HOME > Chowhound > Austin >

Cake

y
YaYa May 9, 2007 03:41 PM

I'm searching for a delicious piece of cake in Austin. I personally think I make the best cake from scratch, but my kitchen still isn't put together so it'll be a bit before I can bust out the Kitchenaid and make my vanilla bean or Mexican chocolate cupcakes/cake. :D

I like old fashioned cake. Not fancy dense molten chocolate cake, but moist cake with a good crumble and buttercream frosting. I like buttercream from scratch, with actual sweet cream butter and powdered sugar. None of that Crisco or margarine buttercream (which a recent cupcake from Cissi's Market was coated in, inedible), but light fluffy, sugary (no sugar granuales please), buttercream. I like to eat my cake by the piece, or in cupcake form.

I used to be able to get a piece of old fashioned cake like Grandma made from my local grocery store in my last town, but the stuff at HEB doesn't look like it comes close.

Please help this cake fiend!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Honey Bee RE: YaYa May 9, 2007 03:56 PM

    Oh YaYa..we seek the same treasure and I will watch this thread carefully. I have been searching for the same qualities in a cupcake for some time (although a piece cake would be fine, too). So far, here is what I have learned:

    Texas French Bread- I have really disliked their sweet baked goods (have not tried anything savory). Their cake was so dry I threw it away.

    HEB chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream- When bought from the store's reserves, it was dry but the chocolate buttercream icing was good. When custom ordered...actually pretty good overall.

    Swetish Hill- Good texture in the cake, but the only icing option for the cucpakes is cream cheese. Good, but my personal preference lies with buttercream.

    Sam's- Believe it or not, a very tasty buttercream option. I once went to a baby shower and enjoyed the cake so much I asked the hostess which bakery she used. I was so surprised when she said she got the cake at Sam's.

    Randall's- Ugh. Waxy icing. Not good at all.

    Hey Cupcake- tender cake but way too crumbly. Fluffy icing, but I could feel the sugar granules. However, I went right after it opened and I see that the owner posted a sign stating "new recipes".

    Kitchen Door- Nice tender cake and good (but not perfect) icing. One of my "go-to" places when I need a quick treat.

    Central Market- lovely decorations, but dry cake and waxy icing. However, the Italian Creme Cake is good.

    Whole Foods- One time the cake was awesome. Great flavors and textures. The next two times it was merely average and not worth fighting the parking lot.

    I am still searching to find one that is the clear winner and would love to hear about places I have missed.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Honey Bee
      y
      YaYa RE: Honey Bee May 10, 2007 08:12 AM

      Honey Bee~

      Thank you for your extensive list of your adventures in the search for delicious cake! I am sad that a slice of "grandma's cake" or to-die-for cupcakes is so elusive. Hopefully one of us will fine it soon!

      1. re: YaYa
        Honey Bee RE: YaYa May 10, 2007 08:23 AM

        Yes, please keep me informed and I will continue to post my endeavors. It seems so much easier to find a good carrot cake or italian creme, but a good buttercream seems elusive! And when you want cake, even the best pie or cookie simply won't satisfy that craving. Good luck.

    2. a
      ashes RE: YaYa May 9, 2007 03:58 PM

      I've always enjoyed my cake experiences at Upper Crust Bakery. Looking at their website, I'm not sure that they do buttercream, but the italian cream and carrot are excellent. We bought a whole cake last minute a few months back to take for my SO's dad's burthday. It was divine and everyone loved it. Their cream cheese icing is perfectly tangy and smooth and the cake is not too dense but not fluff either.

      1. austx03 RE: YaYa May 9, 2007 04:50 PM

        My friend, Todd, tells me that Chez Zee makes incredible cakes. He raves about them and said the best one they make is a lemon rosemary cake. I've never tried them, but claims they are the best he has ever had in town. They are over on Balcones and 2222.

        1 Reply
        1. re: austx03
          bookgrrl72 RE: austx03 May 9, 2007 09:32 PM

          I love the lemon rosemary and cocoleches cakes at Chez Zee. They are super yum.

        2. b
          bigjimbray RE: YaYa May 9, 2007 10:27 PM

          have you ever tried the earthquake cake. Its rich and gooey with cream cheese frosting
          homemade.

          1. y
            YaYa RE: YaYa May 10, 2007 08:18 AM

            Thank you for all the replies and suggestions! I'm going to start my cake tasting adventure this weekend, and will keep everyone updated.

