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Please help me find a great bakery for b-day cake (PHX)

Please help me in finding a great bakery for a birthday cake. Not necessarily looking for a traditional sheet cake but a bakery that makes a decadent birthday treat! Downtown/Central Phoenix area a plus but will travel. Looking at Tammy Coe's but are there any other contenders? Price not an issue. Thanks in advance.

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  1. i have been consistently happy with sugarlipscakery. plus, they deliver.

      1. They may be a little too traditional or run of the mill looking, given what you are considering, but Karsh's certainly makes some of the best tasting cakes in the Valley.

        Karsh's Bakery
        5555 N 7th St # 116, Phoenix, AZ

        1 Reply
        1. re: hohokam

          Is this Barb's the same Barb's that used to be in Old Town Scottsdale?

        2. After finally havning one last year, I've become a fan of Barb's Pink Champagne cake. We've order a couple when we've needed a cake and they're always received well.

          Barb's Bakery
          2929 N 24th St, Phoenix, AZ

          2 Replies
          1. re: ziggylu

            Hmm..have never tried a pink champagne cake. Is it really sweet? Trying to imagine what it would taste like.

            1. re: sunshineinaz

              Actually one of the reasons I like it is because I don't find it cloyingly sweet like so many bakery cakes are. the cake itself is moist, buttery and has a great crumb...and not too sweet. I find the buttercream sweet, but I find most icings too sweet for me. My husband likes the buttercream. I've liked the filling a lot however, again not too sweet for my taste.

          2. How many people are you serving? I'd recommend Barb's Bakery over Tammy Coe, and my colleagues are always bringing in Mexican cakes freshly made at Phoenix Ranch Market that are delicious, maybe someone else has more specifics.

            1. I personally love Tammie Coe's zebra cake, but $50 for a large (serves 8-12), OUCH!

              1. Thanks everyone for the recommendations so far. We are looking to serve about 8 (some leftovers would be great too :) )

                1. In some ways, it's a tradeoff between cake looks and cake taste. Do you want a cake that wows your guests when it's unveiled, or do you want a cake that they'll really enjoy eating.

                  My heretical opinion is that Tammie Coe cakes are often the best looking, but not always the best tasting.

                  We got Karsh's cakes for my 40th birthday and my daughter's 1st birthday. Both were delicious, but the decoration did not have the same craft feel as a Tammie Coe cake.

                  Sweet Pea -- I love Sweet Pea's tarts and cookies. I have not tried cakes from Sweet Pea, but if the cakes are as good as everything else, they should be quite impressive.

                  No experience with Barb's.

                  Also, don't forget about Cathy's Rum Cake: http://cathysrumcake.com/old.htm

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: silverbear

                    I agree w/ Silverbear on Tammie Coe -- they're very pretty/striking but taste-wise...eh. The chocolate hazelnut one isn't bad but the other two I've tried (zebra and, um, strawberry I think...or maybe it was lemon...something fruity) were both very sweet and very light/airy ( I LOVE LOVE LOVE Coe's pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, tho'. Crave and adore them).

                    I prefer a little more "ooomph" so Karsh's has always been the birthday cake bakery of choice. I like the choc. cake with custard and raspberry inside and fudge icing outside. Oh my! Decadent and delightful. And a much cheaper option than Tammie Coe, too.

                    I've always meant to try Barb's but never have.

                    Had Cathy's Rum Cake once, chocolate bundt cake. It was fantastic.

                    1. re: Bax

                      did you say pumpkin chocolate chip muffins?! that sounds incredible, is it a seasonal thing or are they regularly available? yummmm

                      1. re: Jess321

                        I can second that the pumpkin choc chip muffins are delicious. They are available every day at LGO. I also really like the blackberry bran muffin. It sounds kinda healthy, but I'm pretty sure it's not :)

                        1. re: hollyeve

                          Oh, and I agree on the Tammy Coe cakes, very pretty but just ok taste-wise.

                          1. re: hollyeve

                            Yup, everyday (unless they run out) both at LGO and at the Roosevelt location. I've had the choc/raspberry and the strawberry too but although they're good they can in no way compete with the pumpkin chocolate chip.

                            Now I'm going to have to get one.

                      2. re: silverbear

                        Totally agree with silverbear & bax. I think Tammie Coe's cakes are gorgeous. I can't help staring at them every LGO visit. With that being said, we did a Tammie Coe stint in the family here but have switched back to Cathy's Rum Cake. Yum! Bummer she's left her Scottsdale location though.

                      3. Wicked Bakery has the best desserts of all kinds. Their cakes are very rich but not very sweet at all. Everything I have there are always very tasty and fresh. The price is more on the high end side.
                        The store is located at 14848 N. Cave Creek Rd. (www.wickedbakery.com)

                        1. Let Them Eat Cake on Thomas and 48th does a nice job as well.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: kmarg

                            Barbs is awesome and chompies was REALLY good my hubby got me one for my birthday in December. But Barbs is really good ahd the cake in Feb. The only thing is I ordered a yellow cake with lemon filling and they gave me a lemon cake??? I love birthday cake

                            1. re: drewb123

                              " I love birthday cake"

                              This made me smile.

