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Northampton, MA need a delicious birthday cake

Daughter a freshman at Smith. Need a great birthday cake for her. Will be ordering from North Carolina. Thanks for any help!

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  1. I have a hard time going to Northampton and NOT going to La Fiorentina Pastry Shop. I'm a fool for their cannoli, but have sampled many of their other treats and they are simply outstanding.

    Check out all the variations of cake from which to choose!

    Take it from another November birthday girl--this is the place! :)

    1. Am a baker and a serious pastry hound. Semi-disagree about La Fiorentina. Typical Italian bakery but with less than stellar ingredients., often bland.
      If your daughter or one oif her friends has a car, I think your best bet for a real layer cake, with a true buttercream and excellent cake (plus nicely decorated) is Bread Euphoria.
      It's a few miles east of Smith, but they are excellent bakers who use only fresh butter, cream etc, and local ingredients as available.
      Even now make a local wheat bread, though I haven't tried that yet.

      5 Replies
      1. re: mjoyous

        Opps, early in the morning and am directionally challenged. Store is west of Smith.

        1. re: mjoyous

          I also bake and consider myself a serious pastry hound. Guess I should refrain from recommending a cake when what draws me to La Fiorentina is their cannoli, which are fabulous. :) But the ingredients in the cannoli are certainly not "less than stellar" or "bland"--and their tiramisu is quite nice, so I could only imagine, based on that, a birthday cake from La Fiorentina would be just as delicious. Do you honestly think La Fiorentina does not use "fresh butter, cream etc." to bake their cakes? I wasn't sure what you meant by that. Perhaps I'm just nostalgic for Italian bakery birthday cakes (with layers of fresh strawberries, peaches and whipped cream) as that was what I grew up with...that is, if my mom didn't bake.

          1. re: kattyeyes

            "Do you honestly think La Fiorentina does not use "fresh butter, cream etc." to bake their cakes?".................yes.
            As to cakes, not italian pastries, the frosting at LaF was a confectionery sugar, and I doubt the cake was butter based.
            BE uses real buttercream or ganache, and everything is made with local or organic butter as available.
            To each their own.

            1. re: mjoyous

              I agree with mjoyous - every time I've had something from La Fiorentina, I wasn't inspired to go for more (although I haven't tried their cannoli). I distinctly remember an eclair that was kind of too dry, and a chocolate mousse that was not that good. Sorry.

              1. re: mjoyous

                La Fiorentina's cakes are always too sugary for me. Their cannoli and sfogliatelle are very good, however.

          2. Greggory's Pastry Shop, Hadley Ma 413-586-9900 or you can try Atkins Farms www.atkinsfarms.com. both have tasty cakes.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bouls

              Greggory's is great but if they don't have a car, they won't be able to get the cake. I wonder if Bakery Normande could do a cake. They're just great. Right in Noho

            2. What did you decide on, and was it enjoyed?

              1. Fiorentina sucks. For cake, it's Sunrise Bakery in E'ton hands down.

                4 Replies
                1. re: homesick for food

                  Word. Great bakery. Great donuts, pies, etc.

                  1. re: fame da lupo

                    Is Henley's Bakery still in business? The Black Sheep in Amherst (previously in Northampton as well) is a good place to try, but I have not had their cakes in a few years.

                    1. re: VivreManger

                      Bread Euphoria just West of Northampton on rt 9 in Haydenville has FABULOUS cakes, custom and ready made, Try the guiness chocolate cake for a deep chocolate taste with something special. The cake designer has talent and will work with you. They also sell very small 2 portion cakes, not cupcakes, true cakes

                      1. re: VivreManger

                        You are maybe thinking of the Henion Bakery, in Amherst? Yes, they are still around, and probably the best spot to order a cake from in Amherst. But not in Northampton.

                        Henion is far better than The Black Sheep, which is a servicable spot for coffee or a sandwich but mediocre at best.

                        Henion Bakery
                        174 N Pleasant St, Amherst, MA

                  2. I'd say the best spot in Northampton to order a cake is the Woodstar Cafe - Ive used them before and have had friends use them as well, always to great success. They do a lot of great cakes and are right in downtown Northampton a short walk from Smith.

                    La Florintina is just ok, mostly a spot for cannoli. They might have a decent cassata cake (cream and strawberries) in their repertoire but I wouldn't count on it.

                    I'd guess Bread Euphoria is pretty good but they are a bit out of town, so it might be harder to unite the cake and the college student.

                    Bakery Normande is also right in downtown Northampton, I can't speak to cakes there but they have a solid reputation and the things I've tried have been fine. Again, I really think Woodstar Cafe is the best bet, they do really great baked sweets and supply pastries to a number of upscale local restaurants and coffee shops. Cakes are great, esp. a lemon coconut one I've ordered.