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Best Cakes and Pastries in LA

I am looking for the best place to buy an amazing cake in LA. It's not that I don't care about price but I really want to what's the best. Best decorating, best cakes, best pastries... Id love to hear your suggestions!

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  1. I love the red velvet cake from Doughboys.

    1 Reply
    1. re: glutton

      I agree. I tried a bunch of bakeries last week (i'll post soon) and was pretty disappointed by the more expensive bakeries. Doughboy's was good.

    2. Wow - that place sounds really cool, and Ive never heard of it - thanks!

      1. Bluebird bakery in Culver City.
        Awesome cakes! Amandine on Wilshire has the best pasteries IMO.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SarahM

          yep, amadine has some pretty darn good tasting pastries.

        2. I love Rosebud on robertson-- beautiful and tasty- cakes/cupcakes-- wedding/birthday party style. very expensive.

          Petite Sara on Pico near crescent heights has delicious pastries/cheesecakes, etc

          Urth Cafe has amazing bake sale deals-- day old mini cheesecakes for a few dollars. i don't have any trouble with day old cheesecake.

          i had a TERRIBLE experience with Hansens getting cakes for my twin girls last October. I don't care if the cakes are free and delicious, I will never go back because they treated me so badly-- over $5.

          1. Love Amandine - store specializes in French pastries though - if that's what you're looking for in way of cakes. Reviews are split re: sweet lady jane - too sweet for some.
            Have had great cakes from Michel Richard (also French) on Robertson. They will actually make a birthday cake size napolean which is fantastic (albeit pricey.)

            1 Reply
            1. re: mrpullings

              Second Amandine. I had a pear filled white layer cake there that was delightful. Light, a little sweet, with perfect frosting. How often do you get frosting that's not cloying, and that you actually want to eat?

            2. I always ordered custom cakes from Caprice Fine French Pastries at 3213 Pico Boulevard Santa Monica, California 90405. (310) 453-1932 fax (310) 453-3553. The chef never disappointed me. I discuss it a bit under my 12/21 post "Stollen Baby" at www.passionaterations.com, which has a link, if you're interested.

              1. I had the greatest cake the other day; it was a green tea cake from Paris Baguette. The texture was marvelous and the taste divine. I've been thinking about that cake daily since.


                1 Reply
                1. re: Bon Vivant

                  I was in the Buena Park branch for the first time Saturday and the green tea cake slice did look amazing. Now that I know it tastes good too I will be giving it a try despite trying to stick to my diet.

                2. Natas has the best looking cakes/pastries i've seen here. Can't wait to try them.

                  1. I've had a couple of good Hansen's cakes, and everything from Viktor Benes' has always been good.

                    1. I might have more to say in a couple of months, but I just finished a round of wedding cake tasting - the Cakery Bakery in La Canada Flintridge, Porto's (Glendale), Bee's Knees (Pasadena), Violet's (Pasadena), plus Auntie Em's (just for fun). The results:

                      1. Auntie Em's red velvet cupcakes were truly amazing. I've also had their chocolate in the past, but it's just too rich for me (this wasn't a wedding cake contender, just a fun snack because we were there for breakfast).

                      1a. Cakery Bakery won our business. The cakes we tried were on par with Porto's, maybe a little more loose or crumbly, but with far superior buttercream frosting that won us over. We also tried a really excellent lemon cake. I'd return for a slice of that. The marble and red velvet were nice, too. The red velvet was more subtle, as I recall, than Auntie Em's.

                      3. Porto's - the cake itself was very good (cholocate cake). Neither too dense nor too crumbly, and perfectly balanced sweetness. The drawback was the so-called "buttercream" frosting pretty much tasted like whipped cream. I like a much thicker, heavier buttercream.

                      4. Violet's - tried several different flavors, all too sweet. It took me three attempts to finish one cupcake.

                      5. Bee's Knees - way too fussy for me. I don't like "stuff" in my cake. Frostings were too much like whipped cream.

                      1. I always go to Sweet Lady Jane for great cakes that everyone raves about, but I do agree they are very sweet. As for other baked goods and pastries, I just discovered City Bakery in Brentwood at the Country Mart. WOW! The best cookies, croissants and other yummie baked goods I have ever had. A total revelation. Perfection. Try the pretzel croissant and the bakers muffin which is really more like a perfectly textured and not too sweet cinnamon bun in a muffin shape. Also LOVED the gingerbread cookies stuffed with apple butter. And I've heard they make the worlds best chocolate chip cookies. A GREAT place for lunch too.

