As Featured in Smudge Eats
When the wafting smell of brownies assaults your senses as you walk in the front door, you know there is something good inside.
And in Simone Clark’s kitchen, something good would be an understatement. Simone is the one to thank for delicious Butterbings – moreish brownie sandwiches that have customers on a goose chase around Melbourne hunting down new flavours each week.
The discovery of Butterbings originates from humble beginnings. Simone’s boyfriend worked in a local Melbourne café, North Carlton Canteen, and was on the hunt for someone to provide baked goods to line their shelves. Simone worked as a graphic designer, with no formal training in the food industry when she discovered her passion for baking and started to make slices and cakes to stand tall on the front line alongside her now infamous Butterbings.
Hands were quick to grab the cookie sandwiches, and Simone kissed goodbye to the cakes and focused solely on her Butterbings. And Melbourne is thanking her with each sweet bite. The remnants of crumbly cookies are not the only thing on Melbourne’s’ lips.
The name Butterbing is now very well known and Simone used her fridge as a whiteboard, covering it in possible names before landing on the jackpot, it’s baking related and it embodies the fun the gang have making them. And it’s unique, if you type Butterbing into Google, her website is the first thing that comes up.
If you haven’t already had the privilege of tasting one, Butterbings are two dark chocolate brownies, glued together with delicious lashings of thick buttercream. But not just any old buttercream; the flavours change each week. And the chase to taste each flavour has gained a cult following, as Melburnians all across the city hike to find their favourite tantalising flavour.
The crew make about 6,000 each week. Let us repeat, 6,000! And with a new oven ready to be installed, the capacity is about to double, so the only limit on how many Butterbings you can eat is the size of your stomach.
Each cookie is lovingly hand made, and it’s the love that is poured into each Butterbing that sets it apart from other cookie sandwiches. The flavour you’re tasting is nothing but natural. The crew use local free-range eggs and natural ingredients to create flavours that cut through the richness of the chocolate brownie.
When you bite into a Butterbing, note that the buttercream doesn’t ooze everywhere and the brownie doesn’t fall to pieces. It’s the perfect amount of chewiness to crunch, the perfect level of creaminess to thickness, and the perfect size to fill your palm. The recipe hasn’t been perfected, and has to be adjusted depending on the temperature. They need to taste good, look good, and be durable for transit, so the recipe adapts to meet these three criteria.
Speaking of delivery, if you’re lucky enough to be in inner city Melbourne, you can place an order online, and one of the lovely couriers from Cargone Bike Couriers will hand deliver your cookies to you, on their bike and all.
And once you grab it you won’t want to let it go. It’s this emotional attachment to Butterbings that has created its loyal following. Simone has also developed emotional attachment to certain flavours and finds it hard to say goodbye to some of her rotating favourites. But you can always rely on Peanut Butter and Salted Caramel to line the shelf of your nearest cafe. They are the two most popular, and the kitchen churns out 25 litres of salted caramel each week to keep up with Melbourne’s demand for a tang of salty and a mouthful of sweet.
Rotating flavours include choc orange, lamington, espresso, coconut, hazelnut and mint and choc chip. With requests in the pipeline for weird and whacky flavours like maple bacon, customers are kept on their toes; not knowing what flavour will be churned out of the Butterbing kitchen next.
And the future is set to hold something chocolatety and sweet. There is no sign of Butterbings departing our shores. They’ve even started making Butterbooms; a gigantic cookie sandwich that is 1.5kg and 24cm. Simply choose your buttercream flavour and wow your friends at your next birthday party.
Simone has plans to open a pop-up inside a stockist, where customers can beeline to Butterbing to find all the flavours. So you won’t have to curb your chocolate infused cravings any time soon, phewf.