit of pleasant tartness.
The sweet treats were a little on the pricey side ($5.25 for the slice of cheesecake and $6.99 for the slice of cassata cake), but the portions were generous, and the slices left me full. And they were leagues better than comparable baked goods at the big supermarket chains.
If you're in Maple Heights and you need a little sweet treat, you can't go wrong with this excellent bakery.
Baraona's is located at 15842 Libby Rd, Maple Heights, OH 44137.