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What's your favorite sweet in San Diego?

In the last couple of weeks I've had carrot cake from both Heaven Sent Dessert and Bread & Market (via the Linkery). Both were excellent and got me thinking about sweets. I also love the huge brioche cinnamon rolls from Con Pane Bakery in Point Loma. And when freshly baked, I love the white chocolate cake with fresh strawberries from European Cake Gallery and tasty cupcakes from Baked by Etta. What's your San Diego favorite sweets?

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  1. concur on ECG; does anyone have any comments on Flour Power Bakery?

    2 Replies
    1. re: ibstatguy

      Flour Power is an excellent place to get cakes! Wonderful selection, and, if you're in the market for a decorated cake, they do a fabulous job. I must admit, however, that I've never tried any of their other bakery items.

      Second the vote for Yogurt World. This is my new favourite place for dessert, and oddly enough, because it's not too sweet!

      1. re: ibstatguy

        Flour Power Cakes are awesome... and... they once gave us a full refund for a birthday cake that was horribly decorated. :)

        Yogurt Mill (East County) has the best frozen yogurt and toppings. You get a lot for your money.

      2. Sweets - one of my favorite subjects! :-)

        One of my very favorite things ever, anywhere, are the double chocolate cookies at Cafe Zinc in Solana Beach (there's also one in Laguna Beach) - they literally make me swoon - the brownies and lemon bars are good too.

        I also really like the cookies at Twiggs bakery in University Heights. They use real butter and good flavors, like orange chocolate chip, pecan shortbread, etc. The Cheese Shop, in La Jolla and downtown makes a fantastic oatmeal cookie that's almost like a chewy candy - I don't like their chocolate chip cookies though.

        For plated desserts - I always like the fresh fruit tarts at Extraordinary Desserts - they use a good pate brisee for the crust, and the fruit is always fresh. I also like their ice creams - particularly the salted caramel and creme fraiche.

        Jayne's Gastropub serves a fantastic butterscotch creme brulee, and Cafe Chloe has a nice chocolate pot de creme with brandied cherries. I also like their affogato. I also love Gelato Vero's espresso gelato, though I can kind of take or leave many of the other flavors. I love eating the gooey ice cream with those little plastic spades.

        For fine dining - the date madeleines with rose gelato at Parallel 33 are always excellent. For chocolate desserts - 1500 Ocean's warm chipotle chocolate cake stands out, and I really like Chef Foran's milk chocolate panna cotta at Market. He does a lot of seasonal fruit desserts as well.

        Con Pane and Bread and Cie are all right - they use good quality ingredients, but I think San Diego could really use another good homestyle bakery/cafe, something along the lines of Joan's on Third or Clementine in LA, or Tartine in San Francisco. It's kind of hard to make a go of it here though, when so many people are more concerned with price than quality. Hopefully we're getting there!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Alice Q

          Ah, If you are looking for a homie comfort-food bakery you should check out Elizabethan Desserts in Encinitas. I stumbled onto it by accident as it sits inside a nursery (I was shopping for our garden) and ended up buying more pastry than plant. I had the mini sour cherry pie with lattice top which is easily the best pie I've ever eaten in San Diego. I've been thinking about for days now. I also tried the Tropical Buckle (pineapple, mango, bananas and coconut) which was also delicious. My wife is still raving about the Banana Cream Pie and we also liked the Cinnamon Nut Coffee Cake with cream cheese filling.

          The owner, Elizabeth said she had opened for retail two months ago but has been selling to restaurants in the area for quite some time now. She was super nice and talked with us as she kept pulling these fragrant concoctions out of the oven. Her little shop was a throwback, decorated with things you might find in Grandma's kitchen and the music playing (Patsy Cline) added to that retro feel. There are quite a few things I'm going back to try. Here is her website http://www.elizabethandesserts.com

          1. re: BigBelt

            Cool - I will have to check it out! Unfortunately its' quite far away, but we are planning to go up to Encinitas to a nursery soon and I think it may be the same one! I just checked out the website and it definitely sounds like what I'm talking about. It would be nice to have a place that does desserts and regular food though - like gourmet takeout, etc. along the lines of Clementines and Joan's - Waters' to go shop just doesn't quite cut it imho.

