One of the things that has struck me the most about Sydney, Australia is the seemingly endless collection of cafes and bakeries.  Not only does Sydney seem serious about its coffee, but the overwhelming variety of desserts, pastries, breads, tarts and treats leaves me with little else to say , except…

“Oh my!”

Here’s what’s caught my eye so far (Warning: Drooling may commence at any moment.)

Beautifully colorful little cakes, pastries and macarons at Zumbo Cakes in the Queen Victoria Building:

Zumbo cakes

Assorted pastries at Nosh2

Pretty little cakes at Zumbo

Macarons at Zumbo

Colorful cakes at Zumbo

Cupcakes, cakes, muffins, bars, and tortes at the Metropole Café

Assorted cakes at Metropole bakery

Assorted cakes at Metropole cafe 2

Assorted cakes at Metropole Cafe

And tarts, trifles and assorted treats at Nosh Box Cafe.

Lovely assortment of cakes

Assorted pastries at Nosh

Now you’re probably wondering which of these many cakes I’ve tried.  The truth is only ONE (so far)!  Yesterday afternoon, my husband and I had some time to spend together so we went on a lunch date to the Queen Victoria Building (fabulous collection of high end shops, not to mention quite a few of the cafes above).

After splitting a modest but delicious grilled wrap sandwich, we headed up to the Old Vienna Coffee House for dessert.  

Old Vienna Cafe in Sydney

Choosing from the decadent display of cakes wasn’t easy…

Cakes at Old Vienna cafe

But we eventually settled on splitting a piece of the Sacher Torte.

Sacher torte at Old Vienna Cafe

Happiness on a plate!


    • Joana says:

      Hi Helen,

      Since I’ve discovered that I do better when I’m not eating sugar/carbs, it is sort of torture to be around so many good-looking pastries. Actually, the BEST sweet I’ve eaten so far is the dark chocolates I bought at Haigh’s Chocolate shop on my 2nd day in town. I bought a bag of “Chocolate Scorched Almonds” (roasted almonds with 72% dark chocolate) and a big bar of 88% dark chocolate with natural Australian honeycomb pieces. The almonds are fabulous and the chocolate bar is totally addictive. The high cocoa content in the bar is offset by the sweetness of the honeycomb pieces. Surprisingly, the honeycomb pieces are crispy – sort of like a yellow rice Krispie – which gives a great texture along with the explosion of flavor. I’m bringing some back with me to the States, for sure!

      XOX – Joana

      On Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 12:59 AM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:


  1. Pamela Frame says:

    The (crispy) honeycomb with chocolate does sound intriguing, though I am a milk chocolate fan for the most part. I was literally leaning forward in my chair while I scrolled through your photos to find out what you chose! When Bill and I got to the final photo, a YELL went up in the living room! I will restrain myself from saying which way the vote went. If I were in that lovely restaurant, there would have been no such restraint, by the way. We would have ordered the way San Franciscans do in our favorite bakery there: two pieces per person, average! The lines are so long you don’t want to risk having to go back again!

    I love being able to travel with you in Australia. Keep those photos coming!!!

    • Joana says:

      Hi Pam,

      I had Sacher torte in Vienna once and remembered a harder chocolate outer shell and raspberry filling on the inside. This version didn’t really have either, and I wished that it was a little more moist. (But my husband said that it was perfectly moist, so what do I know?:-) My favs in the cake department are usually lemon meringue pie or really rich chocolate-y, fudgy flourless cakes. Tomorrow I’m going back to Haigh’s to buy some chocolate to take home, so I might swing by Zumbo to pick out a little cake (one of those yellow round thingies?) to finish off my stay. 🙂

      I owe you a regular email…will respond soon!

      A big hug, Joana

      On Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 12:28 PM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:


        • Joana says:

          Hi Pam,

          I’m a sucker for passion fruit and I think some of the colorful pastries from Zumbo feature passion fruit fillings. I could try a Napolean, too. Doesn’t that have almond inside?

          Nothing beats my own gluten-free, almond chocolate chip/ginger cookies, though. I’ve “perfected” the recipe over a bunch of tries (I didn’t post all of my attempts) and the final recipe which has some oats, as well as powdered milk (to replace some of the sugar) is truly good. Plus, I don’t feel so guilty eating it. 🙂

          I’m off to exercise and then we are going to the ZOO!!! Hopefully, I’ll get some good photos even though it’s cool and grey out today.

          XOX – Joana

          On Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 5:21 PM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:


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