Review: Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Factory

Hot Cakes is one of those places I am constantly urging (but more like begging) people to go to. Without any explanation, other than IT’S JUST THAT GOOD. Don’t go thinking you’ll discover the latest and greatest thing though, Hot Cakes has gained plenty of recognition after being featured in many Seattle magazines and even a mention in the Bon Appetit blog. Hence the ridiculous line. Nevertheless, if you haven’t tried it, you NEED to. Here’s the fluffy details:

I remember when Hot Cakes was just a stand at the Ballard Farmer’s Market. I used to always buy their salted caramel cause and use it in my hot chocolate in the winters. I was overly delighted upon my return to Seattle when I found out that it was finally a full fledged store in Ballard. The rustic wood charms, cast iron embellishments, and chalk board menu look like any other new trendy place (complete with everything being served in mason jars), but at least this place as the product to back up all the hype. I can’t stop looking at the menu every time I’m there anyway. Oh the menu. Don’t forget to nibble on the smoked chocolate chips at the counter while you mull your decision over. Keep in mind, you’ll need to share. You may not want to, but you’ll need to. For the sake of your stomach and wallet!

Starting with their signature molten chocolate cakes (and yes they are delicious as they sound) a la mode, Hot Cakes also offer a wide variety of specialty desserts such as Creme Brulee, flights of caramel and ice cream, chocolate sandwiches, and wait for it…BOOZY SHAKES. Oh yes. There is booze. In yo shake.

My favorite, is actually the most simple and least expensive thing on the menu. For $6 you can get what they call “The Sundae” It’s 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream with their house made caramel sauce, popcorn toffee, and crunchy kernels on top. It’s an AMAZING combination of salty and sweet.

Aside from all the amazing things you can get from the kitchen, Hot Cakes also offers just a tempting baked goods at the front for display. From Oatmeal Bacon Chocolate Chip cookies (which I wasn’t a fan of), to a Smore’s Bar, pound cake, and more.

What’s a Smore’s Bar you might ask? Well,from what I can taste, instead of a graham cracker you have a nice two or three inch chunk of cookie dough topped with their homemade nutella and an even heftier chunk of torched marshmallow fluff on top. It’s a delightful treat to impress people with, but good luck eating a whole one. It is incredibly rich!

The place aint’ cheap though. Most desserts hover at around $8 or $9. Boozy shakes are $10. So go in an share, or you can be a glutton like me and just order it all for yourself. No one is judging. Even if they are, it’s SO WORTH IT.

Our first visit to Hot cakes. Photo by Ashley Amas!

Getchyo hot cakes on!! WHY? Just believe me, it’s THAT good. And besides that:

1. It’s more than just a bakery. It serves liquor too. And oh yeah savory dishes like macaroni and cheese…as if the desserts weren’t enough of a gut bomb.

2. This place CHANGES people and there’s something for everyone. My old roommate, hates desserts (sweet things in general). Never liked them, never wanted a bite of anything even when it was homemade. I’ve known him to be this way for years, and I brought him one dark chocolate molten cake, it he practically devoured it. That’s saying something right? I LOVE this place even though I don’t really like chocolate. Actually it might be the only place where i even think about eating chocolate. I know it’s sacrilege to most of you. So guys please note that you can’t bring me a bar of chocolate and expect me to light up like sunshine. Unless you made it yourself or it carried some kind of sentimental value. But this place has more to offer than molten chocolate cakes. I’m usually blindsided by all of the other amazing things on display to even remember the cakes anyway.

3. It’s addicting. Seriously. The sensation of remembering how delicious it is overwhelms anything else you might be thinking about. One day while I was on my way to Cupcake Royale for a little pick-me up, I remembered Hot Cakes was just a short jaunt away. I could instantly taste the sweet and salty DELICIOUSNESS and promptly turned skipping down the street to get my hot cakes on.

4. The people are great. One day when I came in for one of their crazy Smores Bars, my face quickly showed my disappointment when I saw there weren’t any on display. The woman behind the counter could tell my bubble had just been burst and asked me if there was something that I needed. I told her I was looking for a Smores Bar and she brightly responded by telling me they were ready but she had not torched them yet. She then very politely asked me if I was willing to wait a couple minutes she could torch one up for me. UH…YES PLEASE. When I brought the Smores Bar back to my friend, the sweet sticky smokey smell of the freshly charred marshmallow topping wafted into our noses…I think we both might have drooled right then and there.

Still not convinced? Go back to your Ben and Jerry’s then. The End. 🙂

Tip: Go anytime in the day…no lines! (Oh the perks of fun-employment…)

Hot Cakes

Rating: ***** (All stars. It wins. Truly.)

5427 Ballard Ave NW

Seattle, WA 98107


P.S. Sorry it took so long to get this up. I kept forgetting to take photos every time I went. My stomach moves faster than my camera I guess.

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