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Aug 19, 2007 01:36 PM

[MSP] Birthday cake with chocolate and cherries

It's that time again - the annual hunt for an birthday cake for my husband, Mr. Tastebud. (Since he's an August baby, it's too hot to bake him a cake.) This year, I'm searching for a great chocolate layer cake - preferably with cherries or some other fruit.

In the past, I've gotten chocolate cakes (some with, some without cherries) from Key's, Franklin St. Bakery, Turtle Bread, Birchwood, and Wuollet. And Izzy's - an ice cream cake with cherries jubilee and chocolate ice cream that was a big hit.

They're all good, but I'd love to try somewhere else this year - like Jerabek's, Bread Coffee and Cake, or The Baker's Wife. Has anyone tried the layer cakes from these places?


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  1. We got a wedding cake from The Baker's Wife for a post-wedding party we had last year and people went crazy for it. I'm not a huge sweets person so I preferred the cheesecake they made for us. The layer cake was zebra (what they call black and white) and I believe had a mocha filling between the layers and then white buttercream frosting on the outside. Plus, their prices are incredibly reasonable.

    3 Replies
    1. re: katebauer

      We got our wedding cake (for 15 people) at the Baker's Wife. They make spectacular cakes. I really love the mocha filling. I think they have a raspberry one too, as well as regular chocolate and vanilla. If you requested cherries or nuts I'm sure they would do it.

      1. re: churchka

        Thanks for the info! I think I'll stop by A Baker's Wife tomorrow to ask if they can put cherries in their cakes. And it's such a hardship, but I'll probably need to sample one of their wonderful doughnuts while I'm there. I can hardly wait.


        A Baker's Wife's Pastry Shop
        4200 28th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406

        1. re: AnneInMpls

          Alas, A Baker's Wife can't add cherries to a chocolate cake. They'll do a raspberry whipped cream filling between the layers, which sounds tasty, but Mr. Tastebud is lactose intolerant and doesn't like extra dairy on his cakes (he saves his Lactaid for the ice cream).

          So I'm still on my quest for his cake. But me - when it's my birthday, I want their lemon layer cake with that raspberry cream filling!


          P.S. While I was there, I picked up an AWESOME lemon bar and a great loaf of peasant bread. So it wasn't a wasted trip...

    2. Just to follow up - I got a cake from the Franklin Street Bakery. I custom-ordered a chocolate cake with strawberry marmelade filling and fudge frosting. The cake and filling were marvelous, but the fudge frosting was a big mistake - it was tooth-achingly sweet and not very chocolatey. ('ve never left frosting uneaten before, but I just couldn't finish this stuff, even with a small piece.)

      A week later, I had the Chocolate-Ancho cake from the same bakery (for a two-year-old's birthday party - he's a sophisticated kid!) It was pretty good, but the best thing was the chocolate ganache icing.

      So now I know - get the chocolate cake, the seasonal fruit filling, and the ganache as icing.


      Franklin Street Bakery
      1020 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404

      11 Replies
      1. re: AnneInMpls

        For those of you who dislike buttercreme frosting like those in my family.. you must try cake from here: (PS, there's a little icon at the bottom that makes the cake pics bigger.. although its not the best website, a trip there is totally worth it!!


        They are beautiful, fresh, and somehow healthy (no shortening, all frosting is whipped cream), but need to be refrigerated.

        The mango cake is a popular favorite in our fam, but my fav. is green tea w. red bean filling. The chocolate frosting is not ganache bc it is with whipped creme, but it actually tastes good. Looks like they can put whatever fruit in it. We had one strawberry cake w.mixed fruit insides and there were actually grapes and kiwis inside. Quirky but great!

        1. re: reannd

          Bravo's cakes look fabulous! I especially love the green cakes decorated with kiwi slices and the brown-and-white cakes with chocolate turtles marching diagonally across the cake. I must try this place next.


          1. re: reannd

            If you hadn't said so, I would not have known that Bravo! does cakes. Thank you for that!!

            1. They are gorgeous, just beautiful.
            2. Shall we assume that some are topped by chocolate porkers are there because this is the year of the pig, not because some folks might eat a whole cake on their own?
            3. How do we feel about the berry garnishes being accented by parsley greenery? I'm intrigued, myself.

            1. re: KTFoley

              Wow, those are fantastic. I hope they taste as glorious as they look! The ones with the chocolate turtles and pigs are adorable, but I'm super intrigued by the ones with the tiny chocolate tea pots and, what's that? a cup of something, liqueur perhaps, spilling out? This place Bravo has got to be one of the most untalked about little gems in St. Paul. First we hear about their amazing espresso drinks... Then bubble tea... Then about their wonderful vegetarian food... And now, these gorgeous cakes. What an unexpectedly versatile little place.

