The melt-in-your-mouth texture of a cookie made with real butter or the light smoothness and faintly crisp edge of butter cream frosting whipped up using all-natural ingredients mark the difference between lovingly crafted confections from a creative, small bakery and the oily, mass-produced sweets from a grocery bakery case.
Azucar Bakery in Englewood bakes, frosts, dips and ices authentic Peruvian sweets and treats with an American flair. The handmade delicacies of Azucar Bakery reflect the loving traditions of the bakers without skimping on quality ingredients or careful artistry.
One whiff of the delicious smells swirling through the tiny hole-in-the-wall panaderia (Spanish for bakery) and you know you’ve found a wealth of heavenly desserts. Towering cakes covered in smooth fondant and topped with perfect candy details line the windows and walls of Azucar Bakery.
Small pieces of Peruvian artwork adorn the walls, and truffles wrapped in tissue paper bear the recognizable ancient Nazca lines of the Incas, alluding to the gastronomic experience you will soon enjoy.
Azucar Bakery owner Marjorie Silva learned her art in Peru more than 13 years ago. She brought her craft to Englewood five years ago and sculpted her baking style to suit American palates.
For many of her recipes, she never deviates from authentic Peruvian style, such as alfajores, buttery shortbread cookies filled with homemade dulce de leche and dusted in powdered sugar, and orechietes, delicate puff pastry cookies with cinnamon sugar. Creamy, sweet homemade flan is the bakery’s most popular treat, except during the holiday season when droves of customers purchase containers of homemade dulce de leche.
Azucar Bakery’s small pastry case overflows with delights such as crispy meringue cookies, dazzling individual star-shaped mango cheese cakes topped with fresh whipped cream and fresh mango, chocolately French-style eclairs, napoleons filled with dulce de leche or guava, and guava napoleons made with homemade guava jam and layers of flaky puff pastry. Silva and her son and husband also make traditional Peruvian chocolates by hand. The chocolates, called chotejas, resemble big truffles and are filled with Silva’s fresh dulce de leche and either prunes or pecans.
To preserve the authenticity of her creations, Silva uses Peruvian vanilla exclusively, which is purchased by her family in Peru and shipped to her regularly.
Sugary treats not your cup of tea? Azucar Bakery also offers three types of empanadas, made fresh every morning. The savory pastries are available in traditional beef, Swiss chard or locally made pork chorizo from Boulder Sausage. These popular turnovers often sell out to lunch crowds, so get there early to partake in the spicy goodness.
Azucar Bakery creates beautiful stacked cakes for weddings, birthdays or anniversaries. They are available in a variety of fillings and frosting flavors. Made-to-order cakes are available for $3-4 per slice.
As adventurous foodies with insatiable sweet tooths salivate, a few readers may be wary of experimenting with Peruvian confections. Never fear, Azucar Bakery offers free samples, usually of napoleons with dulce de leche.
Visiting Azucar Bakery, with its friendly and comfortable service and quiet cafe atmosphere, can provide a sweet moment of delicious indulgence and a satisfying break from a hectic schedule.
If You Go
11 W. Hampden Ave. (near Broadway)
Englewood, Colo. 80110
Amanda Hall is a journalism student at Metropolitan State College in Denver.