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Mar 27, 2010 09:57 AM

Tasty Super Moist cakes? Not too sweet?

I like many of the chinatown cakes, but family is looking to get away from sponge cake and strawberries for a break.

My DH has recently jumped on the red velvet cake bandwagon and I will never understand why that is so popular! The flavor is dull except for the cream cheese icing which is great on everything including cardboard! I'd rather have spice cake, or lemon, or even chocolate.

So I want to find a fabulous, sophisticated, moist, not overly sweet cake that is not red velvet. I also find cake retains more moisture than cupcakes, so looking for cake. I used to love Prolific oven, but they are not so good anymore, and the best recent cake I tried was from Gerhard Michler.

I especially hate greasy supermarket frosting, so good frosting or cream frosted is a plus.

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    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      I finally had a chance to try Crixa. Over two visits I tried the apple cake, lemon cream cake, tiramisu, and fatima's thighs.

      Everything was delicious and not too sweet.

      The lemon cake was very moist and creamy- almost like layers of sponge cake and a cheesecake-like mousse. The tiramisu was excellent with a strong coffee flavor and nice density.

      I will definitely be going back to try everything on the menu....

      1. re: myst

        Keep your eyes open for the Rigo. A good cake and besides I'm a sucker for a quirky love story.

    2. I agree with Robert that Crixa is fantastic.
      I'd also add Masse's in Berkeley - different style, and equally excellent.

      1 Reply
      1. re: escargot3


        Crixa Cakes
        2748 Adeline St, Berkeley, CA 94703

        Masse's Pastries
        1469 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

      2. Third on Crixa. They have cakes you won't find anywhere else. Two favorites are the New Orleans Bourbon cake and the Carmela..chocolate cake with salted caramel, chocolate mousse and whipped cream. Note not all cakes are available each day so check her website if you want to sample before ordering and all the cakes with alcohol can be ordered without.

        4 Replies
        1. re: cakebaker

          The Bourbon cake is very dense. It might be too much for someone making the transition from those light, airy Chinatown bakery cakes. The Carmela is lighter (I love it), but it's only available in a single serving size.

          Most of Crixa's cakes are more in line with Chinatown cakes, only richer. They are almost all sponge cakes soaked w/ something or other and topped with lots of whipped cream, a mousse, or a mascarpone cream. The cakes in which the cake itself is richer and heavier are the un-frosted apple cake, ginger cake, etc. Not fancy, but very tasty.

          When I read the post, I thought that the request was for an American style, old fashioned layer cake, just not red velvet. That is, sadly, an area in which we are weak. Years ago I would have said Just Desserts, but no longer. When I need this sort of cake, I hit Ladyfingers. The woman at the counter can be cranky, but it does a solid job with moist, old fashioned cakes.

          Crixa Cakes
          2748 Adeline St, Berkeley, CA 94703

          Ladyfingers Bakery
          150 Santa Clara Ave, Oakland, CA

          1. re: lexdevil

            Thanks. I do sometimes want an old-fashioned cake and sadly have to bake it myself. With a 2-year old and a full time job that is kind of tough these days. Sometimes the European cakes just have too much going on...... but having seen Crixa raved about for years, I will have to try it (i'm also a gingerbread and lemon dessert fanatic so will have to try the ginger cake and lemon cream cakes for myself).

            When I have time, I've found that of the cakes I bake the hummingbird cake and a coconut cake are the two everyone universally loves. The coconut cake is made with lots of eggs and coconut cream with fresh rasberry and coconut pastry cream filling and the hummingbird cake is a gentle banana spice cake with cream cheese frosting and fresh mangoes. Boy I wish I still had time to bake!

            1. re: myst

              Okay, now I'm dying to try your cakes too!

              1. re: myst

                If you love must try Crixa's ginger really is special. I usually have it with a pot of chai.
                re:layer cakes...while most of their cakes I would not recommend...Virginia bakery does a couple worth mentioning...their standard is a sponge with custard and fresh strawberries and whipped cream and a sponge with lemon and coconut...those are as close to a lighter Chinatown bakery style cake as I know. While the two I mentioned at Crixa above are unlike a chinatown style certainly I mentioned them as they are an unusual example of Crixa's baking as well as her european tortes. As a baker, I love that you make Hummingbird cake!

          2. If this is for an "event"(more than 20) check out Jill Branch at Branching Out Cakes Jill is an great baker and they can do amazing designs.

            Branching Out
            69 Sonora Way, Corte Madera, CA