              And KTFoley, I'm also intrigued by the parsley. In fact there are some cakes that appear to be sprinkled with parsley or some kind of pesto-looking topping (I'm sure it's not pesto, but it's more than decorative little sprigs, but rather a fine sprinkling all over.)

              City Pages (but not Dara) on Vegetarian offerings at Cafe Bravo
              City Pages (but not Dara) on Cafe Bravo & Bubble Tea


              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                Yes, Bravo *is* fabulous, and I wouldn't have known about it except for my veg friend who was cooped up really sick one day ventured all the way across the street from her apt to check it out and came back w.rave reviews.

                The green powder is matcha.. used to flavor the green tea cakes. Too expensive to buy ($56/lb in bulk @ the wedge - although I've never priced out 1 Tbsp).

                Yeah the pigs are for chinese year. I've only seen ones w.fruits in their stores.. and yes, they're real whole fruits - it's crazy.

                They always have a couple whole and a bunch of them sliced available by in the store, so definitely try 'em out. The price is about $3-3.50/slice, and it's easy to eat (light w.the real whipping cream in there), but hard to finish (they are large chunks of cake). They also sell vegan slices and have some flour... pretty cool place for picky eaters. Only maybe 8-10 seats in the joint, though.

                I tried their veg food last Fri - the fake fish was chewy, but really good tasting (if you like seaweed, which I do). The local officiando (my friend who goes there a lot), prefers the tofu dish pictured on their website. They're all $5. Pretty cool.

                1. re: reannd

                  hey-- next time you're there tell them that vegans don't eat honey-- so their "vegan honey cake" is probably a faux pas.

                  not trying to be a party pooper-- i agree their cakes do look delicious-- it just totally popped off the menu at me & i'm just *sayin*

                  1. re: soupkitten

                    hey - i will ask them, bc they were ultra careful in the pseudo meat to identify which items are & are not suitable for vegan. makes me think theres really not honey in it, but who knows until we ask! .. its a small family run place so i bet if you called them they would confirm. =)

                    1. re: reannd

                      it's not a big deal to me--i'm not vegan, i just cook for them! that's why i think it just jumped at me when i saw it on the menu-- gotta watch out for honey. . . there are "vegan honeys" made from corn syrup etc.-- maybe that's what the menu name means, i'll give 'em benefit of the doubt until someone can confirm. if the menu item is just a bee-honey-cake-with-no-white-sugar-in-it that sounds great to me and i'd order it myself, so i hope that they'd change the name but not the menu.

            2. re: reannd

              Thank you for clearing up a mystery. Someone brought to work a green tea cake with red bean filling and lots of fruit and parsley on top. It was fantastic. And I wondered where it had come from.

              FYI - the parsley was off putting to some of my coworkers, but I liked it. With the green tea cake, it added a sharp 'green' flavor. I'm someone who eats the parsley decoration off her plate, though. I like the way parsley tastes.

              1. re: reannd

                Reannd, thanks so much for the tip about Bravo! I went there today for lunch, and I loved it. I ordered a plate of broccoli and "fish" (made from soybeans) on brown rice. Gloppy but good - or rather, gloppy AND good.

                There were slices of cake in the display (I remember seeing mango, mocha, and green tea). I had a cream puff instead - it was great. But next time, I'm getting the green tea cake!


                1. re: AnneInMpls

                  Hooray! I'm soo happy someone else was able to try this place & liked it. Glad you enjoyed hte cream puff. I want to try one, too.. after reading about 'em on their website.

                  I had the sweet & sour fish.. it had a bunch of different veggies.. also nice. My husband taunted me w.a potential Bravo cake trip today, but we remembered 35W is down and we already have another eating out adventure tomorrow. *sigh*.. someday I'll get the dream cake again!

            3. If you are willing to skip the choclate next year, you could try the Fragipane at Rustica (or find anoter excuse to buy one). Everything they produce here is top notch and never cloyingly sweet. I attribue this place to at least 5 pounds of extra cargo that I am carrying around.

              1 Reply
              1. re: GastronautMN

                i had one of the fresh blueberry tarts from rustica the other day. the berries were perfectly ripe and juicy, kissed with a very light, almost-not-there-because-the-berries-are-gorgeous, syrup. tart was buttery and flaky and rich with almond. they could charge $50 for the *&(% things for all i care--i will remember that tart the rest of my life. long live rustica.