Apr 25 2011

Take the Cake!

Carrot Cake

One of our delicious homestyle cakes

Have you ever walked into the café, seen the cake on display and thought, “I want to take that whole thing home!”  I’ll let you in on a secret – you can.  If a whole cake is on display, simply ask the Urban Agenda Ambassador for the price.

Do you need a home-style cake for a birthday, anniversary or party?  Our standard flavours are chocolate, vanilla, classic yellow, spice and banana and we’re happy to make more exotic cakes on request.  Want a smaller cake for a more intimate gathering?  We can make cakes down to 4 inches in diameter.  Need to say that you made it yourself?  We can put a few crumbs in the frosting if you wish.  Home-style cakes can be made with as little as 24 to 48 hours notice.

Or perhaps you need something more sophisticated – we can do that too.  We’ve made cakes of all shapes, sizes and for all occasions.  Please make an appointment with Freda to see our cake photos and discuss your needs.

May 9 2009

Bagels galore!

If there is one delight that has made Urban Agenda legendary to its customers, it’s our Bagels that the cafe turns out every day fresh from the oven. Virtually unheard of for a cafe to make their own bagels, Urban Agenda is starting to gain a solid reputation as a fierce competitor to many of Montreal’s finest bagel bakers.


Montreal is the bagel capital and at Urban Agenda we just love it when our customers buy our bagels by the bagfull to take home or as a tasty treat with coffee or even when we turn our bagels into bagel chips to accompany our soups.

Urban Agenda bagels can be ordered in the cafe throughout the day or can also be purchased to take home.


What are bagels and where did they come from?:


Contrary to common legend, the bagel was not created in the shape of a stirrup to commemorate the victory of Poland’s King Jan Sobieski over the Ottoman Turks in 1683. It was actually invented much earlier in Krakow, Poland, as a competitor to the obwarzanek, a lean bread of wheat flour designed for Lent. In the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, the bajgiel became a staple of the Polish national diet.

There was a tradition among many observant Jewish families to make bagels on Saturday evenings at the conclusion of the Sabbath. Due to Jewish Sabbath restrictions, they were not permitted to cook during the period of the Sabbath and, compared with other types of bread, bagels could be baked very quickly as soon as it ended.

That the name originated from beugal (old spelling of Bügel, meaning bail/bow or bale) is considered plausible by many, both from the similarities of the word and because traditional handmade bagels are not perfectly circular but rather slightly stirrup-shaped. (This, however, may be due to the way the boiled bagels are pressed together on the baking sheet before baking.) Also, variants of the word beugal are used in Yiddish and Austrian German to refer to a round loaf of bread (see Gugelhupf for an Austrian cake with a similar ring shape), or in southern German dialects (where beuge refers to a pile, e.g.: holzbeuge, or woodpile). According to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, ‘bagel’ derives from the transliteration of the Yiddish ‘beygl’, which came from the Middle High German ‘böugel’ or ring, which itself came from ‘bouc’ (ring) in Old High German, similar to the Old English ‘bēag’ ‘(ring), and ‘būgan’ (to bend or bow). Similarly another etymology in the Webster’s New World College Dictionary says that the Middle High German form was derived from the Austrian German ‘beugel’, a kind of croissant, and was similar to the German ‘bügel’, a stirrup or ring.

In the Brick Lane district and surrounding area of London, England, bagels, or as locally spelled “beigels” have been sold since the middle of the 19th century. They were often displayed in the windows of bakeries on vertical wooden dowels, up to a metre in length, on racks.

The bagel came into more general use throughout North America in the last quarter of the 20th century, at least partly due to the efforts of bagel baker Harry Lender and Florence Sender, who pioneered the frozen bagel in the 1960s.

In modern times Canadian-born astronaut Gregory Chamitoff brought the first known batch of bagels into space on his 2008 Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station.[8] His shipment was comprised of 18 sesame seed bagels.

May 5 2009

Cakes Extraordinaire!

Last weekend saw Urban Agenda’s custom cake making and decorating team put to the test when a customer requested a birthday cake, cup cakes, bagels and assorted pastries for a Saturday brunch party. Aside from making all the fresh pastries in the cafe that very morning, Freda and Sara came up with an absolutely breathtaking decorated cake complete with cupcakes to match!


Let’s just say a little 1 year old girl was very happy!


Over 6 hours was spent making the cakes, just look at the series of events below!


The base looks good enough to eat by itself!


Adding the icing.


Add decorations.


Baking the cupcakes.


Adding the finishing touches.


Decorating the cake.




The fabulous cake making team at Urban Agenda!


Mar 29 2009

Crazy About Cupcakes!

Here at Urban Agenda we have been benefiting from the delights of now having cupcakes in our regular sweet treat menu. There is nothing better than brightening up the counter top with such arrays of color and of course deliciousness!!

When asked why do they create such delectable cakes? Freda and Sara reply “We like to make the cupcakes to see the reactions on the customers face. It’s always nice to see their faces light up.”


Why are they called “cupcakes?” and why oh why in England are they called “fairy cakes?” Well after a little digging we found out the following educative information:

“In the early 19th century, there were two different uses for the name “cup cake” or “cupcake”. In previous centuries, before muffin tins were widely available, the cakes were often baked in individual pottery cups, ramekins, or molds and took their name from the cups they were baked in. This is the use of the name that has persisted, and the name of “cupcake” is now given to any small cake that is about the size of a teacup. The name “fairy cake” is a fanciful description of its size, which would be appropriate for a party of diminutive fairies to share.”

- source Wikipedia


- Colorful Easter cupcakes are vanilla cake with a butter cream icing.


- Carrot cake base with a butter cream icing and coconut. the decorations are little chocolate eggs and Hershey kisses.



- Valentines day cupcakes with vanilla cake and butter cream icing. The decorations are milk chococlate hearts, and sprinkles. The flower cupcake’s petals are juicy fruit gum.