                        1. I'm always a fan of Chinese bakeries. They have fruit fillings and are less sweet. If you like a really sweet cake, don't go. Here are recs below:

                          1) Cathay Bakery in Arcadia on Duarte in Sinbala plaza (they have the coolest and most beautifully decorated cakes (one looked like a tea pot with tea cuts) and they are really tasty)

                          2) JJ's in Arcadia in Din Tai Fung plaza (this one is less fancy and not as nicely decorated but nonetheless delicious

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: WHills

                            I agree that JJ's has yummy cakes, but the last 2 times I went service was horrible. The girls behind the counter were so busy chatting about their personal lives that they made me feel like I was bothering them when I wanted to buy a cake. I know that most chinese places do not have wonderful service, but this was enought to keep me away from their cakes regardless of how delicious they are.

                            I'll stick with Cathay's.

                          2. Adelita's is fantastic for Tres Leches cake. It's on Pico, near Western (I believe).

                            1. The cakes at Jin Patisserie were really decadent. I received a whole chocolate cake for my birthday a while ago. It was very rich and flavorful. Not the kind of fluffy, airy cake that makes you want to go eat more, more, more. Rather, it's the kind of satisfying dessert that I like, where a small wedge of it will make you say, "Wow, that's fantastic. I'm done."

                              1. Try the Phoenix Bakery in Chinatown. They are famous for Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake but they make cakes for wedding and birthdays as well. And they are not overpriced as some of the bakeries mentioned on this board. Porto's also makes great cakes.

                                1. Huge help - thank you. I know have 23 new places to investigate and a head start as to where and why! Of course, I will continue to check in and see what more conversation has ensued!

                                  1. Any comments on the following? I found them on a 10 best in la list...

                                    1. Boule (boulela.com)
                                    2. Clementine (clementineonline.com)
                                    3. Delice Bakery
                                    4. Jin Patisserie (jinpatisserie.com)
                                    5. Sprinkles Cupcakes
                                    6. Susina Bakery

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: lokekini

                                      I've been to Susina, on Beverly at La Brea. They have some amazing and decadent chocolate concoctions...

                                      1. re: lokekini

                                        I tried Boule last week. Very good. Different. The canele, I think was delicious.
                                        I love Clementine. Everything is good.
                                        I picked up kosher cupaceks for my kids school at Delice. They looked good. I didn't taste them. I let the preschoolers have them.
                                        Jin patisserie has delicious pastries but they are tiny and fancy
                                        Sprinkles-- amazing mocha cupcakes
                                        Susina- yummy cakes

                                        1. re: lokekini

                                          I'd recommend Jin, Clementine, and Susina. Sprinkles...well, I'm not a fan of cupcakes, but others have liked their wares.

                                          Try Boule out for yourself, but I think it's a waste of money and time. I've had opportunities to try out quite a selection from their chocolaterie, patisserie, and-- when it existed--viennoiserie, and the overall impression I got was that none of the flavors could be differentiated. Everything tasted about the same, and that's a shame. That said, others on this board (and elsewhere...just flip through some magazines) love what Michelle Myers has established (and used to run).

                                          1. re: lokekini

                                            A friend brought me an assortment of pastries and chocolates from Boule, and I am hooked. Every chocolate was amazing, and I normally detest any type of fruit flavoring in chocolate. Coconut macaroons are the best I have ever had. I have not tried their cakes however, but go for the other gooey fantastic stuff!

                                            1. re: lokekini

                                              Sprinkles is consistently good (and now you can buy the mix at Williams Sonoma!) but Cake and Art Cupcakes are FAR better!! I'm a lemon fan and you can't beat it. I think they are in West Hollywood. TRUST ME! iThey are just more creative and mouth-watering. Sprinkles tends to get boring. Don't know about the other bakeries listed.

