Willow Bakery To-Go By Pastry Chef Kate Jansen

Willow packs its sweets for the road

It wasn't a stretch for Willow co-owner and pastry chef Kate Jansen to make her desserts more portable.

As founder of the Firehook Bakery chain, Jansen spent years baking for crowds that would line up to take home her classic confections.

Now, Jansen is once again packaging her nostalgic-leaning sweets–including cookies, layer cakes and cupcakes–for patrons to take home.

Almond Joy layer cake ($9) reimagines the sticky, crunchy sensation of the coconut-almond candy bar through thick, fudgy layers of praline, chocolate and coconut flakes. Jansen also adds her clever touch to the often overwrought cupcake: Pineapple upside-down cupcakes ($4) are marbled with chunks of the sweet Hawaiian fruit under caramel buttercream.

Those who cherished Jansen's meticulously iced cakes, delicate frosting flowers and thick European buttercream can order whole specialty cakes ($45 for an eight-inch cake) with 72 hours' notice.

For a more casual snack, shortbread, seasonal biscotti and cookies come four to a package ($6). Heady with cinnamon, Sweet Dream cookies are rolled in powdered sugar before baking to crisp them, while cherries and chocolate chunks sweeten chewy oatmeal cookies. French macarons and fruit tarts will join the lineup when the program makes its official debut in a few weeks.

Let the lines form now.

Willow, 4301 N. Fairfax Dr., Arlington; 703-465-8800 or willowva.com