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unusual cakes from Chinese bakeries?

  • f

Everytime someone is having a birthday in my family, I try to get a special cake that no one has ever tasted (SLJ, Leda's, Amandine....), but so far none has interested them. OK, they only want the standard (to me BORING) Chinese sponge cakes with fruit fillings from the various bakeries in the SGV. Another birthday is coming up next week, and I am still hopeful that I can get something tasty yet interesting and unusual (topping, filling, flavor..) from one of these Chinese bakeries. Thanks for suggestions.

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  1. Taro, Taro, Taro...

    It makes for a nice natural purplish color to the cake and/or acts as a filling for the cake. Yum.

    Ask for it by name. Taro.

    2 Replies
    1. re: J.L.

      We've had taro many times, and it's generally well received. Which bakery do you think makes the tastiest taro cake?

      1. re: J.L.

        I agree with the Taro. I've had the cake at JJ Bakery in Irivine - Yummy!


      2. I've seen green tea cakes a lot. Not sure if this falls under the boring category though since they're everywhere.

        2 Replies
        1. re: choctastic

          I like green tea cakes. Which bakery do you like?

          1. re: fdb

            Hmm, I wish I was more familiar with the bakeries in the SGV area. For that, I would turn to yelp.com if I were you.

        2. Get a durian cake from Van's Bakery.

          VAN'S BAKERY
          121 East Valley Blvd
          San Gabriel
          (626) 288-7272

          2 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            Wow, Durian! That sure is interesting. I just tasted a fried durian dessert in Taiwan, but not sure if I can handle a cake.

            1. The Tiramisu cake from JJ Bakery in Arcadia. I ordered one time for my Mom's birthday, everyone loved it. (Most of the guests were Chinese)

              1. Not chinese, but I really found the Tres Leches cakes from a good mexican bakery to be equally satisfying - not extremely sweet or dense, maybe more of a 'change' w/o going overboard.

                Or else if you are at all close to Torrance there's the Paradise cake from King's Hawaiian that's very similiar to chinese cakes in terms of sweetness and lightness but have more of a tropical taste to it.

                2 Replies
                1. re: notmartha

                  Guess what? I've tried having Paradise Cake, which I think is very moist and tasty, before. Not a hit, either!

                  1. re: fdb

                    Tough crowd. Maybe a standard cake for them (some people really only likes the familiar stuff), and a slice of interesting cake for yourself? ;)

                2. We had the coffee sponge cake with peach filling once from a chinatown bakery and it was a big hit with the family.

                  1. Another thought...

                    Perhaps the Rainbow Cake from King's Hawaiian Bakery (310.530.0050) in Torrance?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: J.L.

                      I think you mean the paradise cake. I agree that it's a great choice. My family is similar to the OP's in that they like "boring" Chinese cake. The three alternatives they've also liked are:

                      Princess cake from B&L Bakery near theBeverly Center
                      Paradise cake from King's Hawaiian
                      Berry Blossom from Susina, preferably special ordered with the $5 charge for extra berries, and a request for more meringue chips on top.

                    2. Sounds like they know what they want and aren't really open minded to other alternatives... Just give it to them.

                      They'll probably also like the sponge cake with mango and pastry crisp too. There are several places in the SGV - you'll probably know which ones might be reputable. I go to a tiny one on Rosemead blvd next to Albertson's.

                      1. The most beautiful cake I have seen is from Cathay Bakery in Arcadia in the Arcadia Supermarket center. They have a teapot and teacup cake and other styles. The look is sure to impress.

                        1. Have you tried Vanile on the corner of San Gabriel and Huntington? I think that they may have a sweet red bean filling.

                          1. Thanks for all your thoughts. My sister-in-law ended up ordering a taro cake and a cheese cake from Kiki Bakery, which is a relatively new bakery in Alhambra. I have to say they are quite fresh and tasty, and well received by the family. I'll try some of your interesting suggestions next time.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: fdb

                              Yes! Taro wins! Heheheh

                              Kiki sounds interesting. Do you have an address?

                              1. re: J.L.