            7 Replies
            1. re: YaYa
              Ken W RE: YaYa May 10, 2007 09:26 AM

              If you don't mind one more suggestion - I like the cakes at Russell's Bakery & Coffee Bay at the corner of Hancock & Balcones (west of Mopac). I've always had a good experience with their cakes and pastries there.

              1. re: Ken W
                MPH RE: Ken W May 10, 2007 09:31 AM

                YaYa,

                These links probably aren’t much help, but for what it’s worth:

                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/313820

                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/334155

                Right after moving here, I tried a few of Chez Zee’s “signature” cakes on the recommendation of various well-meaning strangers. They ranged from mediocre to awful. None of the upscale grocery-store bakeries do it for me, either, and I really loathe Texas French Bread. Some trusted chowhounds make Hey Cupcake sound quite bad (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/383115 ).

                I agree with ashes that Upper Crust Bakery does a decent but extremely dense, sweet cake (Gateau Marisa, Italian cream, and the like). Ken W’s post above makes me want to give Russell's a try.

                Many kinds of truly delicious baked goods are just hard to find in Austin. Perhaps you'll turn into a pie or kolache fiend instead? In the meantime, please keep us posted on your personal search for the best cake in town.

                Best,
                MPH

                1. re: MPH
                  y
                  YaYa RE: MPH May 10, 2007 11:05 AM

                  Weird, I typed out a reply and it disappeared as have a few others...take two...

                  Thank you for the links MPH, I also appreciate your feedback re: Chez Zee. Since I'm looking for a more more down-home type of cake, it doesn't fit my criteria anyway.

                  I've tried Hey Cupcake (blah), and Austin Babycakes - the cake was too dense and not very flavorful, and the cupcakes were filled with air tunnels which is a product of poor mixing technique.

                  I am beginning my quest this weekend, and will keep everyone updated!

                  By the way, what exactly is a kolache? I see signs for them everywhere here but haven't yet ventured in to try one. :)

                  1. re: YaYa
                    s
                    scrumptiouschef RE: YaYa May 10, 2007 11:09 AM

                    http://www.sweettemperedaustin.com/

                    These two girls make some of the finest sweets in town.

                    1. re: scrumptiouschef
                      y
                      YaYa RE: scrumptiouschef May 10, 2007 11:19 AM

                      The photos are gorgeous. I am adding them to my list to try.

                      Thanks!

                    2. re: YaYa
                      MPH RE: YaYa May 10, 2007 11:11 AM

                      YaYa,

                      Here's a blurb on kolaches, a sweet, yeasty Tex-Czech pastry with a faint resemblance to a Danish:

                      http://www.texasmonthly.com/food/kola...

                      Here's a good recent chowhound thread on them:

                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/388243

                      Unfortunately, many of the best kolaches can be found just outside of Austin! They're within easy day trips, however.

                      Best,
                      MPH

                      1. re: MPH
                        y
                        YaYa RE: MPH May 10, 2007 11:18 AM

                        Since my October trip to Prague has been postponed (just found out I am expecting!), I am excited to try a taste of the Czech Republic through those delicious sounding kolaches and other Czech goodies. Plus, I'm always down for a day trip.

                        Thank you again for all your insight, you are great!

              2. m
                myrightfoot RE: YaYa May 11, 2007 04:43 PM

                You should also try Russel's on Hancock and Balcones. Small local bakery with some really great classic cakes.

                MrF

                5 Replies
                1. re: myrightfoot
                  e
                  elpaninaro RE: myrightfoot May 11, 2007 08:35 PM

                  I like Lucy's and would add them to the good list already here. They are on Bee Cave near 360. But I still give a slight edge to Sweetish Hill (and in the interests of full disclosure- I am a huge fan of cream cheese icing which is their best far and away.)

                  1. re: elpaninaro
                    femmenikita RE: elpaninaro May 14, 2007 08:49 AM

                    I too love a good slice of cake, cupcake, or petit fours, etc. now and again. I just wanted to second myrightfoots recommendation of Russell's bakery on Hancock for a place to purchase delicious cake in a pinch. I have purchased chocolate cake from them several times, and have never been disappointed; the chocolate cake was rich, dark, not too sweet. The icing was buttery (not a granule to be crunched!) and the crumb of the cake was perfectly moist but not mush. I have never tried any other cake flavour from them (surprising since i dont normally select chocolate) but I hope I have the occassion to do so. I can also recommend their cinnamon rolls, which I havent had in a while but I remember being delicious... they are similar in style and kind to to Upper Crust's; of the sugary, no icing variety, with a slightly flaky and very sugary exterior.

