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Jun 13, 2005 12:16 PM

Best princess cake in SF?

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My friend got me hooked on princess cakes when we celebrated our birthdays together last month. Can't say I'm angry at him, but now I'm on a hunt for them.

The one he bought was from Copenhagen in Burlingame, and I just tried one this weekend at Schubert's. Both are great. I think the Schubert's one was a little more intricately constructed: a crustier bottom layer, more layers of cake/cream/jam, and a good dose of rum in the whipped cream. The Copenhagen one had the edge for looks, IMO: its dome was perfectly round, whereas Schubert's looks like a cross between a dome and a round cake.

My question: what other bakeries in SF make great princess cake, whole and by the slice? One in the downtown area would be great, so I can get my quick fix whenever. TIA!

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  1. Delanghe on Fillmore and Pine has Princess Cake.

    I had the Copenhagen version a week ago and really enjoyed it, especially given that I find a lot of their stuff mediocre (but very pretty to look at).

    1. A bit south but the Cakery on Burlingame Ave makes the best princess cake. It is a few doors down from Copenhagen. Overall, I think the Cakery is a better bakery anyway...less heavy. They're closed on Sundays, which is a bummer.

      1. I'm a princess cake fanatic and try it wherever I see it offered. My *absolute* favorite is from Victoria Pastry in North Beach. (There's also another branch in Greenbrae.) Victoria sells this treat both by the slice and whole. Although the lone slice is quite satisfying, for some inexplicable reason it tastes better to me from the whole cake.

        A princess cake tour of San Francisco is on my list of "important" tasks to complete. I'm told that Ambrosia Bakery (on Ocean, off 19th Ave) makes a nice princess cake as well. Enjoy, and please report back on your findings!

        P.S. Does anyone know the origin of princess cake and why it's traditionally green? I've tried searching for this information without success...


        9 Replies
        1. re: ume

          Here's an old thread with a reply from someone's who is equally passionate. I hear that the bakery in Danville has changed hands. If you decide to expand your search outside SF, many believe that a place in San Jose makes the best around.


          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Thanks for the references to more princess cake info, Melanie. Just wanted to note that I have had the pleasure of sampling a princess cake from Bijan Bakery and still prefer Victoria's. I don't know if the Victoria version qualifies as a traditional Swedish version (especially since it's known as an Italian bakery), but I found the consistency of the cake and custard more to my liking. Bijan makes a lighter version, so it may boil down to personal preference.

            However, I do appreciate that Bijan offers more options in cake sizes and colors. If I recall correctly, I saw princess cakes offered in lavender, pink, and orange in addition to the traditional green.

            1. re: ume

              Your question had me wondering about the Princess Cake origin. If anyplace could come up with an answer it has to be Chowhound.

              Other Bay Area Princess Cake places:

              The Swedish Bakery in Tibueron. They also have a low fat version which should be ignored

              The Prolific Oven in Palo Alto

              Hofffman Bakery Santa Cruz

              The Junket in El Cerrito. They don't actually make it, but they sell it by the slice. Looks slightly differnt, a darker green. Even though they don't make anything, what they sell is top of the line. I need to ask them where the cake comes from.

              I saw online that IKEA sells it. Don't know if that is only at the stores in Sweden. Someone said they were not too impressed.


              1. re: rworange

                I've seen it at Boniere Bakery in Alameda (although in a non-traditional flat-topped version).

                Princess cake always generates passionate discussion on this board. People who like it, really like it.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  I was just wondering the other day about Boniere. Do you still like it? Anythng new and great?

                  1. re: rworange

                    I still like it a lot.

                    I can never resist a biscuit when I go there (how many bakeries sell good biscuits these days?), and I had a piece of cake there that, if I didn't hate when people say "to die for" I'd say was "to die for."

                    My sister got my BIL's birthday cake there, and she was very pleased. They did a nice job on the custom decoration she wanted, too.

                    The cafe items (salads and sandwiches, etc.) are good, too. If I were a lady who lunched in Alameda I'd be a regular.

                    Plus I think the prices are very reasonable for the quality (or maybe I've just spent too much time at the Ferry Building).

                    There was a nice piece on the Boniere in the East Bay Express a while back (linked below). Note that my family owned the Boniere for a while (from when it was a German bakery -- my great-grandfather was a baker from Germany). They were the ones who changed the name to Boniere during WWII because of anti-German sentiment.

                    However, my family hasn't owned it for decades and I have no relationship with the current owners.


              2. re: ume

                As a lover of Marzipan in every form I've met, I'm going to have to do some princess cake tastings!

                I have to add that Victoria bakery doesn't just do Italian; their website also mentions French and American cuisines.

                I personally have had their St. Honore a few times, and it's always wonderful. One of my friends has had Victoria's version for every birthday for as long as he can remember.

                1. re: Steve G

                  I have really wanted to try Victoria Pastry's St. Honore cake for the longest time, but they don't sell slices -- only whole cakes. Perhaps I need to invite a group of friends over for dinner as an excuse to buy and serve the St. Honore for dessert!

                  All these wonderful tips have inspired me to finally coordinate a princess cake crawl/tasting in San Francisco. Since most places which offer princess cake close around 6pm on weekdays, I'll likely make the rounds during an upcoming weekend. Anyone interested in joining me? Both princess cake aficionados and newbies are welcome -- enthusiasm and a substantial capacity for princess cake are all that you need. Just drop me an e-mail if you're interested!

                2. re: ume

                  I would love to hear more about your findings --- please, go for it!