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a cakemonkey thank you

Thi N. Apr 28, 2009 05:58 PM

I like to occasionally pause and think how much, in the last ten years of living in Los Angeles, Chowhound has changed my life for the better. (For a while, it was changing my life for the better and the heavier, but now I've successfully made it just for the better.)

I have to thank Chowhounders - in this case, suebee - for directing me to such wonders as the fact that Silverlake Wine sells little foil-wrapped wonders from Cakemonkey - which are basically recreations of Hostess treats made with care, wonder, and perfection. They've got the thin waxy breaky flaky chocolate texture just right, except it tastes like good chocolate.

They are completely delightful. Every person in my little gang goes kind of crazy for them

This is all by way of saying thank you to suebee, and Chowhounders in general, since, because of y'alls tireless effort to Find Stuff, I was able to, when my girlfriend requested camping and rock climbing in Joshua Tree for her birthday, I was able to produce, under the moonlight and the starlight and the firelight of wide-open desert, produce a small backpacking tin cup (a Sierra Cup, to be exact) with a single unwrapped Cakemonkey Red Velvet Cakewich, with a single candle in it, thus allowing me to claim, at least for that one night, the title of Best Boyfriend Ever. This feat I owe to you all. Thank you.

Also: Cakemonkey's red velvet cakewich has maybe my favorite red velvet cake in town. I've been a little obsessed with red velvet lately. The only thing better is their cakewich with peanut butter cake and gorgeously custardy marshmallow fluff in the middle. It's the velveteen hammer of sheer pleasure direct to the inner hindbrain.

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  1. Thi N. RE: Thi N. Apr 28, 2009 06:00 PM

    Also: their Ho Ho object is pretty much the perfect texture ever. The chocolate layers are just perfectly firm, the white filling is almost like soft custard. It's genius. Genius!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Thi N.
      Phurstluv RE: Thi N. Apr 28, 2009 07:09 PM

      Oh no, I would have totally been better off not knowing this info AT ALL! Thanks for wrecking my last 4 months of training!! :)

      The only thing saving my f*t *ss is that Silverlake is too far for me to go - well, not really. Oh man, I'm in trouble!!

      1. re: Thi N.
        kevin RE: Thi N. Apr 29, 2009 02:23 PM

        i was not impressed at all with the ho ho the long thing cake or is it a ding dong?
        give me the real hostess treat anyday.

        now, if the red velvet is any diffeent i might just try it.

        the ho ho/ding dong is the only one i've tried so far and that occured at Umami Burger.

        1. re: kevin
          Phurstluv RE: kevin Apr 29, 2009 06:21 PM

          Well, I do have to say, I do love the artificial-ness of the hostess variety, and am not sophisticated enough to appreciate a homemade version ;)!

          Also, haven't been yet, but still salivating to go, don't think I'd have room after Umami Burger anyway!! Always end up ordering another drink at dessert time, anyway!!

      2. r
        Raspberries RE: Thi N. Apr 28, 2009 07:18 PM

        As a fellow fan of Bake and Broil (a former LB resident, I've never heard anyone refer to it as "Jongewaard's"), must recommend their red velvet. Nearly as good as their pies. Scratch that, possibly better, depending on your mood... Beats Cakemonkey's any day.

        (Nice job on the cakewich-candle-birthday-climbing thing. Climbers, generally accustomed to foil-wrapped eats mashed between themselves and their gear eat pretty poorly. She must have been stoked.)

        12 Replies
        1. re: Raspberries
          Local RE: Raspberries Apr 28, 2009 07:26 PM

          (yeah, that CakeinaCup definitely beats tinned sardines in oil any day (don't ask but one of our climbing buds thrived on them..and kept us at a distance))...that said, CAKEMONKEY goods supposedly can be found at other locations in town, based on their website - at both Umami Burger and Gelato Bar (Studio City)... YUM!