                    As to Lucy's, elparino: may I ask which cake you tried at Lucy's? I had a family member who always ordered Lucy's choc. cake w/raspberry filling for special occasions, and I have to say I loathed that cake. I am a fan of the choc. raspberry combo, generally, but I found Lucy's icing waxy, the cake dry, and the filling overflowing with seeds and lacking real raspberry "meat." I would love to believe that this cake was a fluke. I am dying to find a delicious white cake to enjoy somewhere in town.

                    One final note to cake fiends: This is by no means a "real cake experience" BUT, if you want a slice of cake in a hurry with your lunch or some such, I remember always enjoying the cake slices sold at the Little Deli. I have heard that Little Deli is under new ownership, and havent been there in a while, but I do have fond memories of a delicious sandwich on Kaiser roll, eaten with an RC cola (on tap!) followed by a slice of white or chocolate cake prepared by Lucretia who used to run the place when I lived in that neighborhood. I don't even know if her cake was homemade but it hot the spot in a pinch, and was WAY better than the atrocity that is "hey cupcake."

                    1. re: femmenikita
                      tom in austin RE: femmenikita May 14, 2007 10:05 AM

                      Seconded on Little Deli -- the cake is pretty good there, although a little erratic. Since new ownership has taken over, I've noticed a minimal drop in quality, but also haven't tried the cake slices since the switch.

                      Also seconded on Lucy's; when I was getting married, my wife and I hit every cake place in Austin. We tried many cake samples from Lucy's, which local friends assured us was the best in town, and were frustrated by the lack of deliciousness.

                      After a long cake tour of Austin, we ended up going with a little run-out-of-her-home business called Michelle's Patisserie. Her cakes are really quite delicious. We've gone to her for several special occassions as well.

                      http://www.michellespatisserie.com/

                      Finally, Upper Crust's cream cheese icing is really, really great. Their carrot cake is probably my all-time favorite.

                      1. re: tom in austin
                        MPH RE: tom in austin Jun 23, 2008 03:21 PM

                        I enjoyed a slice of "cake in a hurry" at Little Deli recently. It was a gooey slice of moist chocolate cake with a layer of cream cheese and another of something like chocolate mousse. A bonus for me was that the dessert wasn't too sweet. I'd agree with femmenikita's observation that this doesn't qualify as a rarefied "real cake experience," but I was struck by how much better the LD cake was compared to the fare at similar non-bakery-based sandwich shops. I remember getting slices like LD's at a corner deli I used to frequent in the Boston area.

                        Thanks for the tip!

                      2. re: femmenikita
                        e
                        elpaninaro RE: femmenikita May 14, 2007 06:19 PM

                        I have had tastes from several cakes there courtesy of the fact I have a few clients in the area who order from Lucy's for company functions. I do prefer Sweetish Hill, but Lucy's can be good.

                        Funny you mention the raspberry filling though. We got one of those a couple of weeks ago for a birthday where I am doing some project work- and several people, myself included, though the raspberry filling was a bad call.

                        The rest of the cake was quite good- but the raspberry filling was for me so sweet and syrupy that it just took your mind away from the rest of the cake in a big way. I did not notice lots of seeds, but then again I scraped the filling out after a couple of bites just to not it ruin my enjoyment of the rest of my piece of the cake.

                  2. c
                    Carter B. RE: YaYa May 14, 2007 01:03 PM

                    1886 Cafe at the Driskill hotel has some of my favorite cakes, but they may not be old fashioned enough for you. I like the lemon chiffon with blueberry.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Carter B.
                      MPH RE: Carter B. Aug 14, 2007 04:09 PM

                      I wasn't sure whether to post this here or on Twill's chocolate thread (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/407196 ). However, I checked out 1886 Cafe's chocolate sheet-cake this past week. I’m sorry to say that it just didn't do it for me. The cake itself was moist in the center, but its texture was too firm and chewy. The interior was actually almost tough, with large air-bubbles. This suggests that they used a high-gluten flour rather than cake flour, but this is just supposition.

                      As for the chocolate issue, this cake had good chocolate flavor—for a fudge-brownie from the supermarket. In other words, it was more sweet than rich, and the chocolate itself was low-quality, dull, and not very complex.

