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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.
    http://www.lafiorentinapastry.com/

    Check out all the variations of cake from which to choose!
    http://www.lafiorentinapastry.com/pag...

    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.
      http://www.breadeuphoria.org/

      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.

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                        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.