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Eat and Drink

How To Score the Market’s Gorgeous Spring Fling Cake

Lala’s Bakery, established by three former Market employees, is making limited quantities of the beloved dessert.

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Are you missing the Market’s Spring Fling cake? Three former employees of the now-closed Larimer Square market-cafe-bakery are keeping Spring Fling alive, and Denverites have been eating it up. “We’ve been overwhelmed with the personal stories and ties people have to these cakes,” says co-owner Vivian Villagrana. “In a time that’s so difficult, I think receiving one of these cakes and coming together with a small group of friends or family is what we need to get through these times. We’re honored we can provide that.”

Lala’s Bakery was started by Villagrana, Laura Madrid, and Audrey Daniels. Lala refers to a childhood nickname Madrid’s grandmother gave her for always daydreaming, which is fitting since Lala’s Bakery started as a shared daydream when the trio worked at the Market. “We always talked about opening our own bakery together, just a way of dreaming in the workplace,” Villagrana says. “The Market closed down and that’s when things started happening.”

The ladies behind Lala’s Bakery: (from left) Vivian Villagrana, Laura Madrid, Audrey Daniels, and Lauren Miler. Photo courtesy of Lala’s Bakery

A few weeks after the iconic cafe’s closure, Madrid began making cakes for family and friends. Of course, they loved them, and she reached out to her fellow daydreamers to start Lala’s. The big seller is the ladies’ spin on the Spring Fling, a zucchini-flecked, sour cream-rich cake topped with cream cheese frosting and fresh fruit.

“We’ve adapted it a little bit to how we prefer it, but for the most part it’s the same,” Madrid says. “It’s the same, but better,” Villagrana adds. “The Spring Fling—every cake is a meditation for that person. It’s specially created for that human being, and it’ll never be the same twice.”

Although the Spring Fling makes up the bulk of their orders, adventurous cake lovers will be rewarded for trying other flavors, too, like the Chocolate Berry Lovers with whipped chocolate ganache and berry topping; lemon poppyseed; and cream cheese-frosted carrot cake. For now, everything is made out of the bakers’ homes, which means the cakes are extremely limited. Lala’s booked up more than a month in advance for July, and after taking a hiatus on orders, it’s now open for August cake orders on a limited basis. To get yours, email orders at least three weeks in advance to lalasbakerydenver@gmail.com.

Chocolate Berry Lovers cake. Photo courtesy of Lala’s Bakery

In the future, the bakers would like to work out of a ghost kitchen to increase production, with a possible bakery and coffeeshop storefront further down the line once the pandemic is long over.

Lala’s cakes can be delivered for a fee or picked up at Corky Gonzales library (1498 Irving Street). And while their current flavor options are hard to beat, Villagrana and Madrid say they’d like to experiment with more creative cakes and that they welcome custom, made-to-bake orders.

“If someone has an idea or flavor profiles they want to play around with, we’ll come up with something specific,” Villagrana says. “We aim to be as inclusive as possible. Being that Lala’s Bakery is owned by local Denver-raised Latinas, we aim to satisfy all communities of race, color, and orientation. We definitely pour a lot of love and energy into each cake.”

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