Cal's Bakeshop

Cal’s Bakeshop has a menu of baked goods including conchas and doughnuts.

Fridays are the best.

Sure, it marks the end of the work week for many. But mostly importantly, Fridays are when the glass cases at places like Tucson Coffee Cricket and Stacks Book Club are restocked with fluffy, chewy doughnuts.

These aren’t just any plain old doughnuts, they’re Cal’s Bakeshop doughnuts.

Every Friday morning, you can count on seeing his creations on full display, rolled in sugar, covered in chocolate or filled with flavors like strawberry horchata and dulce de ube. Cal’s Bakeshop makes the end of a week’s work so much sweeter.

One of the doughnut flavors from Cal's Bakeshop in 2023 was dulce de ube.

For three years, Caleb Orellana’s pastries have taken the town by storm. From Kouign-amann to chocolate-dipped conchas, Orellana’s treats have customers driving all over town to get a taste of whatever flavor he comes up with next.

Wanting to become a cook, Orellana enrolled in culinary school in 2016 and graduated three years later, moving to San Francisco for an advanced culinary program. He was working and going to school every day when he got to take baking and pastry classes.

Orellana likes to push himself out of his comfort zone — so he decided to take a chance at baking. He quit his job as a cook and moved to a bakery.

“It was a lot different than cooking and I ended up really enjoying it,” Orellana said.

Due to the pandemic, the bakery where Orellana was working closed down. Luckily, a chef from his culinary school called him, letting him know that they had an open position for him. Soon, Orellana was making fresh bread from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m., sharpening his baking skills along the way.

When living in San Francisco became too expensive, Orellana decided to move back to Tucson in 2021 and started applying for cooking and baking jobs. No one seemed to be hiring or looking for new talent, so Orellana’s best friend pushed him to take matters into his own hands and start a venture of his own.

His friend even drew up a logo for him, depicting Orellana as a cartoon holding up an iced doughnut.

“I came back and Tucson was completely different than when I left,” Orellana said. “I wanted to do something different as well. So I was like, oh, I'm going to do these doughnuts that I don't really see here.”

He began making brioche doughnuts in his kitchen and selling them on his social media pages. Soon, his baked goods blew up, with more and more interested customers wanting to taste his creative flavors.

Now Cal’s Bakeshop can be found at various local businesses, including Tucson Coffee Cricket, 5151 E. Broadway; Stacks Book Club, 1880 E. Tangerine RoadCuppa Gogo, 4877 E. Speedway; and Buendia Café, 2530 N. First Ave.

“I never really would have thought that it would become such a success to the point where I can make it my full-time job,” Orellana said. “It's amazing to see how well everyone accepts me, my page and the pastries that I make.”

Orellana’s day starts at 2 a.m., getting up bright and early to turn on all his ovens and get everything heated. To ensure all his goodies are fresh, he bakes everything the morning of his deliveries. That means everything needs to be packed and ready to go by 5 a.m., then he’s off to deliver his pastries.

He’s able to take a little break, but he’s back in the kitchen prepping for the next day, aiming to be in bed by 4 p.m. to do it all over again.

By the end of each week, he has made around five dozen doughnuts and 80-100 conchas and Kouign-amanns. He’s created everything from oreo conchas with a creamy ube filling to cinnamon roll Kouign-amann that are lined with cinnamon and cocoa powder.

While his other baked goods are offered Monday-Friday at Stacks Book Club and Tucson Coffee Cricket, his doughnuts are only available on Fridays, making them even more special.

And these aren’t your average chocolate-sprinkle doughnuts. One bite and you're met with a fluffy, chewy texture that is filled with creative flavors that change every single month, from blueberry yogurt to vanilla caramel crème brulee.

To craft his delicious doughnuts, Orellana makes the dough which has to be proofed, the process where the dough rises, three times. After letting the dough proof twice, Orellana puts it in the fridge and doesn’t take it out until 11 p.m. Then, he hand-rolls each doughnut and they are ready for their final proof.

He then fries them and depending on the flavor, he rolls them in sugar or dips them in chocolate. They are then filled and packed up, ready to be served to customers.

In addition to his brioche doughnuts, he also makes cronuts. A cronut is a combination between a croissant and a doughnut. Instead of being baked, the croissant dough is fried and shaped like a doughnut, which allows it to get crispy while still maintaining the layers seen in a typical croissant.

The key to his doughnuts is patience, making sure everything gets enough time to really develop all the flavors.

“It's not about the perfect circle, or like the perfect-looking doughnut. It's just all about the taste,” Orellana said. “To get that taste, you have to go through the whole day process that I do for my doughnuts.”

To celebrate National Donut Day on Friday, June 7, Orellana is making doughnuts inspired by chocolate bars. Reese’s, Snickers and Almond Joy bars will be turned into tasty doughnuts, incorporating the peanut butter and coconut flavors from each bar.

Orellana’s particularly excited for the Snickers one, saying it’s something he has never made before. It’s going to feature a chocolate pastry cream that’s combined with chocolate oat milk. He also made a caramel sauce that’s mixed with peanuts to really capture the caramel-peanut flavor that Snickers are known for.

“I’m really excited because I was able to get that flavor down,” Orellana said.

From creating new treats for his menu to continuing to serve up dreamy doughnuts, Orellana is happy to serve the Tucson community, making our Friday mornings delicious.

Visit Cal's Bakeshop's Instagram page for more information on his schedule and monthly flavors.  

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Jamie Donnelly is the food writer for #ThisIsTucson. Contact her via e-mail at