        2. If you're in carlsbad try a danish at the aptly named Danish Bakery, taste great and cheap.

          1. The plain tart w/ fresh fruit at Yogurt World. Refreshing, not too sugary, and creamy. What more could you want?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Josh

              I just hosted a birthday party for 2 people and bought the Elby whole cake and a sponge cake with whipped cream and fruit filling at Sage French Cake on Convoy. They were both better than any cake I've had at Extraordinary Desserts or anywhere else in SD! The Elby was a a fabulous cake for chocolate lovers like me and the sponge cake for those crazy folks who don't like chocolate. And they are both in the case and sell by the indivisual piece.

            2. depends on the craving, mood and convenience...

              Chuao Chocolates for their chevre-black pepper bon bon or white chocolate grignottine
              Mango Tart, Plain Tart or any berry flavored frozen yogurt at Yogurt World with a side of mochi
              Matcha Green Tea Snow Bubble from Tapioca Express
              Half Baked Chocolate Cake from Nine-Ten
              any dessert at Market
              Williams-Sonoma hot chocolate mix made with whole milk and cream

              don't know if this really counts or not, but I've found that Whole Foods sells Mashti Malone's ice creams. I'm currently going through their saffron rosewater which is a like a more fragrant version of kulfi.

              2 Replies
              1. re: daantaat

                Chuao Chocolates. I love the strawberry balsamic, and the passion fruit carmel one.

                1. re: Katdiego

                  Seconding Chauo, but for the spicy hot chocolate ^^

              2. I am nuts about the Tokyo manjoo at Big Joy Family bakery on Convoy. http://www.bigjoyfamily.com/ It's a very crispy puff pastry wrapped around sweet potato and chestnut filling, substantial and divine warmed in a hot oven.

                Also enjoy Chuao.

                5 Replies
                1. re: amyzan

                  Good mention, amyzan... When I originally saw these "Tokyo manjoo" I almost didn't recognize them - it's been a long time since I've had one, and the name didn't mean anything to me. It's what we call "kuri manjyu", kuri being the Japanese word for chestnut.

                  Tasting them brought back many old memories, though I still long for a more precisely authentic taste. These come close enough to satisfy, though it would be nice to find something closer to the taste that I remember.

                  And to add to the rec's on Elizabethan Desserts, if any of you find their otherwise incredible offerings a bit too sweet, no need to worry. She will gladly adjust the sweetness of her offerings given enough advance notice.

                  (I'm still waiting for Chuao to come up with an even darker (less sweet) bittersweet version of their fine Venezualian chocolates.)

                  1. re: cgfan

                    while you're waiting for Chuao, Vosges makes some pretty dark, bittersweet chocolate. Venissimo Cheese in Del Mar carries some of their bars. Order the rest online or hit up their shop in Vegas at Caesar's Forum Shops.

                    1. re: daantaat

                      Thanks for the referral, daantaat. I initially didn't recognize the name but when I went to their website it all looked very familiar. I haven't bought any of their bars in the past since I like my chocolates pretty much straight - solid bittersweet chocolate without any flavorings. I didn't see any such offerings on their website. Do you know if Vosges does plain bars as well? Also does Venissimo carry any other brands?

                      Sorry for responding with just more questions. I probably should pay Venissimo a visit anyway; I haven't dropped by the shop in a long, long time.

                      1. re: daantaat

                        You guys should really try Guanni - it's a local product made by a Peruvian family, they sell at the Farmers' Markets and on their website - www.guannichocolates.com Very good chocolates with unusual flavors and top notch quality. They also sell the plain chocolate in bars, and they make a wonderful straightforward dark chocolate truffle.

                        Two other local brands, Dahlmann and Eclipse, are available at Taste, in Hillcrest (next to Wine Steals) and have very good dark chocolate products.

                        Vosges bars are also carried at Taste, Great News and Extraordinary Desserts. Great News also has Theo and several other hard to find artisan brand bars that make a good dark chocolate. I think Sur la Table also carries Theo. Great News also carries other items in the Vosges lineup - like their chips, hot chocolate, etc.