                      It’s always possible that I picked unwisely. At the time, I couldn’t remember Carter B’s suggestion of lemon-chiffon with blueberry, for example. Nonetheless, this experience didn’t make me eager to sample more. At the very least, I’ll have to avoid their other chocolate offerings.

                      1. re: MPH
                        s
                        scrumptiouschef RE: MPH Aug 14, 2007 04:41 PM

                        MPH,
                        One of 1886's ace bakers just relocated to Paris France to continue honing his craft.I expect a drop in quality til they find someone of his calibre to soldier on in his absence.

                        1. re: scrumptiouschef
                          MPH RE: scrumptiouschef Aug 14, 2007 06:51 PM

                          Thanks for the heads-up, scrumptious. That explains a lot. Hopefully, this baker will return to Austin after honing his skills in Paris!

                          1. re: MPH
                            c
                            Carter B. RE: MPH Oct 6, 2007 02:37 PM

                            I received a 1886 lemon chiffon cake for a recent birthday and it was divine--moist with a delicate crumb. Definitely my cake highlight of the year.

                    2. y
                      yorkshirepud RE: YaYa May 14, 2007 02:30 PM

                      Try Dream Bakery on Anderson Mill Road (just east of 183) - fabulous cakes. A bit pricey but well worth it.
                      http://www.mydreambakery.biz/cakes.htm

                      1. y
                        yehudimenuhin RE: YaYa May 14, 2007 03:18 PM

                        Everything (baked) at Upper Crust is magical.

                        Yes, also, to Chez Zee. The lemon rosemary cake is awesome.

                        Whole Foods can be spotty because of turnover or whatever, but their Berry Chantilly cake is great. White layer cake wth berries and great frosting between each layer. The berry "syrup" drips into the layers and makes for a very moist cake.

                        Texas French Bread's Hyde Park Chocolate cake. Super rich and wonderful. Bundt shaped and weighs a ton!

                        1. MPH RE: YaYa May 30, 2007 07:28 PM

                          In the spirit of great love for all baked goods, and marked impatience with anything less than true deliciousness, I’m forced to add a dissenting opinion on Russell’s Bakery. I’ve tried three different kinds of their cake in the past few weeks. They have all been bad.

                          The chocolate-espresso cake sounded quite promising, but it suffered from several major flaws. They didn’t use enough chocolate; you couldn’t taste the espresso at all; the texture was on the dry side; and, the cake was too sugary. The frosting was also problematic in that it tasted like nothing. When I eat this type of cake, I want to be left with a lingering sensation of bliss from the intensely rich, chocolatey goodness. Instead, I had to make do with bland sweetness. This cake didn’t taste good to me at all.

                          The German-chocolate cake suffered from many of the same deficiencies. It wasn’t as rich or as chocolatey as it should be. The frosting was not good; in this case, it needed more pecans and coconut. Inexcusably, these two very different types of chocolate cake—the chocolate espresso and the German chocolate—were almost indistinguishable, which suggests major errors in both concept and execution. One notable difference between the two was the texture: The chocolate-espresso cake was denser, more brownie-like. Ironically, the other difference was that there was more coffee-like flavor in the German-chocolate cake.

                          The tres leches cake was dry. Worse, it was an odd, four-layered version with raspberry jam added to the frosting between the layers. Why on earth would a good tres leches cake need raspberry jam? This must have been the ill-favored spawn of a bad wedding cake and an untraditional tres leches. The frosting wasn’t straight Cool Whip (thank god for small mercies), but it wasn’t real whipped cream. It seemed to be a flavorless, “light buttercream” frosting—and I’m using the terms “butter” and “cream” loosely. Their version simply lacked the sweet richness of a good tres leches.

                          So, that’s three strikes. They’re out! We all have different cake requirements, but Russell's will not be on my personal “great bakeries in Austin” list. Unfortunately, this remains a short list, and there is even worse cake in Austin. But, great cake is great cake. I look forward to trying some of the other recommendations here and reading more chowhounds' reports. In the meantime, I'll have to smuggle in cake from out of town. Or bake every darn cake myself.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: MPH
                            Ken W RE: MPH May 31, 2007 01:59 PM

                            Sorry to hear your experience with Russell's wasn't delicious. I always feel a twinge of disappointment when a place I recommend isn't well received. But, can't say you didn't give him a fair shot. For my experience, he did the cake for my wedding, and our guests raved about it. I also love his Apple Fritters.

