Layering up the Sweetness at Crumb on Parchment

One of the Design District’s most popular lunch spots is Michelle Bernstein’s Crumb on Parchment. The restaurant offers the weekday lunch crowd an assortment of delicious and affordable soups, salads, sandwiches and some of the best homemade desserts in town.

The secret behind some of those incredible deserts? Michelle’s mother, Martha Bernstein, who prepares the popular layer cakes and dessert bars for the restaurant in her own home kitchen a few times a week.

Martha realized her penchant for baking when her children were in grade school at Miami Shores Elementary. The school would raffle cakes off as a fundraiser and the parents would compete to see who made the best cake. When Martha entered her Pear and Chocolate Upside Down cake, she said she immediately started getting calls from other parents asking how much they would charge her to make that cake – and ever since she’s been baking cakes as gifts for friends and family.

When Michelle approached her to make nostalgic layer cakes for Crumb on Parchment, she happily agreed, creating such favorites such as Coconut, Coconut Cream; Banana Cake with Caramelized Bananas and Cream Cheese Frosting and the crowd-favorite, German Chocolate Cake with dark and bittersweet chocolate.

Depending on the time of year, Martha makes anywhere from three to six layer cakes per week for Crumb on Parchment along with layer bars and other sweet treats. She is always tweaking the recipes that she uses, constantly trying new ingredients for her twists on classic recipes. Martha doesn’t claim to be chef, just a home cook.

Martha won’t divulge too many secrets on what makes her layer cakes so crave worthy, but she did say she uses the best ingredients she can find – pure butter, organic produce, cinnamon from Vietnam, Madagascar vanilla, toasted nuts and fruit zest in almost everything – even when the recipe doesn’t call for it.

“Another secret I have is I throw in the garbage anything that doesn’t come out right,” Martha says with a laugh. “That way no one can tell you, ‘this didn’t come out good!’”

Try a piece for yourself - or even special order a whole cake - at Crumb on Parchment located at 3930 NE 2nd Ave. Open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.