These braided cardamom buns are the star of the show at this new Scandinavian bakery

Smør Bakery is the latest addition to New York’s diverse sweets scene, this one an ode to the Danish recipes that have turned apple cakes, kanelstangs (Danish cinnamon twists) and risengrød (rice pudding endemic of Denmark) into go-to desserts on this side of the Atlantic as well.

Co-owned by Sebastian Perez and Sebastian Bangsgaard, Smør Bakery is the second gastronomic effort by the pair, who opened Smør two doors down back in 2019. In addition to welcoming patrons to its own brick-and-mortar space, the bakery will function as Smør’s bread purveyor throughout the year.

“We were always planning to open a bakery to complement our restaurant but the pandemic put a delay on our initial plans,” said Perez in an official statement about the opening. “We have always been inspired by the bakery scene in Copenhagen, and to say we’re excited to finally open our doors is an understatement and we’re extremely grateful to offer up delicious baked goods to the neighborhood.”

The duo has enlisted the help of Rowan Gill, the baker at Leo in Brooklyn, to come up with the ideal program. 

The results of that partnership are most acutely highlighted by the bakery’s delicious braided cardamom buns, which the trio landed on after numerous attempts “to brand the bun among others in the city.” Mission accomplished, indeed.

Smor Bakery
Photograph: Paul Quitoriano

The menu also features a loaded sourdough focaccia with whipped ricotta, smoked salmon, pickled red onions, capers, dill and lemon zest; a top-notch craisin walnut oat cookie; a slew of sandwiches and breads (rye loaf, Danish poppy seed roll, among others); and chocolate croissants. Let’s be clear: everything is worth trying at Smør Bakery.

As seems to be the case at all new gastronomic endeavors in town, the 15-seat bakery at 437 East 12th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue is also decked out in a variety of ethnic provisions. From Scandinavian tinned fish to jams from local Brooklyn artisans, mussels from Denmark and Portugal, smoked salmon from popular Manhattan destination Acme and hot dogs from Upper East Side butchery Schaller & Weber, the walls of the new spot function as a window into the city’s varied food culture—and pretty standard Instagram fodder.

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