          1. re: Local
            fdb RE: Local Apr 28, 2009 08:47 PM

            Had a red velvet at Umami today but their selections are limited. Does Gelato Bar carry a wider selection?

            1. re: fdb
              Local RE: fdb Apr 28, 2009 09:02 PM

              dunno....various sources show Gelato Bar carries Pop Pies, Yo-Hos and Peanut Butter/Marshmallow Cakewiches. and, ah-ha.... Artisan Cheese Gallery, also in Studio City, carries Yo-Hos, and both Cakewich flavors. (http://www.foodgps.com) guess it's time for a little reconnaissance mission.

          2. re: Raspberries
            Thi N. RE: Raspberries Apr 28, 2009 07:31 PM

            Oooh... haven't tried their red velvet yet. I'm a huge fan of their rhubarb, apple, mince pie, pecan pie, and banana cream pie. Also the chicken pot pie special.

            Yeah, on Jongewaard's vs. Bake and Broil: you may be correct, and you may have the authority of the local and the authentic, but what I have on my side is that "Jongewaard's" is *way* cooler to say, especially with a ridiculously put-on Scandinavian accent.

            1. re: Thi N.
              Raspberries RE: Thi N. Apr 28, 2009 08:27 PM

              yes, yes: without a doubt, their pies are the best (non-homemade) pies I've ever had. Particularly, the fresh peach, fresh olallieberry, and fresh raspberry, though they're only in season for what seems like a nano-second. Shudder to think of how many pies I've eaten here over the years -- seriously, I've ordered whole pies to go (always with a pint of freshly whipped cream, whipped a little loose, just firm enough, lightly sweetened), declined their offer to slice the pie, and eaten the entire thing myself with a fork. In one sitting. And I'm a girl. This, sadly, has not happened infrequently. (Sorry, Babalu's ok, I suppose, but not in the same league.)

              And their red velvet is just as good. Plus, for an entire 12" cake, it's something ridiculous like $24. And while I find a lot of their non-fresh fruit pies too sweet, (the pecan in particular), their red velvet is just right, with just a thin layer of cream cheese frosting to offset the sweetness.

              Hard to say "Jongewaard's," accent or no, with a mouth full of cake...

              1. re: Raspberries
                kevin RE: Raspberries Apr 29, 2009 02:26 PM

                wow, you ate a whole pie in one sitting. that's pretty impressive, all i could manage was to devour a red velvet cupcake of theirs followed by a slice of the banana cream pie. i used to think the apple pan served teh best banan cream pie but now i believe that it is Jongerwarrd's

                1. re: Raspberries
                  mollyomormon RE: Raspberries Apr 29, 2009 03:42 PM

                  Raspberries, that is incredible. We should be friends.

                  1. re: mollyomormon
                    Raspberries RE: mollyomormon Apr 29, 2009 09:37 PM

                    awww shucks, mollyomormon... It's good to be good at something.

                    Seriously, when fresh peach or fresh raspberry are in season, and you get a glistening, beautiful pie that was filled just for you (hence the perfectly flaky crust with no chance of sogginess), topped with whipped cream... Go. I dare you to eat just one piece. (If this friendship thing works out, I'd be happy to share. Or, we could always get two.)

                    Kevin, have eaten an entire pie in one sitting many more times than I care to remember. And look very much forward to doing it again.

                    Not sure when olallieberry pie is in season. BnB are on my speed dial, though. I start calling a little obsessively as the weather starts to warm up. Right now, they're only serving fresh strawberry.

                    1. re: Raspberries
                      Local RE: Raspberries Apr 29, 2009 09:50 PM

                      Ollalieberries general ripen in early-mid June and the season can stretch into August...generally most plentiful here in Calif. in July...but varies somewhat depending on what state they're being grown/harvested.

                      1. re: Raspberries
                        kevin RE: Raspberries Apr 30, 2009 08:04 AM

                        well, i did eat a whole 18in pie, savory, of course but that's a different story.

                        what would a whole fruit pie be like 4 regular slices? i gues that's not that huge then.