                        Cgfan - To answer your question, I do not believe Vosges does plain bars, but Theo does - I highly recommend them.

                        1. re: Alice Q

                          KCRW's Good Food did a story with Guanni on their unfortunate losses from the wildfires. It sounds like they've got a house and are back in production on a handmade basis, so it's a good time to help them out and probably get an even more exceptional product.

                  2. The Pavlova at Extraordinary Desserts. To avoid the on-and-off service, I usually get it to-go.

                    It's one of the few desserts that I have utterly failed in making, so until I master the art of the perfectly puffed baked meringue, Karen Krasne will have my business.

                    1. the caramel sea salt chocolates from Eclipse. A package of 5 discs of caramel, covered in chocolate, each topped with a different infused French Sea Salt. The combination of salt, caramel and chocolate is the best sweet I've ever tasted.

                      1. I have to second (third?) Extraordinary Desserts. They have two locations, and the Union Street store sells food (sandwiches, salads, etc.), though I have to admit I haven't tried their savory offerings. Not to be missed!

                        1. Has anyone tried Opera Patisserie or Sweet Indulgences downtown?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bythenumbers

                            Opera Patisserie's French macaroons are a little pricey but worth the splurge. A box of 12 bite sized ones costs $7.50. They also have a nicely priced lunch menu (although avoid the office rush). It's like eating in Marie Antoinette's house and an actual antique shop opens into it. Haven't tried any of their cakes yet, but I'm hoping to buy a whole one from their warehouse soon!

                          2. 21st Century Cake from Seaside Market deli in Cardiff. Chocolate cake, chocolate frosting and chocolate chips. Much better than it sounds.

                            And I second the Chuao spicy Maya hot chocolate. I like it better at the shop than mixed at home. Maybe I don't have the patience to let it meld.

                            1. The Caramel Balsamic Creme Brulee with gingersnap cookies at the JSix Restaurant is a sweet that I dream about.

                              1. paradise yogurt
                                bubby's peanut butter gelato
                                chuao's 'chinita nibs' chocolate
                                the frozen chocolate/peanut butter dessert at george's [downstairs dining room]
                                i used to adore the chocolate 'lasagna' at rainwater's, but the last couple of times it was extremely disappointing [as was the entire meal].

                                gee, can you tell i like peanut butter & chocolate? :)

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  Even more delicious than Paridise Yogurt (in my opinion), is a little place called Yogurt Express near San Diego State University. If you are not nearby, it is worth the drive! You fill your own cup with about 10 different yogurt choices and about 20 different toppings. Then they weigh it, and it's really inexpensive! They also take any competitor's coupons and give a 25% discount for any student. It's so delicious and so affordible!

                                  Another sweet secret in San Diego is a cupcake bakery called Silver Cup Bakery. (Go to silvercupbakery.com.) It's an individually owned bakery that specializes only in cupcakes that can be delivered or picked up. Two of my friends ordered them for parties...they are beautiful and delicious. It really seems like novelty knowing about it before most of San Diego catches on.

                                2. For me, its the gelato at Gelato Vero. Every flavor has been consistently good, and when mixed, lead to sheer delight. In particular, I am enamored with the blackberry sorbetto (when they have it) which has the most amazing color. . .

                                  1. Pan Dulce from Ortiz bakery in Escondido

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: kare_raisu

                                      Capirotada at Panadería Panchita.

                                      Speaking of which, I inadvertently called that bakery "Panadería Lupita" on another San Diego thread. It's Panchita, at 30th and C. And have the capirotada for me.

                                    2. I'm sorry, but I think the desserts at Extraordinary Desserts are pretty but very tasteless. I've tried so many different things and am usually there with friends that want to try it out. More often than not, we've been disappointed or only one of the four of us like what we ordered.

                                      There is a small bakery in El Cajon called Crumbs of Paris that makes delicious, moist cakes. I like to order the white cake with strawberries and vanilla mousse in the center with whipped cream icing. Everyone always asks me where I got the cake...so I know it is enjoyed by all.