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Favorite Cakes in the Bay Area

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Curious as to everyone's favorite cake in the Bay Area. Personally, I think the Princess Cake at Victoria's Pastry is the best.

What do you guys all think?

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  1. Really? Maybe I got a bum cake the one time I tried it; I found the marzipan gritty, the cake mediocre, and the cream filling blah.

    I really like the princess cake at Schubert's on Clement. Copenhagen's is also just as good, if not better. Here's a link to a princess cake tasting some 'hounds did: http://epicureandebauchery.blogspot.c...

    In the city, I like Delessio's chocolate tower cake and Citizen Cake's white cake with lemony frosting and a thin berry filling.

    And it's not a cake, but Tartine's lemon tart is to die for.

    3 Replies
    1. re: nooodles
      Andy Copeland

      When I was home over Christmas break, we had 3 or 4 princess cakes (from the Victoria Pastry in Marin)for when people came over for dinner, and always got the same product: unbelievably moist cake, smooth marzipan on top, and some creamy custard, and that faint taste of Grand Marnier throughout. Maybe we got lucky, maybe you got a bum one.

      1. re: Andy Copeland

        Whole princess cakes are completely different animals from the slices from a princess cake log--I think Nooodles & I have both had single slices from Victoria Pastry in North Beach. It wasn't any good--the barest layer of custard that tasted like instant vanilla pudding from a box with a bit of whipped cream. Worst of all, the single slices were pre-cut and the sides weren't completely covered by the small round doily they folded up, so the bottom of the slice was soggy and the top was dried out.

        After my bad princess cake slice from Victoria, I tried Schubert's for a St. Honore cake, and it was at least as good as the St. Honore I had a few years back from Victoria. Best of all, Schubert's is near the public parking lot in Clement and has good prices, while Victoria is more expensive with impossible parking.

        1. re: Steve G

          Ditto on your description of the cake. Thing is, Schubert's princess cake by the slice is far superior to Victoria's princess cake by the slice. And I don't see why they'd skimp on the (granted, horrible) custard filling for by the slice vs. a whole cake.

          Maybe Victoria in Marin is just better.

    2. Apple Cake from Virginia St. Bakery in Berkeley!

      1. Further south, in Cupertino, La Patisserie on Stevens Creek Blvd., is consistently perfect in every cake we've purchased. The mocha chocolate is my daughter-units' favorite but I'm REAL PARTIAL to the lemon delight. Just typing this has set my mouth to watering.

        2 Replies
        1. re: The Ranger

          Their German chocolate cake is extremely good. Just thinking about it starts the craving.

          1. re: The Ranger

            How are their cakes in terms of sweetness? I like my cakes not too sugary..

          2. Tartine's Passion Fruit Lime Bavarian. It's covered in coconut. I don't normally like coconut but this cake was sooo good, I didn't care.

            Link: http://www.tartinebakery.com/menu.htm

            1. Sacripantina at Stella on Columbus - cream and rum, what more do you want?

              Link: http://www.stellapastry.com/

              5 Replies
              1. re: Junie D

                I'll second that choice. It's quite delicious.

                  1. re: Junie D

                    Oh my gawd does that sound good. Do they only sell it in whole cakes? And if so, someone willing to go in on it w/ me?

                    1. re: Ch Addict

                      Never fear, they sell pieces.

                      1. re: nooodles

                        But they somehow taste better sliced from a whole cake. We could meet up there for coffee one day and split a small one. Or get 4 hounds and share a bigger one. And a cannoli. Or two.

                  2. m
                    Morton the Mousse

                    No Contest! Custom made ice cream cakes from Sketch. I had one a few weeks ago - fresh peppermint ice cream, moist chocolate sponge cake and a sinful chocolate glaze, topped with cocoa nibs and candied peppermint. It's a five layer cake with three layers of cake and two thick layers of ice cream. The ice cream was slightly firm but still creamy, the cake was delicate yet it still held up and kept its form the chocolate glaze was light and subtle and served as the perfect finish. Every aspect of this cake - the flavors, the mouth feel, the appearance - was incredible.

                    Sketch makes everything in their cakes from scratch and the cake is prepared fresh; they finished ours about an hour before I picked it up. You can use any ice cream they make and choose from a selection of cake types and frostings. We ordered a cake for ten and everyone at the table agreed that it was not only the best ice cream cake, but the best cake, that they had ever had. Cost is $6 per person and well worth every dollar.

                    Eric and Ruthie are on their honeymoon so Sketch will be closed this month (February). I have enough goodies hoarded up that the withdrawel hasn't started
                    to kick in yet, but in a few weeks time I'm going to be a wreck (g).


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Morton the Mousse

                      Yay! I'm glad their honeymoon fund filled up.

                      The burnt caramel ice cream is to die for, as is lemon (not as good, but for people who prefer a tangy sherbet to ice cream it's tasty). The Earl Grey could use some work, I thought.

