Sift Bake Shop
In one of Cara Griffin’s earliest memories, her mother is piping royal-icing roses. Filling orders for her Port Angeles, Washington, cake business, she baked with her daughter at her knee. The gorgeously handmade roses serve as a metaphor for Griffin’s philosophy in the kitchen: Baked goods should be beautiful, but they must above all be delicious.
She would know the difference, having trained in the art of the perfect sugar cookie from childhood. “My mom had vintage cookie cutters in a glass jar, and we would pick through them,” Griffin recalls. “Then she would set us up and we would decorate.”
At the new retail location of her small-batch bakery, Sift Bake Shop, the rest of us are the beneficiaries. Using family recipes, top-shelf ingredients and some of those very same cookie cutters, Griffin specializes in baked goods with an artistic twist. The shop opened in October after two years of incubation in Haddon Township’s SoHa Arts Building.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, sweet indulgences hold a particular allure, even to a baker who starts her day at two in the morning. “Sugar used to be so special,” she muses. “That’s why we keep to the tradition of using the whole ingredient.” (Read: No shortening here.)
For this Valentine’s day, in a twist on the classic flower bouquet, Sift is offering customizable cookie bouquets adorned with conversation hearts and flower cookies. Hands-on types can surprise their sweeties with group or individual baking classes. Check the website to order online. —Jenn Hall
Sift Bake Shop
805 White Horse Pike, Haddon Twp.