                                            2. Another vote for Susina, Jin, Clementine & Boule here; plus a mention for Perfectly Sweet in Alhambra -- their tres leches rocks my socks!


                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: AquaW

                                                and another vote for susina, and clementine. Also, Cake Walk in downtown is GREAT!!!! she is only open from 10-2pm. Mon. thur Fri. They have the best cakes i ever had!!

                                              2. Undoubtedly my favorite cakes have come from Hansens.

                                                I have never actually been the one dealing with them, so I can't comment on their service, I hope more people have had friendlier time in their.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Swoshmn

                                                  the cakes looked cute and tasted good but the service was truly rotten-- and they couldn't have cared less.

                                                2. Massimo's Delectables - lots of great cookies, pastries, cakes, and gelato. Anything chocolate, and the pear torte is great - don't miss the gelato!

                                                  R (Rockenwagner) or 3 Square - scones, muffins, various pastries, tortes, and pretzel dough-based yummies - the infamous diabolical bacon-cheddar twist!

                                                  Angel Maid - cakes that are light and not too sweet, and cream puffs.

                                                  Patisserie Chantilly - by far the best dessert bakery I have been to. Japanese/French desserts with a heavy emphasis on quality and presentation. The cream puffs are the big draw, but their other items are just as incredible. The Maccha green tea roll, Pomme Pomme Apple Tarte, Mango Mousse, Chestnut Mousse Monte Blanc, Chateau Chantilly, Passion Fruit Mousse, and the Caramel Macchiato are some of the amazing desserts they have in their case most of the time. Even their coffee is a lesson in perfection, right down to the fresh cream and two types of premium sugar cubes that come with it. If I were to pick one bakery to check out, this would be it.

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: bulavinaka

                                                    Watch out when ordering cake from Massimos. After purchasing a awesome wedding cake ( Almond flour with zabiglione cream , to die for ) from them 4 years ago, they have screwed up 2 subsiquent cake orders meaning the cake I received was not the one I specified , not once, but twice, . Of course when you pick up a cake, in a box, you don't know what it is until you cut and serve it. Then what can you do?
                                                    I have finally just stopped going there because his response to my very friendly complaints was so uncaring. I had been a customer since he first opened.
                                                    One mistake was ordered as a hazelnut flour cake with chocolate icing , which turned into a chocolate cake with hazelnut / chocolate icing. His response when I returned and told him what happened..."we don't make a hazelnut flour cake anymore" Well, that could have been explained when I ordered.
                                                    The last cake was chocolate requested to be JUST as displayed in the counter, with a simple chocolate icing. i though by making the order in person, and pointing to the desired cake, that I would resolve the problem. What I received was a about 5 lbs of rich sugary chocolate icing with a tiny layer of cake. The cake portion constituted about 20% of the total volume. This would have been great if only it had not been intended for people who prefer cake over frosting, ! PLEASE.
                                                    It is as if they no longer trust the quality of their baking and have to dress it up in sugar and chocolate...realy too bad, as their cakes , the Almond , and the beautiful deep green Pistachio, are wonderful on their own without the baroque frosting technique..

                                                    1. re: ciaolette

                                                      Sorry to hear that. We ordered the same thing you did - the chocolate cake - and that went without a hitch back in 2005 - that was the only cake I ever ordered there. Everything else I just buy out of the case on a whim... I'll bet Massimo has cut his ties - financial and emotional - with the bakery as he was bought out by Rainbow Acres. I mentioned this in another topic - thought it was a possible omen... Thanks for the heads-up.

                                                      1. re: ciaolette

                                                        Massimo has a sign in the window that they are part of Rainbow Acres, this would explain the change. Massimo ran a tight ship, Rainbow Acres hires people with little skills and teaches them, they do not care about the quality.

                                                        1. re: Burger Boy

                                                          A true shame... Massimo's had the potential to truly be one of the best in the Westside...

                                                          1. re: bulavinaka

                                                            Well that is why I am thankful for Rockenwagner and his new Three Square which was jumping yesterday!!


                                                            1. re: Dommy

                                                              Yes 3 Square is a pretty happening place right now... the cafe started out a little slow for the first couple of days - as one would expect - but word travels fast in this 'hood. They've picked up a serious head of steam now and if you're there for lunch, it's going to be a wait.