                    2. I used to adore that chocolate cake with the chocolate curls piled artistically on top, and embellished with raspberries, that was a specialty at Taste of Tyrol in San Rafael/Northgate 1. The cake was more confection than cake, making it perfect for birthdays ;)

                      Now the bakery is gone and I don't have an alternate cake source. Any suggestions? Anyone?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Sharuf

                        I was also going to suggest the cake at Sweet Things in the Cove Shopping Center in Tiburon, so now I will, I think it is called Black and White Cake or Black Tie Cake.

                      2. Coconut layer cake at Comforts Cafe in San Anselmo in Marin. In addition, their coconut cupcake is the best I've ever had. While I've yet to try another flavor of cake, they all look delicious. Homestyle classics.

                        And any type of cake at Bakesale Betty in Oakland. Yum!

                        Link: http://www.comfortscafe.com/

                        1. Chocolate rum cake from the Prolific Oven. Moist and delicious chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting!

                          1. Romanoff cake from Copenhagen's. I've also tried it w/ bananas and it's SOOOO GOOD!

                            I also am a HUGE fan of the cakes at Tucker's Ice Cream in Alameda. Henry is fabulous and will do almost anything you ask. I special ordered a coconut cake w/ thin layers of chocolate ganache (along with the whipped cream & coconut). DEVINE!!!! His dark chocolate mousse cake is also VERY good!

                            1. Schubert's Strawberry Mousse Cake is delicious. My husband got one for my birthday and it was wonderful.

                              Link: http://www.schubertsbakery.com

                              Image: http://www.schubertsbakery.com//produ...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Nancy Berry

                                Oh yeah!!! Those cakes are good too!

                              2. n
                                Niki Rothman

                                This is something I'm very embarrassed to admit:
                                Costco's lemon bundt cake - intense and moist, with confectioner's sugar lemon icing. I've heard there's a fantastic chocolate cake at Delessio (Market & Valencia) but I haven't tried it - yet.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Niki Rothman

                                  don't be embarrassed by suggesting costco--last month's 100 best issue of saveur did as well!

                                  p.s. my favorites are all from Crixa, near Berkeley Bowl, in south Berkeley--they're all amazing!

                                2. I had a mighty fine mint-chocolate cake from Katrina Rozelle on College Ave. in Oakland a couple of years ago.

                                  Warm Sticky Date Pudding drizzled with cream from Bakesale Betty is another contender.

                                  1. Neldam Bakery's Dream of Cream cake. Chocolate layers with enough whipped cream to adorn three good-sized strippers. Tasty, too.

                                    On Telegraph in Oakland, near Pill Hill.

                                    Link: http://www.neldamsbakery.com/list.asp...

                                    1. Sweet Adeline's Bakeshop in Berkeley, intersection of MLK Way and Adeline. I love their Chocolate Cream Pie.

                                      1. I agree with one of the early posts--Neldam's Dream of Cream was my birthday cake of choice every year as a child, and is still one of my faves.

                                        I also like anything from Masse's pastries on Shattuck in Berkeley - the triple chocolate mousse cake is crazy-good!

                                        And, the Sweet Potato Pie Company in San Leandro makes a great Red Velvet Cake - triple layer, thick cream cheese frosting, and moist cake. you can get it with pecans or not...yum

                                        1. Thanks for the wonderful suggestions in this thread (yes, a few years old, but still very helpful).

                                          I had the sacripantina from Stella's -- amazingly good! After the first slice, I got another to eat in the shop, and two more to go. And I want more now!

                                          Also had slices of princess cakes, along with other goodies, from Schubert and Copenhagen. Both were very good (and both were moist), but Schubert's was much tastier, with a more complex mix of flavors. The Schubert's was also prettier.
                                          If I had to choose having a Schubert or a Copenhagen bakery in the neighborhood, however, I'd choose the latter. The shop is more attractive, and they have a larger variety of pastries to choose from, from cakes to pies and Danishes.

                                          Also had a "tropical" mousse cake from Schubert -- with a blend of a bunch of different tropical fruits (I think the clerk said it had banana, pineapple, passionfruit, ...). Another very tasty item.

                                          1. Coffee Crunch Cake at Yasukochi's

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: mr_darcy

                                              I was hoping someone would mention my all time never to be forgotten Coffee Crunch Cake available at Yasukochi's Sweet Shop - last week in a supreme demonstration of self-control, I went in and bought 2 slices (rather than a whole cake) for my BD. Absolutely sublime... DH who really isn't much of a sweets person loved it too... Now I want more!

                                              Yasukochi's Sweet Stop
                                              1790 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA

                                              1. re: RWCFoodie

                                                I've tried several times to get the cake, and every time they are either sold out or closed!

                                                1. re: betterbeheaven

                                                  I happened upon it by pure fortunate circumstance - someone brought it to a birthday celebration I was attending. The whole night, I was asking people "have you tried this cake... I'm normally not a cake person, but this one is really good!" I had no clue it was semi-famous at the time.