                            The more I peruse these boards, the more I'm beginning to realize that consistency is often the key to what sets a place apart. Of course, McDonald's is consistent - so it has to be consistently delicious. The first meal I had a El Gringo was really good, the second - bleah. Others have had unfortunately disappointing meals at places I liked, and I've been to places where I couldn't believe anyone recommended it. Oh well, I suppose over time and several reports from different 'hounds the truly great places will stand out.

                            1. re: Ken W
                              t
                              Torckus RE: Ken W May 31, 2007 03:05 PM

                              I really like the tres leches cake at Habana Calle.

                              1. re: Torckus
                                Twill RE: Torckus May 31, 2007 06:14 PM

                                I'll second that. I've never had a cake so wetty sweet and delicious at the same time.

                              2. re: Ken W
                                Knoblauch RE: Ken W Jun 2, 2007 12:53 PM

                                I swung by to try the apple fritter at Russell's not long ago. I was envisioning a deep-fried analogue of corn fritters, crab fritters, and the like: a ball of dense dough with apple mixed in, and fried to golden-brown beauty.

                                The fritters at Russell's are baked. They do seem to have the dense dough and some apple (but not enough) and cinnamon at their heart, but they are baked into what appears to be a big, soft, apple cookie. The top is crunchy with caramelized sugar mixed with pecans (maybe in homage to apple-crumb toppings?) and drizzled with a white glaze.

                                I can see why people would like it, but the flavor and texture combinations didn't come together for me.

                                I've never bought a whole cake there, but a couple of times I have had a slice from the case to eat in. When they serve it to you, it is cold, but occasionally I have lingered so long that it achieved room temperature. No matter the temperature, I'd have to agree that the texture is pretty good, but it does not have the intensity of chocolate I'd like to see in a cake.

                              3. re: MPH
                                femmenikita RE: MPH May 31, 2007 03:24 PM

                                I believe it was the choc. espresso cake that I have ordered from Russell's on three occasions. I just have one question: did you let that cake "rest" before you tried it? All three times I have ordered their choc. cake, I have ordered a whole cake and the first time, I thought the cake was a bit flavourless and it was also slightly chilled. I called, and the baker told me to let the cake rest at room temp. for a couple of hours before serving, so that the flavours would open up, much as we do with cheese. That made the difference for me, and after that I ordered the cake for two other birthdays ( and picked up a whole cake the day it was made). I wonder if that was a defining factor in our diverging experiences. I will give you that the item tastes more of chocolate, and not so much of espresso. And I do agree that raspberry filling in a tres leches sounds like utter blaphemy, though I guess I can't knock it unless I try it for myself.

                              4. h
                                hungryfoodie RE: YaYa May 31, 2007 03:14 PM

                                i just read all of these entries. although i haven't tried lucy's or austinbabycakes or russell's yet (which i will try) i really do like my neighborhood bakery cakes from the upper crust. we get the same bday cake every year from there (gateau marisa) and it's excellent and guests are always raving. however, it is a cream cheese frosting. after having cupcakes at magnolia in new york though, i have yet to find a good buttercream frosted ligh fluffy moist cake. or cupcake.
                                i've had several cakes from uppercrust incl. mocha almond and both italian creams which are good and well-priced. don't do central market baked goods--most seem to be full of partially hydrogenated oils. (as does a lot of their prepared foods )

                                1. Alan Sudo RE: YaYa May 31, 2007 03:54 PM

                                  I found my favorite slice of Tres Leches at an unexpected location - the bakery case in Fiesta Supermarket. It's much richer than what you are looking for, but they often also have simple cakes by the slice - like an old fashioned chocolate cake or a yellow cake with strawberry frosting. And as long as you're indulging, you might as well grab a jalapeno and cheese croissant from the donut case.

                                  1. l
                                    lobolady RE: YaYa Aug 16, 2007 07:56 AM

                                    Don't bother with Austin Java. The cakes look good but are tasteless. I've always liked the desserts at Hyde Park Bar and Grill. Also you might try Mr. Natural. They do organic and vegetarian baking. I like their Forest Cake.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: lobolady
                                      r
                                      RoxieB RE: lobolady Aug 16, 2007 02:21 PM

                                      Mr. Natural's tres leches cake is wonderful!

