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Birthday Cake from local bakery?

I'm in Center City, Philadelphia. Which bakery has the best cakes? Any flavor is fine as long as it's delicious and the cream/icing is on the lighter side.

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  1. Just to clarify, light as in the cream itself is light, not that there is a thin layer. :)

    3 Replies
    1. re: baekster

      As a former baker @ SWISS PASTRY i assure you the previous owner who bought the shop about 6 years ago was a scrouge (and the reason i left)!! but they are now REOPENED!! under new ownership with all the same great people and same great recipies!!!

      1. re: bakersdozen600

        So is the owner no longer there? I spoke to him once and he was horrible.

        1. re: bakersdozen600

          This is fantastic news!!! Same location? And do you still make Bienenstich? If so, what days? It wasn't a daily offering as I remember.

      2. I'd vote for the Swiss Pastry Shop at 35 S. 19th anyday. My parents used to get my birthday cakes there 50 years ago. Its still as good as ever.

        If you want to ferry out to Wayne, Aux Petits Delices on Lancaster Pike is world class. Patrice's Tahitian cake was probably the best I've ever had, and I have travelled far and wide.

        11 Replies
        1. re: Chefpaulo

          Thank you for the suggestion. I'll probably order from Swiss Pastry Shop. I will let you know how it was (or will be).

            1. re: Philly Ray

              This is very sad news. Swiss Pastry was like an icon.
              But Aux Petits Delices in Wayne is, hands down, a quality bakery. You can't go wrong, like Chefpaulo indicated.

              1. re: Philly Ray

                That is INCREDIBLY sad. And just yesterday! The hazelnut cake was amazing and I was about to go down to get a Bienenstich someday soon.

                I hope this very talented staff finds another outlet for their Old World talents and that the prized recipes will be enjoyed once again. And who was this horrid man who gave them four days notice right before Christmas? May the ghost of his worst nemesis haunt him forever.

                1. re: Philly Ray

                  Oh, no! Well, Flying Monkey in Reading Terminal is also excellent--though I sort of doubt it qualifies as "light" icing.

                  1. re: macdonwald

                    Yea, I went there this afternoon and saw that it was closed! I was like WTF? Oh, well. Got something from a bakery nearby (Coventry?). But it doesn't seem that great...I had a small piece and it was rather disappointing... sad sad..

                    1. re: macdonwald

                      I've gotten 3 things at flying monkey.
                      1 was good to very good. 2 were fine, to good.
                      none were fantastic, IMHO.

                      1. re: Bob Loblaw

                        Was the good to very good one the valhrona double chocolate brownie, the fine things the peanut butter and oatmeal sandwich cookies? Just testing my psychic abilities...Good thing you didn't try the cupcakes with the lardy icing.

                        In all serousness though, I think the Monkey has started to fly South, as a number of recent visits were met with hard-as-a-rock brownies, burned baked goods, and staff who seem bothered to help people at the counter as opposed to icing a cupcake.

                        1. re: bluehensfan

                          actually, i kind of liked the one cupcake i had. the sandwich cookie i had was the best (still just a cookie, though). the peanut butter brownie was fine to good, at least in the middle. the outsides tasted like they'd been better the day before.

                          agree w/you about the staff.

                          1. re: Bob Loblaw

                            I honestly can't figure the Monkey out. They never seem to do much business and the owner (who never seemed standoffish like the rest of the bunch) has not been there lately. And then there's the issue with what little they serve is not as good as it was when they opened...since the cookies have been hard and crumbly lately but used to be moist and chewy. Oh well...

                            At least Vic Braverman was amiable...

              2. I can't believe Swiss Pastry closed! Their icing was fantastic.

                Isgro's is my birthday cake standby.

                1. This answer is probably for other folk, since you are looking for Center City: but Sweet Jazmine's in Berwyn (down the the street from Clay's Bakery) is unforgettable. At a large sit down bday party I attended, there were probably 8 or 9 of her round cakes (no tacky sheet cakes from this bakery) in a variety of creamy icings and flavors. There is a website but I don't have it offhand.

                  1. If you are interested in venturing out to Chestnut Hill, Night Kitchen has the most delicious yellow cake with lemon curd filling. It is what everyone in our family requests on their birthday.

                    1. My recommendations are:

                      Isgro's
                      Termini's (especially the Lemon Cooler Cake)
                      Brown Betty (in Northern Liberties)--you can get assorted cupcakes or a cake)

                      I have to admit that the cakes from the Swiss Pastry shop were never on my top ten list.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: drjane

                        There was a big article in the Inquirer a few weeks ago about Swiss Pastry being opened again by a gentleman by the name of Hausman (our hero!) and they reinstated the old baker who knew all the recipes.
                        The article stated that they will only be staying at the present location until a new one is found and then they will move. But it's baaaack!!!! Hooray!