The thread on wedding cakes inspired me to post this. Where can one get the best fakeo cakes in LA? A fakeo cake is one of those white cakes with white frosting of the general genre sold at most supermarkets. However, the ones at the supermarkets in LA aren't particularly good, in my experience. Note that "good" does not mean natural tasting; fakeo cakes are, by their very nature, fake--filled with artificial stuff like vanillan and so on.
The true test of a fakeo cake must be the icing. In my view, the best fake icing must have a slight underlying granularity (from the sugar) and not be perfectly smooth (a la something resembling a marshmallow or cream). It must also have the very slightest hint of a dry shell that forms when the icing hits the air.
Man, you brought back memories of the truly awful cakes I could never finish at birthday parties I used to attend when I was a little kid--they were exactly as you described. The absolute worst cakes came from Grace's Bakery in Gardena. The birthday cakes were always pure white and extremely dry and were littered with cheap, plastic figurines on top. Grace's has been out of business (no suprise) for years, so I can't help you in finding one of these cakes.
re: Sweet Tooth
Boy, talk about bringing back memories. If I'm not mistaken, the original Grace's was located on Jefferson near the corner of Chrenshaw, before it relocated to Gardena. Grace's was a Japanese-run bakery that served up that god-awful white frosting cake, that perhaps looked good (in that Hallmark way), but was completely insipid. But it was very popular among the local Japanese community. I went to Japanese school around the corner from the original Grace's during the mid-70s, and I remember going there on some Saturdays after school to pick up a cake for some occasion, and thinking to myself, why are we getting this stuff? I also remember insisting to my mom NEVER to get a birthday cake for me from Grace's again, after one incident of getting sick from eating that overly sweetened frosting. To this day, I'm still frightened by white frosting.