                                                              The baked goods are great - I consider this place to be my favorite grab-&-go stop, as I can get sweet or savory, with great choices... I went today and grabbed the chocolate nougat ring, the chocolate hazelnut triangle, and something new for them - devilsfood cupcake with chocolate frosting. Did I mention I was kinda yearning for cocoa? The cupcake was on the sweet side, but as one would expect, very chocolatey and would be perfect with a cuppa joe. As for the two other items - they mysteriously disappeared when my wife and kids came home. Hmmm - what's with the chocolate all over your face, sonny-boy?

                                                    2. I'm going to answer the pastries part of this, because I don't eat much cake.

                                                      What kind of pastries do you want?

                                                      Europane has fantastic European pastries -- they have (or had, I haven't been in a while) a fresh pear raft that would make your eyes float in a puddle of happy tears.

                                                      Porto's -- besides the one everyone loves (the refugio, which is a guava-cheese strudel), I'm here to say that if you get a chocolate croissant while it's still warm, it is heaven -- and messy! I also love their pineapple cheese danishes.

                                                      Dim Sum Express on Garfield in MPK -- daan taat (egg tarts) and, sometimes, if you're really lucky, they'll have lai wong baau (steamed egg custard buns).

                                                      Berolina Bakery -- get anything with almond filling in it.

                                                      Nata's in Sherman Oaks -- their natas are excellent, the "custard danish" with chocolate are incredible. And they might be the best-looking pastries in the city.

                                                      United Bakery on Flower St. in Burbank -- remember Martino's teacakes? Well, Martino's reopened on Victory different ownership and the teacakes at the "new" Martino's are disgusting -- but United Bakery bought the original recipe and they're true copies of the delicious original. Most unlikely place for a bakery in the history of history -- north of Alameda, in a disgusting warehouse section of Burbank.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                        I'm trying to search for United bakery on the web and not finding it. Do you have the address?

                                                        From what I can gather from Martino's web page and local Burbank newspapers. Martino's was bought by Campbell's Soup's Pepperidge Farm division in 1980.

                                                        In 1994 Campbell's decided to close them down, so the employees made a profit-sharing deal to buy out the bakery.

                                                        But in other articles, it states that Ammerio Corradi, who has been a partner with the Martino's since the 40s, opened the location on Olive, which is now on Victory.

                                                        I'm finding some conflicting information, so maybe you can help me out with more info?

                                                        1. re: EliseT

                                                          You're perfectly welcome to use my post in the teacake-war article -- there's no way to actually send a message, unfortunately.

                                                          United Bakery Inc.
                                                          727 S. Flower St.
                                                          Burbank, CA 91502

                                                          It's one block east and two blocks north of the 5/Alameda. Sorry -- I didn't see this in my list for two months, not sure if this helps any. :)

                                                        2. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                          I tried to send a message to you - I'm not sure if that's do-able on this site, or if I am awkward and clumsy. I wanted to refer to your post in my blog and wanted to get permission. I am deep in the trenches of the teacake wars.

                                                        3. I have to second patisserie chantilly. The desserts are excellent, and their cream puffs make Beard Papa's seem like safeway. There is another VERY good french/japanese dessert shop in the area around 182nd and western called BonJour in Gardena. Unforunately, no one goes to Lomita or Gardena unless they live here, so it really isnt worth a separate trip.

                                                          1. Lido Bakery in Manhattan Beach is a very good bakery. It is not a destination bakery by any means, but if you are within a 20 minute drive, it is worth the trip. I would go there and try a few cakes or see what they have, then CALL AHEAD and get one made fresh for you. If you dont get it made fresh or you cannot gauarantee that it is fresh fresh, I wouldnt recommend it. Also, they have the best chocolate crossiant in LA. It is certainly as good as Amandine most of the time. The almond crossiant at Amandine is MUCH better than Lido's though.

                                                            1. urge you to check out the paradise bakery in glendale on glenoaks. we've had cakes for several special occasions, and always a hit.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: justanotherpenguin

                                                                Yeah, I always rec Paradise, too. Decided not to this time, but actually, I do second this.


