For more than a decade, newcomers to Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood have marveled at the line leading to the red front door of the Hot Cakes shop on Ballard Ave. and wondered, “What’s in there?”
Mmm, the locals know. Rich molten chocolate cake, that’s what. Warm and gooey in the middle, moist and gorgeously textured on the outside. Every spoonful a first-class ticket to chocolate bliss. Hot Cakes founder and Seattle native Autumn Martin spent four years building a devoted fanbase from her booth at the Ballard farmer’s market with her Take & Bake molten cake mix, which she sold in adorable mason jars for easy transport. If you’re into chocolate and you’re in Seattle, she’s kind of a big deal.
Molten Chocolate Cake Goes Global
In 2012, Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery found a permanent home just up the street from the farmer’s market where it all started and eventually opened a second shop in Capitol Hill, too. They've also expanded their delicious repertoire, using chocolatier skills to craft lots of other sweet treats, savory goodies, vegan- and gluten- free options, coffee and boozy milkshakes like the “Drunken Sailor.” Don't forget their deliciously decadent dessert sauces and smoked chocolate chips.
The world has taken notice – demand for the Hot Cakes brand of chocolaty goodness has gained a national audience. They’re still a Seattle mainstay, though, constantly popping up in food booths around the city, sponsoring local events, or donating sales to dog shelters to help homeless puppies find homes (how can you not like that?)
Try the original Dark Decadence molten cake first though. It’ll give you a whole new perspective on the phrase “selling like Hot Cakes.”