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unusual cakes from Chinese bakeries?

fdb Jan 4, 2008 06:01 PM

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. J.L. RE: fdb Jan 4, 2008 06:24 PM

    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.
      fdb RE: J.L. Jan 4, 2008 10:41 PM

      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.
        lisako RE: J.L. Jan 5, 2008 09:20 AM

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


      2. choctastic RE: fdb Jan 4, 2008 06:47 PM

        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
          fdb RE: choctastic Jan 4, 2008 10:42 PM

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

          1. re: fdb
            choctastic RE: fdb Jan 5, 2008 11:24 AM

            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. ipsedixit RE: fdb Jan 4, 2008 07:03 PM

          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
            fdb RE: ipsedixit Jan 4, 2008 10:20 PM

            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. re: ipsedixit
              Dommy RE: ipsedixit Jan 9, 2008 03:18 PM

              Their Taro Cake is also yummy!



            2. Liz RE: fdb Jan 4, 2008 07:15 PM

              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. notmartha RE: fdb Jan 4, 2008 08:53 PM

                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
                  fdb RE: notmartha Jan 4, 2008 10:39 PM

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

                  1. re: fdb
                    notmartha RE: fdb Jan 5, 2008 10:23 AM

                    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. s
                  Saucey RE: fdb Jan 5, 2008 12:56 PM

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

                  1. J.L. RE: fdb Jan 5, 2008 01:46 PM

                    Another thought...

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

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: J.L.
                      Pei RE: J.L. Jan 9, 2008 04:12 PM

                      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. b
                      Beignets RE: fdb Jan 5, 2008 05:41 PM

                      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. w
                        WHills RE: fdb Jan 8, 2008 06:36 PM

                        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. Gingerleen RE: fdb Jan 8, 2008 07:27 PM

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

                          1. f
                            fdb RE: fdb Jan 8, 2008 08:44 PM

                            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
                              J.L. RE: fdb Jan 8, 2008 11:02 PM

                              Yes! Taro wins! Heheheh

                              Kiki sounds interesting. Do you have an address?

                              1. re: J.L.
                                fdb RE: J.L. Jan 9, 2008 01:14 AM

                                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
                                  jkao1817 RE: fdb Jan 9, 2008 01:43 PM

                                  did you get the taro with the phyllo in it?

                                  1. re: jkao1817
                                    fdb RE: jkao1817 Jan 9, 2008 05:01 PM

                                    No phyllo.

                                  2. re: fdb
                                    J.L. RE: fdb Jan 9, 2008 08:39 PM

                                    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.
                                      ipsedixit RE: J.L. Jan 10, 2008 05:14 AM

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

                              2. c
                                cinnamong RE: fdb Jan 8, 2008 11:28 PM

                                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. p
                                  pinkshch RE: fdb Jan 9, 2008 08:00 AM

                                  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
                                    crystaw RE: pinkshch Jan 9, 2008 12:19 PM

                                    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
                                      notmartha RE: crystaw Jan 9, 2008 12:32 PM

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

                                      1. re: crystaw
                                        pinkshch RE: crystaw Jan 9, 2008 02:48 PM

                                        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
                                          notmartha RE: pinkshch Jan 9, 2008 07:50 PM

                                          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
                                          fdb RE: crystaw Jan 9, 2008 05:03 PM

                                          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. n
                                        ny7787 RE: fdb Jan 10, 2008 01:43 AM

                                        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
                                          bakersdozen RE: ny7787 Jan 24, 2008 11:56 PM

                                          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.

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