                                    2. s
                                      salsera RE: YaYa Aug 17, 2007 08:16 AM

                                      My cake experiences:

                                      1. Cherole's Cakes and Catering in Round Rock is the undiscovered gem for wedding cake in Austin. She will make real butter buttercream if you specify that you don't mind a not-pure-white look... tender crumb with the right amount of moist chew... fantastic fruit fillings. And it's CHEAP!

                                      2. Ann's Kitchen Cakes (183 and McNeil/Spicewood): Great if you just want a quick slice, but disappointingly small selection if you want to special order a cake. (Lemon cake is not that complicated, folks.)

                                      3. MadCakes (Spicewood and 360-ish): Heavenly lemon bundt cake, not too lemony or sweet, nice dense crumb but not as heavy as pound cake, with stripes of cream cheese frosting on the sides (so you don't overload on frosting.) Unfortunately no buttercream! But many flavors available.

                                      4. Upper Crust makes a fantastic Gateau Marisa.

                                      5. My favorite cake in all of Austin is the 1886's Pistachio Crunch. The cake is tender and light, the currant-raspberry filling and light frosting adds the perfect proportion of creamy sweet flavors, and it comes as a darling little round cake-ette.

                                      1. l
                                        ls29 RE: YaYa Aug 17, 2007 01:27 PM

                                        I haven't had a lot of cakes around town, but my favorites so far are:

                                        Chez Zee Maida's Cake - moist chocolate cake, a generous vanilla cream mousse center and frosted with a wonderful mocha mousse. It is fantastic.

                                        Whole Foods - Chantilly Cake. I agree that their cakes can be hit and miss. I'm not a fan of their carrot cake, but the chantilly cake has always been very good.

                                        Green Pastures - I had an amazing chocolate cake with chocolate frosting at Green Pastures earlier this year. My husband and I devoured this cake and wished for more.

                                        Malaga - I had decent Tres Leches cake in August, although all the wet "leche" ran to the bottom of the plate and did not stay absorbed in the cake itself. I've heard that the Tres Leches at Habana Calle is wonderful and really wet/moist throughout the cake.

                                        1. chispa_c RE: YaYa Aug 17, 2007 01:40 PM

                                          HEB/Central Market/Lucy's - they all use box mixes - these are not scratch bakeries.

                                          Try Quack's off Duval. Cynthia, the head baker there, does a great job on all kinds of products.

                                          I'd recommend Apple Annies located in the Chase Bank Bldg. at 6th & Guadalupe, but they aren't consistent. Real buttercream icing though. They also do Spelt Cakes which are really good.

                                          For the gluten free folks who still want their cake - go staight to Wildwood Cafe on Bee Caves in Westlake. OMG, so good.

                                          Whole Foods Vegan Harvest cake - while not Gluten Free - darn good for an alternative.

                                          I personally think the Pennsylvania Dutch at Sweetish Hill is to die for.

                                          Those are my recommendations. I'm always on the look out for good pastries. Good luck and thanks for sharing!

                                          1. g
                                            gulch RE: YaYa Aug 22, 2007 04:43 PM

                                            The BEST cake I have had in years came fromt he Baker's Man Bakery on 7th Street. The buttercream icing was outstanding as was the density and taste of the cake. It is the best I have had so far in Austin.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: gulch
                                              curlykerry RE: gulch Oct 10, 2007 03:31 PM

                                              I just learned that The Baker's Man Bakery on 7th is under new ownership. Unfortunately, the new owners elected NOT to buy the recipe catalog from the former owners. Bad idea, if you ask me. That used to be the yummiest cake in town.

                                            2. r
                                              ridgeback RE: YaYa Oct 6, 2007 12:40 PM

                                              There's got to be a better carrot cake in town than I've found so far. I'll have to make a return trip back to Upper Crust to double check, but all the carrot cakes I've found so far lack what I find absolutely essential: a bit of a spice. And two layers of cream on the inside.

                                              Anyone remember the old NY Deli in RR? Theirs was the best.

                                              For chocolate cupcakes, I like Ann's at McNeil and 183, preferably right after lunch at Asia Market.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: ridgeback
                                                m
                                                MBrox RE: ridgeback Oct 11, 2007 02:14 PM

                                                I am coming into this post far too late, but wanted to say that the vanilla cupcakes with the vanilla frosting are to die for at Lucys. I am not a huge fan of her cakes, otherwise, but the cupcakes do it for me.