                                                              2. We just celebrated our daughter's fifth birthday and ordered a "Cinderella" cake from Angel Maid in Mar Vista. The chocolate cake with banana cream between the layers and their standard whipped frosting was a big hit as usual. Angel Maid has never failed us. They always do their cakes with a light touch. Lighter on sweetness, lighter frosting, and lighter cake. It's always tasty but not filling, which in my mind is appropriate, as many cakes are offered at the tail end of a meal. They are also known for their strawberry cakes, as well as their bite-size cream puffs sold in 16-count boxes. These are worth the trip alone. You really ought to drop by if you haven't tried them yet...

                                                                Angel Maid Bakery
                                                                4538 S. Centinela Ave.
                                                                Los Angeles (Mar Vista), CA 90066

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                  Italian Bakery: I bought a couple of nice last-minute cakes here, and some apple pastry for my SO, Mr. Picky. But what you really need to buy are the cookies. Superlative. I used to stockpile them before Xmas and bring some to Mom. (Of course, I sampled them first to make sure they were still good. Repeatedly.)

                                                                  Sweet Lady Janes: a nice lemon tart topped with an Everest of meringue. I could never bear to order anything else.

                                                                  Beverlywood Bakery: bought honey cake, cookies, and an apple strudel-type thing, other assorted goodies about once or twice a year. More "old-fashioned" in style, but still tasted like fresh pastry (instead of preservatives and fat, like most bakeries).

                                                                  Back Door in Silverlake has a demonically good espresso brownie.
                                                                  Panos in Glendale: Baklava.

                                                                  Porto's/Glendale: the guava cheese strudel, the danishes, the cheese puffs; the small dessert servings (tres leche cake, rum/pineapple/meringue cake, raspberry, etc.). I enjoy a whipped-cream style buttercream--less sweet--so found that a plus, especially for the fruit-filled cakes. Skip the brownies and cookies, nothing remarkable there. After standing in line, treat yourself to a cappucino and a deep-fried potato ball. As close to heaven as your mouth will get.

                                                                  I live in the Bay Area now. We eat pretty good, especially when it comes to Chinese food. But god, sometimes I really miss chowing down in LA. >Sigh<

                                                                  1. re: lkredhat

                                                                    Sweet Lady Jane knows how to work a lemon - I would venture to say that if you are bowing to her lemon tart with that incredible meringue (did the meringue have bits of candied lemon zest?), then you would be touched by just about all of her items that are graced with her ability to make lemons recite poetry...

                                                                2. Susie Cakes on San Vicente- The red velvet cake is amazing. Also sell cakes as small cupcakes. This is not fancy in decorating- but so delicious.

                                                                  1. Red Ribbon Bakeshop is where my family goes for cake whenever there's a gathering. Their cakes are irresistible. If you like light, semi-sweet cakes, try their delicious, very suave Mango Cake. There's little chunks of mango in the cream filling in-between layers of cake. A big hit at an office party once! And if you want super moist chocolate cake, try theirs. It's not always displayed at the counter but if you ask for it, they'll pull one out from the back. It's divine with cappucino or latte.

                                                                    And speaking of which, my delight is Red Ribbon's Mocha Roll. It's a very airy rolled cake with buttery coffee cream in the middle. It's on our table no matter what the occasion. There are other kinds of cakes there but these three are my favorite.


                                                                    1. Here are a list of my favorite cakes around the LA area:
                                                                      -Koreatown Bakeries for not too sweet / simple & cute cakes: Paris Baguette on
                                                                      Western for their greentea or sweet potato cakes (seasonal) / Bosco Cake Salon (located on 6th street inside the Chapman Center) for their Strawberry Dome cake and Tiramisu *midpriced
                                                                      -Jin Patisserie for great artistry & exotic taste *artsy fartsy
                                                                      -Clementine's for Banana Cream Pie/good selection of old American bakery nostalgia
                                                                      -Doughboys for Rich Thick Red Velvet Cake
                                                                      -Viktor Benes for their mini cheesecakes
                                                                      -Phoenix Bakery in Chinatown for their yummy & large strawberry or coffee cakes (good deal & great taste but decoration is standard *good for kids
                                                                      -Kings Hawaiian in the South Bay for their Rainbow Cake