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Cake in Vancouver

I am a big fan of cake, and while I know where to go out for lovely desserts, I can never think of a good bakery in this city to buy a cake from. All that comes to mind are Chinese bakeries (which, while delicious, I'd rather stick to getting pork buns from) and the really cheap kinds of bakeries that mostly sell danishes and edible-oil-filled long johns.

Lots of good chocolate shops, no good cake shops that I know of. Any recommendations?

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  1. Try Senses in the Crowne Plaza hotel downtown, they make beautiful and delicious individual little cakes, and sublime chocolates.

    1. Are you looking for somewhere to just stop in or would you order one in advance?

      1. GANACHE - in Yaletown. Outstanding cakes & pastries.


        1. Try Liberty Bakery at Main and 21st......

          1. Trafalgar's Sweet Obsession at 16th & Trafalgar

            1. The Cupcake Shop! on Denman

              1. Sweetie's in Kerrisdale... but it's wise to go early or order in advance.

                1 Reply
                1. re: meganw

                  I second Sweetie's, and agree that Liberty is nothing great. They focus more in baked goods versus cakey confections, and their stuff tends to be dry. It's better for lunch than bakery.

                2. Oh no, I hate Liberty Bakery. I used to work across the street, and it was the closest lunch/coffee option on our way-too-short 30 min lunch breaks. The service was agonizingly slow, it's cash only, I never found the food too special, and the service...is...AGONIZINGLY...slow. (Yes, worth repeating.)

                  Thanks all. I also heard that Goldilocks, a Filipino bakery on W Broadway, has amazing cakes.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: lotuskitty

                    Yup - I agree with you about the agonizingly slow service at Liberty (perhaps trying to compete with the Naam in this category? dunno...) but their cakes are great! You can preorder and get exactly what you want...he is very accomodating (as long as you are not in a hurry)

                  2. Fratelli Bakery on Commercial and 2nd has fantastic cakes and tarts. Their tarts are German dough (like shortbread) filled with nuts and fruit. To die.

                    1. Notte's Bon Ton is one of the oldest bakeries in Vancouver, and famous for its traditional, delicious buttercream diplomat cakes (I prefer the 'Religious' version, without alcohol, just layers of cake, buttercream, and crispy pastry). Le Beau is a Belgian bakery that makes a wonderful Carmelita cake (haven't had it for a long time, so hope they still make it). Capers makes the best old-fashioned chocolate cake, best cupcakes, and lots of their baking includes organic ingredients. La Petite France makes the most authentically French croissants in town (I used to love their Chausson aux pommes, but I think they stopped making these), and Trafalgars makes a tasty galette (pear?). All of these places are quality bakers, using only 'real' ingredients, sooo good!

                      1. Of all the bakeries and/or patisseries that I have tried in Vancouver over the years there are only 3 that I can recommend...each for a specific reasons:

                        1. Maxim's Bakery in Richmond Center, Richmond, BC
                        Chinese....v. good sponge/fruit cakes + assortment of other Chinese sweets and BBQ buns...reasonable prices.

                        2. Patisserie Bordeaux, 3675 10th Avenue West, Vancouver, (604) 731-6551: French...never had a "bad" experience...top ingredients...v. French....expensive but well woth it....

                        3. Polonia Bakery, 2436 E Hastings, Vancouver, BC, (604) 253-2400
                        Polish...deli on one side...bakery on the other...v. good Polish jelly donuts (v. often sell out)...."old school" poppy seed / cheese cakes (that is "heavy")...v. good breads...reasonable prices...

                        1. Diplomat Bakery on Moncton Street and No 1 Road in Richmond is one of the best places I've found for cakes. Ganache on Homer Street north of Drake is more elaborate. Try their Sechuan peppercorn chocolate pyramids!

                          1. I totally relate to this nonesense about no interesting cake shops in this city. When I thought I moved to the food awareness capital of canada....I realised that, in terms of dessert, most of what there is to find is so traditional.
                            I might be your solution to great cakes. I bake from home, and I just began a little biz here. i love to bake a variety of kinds including simple classic baking, and French pastries but i specialise in vegan, raw desserts. I like to use completely natural and fresh ingredients. makes all the difference.

                            1. To add to the list of shops already on this thread:

                              Thomas Haas in North Van
                              Sweet Obsession in Kits
                              Mozart in Langley
                              La Baguette and L'Echalote at Granville Island
                              Pacific Culinary Institute at Granville Island
                              Butter Bakery in Dunbar

                              Sen5es is gone (Thomas Haas was their exec chef)

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: fmed

                                I recently compiled a list of Vancouver cake shops for a friend whose husband was turning 40; I've only included the ones I would personally recommend, and of course it depends what kind of cake one is after:

                                Of the places already mentioned upthread, I concur with Thomas Haas, Sweet Obsession (got my wedding cake there -- mmm, lemon curd and butter cream!) PICA on GIsle, Butter Bakery, Liberty (wonder if they still have the Princess Cake?), Fratelli, Notte's (Diplomat Cake, religious version or regular, oh yea), Sweet E's, choc cake at Capers but again it depends what kind of cake rings your bells.

                                One other place to consider might be Pastry Club 2430 West 41st (604) 264-8741
                                Mum and Dad go here a lot; I’ve been twice and found their desserts to be excellent. The woman who owns it is super nice and everything is made from prime ingredients but I think their prices are still good.

                              2. Apparently there is a good cake place on 49th and Fraser. It is open 24 hrs a day. Anyone know something about this place?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: jahvay

                                  It's called Breka http://www.breka.ca/ Good-decent bread and pastries - but not really a cake place.

                                2. I love Ganache and Thomas Haas
                                  Latest discovery is Mix Bakery Chocolate Cake

                                  1. have you tried Sweet Obsession at 16th and Trafalgar? fabulous triple chocolate mousse, dulce de leche, lemon mousse, chocolate ganache, peanut butter chocolate mousse, hedgehog, tiramisu but far and away the best is the triple chocolate mousse. i have bought ~ 50 of them over the last ten years. you won't be disappointed.