                                Kiki Bakery
                                640 W. Valley Blvd, Suite B
                                Alhambra, CA 91805

                                They make good Taiwanese breads (e.g. pineapple, red bean, cream...) and sandwiches (those triangular ones with ham, cheese, egg, mayo...).

                                1. re: fdb

                                  did you get the taro with the phyllo in it?

                                  1. re: fdb

                                    Oh! I used to have those triangular sandwiches with ham, egg and mayo all the time as a kid! Ah, memories...

                                    1. re: J.L.

                                      The best part of those sandwiches is that they take the crust off for you.

                              2. for your next thought, include here. I usually go there to buy the birthday cake. Everybody loves it. They have various kind from plain fruits filled cake to Tiramisu.

                                Paris Baguette Bakery in Korea town.
                                125 N. Western Ave. Los Angeles CA 90004

                                For specially big heavy cake, I'm ordering the big plain sponge cake with whip creams & strawberries at Phoenix bakery in Chinatown for special event for my church. Have this traditional cake at the amazing good price. good price and good taste. what else do you want?

                                Phoenix bakery in China Town
                                969 N Broadway
                                Los Angeles, CA 90012

                                1. JJ Bakery (multiple locations) offers many flavors and unique cakes. Their Festive Fruit Cake is beautiful. Check out their green tea , caramel, passion fruit, or mango mousses. Their mocha cheesecake is also very good. I think they also have a Calpico mousse, although I've never tried that one before.

                                  For taro, the best I've had is from Cathy's Bakery in San Gabriel. Their taro cake with crispy layers is the best.

                                  Cathy's Bakery
                                  708 E Las Tunas Dr
                                  San Gabriel
                                  (626) 451-0101

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: pinkshch

                                    I was going to suggest a cake from Cathy's Bakery too. I personally really dislike taro (and crispy layers for the matter) but my mom and all her friends really like it. They have the typical Chinese pallate when it comes to cakes and sweets. A favorite among them is their cake the taro and crispy layer filling with the top layer being that lovely flan like pudding that a lot of Chinese bakeries have. Ellie's Bakery in Arcadia is the same as Cathy's Bakery in San Gabriel.
                                    They also really like the cakes from RJ Patisserie in the 99 Ranch plaza in Arcadia. My mom especially likes the tiramisu which I find a little heavy on the alcohol.

                                    1. re: crystaw

                                      RJ's chocolate cake actually tastes like a chocolate cake, unlike most Asian bakeries.

                                      1. re: crystaw

                                        I personally have found RJ's cakes to be average on the taste side. I think they are gorgeous, but for me, they have been more looks than taste. I prefer JJ for cakes that both look and taste good.

                                        1. re: pinkshch

                                          I think it must depend on the flavors. We usually get the pyramid looking individual chocolate cake with raspberry from RJ and it's good and chocolatey.

                                          Love JJ's bread/sandwiches/buns, I didn't like the cakes I tried there, but that was several years ago. Can't even remember the flavor other than it's really bland and I got one of those rectangular 4-5 servings sized one.

                                          Vanille's cake looked really interesting, but the slices I tried were bland too. I mean I want my chocolate cake to taste really chocolatey and coffee to be strongly flavored, and tiramisu should have enough chocolate and coffee flavors (plus a hint of alcohol).

                                        2. re: crystaw

                                          I know the taro cake you are talking about. Try Kiki next time. I'm surprised their taro cake is better than Cathy's--very very moist. Don't know if they have the cripsy layers or the pudding topping though.

                                      2. maybe you can try the Vanille De Patisserie......
                                        they got very good cake and different favor......

                                        2998 Huntington Dr. San Marino, CA91108

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: ny7787

                                          For furture reference, the ube cake at Red Ribbon Bakery is really good. It has a light whipped cream frosting. It is similar to taro, also a deep purple color and not super sweet. This cake is in my opinion, is more moist than the taro at JJ. Red Ribbon is a Philipino bakery. They also have a good mango cake and mocha cake (although this is a bit dry for some folks). There is a location at Sunset/Gower and also on Woodman in Panorama City.