                              Me, I love birthday pie(especially blackberry). I find this a hard town to find a good pie in though(fortunately I don't mind making them but it would be nice to have somewhere to pick one up in a hurry)

                              1. re: ziggylu

                                I'm just curious ziggylu - have you ever tried Iowa Cafe in Mesa for pies? When I lived in Mesa some years back, my family in the area were always buying pies from there. They even have a $2 refund if you return the tin.

                                1. re: azhotdish

                                  I haven't. it's not too far from me...I'll have to pick one up and let you know how it is! I'll let you know how it is! (how's the rest of the food...worth stopping in for breakfast, lunch or dinner?)

                                  1. re: ziggylu

                                    Let me say again, it's been years since i've been there. And it's supper, not dinner. :D

                                    It's honest Midwest food, so i prefer it for breakfast or lunch; I can't eat that heavy at night. The pork tenderloin sandwich is really good as are the biscuits and gravy.

                                  2. re: azhotdish

                                    My parents are both from Iowa. I went to law school at the University of Iowa. Nothing against Iowa in general or the Iowa Cafe overall (their pork tenderloin sandwich is pretty good) but their pies are not worth it. They use canned filling that they doctor a bit. It's definitely not a good, homemade pie--but I have very high standards for pie.

                                    If you want to purchase truly wonderful pies, go to the website of the CCCC (an east valley cake decorating club)


                                    Ask who provided the pies for the annual Christmas party. I'm blanking on her name at the moment, but they'll be able to give you her contact information. She has a pie business, and her pies are truly exceptional.

                                    So far, hers are the ONLY pies I've ever tasted that I would consider buying (as good as my own).

                                    (who loves cake decorating, but for eating, vastly prefers pies)

                                    1. re: modthyrth

                                      Interesting modthyrth, thanks. I believe I've had their pumpkin (I can easily see this canned) and a special strawberry rhubarb (definitely not canned). Almost worth a trip for that sandwich though...

                                      1. re: modthyrth

                                        I wasn't all that impressed with Iowa Cafe pies. Their lemon chess is WEIRD.

                                        When we get a pie craving lately we go to My Mother's Restaurant at Indian School and 19th Ave. I haven't tried any of the fruit ones because I always get the chocolate cream. And my boyfriend gets the banana. He likes that it has really big chunks of banana. And the slices are HUGE! They're really good when you're having a bad day. Cheer up -- have some pie!

                                    2. re: ziggylu

                                      It's a drive but Rock Springs cafe north of Phoenix off the I-17 (apx 45 minutes) has the best pies. Jack Daniels Pecan Pie (yum!) We have actually driven to pick one up to take as a gift. Their peach is also great, I have not tried the rest but they make a lot.

                                      1. re: travelchow

                                        We've picked up blackberry pie from them on the way up to Flagstaff for the weekend.

                                        Don't bother eating lunch there though. Decidedly unimpressive we found.

                                2. As stated already, Tammy Coe makes a great looking cake. It's striking in its appearance, and it will make an incredible impression. I agree that although her cakes taste good, they are not all great.

                                  Barb's is ok, but we had a bad experience with them recently. They did not make what we requested, but when we went to pick it up we had no choice but to accept what they made. There was no offer to reduce the price or do anything for us in the future. My wife spoke with a manager by phone later that day and they offered to refund 50%, but they never did. Even after calling back a month later to remind them, and being assured it would be taken care of, still no refund. No apology, no offer to make it up to us, nothing. We likely won't be ordering from Barb's again for a long time.

                                  Sweet Thang Bakery is open at Thomas and 5th Ave (it was in the same space as Zuppa's). She dropped off some cupcakes to my office today (marketing) and I must say the one I just ate was very good. I know she makes cakes and will do anything you ask. You may want to give her a try. The cakes are delicious and very attractive.


                                  1. We swear by Barb's Bakery. They have done AWESOME custom cakes for us. They always taste incredible and are beautiful. I just did my in-laws 50th Anniversary cake there....so pretty! I am about to order a custom cake Congratulations cake for SO, he's getting an award in a few weeks. Customer service can falter there, never bad in my experience, but newbies needing more training. I believe they deliver as well.

                                    1. A big thank you to everyone for your input. We decided on Barb's Bakery. They did a Black Forest cake that was sinfully delicious. Very moist and beautifully decorated. Everyone loved it. Excited to try the other suggestions as the needs arise. Thanks again.

                                      1. If you want something a little different, give Nothing Bundt Cakes a try...it is not like your grandma's bundt cakes!! The Chocolate Chocolate chip is the best and the cream cheese icing is the best I have ever had. They even decorate them for birthdays and other celebrations. They are not overly sweet either. They have a few valley locations and they even ship them too.

                                        For something different too you can also try one of the valley's cupcake places instead of a traditional birthday cake.

                                        1. I haven't ordered a cake from Essence Bakery on University in Tempe, but if the mini cakes and pastries are anything to go by, they're absolutely divine and gorgeous confections. I'm definitely going to try it for my next occasion and will let you know whether they live up to their high potential.