I don’t usually go into dimly lit bars in search of baked goods. However, last week, I found myself at the Twilight Exit in Seattle’s Central District looking for a man called “Uncle Peaches” and some cake.
While reading the posts in one of my Facebook groups, the words “Uncle Peaches’ Cakes & Cobbler Fire Sale” jumped out at me. Ten dollars would buy you a box of assorted cake.
This was not just any cake. Uncle Peaches’ Cakes & Cobbler specializes in desserts inspired by African-American and Southern traditions. That day the fire sale would feature red velvet cake, Texas funeral cake, and a 7UP pineapple coconut cake. I had never heard of the last two cakes so I took my cash and curiosity and headed out to buy.
The Twilight Exit has no front entrance. You have to walk down an alley and go through the side. I must admit that I was a little hesitant about going to a bar by myself that I had never visited. Fortunately, the cake sale was at 5:30pm.
I entered the bar and as my eyes adjusted to the dark interior, I looked around and saw that the Twilight Exit was your typical neighborhood bar. Even so, I was really hoping that I wouldn’t have to ask anyone, “Do you know where the cake sale is?”
Fortunately, I saw a man sitting at the bar with a mound of small cakes in front of him.
I introduced myself, and he said his name was Chad. I asked if he was the Uncle Peaches, and he said yes. We talked about how a Texas funeral cake was named so because if you had to go to a funeral, you usually had all of the ingredients to make the cake already in your pantry.
I wanted to talk with Uncle Peaches longer, but some other customers arrived, and I didn’t want to interrupt his business. So I said goodbye and went home with my box of cake.
Later I discovered that Uncle Peaches is also Chad Goller-Sojourner, a distinguished Seattle-based writer and performer. I found this amazing considering his memoir, Sitting in Circles with Rich White Girls: Memoirs of a Bulimic Black Boy, chronicles Goller-Sojourner’s lifelong struggle with weight issues and an eating disorder. A few years ago, Goller-Sojourner held a “Bake Sale for Bulimia,” with proceeds going to support the solo show based on his book.
Uncle Peaches’ red velvet cake and the Texas funeral cake were light and airy with a deep chocolate flavor, but the real standout was the 7UP pineapple coconut cake. It was incredibly moist and maybe just a little too sweet, but perfect with a tall glass of cold milk.
What I really liked about the 7UP pineapple coconut cake was that it was the kind of dessert I could see a mom or cherished aunt bringing to every family gathering–something made with common ingredients that became something special.
Uncle Peaches’ Cakes & Cobblers does not have a website, and there does not appear to be a regular schedule for the dessert sales. You just have to keep an eye on community event calendars or maybe create a Google alert for “Uncle Peaches” to find something delightful when you least expect it.
Like cake in a bar.