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Lower Peninsula/South Bay Cakes and Pastries

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What are some good bakeries between Palo Alto and San Jose that have good, really dense and rich cakes and/or pastries? I rarely buy whole cakes, but now that I have an occasion to do so I want to get something really sweet and decadent. I like a degree of chewiness with my cakes, rather than have them just dissolve in my mouth (like many of the Asian-style sponge cakes with whipped cream or light mousses do) so extra points for use of fondant, marzipan, nut pastes, or thick frostings. To give you an idea of my tastes, I love dense, honey drenched baklava and I've gotten the Prolific Oven's princess cake (mostly for the marzipan) a number of times, but I'd like to try something a little different. La Patisserie in Cupertino has gotten some good press on the board and I noticed that they offer a princess cake with marzipan or fondant so I'm thinking that if I don't find anything that interests me I'll see if I can order a princess cake with marzipan AND fondant from them.

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  1. Bijan Bakery makes a wonderful Princess Cake. I drive an extra hour there and back, instead of settling for the versions at Copenhagen and the Cakery in Burlingame.

    Bijan is in the mall that has a Lion Supermarket, just off the east side of Fwy 280 Saratoga Avenue exit.

    If you like baklava, you may enjoy some of their really sweet Middle Eastern desserts, including faloodeh, and a wonderful Persian ice cream with saffron, pistachios, and rose water.

    3 Replies
    1. re: pilinut

      I agree with the poster about Bijan Bakery. They make lovely cakes, esp their princess cakes. They usually offer it in a green or magenta/pink color fondant with orchids on top.

      You can also buy a slice of Princess Cake at Bijan to try it out before you make your order.

      I can tell you that La Patisserie in Cupertino has wonderful cakes (I've tried the mocha and the lovely neopolitan, both very good.)

      1. re: pilinut

        Do you think you could elaborate on what distinguishes Bijan's princess cake from other bakeries' princess cakes?

        1. re: Humbucker

          I think Bijan's is the best because of its overall balance, the way the textures all work together. The marzipan is just the right thickness and sweetness to go with the very light, tender cake, and the whipped cream and custard fillings are have similar consistencies. . . There's just enough raspberry jam to spark up the cake. Its elegance merits the name "Princess". Schubert's (on Clement St. in SF) is my second choice for Princess cake, but the Burlingame ones just seem rather common in comparison.

      2. If you like Prolific Oven (which I don't), you might not like my choices, but in the South Bay the best French bakery is Fleur de Cocoa, and the best American is "Icing on the Cake"
        - both in Los Gatos. They do not do Pricess Cakes, and they are expensive, but top quality.

        1. We had such cravings for cakes one afternoon and we were quenched by Palo Alto Baking Company on California Ave. in Palo Alto. We had the espresso cake and baked custard. Both were finely made. The baked custard wasn't as sweet as I imagined, just right for me :)