Smeterling: Recoleta’s Sweetest Gem

The Buenos Aires sweets scene just doesn’t really do it for me. Always a bit dry and heavy-handed on the dulce de leche, it’s never been too hard to pass on postre and just say no… Until I visited Smeterling, a modern boutique bakery wonderland, created by and for lovers of the art of pastry. One of the best sweet experiences I’ve had in this city, Smeterling will hook even the savoriest of salado eaters into an absolute goloso.

It’s hard to pass by Smeterling and not eye F the window. The sensual display of sweets just stare at you, luring you in with their sexual chocolate.  Inviting a gorda into a delectable pastelería is quite the dangerous move, especially into a sleek shop that combines design with high-end pastries: cakes and mini cakes, cookies, macarons, alfajors, whoopie cookies, cake pops, cheesecakes, mousses, and one of a kind specialities you’ll only find at Smeterling.

A rising star in the BA sweet scene, owner and pastry goddess Isabel Vermal is actually new to the professional pastry chef world. Always a lover of baking, she studied Industrial Design and worked for years as a big shot at major technology companies. So, it was only natural that she ditch the tech thing and enter the land of sweets. Toward the end of 2010 she opened Smeterling (which means butterfly in German) in order to bring a high-end patisserie to the neighborhood. And boy, did she deliver.

Colorful macarons displayed in great glass jars.

My favorite of the day, maybe my favorite of my life? LA SMETERLING. It’s like an angel put a bunch of rich, chocolate happiness in a mixer, dipped it in more chocolate, and out came this mini cake nirvana. It has a biscuit-like cookie base, insides are filled with chocolate mousse, insides of that are filled with white chocolate, and the whole thing is covered with a chocolate shell. Yeah, your muffin just grew two tops bigger after reading the description. This mini cake doesn’t come cheap, but it’s obvious the ingredients are first class, and the taste is seriously unreal, that it’s worth it to spend a few extra pesos.

This coconut cake is one of a kind – I’ve never seen, nor tasted, anything like this white bosomy mound of royal cakeness.

And the frosting-ness insides.

15 pesos for a cupcake might be steep, is any cupcake worth that much? I don’t know because I didn’t try them, but they sure do look pretty.

These strawberries look pretty too.

Unlike other bakeries in the neighborhood, Smeterling makes most of their products to go – there is a small two person table plus a bar to sit, but it’s not the type of café you’d go to meet up with friends. It’s more of the type of place for real dulce admirers, grab a seat at the bar, sip on Illy coffee or Twinnings tea, and watch the pastry chefs hard at work in the open kitchen.

In addition to creating all the edible goodies, this gourmet cooking shop also sells other products like cook books, kitchen utensils and baking accessories.

Full of innovation, Isabel is always in the kitchen, testing out new recipes and planning out Smeterling’s menu months in advance. I even got a sneak peek of her Mother’s Day project: German springerle cookies. Delicate and feminine, these cameo-esque cookies are rolled out and embroidered with beautifully designed molds. And they taste great too. I also got to see some of the cakes they make for special occasions, like this Louis Vuitton inspired purse-cake and the Jimmy Choo shoe-cake – 100% EATable.

Smeterling Patisserie & Boutique
Uruguay 1308
Tel. 5294-6070
Mon – Sat 10am – 8pm
Sun 11am – 8pm




  1. It's just me says

    I went there after reading your article here; it must have been an off day for them. I had a cake with a chocolate covered coffee flavored mouse … there was a liquor that was supposed to be a mild accent taste. It could not have been worse. I was with a group of 6 and after tasting it, I made each person also take a bite. I couldn’t get anyone to eat it.
    The designs of her desserts are beautiful though! Looking at them from outside the window – it does look really amazing.
    But other than looks …. I can’t say it a “must see” or must taste. Sorry. However, you were absolutely right about the steaks along the river – YUM!

    • says

      What a bummer! And so strange, I’ve only heard positive things from others about Smeterling. I don’t like sweets, and am super picky, and the cake I had (The Smeterling) was fantastic.

  2. Alvaro says

    Those cakes are like the best!!!
    You gotta buy the ready-to-make cupcake box sets! the flour mix is really good, and the muffin you get from it are so delicious!!!


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