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Dec 3, 2003 04:58 PM

Best birthday cake?

  • r

Can someone recommend the best place to order a birthday cake?

I don't mind Just Desserts, though I know there's many better places. Would prefer that they're somewhere in the Mission/Castro/Potrero area, as opposed to going to Tart to Tart in the Sunset.


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  1. I got a tip from this board for Jolt N Bolt Bakery on 3rd street near 20th street or so. Order one to two days in advance. It is a bit hard to find because it's on the first floor of an industrial-looking building with no sign on the outside. But the cake (strawberry) was REALLY good. Very light, not too sweet. (I don't like the heavy, sweet ones). Search for address.

    I've also had a chocolate birthday cake from a bakery in Noe Valley that I thought was great, but I didn't order it myself so I don't remember the name (Noe Valley Bakery, maybe?). This one was a bit heavier and sweeter because of the chocolate.

    Another idea would be Tartine, but I would guess they are expensive.

    1. My favorite birthday cake ever was a princess cake from Patisserie Delanghe on Fillmore. Not quite the area you mention, but not that far.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Windy

        Yes! Got the same cake a few years back for my sister, visiting from out of town, a real crowd-pleaser. If it's for a birthday they'll ice it accordingly.

      2. i must confess, for birthday cakes i just prefer a sheet cake from Safeway or Albertson's. anything fancier doesn't seem like a birthday cake to me. plus, i like how they go heavy on the frosting.

        1. For a bit of a non-traditional cake, you might want to try a Chinese cake, which is a light & fluffy white cake with various fruit inside (strawberries, peaches, kiwis are common, though you can request the filling you want), covered by a light frosting. I buy them all the time from Sheng Kee, which has locations throughout the Bay Area. You can order one the day ahead, or choose a pre-made one when you go. Yes, they'll write "Happy Birthday Whoever" if you ask. Although I like cakes, many have overly-sweet frosting and dull filling. I love the Chinese cakes for birthday parties since they're light, delicious, and a welcome difference from the standard birthday cake.

          Sheng Kee has many other interesting cakes as well that can also be used for birthdays. Try them out!


          4 Replies
          1. re: PekoePeony

            I second Sheng Kee

            inexpensive and very good, and light too. I love their mango mousse or green tea mousse with red bean. cant beat the price and they always have it in stock.

            I like citizen cake too but its kinda pricey

            1. re: gab

              Citizen Cake is expensive but has, without a doubt, the best cake I've ever put in my mouth. You definitely get your money's worth on the density side with their chocolate cakes, they are truly heavy. If I were to get married tomorrow, that's where I'd get my cake from.

              1. re: cc
                Stanley Stephan

                Unless they have changed, Citizen Cake does not do traditional birthday cakes. They do fancy dancy cakes and will write happy birthday on top, but if you are looking for a Just Dessert classic birthday type cake, this ain't the place.

                There is Creighton's on top of twin peaks. They changed ownership last year and the quality seems to be improving, but I haven't had one of their birthday cakes since the ownership change.

                I've heard good things about cakeworks on York Street in Potrero Hill, but never made it to their place. They will do birthday cakes.


            2. re: PekoePeony

              I totally agree: Sheung Kee give you the best looking and tasting cake for the price you paid. I like their Cheesecake and Fruit Tart.

              BTW, although it's a Chinese bakery, there's nothing chinese about the cake. Sheung Kee belongs to what we called "Western Style Bakery" in the Chinese bakery universe.

            3. The very best I've every had was a St. Honore cake from

              Dianda's Italian Amer Pastry at 2883 Mission St
              San Francisco, CA

              3 Replies
              1. re: jog

                Dianda's St. Honore gets my vote too - might not be the most sophisticated or "in" choice but they are delicious and always make a big hit at our family parties...

                1. re: RWCFoodie

                  I love Dianda's St. Honore cakes!!! When I lived in SF I used to get them for my B'day all the time. In fact, does anyone have a recipe??? I wanted to make one for X-Mas.

                  PLease forward to if you have one.


                  1. re: Rebeca

                    Did you ever get a St. Honore cake recipe? I'm looking for that same one now.