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Birthday Cake - italian style??

millygirl Aug 7, 2007 07:01 PM

Okay here is the chowhound challenge for the day. We will be hosting a birthday dinner for friends this weekend and they are bringing some elderly relatives visiting from Italy. From what I can gather these relatives are pretty set in their ways, and not to open to trying new things. I would like to serve a birthday type cake for desert and wondered if anyone has any suggestions for what would traditionally be served at an italian birthday party, and where to get something. We like in the riverdale area so something east of yonge, south of bloor would be ideal although having said that, we are willing to travel. Any and all ideas welcome.
Thanks hounds!!!

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  1. z
    Zengarden RE: millygirl Aug 7, 2007 07:16 PM

    Have you gone to Cafe Europa on Danforth east of Pape? It is on the south side of the street. I have only bought focaccia and natas there, never the cakes.

    The other spot for cakes would be Serano's which is on Pape, south of Mortimer. It's a Greek bakery but the items are delightful.

    I know that you asked for Italian in the Riverdale area but these were as close to European as I could think of.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Zengarden
      millygirl RE: Zengarden Aug 8, 2007 11:46 AM

      Thanks Zengarden, I hadn't considered either one of these but I will drop by and see what they have to offer in the way of birthday occasion cakes. I will also check out Select Bakery.

      1. re: millygirl
        Leslieville RE: millygirl Aug 8, 2007 11:55 AM

        I saw the cakes at Serano on Saturday and they looked great! Someone bought a strawberry mousse cake which was then decorated for them. I can't vouch for the taste but they looked very light.

        1. re: Leslieville
          Zengarden RE: Leslieville Aug 8, 2007 01:12 PM

          Serano's is the go to place for Greek families having special occasions. I have several desserts from this spot. It's all good.

    2. JamieK RE: millygirl Aug 8, 2007 11:55 AM

      Just throwing it out there as I don't know if they do cakes but isn't the North Pole Bakery at Danforth and Greenwood an Italian bakery? Perhaps another option to consider.

      North Pole Bakery
      1210 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J, CA

      2 Replies
      1. re: JamieK
        sevenblades RE: JamieK Aug 14, 2007 11:56 AM

        North Pole is Italian, but I don't think they do cakes. They do do a pretty good cannoli though! I second Tre Mari on St. Clair for cake.

        1. re: sevenblades
          dautcalm RE: sevenblades Aug 14, 2007 01:38 PM

          Things could have changed in the past few years but I've had several of my bday cakes from North Pole, they do the real italian style with the liquer and you can pick up pastries from there too, I'd suggest you order in advance.

      2. r
        re256 RE: millygirl Aug 8, 2007 12:36 PM

        I know you said south of Bloor but I would suggest Tre Mari on St Clair. Just east of Landsdowne. I have no idea how to spell this ?sfodliadelle?, it is pronounced schvoul-i-adel. It is a fabulaous cake.


        1 Reply
        1. re: re256
          pescatarian RE: re256 Aug 14, 2007 12:29 PM

          I second Sfoglia. You can get it with different flavoured cream: Here's an example from a bakery in the north end: http://www.sweetboutique.ca/Cakes.htm
          It's one of my faves when done right. Unfortunately, I don't know where to get one in the east end. I used to get mine from La Sem on Finch West. There are a number of places around Eglinton and Royal York, the Queensway, etc. I can be more specific, if you are interested in the west end.

        2. l
          LJS RE: millygirl Aug 8, 2007 01:16 PM

          How 'bout San Remo's on Royal York Road, just south of the Queensway-you don't want to be anywhere near the Danforth THIS weekend, esp. trying to carry a cake!. (Taste of the Danforth)

          1. i
            itryalot RE: millygirl Aug 8, 2007 01:50 PM

            Do you need an actual birthday cake? I didn't eat any cake in Italy at all. For dessert we often had a platter of different Italian pastries and/or Italian gelato (that's a whole other thread you should read) with panna on the side and fresh fruit. If it is a cake, it must have the Italian custard filling and some booze.

            1 Reply
            1. re: itryalot
              millygirl RE: itryalot Aug 8, 2007 05:48 PM

              Oh yes I know about Gelato.....I believe I started that one!!! Someone earlier reminded me about Taste of the Danforth - crap....there goes that idea!!!! I'm staying clear of the Danny this weekend. Maybe I will go ahead with the gelato (yet again)!!!! Thanks everyone.

            2. l
              lilaki RE: millygirl Aug 8, 2007 07:59 PM

              totally recommend LA SEM bakery...but it's COMPLETELY out of your way...eglinton and dixie in mississauga. their cakes are very authentic - it's recommended by many of my italian friends. www.lasem.ca their pastries are also excellent!

              1. m
                miranda RE: millygirl Aug 8, 2007 08:42 PM

                The Riviera Bakery on College around Manning North side has the quintessential Italian BDay Cake...every Italian friend I know always orders there...and they are amazing...Miranda

                1 Reply
                1. re: miranda
                  millygirl RE: miranda Aug 9, 2007 04:32 AM

                  Thanks Miranda, I think I will order one from them....sounds good. I assume its just called a 'birthday cake'??

                2. m
                  miranda RE: millygirl Aug 9, 2007 06:35 AM

                  Hi Millygirl....Riviera's Cakes are called Birthday cakes...they also have a catalogue of styles you can look through...the owners are Ital/Can...and if you explain you'd like a cake Italian style for visitors...they'lll get the drift...I think the last one I ordered was a simple vanilla with a cream filling between two layers...they'll ice it up plain and simple and write Happy BDay...Good Luck....Miranda

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: miranda
                    millygirl RE: miranda Aug 13, 2007 01:05 PM

                    Thanks for all the suggestions. As an update, I decided to give myself a break and stay local. Soooo, ran in to Europa and they had what looked like some very nice strawberry shortcake cut in individual pieces. I purchased a dozen to serve with ice cream - I know kinda boring but safe. Anyways it was just okay. It looked a lot better than it actually tasted. In fact, it didn't really have any taste. Which is what I've found with most greek bake shops - things look good but everything tastes the same, or doesn't really taste at all. Exception would be baklava, but I'm not really partial to it. Anyways, that is just my opinion, everyone else seemed to enjoy it and I guess in the end, that's what matters most. Thanks again to everyone and Miranda, I still may get to Riviera one of these days.

                    1. re: millygirl
                      phoenikia RE: millygirl Aug 14, 2007 12:01 PM

                      Just so you're aware, Europa is Portuguese owned, even though it is located on the Danforth and sells baklava.

                      I agree with Zengarden that Serano is a great bakery. I especially like their Chocalatina cake. Much better for cakes than any of the Greek bakeries I've tried on the Danforth.

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