                                                Michelle's Patisserie makes a great tres leches cake. We had her make one for our wedding cake. Strange to say, but Hula Hut has my favorite tres leches cake in town. Yum!

                                              2. t
                                                theyallwantcake RE: YaYa Oct 12, 2007 08:17 AM

                                                Yaya....
                                                these guys are new but they should go far, becuase their desserts are incredible. No storefront but you can order from them directly. They do wholesale, wedding cakes or any other specialty cakes. They are the best I have had in austin.
                                                www.sweettemperedaustin.com

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: theyallwantcake
                                                  r
                                                  rusty_s RE: theyallwantcake Oct 12, 2007 09:25 AM

                                                  I believe the cupcakes at Little City are from here (sweettempered's website says you can get their stuff at Little City). The cupcakes are very crumbly but delicious. And consistent--I've had them three times and they are always the same.

                                                2. p
                                                  pinkboxer RE: YaYa Jun 24, 2008 09:35 AM

                                                  Yaya,
                                                  Just like you, I am an old-fashioned cake fiend who enjoys baking my own. :) My favorite cakes tend to involve chocolate so that's mostly what I've tried around town, but I've also found some excellent Italian Cream Cakes. FYI, I tend to prefer cakes that are not overpowered by sweetness, especially when they're chocolate. Here are my recommendations:

                                                  Magnolia cafe - I find the food here mediocre, but the chocolate cake is surprisingly great - usually moist (occasionally it's been a little dry though) with a nice real buttercream-y frosting.

                                                  1886 Cafe at the Driskill - a simple chocolate cake with chocolate ganache on top. The cake part of it is one of the best in town.

                                                  Central Market - Anthony's Chocolate Mousse cake in either mini- or slice-form is very good. I personally prefer the mini, but it's mostly mousse so I would go with the slice if you prefer mostly cake. Their Italian Cream cake is also really good; this one has a cream cheese frosting. The rest of the cakes aren't as good as these and tend to have icing made with shortening, bleh.

                                                  Sweetish Hill - Tasty Italian Cream Cake! Haven't tried anything else there.

                                                  Chez Zee - It's been hit or miss for me here. I do enjoy the lemon rosemary cake everyone else mentioned, and my husband loves their orange fluff cake. I don't like their chocolate cakes for the most part, but the ones that appear for a limited time on the "specials" menu are often a lot better than their old standards. Their Chocolate Gateau is particularly good but doesn't seem to show up often.

                                                  HEB, Whole Foods - I've never had a good cake from either one of these places. The icing, particularly at HEB, is usually shortening or whipped cream. At Whole foods, most of the stuff is too sweet for my taste, especially the chocolate.

                                                  Hope this helps!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: pinkboxer
                                                    y
                                                    YaYa RE: pinkboxer Jul 23, 2008 06:04 PM

                                                    Thanks for the in-depth review pinkboxer! ITA with you about the choc cake at Magnolia. I'm not a huge Italian Cream cake fan but I'm tempted to give it another try at a few of the places you mentioned.

                                                    Thanks again for all the updates as of late, however, I won't be reviewing anymore on this topic because I'm opening my own biz in this industry. :)

                                                  2. Kaya_n_Austin RE: YaYa Jun 26, 2008 09:55 AM

                                                    I adore and crave Lucy's white cake with buttercream frosting cupcakes. I don't, oddly enough, care for any other of their cakes/cupcakes. But Lucy's is the only buttercream in Austin that I like.

                                                    1. s
                                                      SLadd RE: YaYa Jun 29, 2008 06:34 PM

                                                      Try Cakes, Chocolates and More on Anderson Mill and 183...She makes the real butter cream icing...but her truffles are the absolute BEST in the world...(at least that I have ever had) here's the website http://www.cakeschocolatesandmore.com...

                                                      1. h
                                                        hungryfoodie RE: YaYa Aug 2, 2008 02:05 PM

                                                        i was looking for 2 chocolate cakes for hubby's bday and had to get something made within 48hrs (such a procrastinator i am!). anyway, got my neighborhood bakery's chocolate italian cream cake (upper crust bakery) and chez zee's maida cake.
                                                        i always love uppercrust cakes and this one was really good too. but i have to say the guests were raving about the maida cake. that cake has been reviewed on chowhound before which is why i decided to get it anyway...very light/fluffy/yum!

                                                        Show Hidden Posts