                        1. re: kevin
                          Raspberries RE: kevin Apr 30, 2009 09:42 AM

                          It think their pie slicing contraption thing slices it into five generous slices. So, no, not *really* huge.

                          18"? Now that's impressive

                    2. re: Raspberries
                      jackattack RE: Raspberries Apr 29, 2009 06:19 PM

                      When is Olalliberry Pie season?

                2. m
                  MoreMolecules RE: Thi N. Apr 28, 2009 10:30 PM

                  cakewich, yohos: great

                  oatmeal cookie-wich with maple frosting: oh man

                  1. m
                    Muskrat RE: Thi N. Apr 28, 2009 10:51 PM

                    You may thank me at your leisure.


                    1. Dommy RE: Thi N. Apr 28, 2009 11:10 PM

                      I must be the lone dissenter. I found them too sweet and nothing special. I much preferred the red velvet cake at Hot Cakes in Culver City and Susie Cakes in Brentwood.


                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Dommy
                        Raspberries RE: Dommy Apr 29, 2009 01:30 PM

                        I totally agree with you, Dommy. I was distinctly underwhelmed as well.

                        1. re: Raspberries
                          kevin RE: Raspberries Apr 29, 2009 02:27 PM

                          good now i don't feel like i'm in the minorithy on this one. but alas i've only tried the ho ho's so far. wow, it's interesting how that Ho name came to be. was this the food of hookers ages ago.

                        2. re: Dommy
                          Thi N. RE: Dommy Apr 29, 2009 02:39 PM

                          The sweetness is part of the point. They wouldn't be instantly recognizable as *Hostess* descendents if there weren't a hit of sugar in them. Now this may be meaningless to you - and it may be that I can't give any impartial judgment of these things, separate from the essential Hostess-referentiality. It may be that my experience is soaked in nostalgia, and that the only way cakemonkey stuff functions is for those whose brains are soaked in Hostess nostalgia. But maybe that's unimportant - I mean, that's what the cakemonkey cakewiches are *for*. Maybe it's OK that they're only fantastic for people for whom there is some particular inner part of the brain still attuned to a Ding Dong hit, but who have kind of grown out of it at the same time, and yearn to be allowed that same particular pleasure. Kind of like how it's OK that a parody is only funny for people that have seen the source material, or care about the source material.

                          Or maybe it's just a difference of style and taste. The cakemonkey stuff is very particular - not really about delicate flavor, but trying to hit a particular balance of textures and reactions between the parts.

                          It's an interesting data point that people either seem to be completely uninterested, or completely floored with joy. I've seen both reactions, though, at least among the people I know, joy predominates.

                          I'll definitely try Hot Cakes and Susie Cakes though - I haven't had either yet.

                          1. re: Thi N.
                            Dommy RE: Thi N. Apr 29, 2009 02:56 PM

                            Ah! That I can understand... I grew up near a Hostess Thrift Store with a brother and father with AMAZING sweet tooths... They'd come home all excited because they would get a grocery bag FULL of Hostess goodies and I just didn't get it...

                            Of course now they think it's terribly ironical that one of the highlights of my career was developing candy bars... LOL!! But it is also how I managed to leave the company with weighing 300lbs...


                            1. re: Dommy
                              Thi N. RE: Dommy Apr 29, 2009 03:03 PM

                              I will say though: I normally am not into the super-sweet. My tastes run towards barely sweet chocolate cake, and almost unsweetened single estate chocolates. Many desserts other people dig I reject as sickeningly sweet.

                              But I've developed, lately, an ability to tolerate *well used* hits of sweet - mostly trolling around Artesia and having lots of Indian sweets. And cakemonkey strikes me as, if you can tolerate it, a rare example of a well-used, well-modulated hit of sweet. Think of it us as a good sweet-punch, just like there's bad versions of overspicing and oversalting, and then a perfectly modulated forehead smack of spice and salt in a good Thai dish.

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