I got into the thread on dessert way down this page, and thought it might be easier to move it into it's own space--especially since, like Ruth, I love a good Princess Cake, and marzipan. I'd have a tough time if I had to choose between Stella's Sacripantina and Bijan's Princess Cake.
My mom (who normally hates marzipan) fell in love with the Princess Cake a friend brought from Bijan Bakery, a Perian-owned pastry shop in San Jose. At her instigation, we tried the Princess cakes at both Copenhagen and The Cakery on Burlingame Avenue (instead of lunch). They were both decent, but not nearly as good as Bijan's. So we immediately drove down Hwy280 20 miles or so to get a whole Bijan Princess Cake. Bijan's is particularly good because the texture and thickness of each of the various components, i.e., marzipan, spongecake, custard cream, whipped cream, and raspberry jam, is so well-balanced and complementary to all the other elements. Slices beautifully, too.
Bijan Bakery, tel. (408)2474888, is on Saratoga Avenue in San Jose, in a strip mall just off the exit, on the east side of 280. Another good thing are the Iranian roasted pistachios.
Bijan's Princess Cake is one of the best things in the whole world. I have heard that Marjolaine's in Saratoga has good Princess Cake also, but I've never tried it. The downside to Bijan's is that the owners and the employees are not particularly welcoming. Bijan makes fabulous wedding cakes, but a friend who went there on my suggestion was treated in a very off-hand manner. And I've not been terribly impressed with the reception at the counter either. But marzipan is one of my weaknesses, and the Princess Cake is sufficiently compelling for me to ignore the problem.
I discovered Princess cake recently and it's been my downfall.
Located in San Francisco (no long drive to San Jose), Shubert's Bakery, Clement & 6th, calls their Princess cake, "Swedish Princess Cake", and is the m-o-s-t delectable source of weight gain imaginable.
They make the cake in two sizes but buyer beware. If your household is 2+ people, get the large to insure you get a taste. The staff said the cake can be frozen but it's never around my house longer than a day and a half.
Had I exercised self-control and frozen a slice or two, I could be drooling on my way to the fridge right now...
re: Caryl Aaron
Oh YESS, yes, Yes!! Schuberts is the BEST. I miss living in SF so I can go there. sigh. I once ordered a LARGE princess cake for my sister's birthday, not the round one, but the SHEET cake and schlepped it up to Grass Valley in a cooler with dry ice. Why, because it is WORTH it, believe me. The cake disappeared, and the staff even came out to thank us for saving them a few pieces,(we had a huge rowdy bunch, and they were very patient with us, so we gave them some cake, it was only fair!) and everyone wanted to know what it was. This was YEARS ago and people STILL ask me, "what was that great cake you had at ***'s birthday party?"
Just wanted to chime in, very fond memories of Schuberts...