                                                  @RWCFoodie - RWC represent...

                                            2. A recent discovery is the following cake from Emporio Rulli in Larkspur. Comes across as light and airy - you would think it barely contains a calorie... (Most items from Rulli are excellent.). San Francesco cake is pricey - about $35 if I remember correctly.

                                              SAN FRANCESCO… Baked meringue base & vanilla sponge layers filled with fresh raspberries and pastry cream; topped with whipped cream and crumbled, baked meringue

                                              Emporio Rulli
                                              464 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur, CA

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Bob Copeland

                                                Funny - this is the exact cake my colleagues bought me for my birthday. It was fantastic!

                                              2. C'est Si Bon in south San Jose. http://cestsibonbakery.com/

                                                I've eaten a lot of cake in my day and the cake I had here for a birthday party was the best both in taste and texture I've had, and to this day I still think about that cake as being the most memorable. It was a basic chocolate cake with whipped cream frosting but the cake was incredibly rich that went well with the frosting. If a cake could be described as "al dente" it would be this cake. Hands down the best cake I've had in the Bay Area, possibly even anywhere.

                                                1. Rigo Jancsi from Crixa Cakes, tasty and a love story.

                                                  Crixa Cakes
                                                  2748 Adeline St, Berkeley, CA 94703

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: wolfe

                                                    that is definitely a slice of heaven...

                                                    it's a hard call whether to go to Crixa or Masse's to pick up dessert for tonite's dinner party.

                                                    1. re: escargot3

                                                      When those are the choices, it's hard to go wrong. What always tips the scale toward Masse's to me is that I have an aversion to alcohol in desserts (weird, I know) so that eliminates many options at Crixa. EIther way your guests will be thrilled!

                                                  2. I had an unbelievably rich cake at a private party made by Sasha, one of the co-founders of Sweet Adeline. It had layers of chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, white cake? and a coffee colored (but not flavored) ganache with strands of dark chocolate on top. Not sure if she is baking commercially anymore. I think too rich to have more than one piece, but that one piece was sweet heaven.

                                                    Sweet Adeline
                                                    3350 Adeline St, Berkeley, CA

                                                    1. Arizmendi's chocolate cake...yum!

                                                      9th Ave and Irving, San Francisco, CA

                                                      1. Lemon meringue cake from Tartine. I get high off that thing!

                                                        1. Napoleon Cake from Cinderella bakery is now on my list.

                                                          1. Princess Cake at La Gatteau Elegant in Martinez California - the best ever. http://legateauelegant.com/Recommende...

                                                            1. Arizmenid's All Choc Layer or the Choc-Caramel with salt.

                                                              Choc Fudge Golden Layer Cake, Blissful Bites SF

                                                              Boston Cream Pie, Creighton's, SF

                                                              Passion Fruit Shag, Citizen Cake, SF

                                                              Burnt Almond Cream Cake, Dick's SJ. Haven't had it in years.

                                                              "Rum" Cake choc & van layers, choc ganache. Often there's little rum flavor but the pastry cream, ganache and tender cake is lovely even w/o the rum

                                                              Crunchy crackly Fallen Choc Mousse Cake, the choclate restaurant where Delessios is now.

                                                              I wish someone would point me to an Old Fashioned Viennese Hazelnut Biscuit Cake with brandied mocha buttercream and ganache -all time fave.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: stanbee

                                                                The Fruit Basket cake from Virginia Bakery is my fave. Sponge cake with whipped cream (maybe some custard), and fruit (cherries, bananas, raspberries, etc.).

                                                                Virginia Bakery
                                                                1690 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

                                                                Fruit Basket
                                                                24101 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, CA

                                                              2. A spectacular new addition to the great cake list in San Francisco is SusieCakes on Chestnut Street in the Marina. These are among the finest I've ever bought at a commercial bakery anywhere in the world. They are fresh and constantly changing. All the great classic cakes seem to be represented. They also make 2 pies each day (same type of pie for a month at a time) plus cupcakes, a few types of cookies, and a variety of other baked goods. (No bread. No Danish.). I recommend this without reservation to the most critical among you.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: CraigH9

                                                                  I'm a huge fan of SusieCakes. I first experienced their Red Velvet Cake in Newport Beach in June 2009. I begged them to open a place in SF, even wrote an email to Susan the owner. Thankfully they're here, but not too close to where I live. I know some find their cakes too sweet, but they hit the right note for me, classic, retro cakes.

                                                                2. Their signature Banana Cake at Icing on The Cake in Los Gatos is wonderful.


                                                                  1. Many good cakes already named. Now that I've been making more of my own cakes, I'm not as impressed by store-bought with the exception below.

                                                                    I want to give props to the standard sheet cake at any Chinese bakery. If you don't want to go wrong, just get that cake for a friend. The texture is unbelievably light, lighter than any chiffon cake. And the icing is likewise light and not too sweet.

                                                                    How do they do it!?