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Bethesda bakery for birthday cake

My search pulled up Just Cakes and Fancy Cakes, both in Bethesda. Has anyone been recently? Grateful for any feedback on cake quality and overall satisfaction with the bakery. Still have some time before I have to order so please share any feedback on either of these bakeries, as well as recommendations on where to get a delicious birthday cake.

Thanks in advance

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  1. I don't know if you are looking for a cake for an adult or a child, if you want the very specific artsy-craftsy decorations that are so in vogue these days or just a routine cake with flowers. If you want one of those artsy-craftsy cakes, Fancy Cakes by Leslie is your best bet. In my view, they need to make a dense cake to stand up under the weight of all that fondant. Which may look fun but doesn't taste too good. As for a cake that tastes good but is more traditional, I would go to the Breads Unlimited (next to Strosnider's on Arlington Road). Good cake at reasonable prices. Lots of people swear by Costco but that isn't in Bethesda.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Just Visiting

      Looking for an adult birthday cake. That's helpful clarification on the Fancy Cakes decorations. We definitely want a cake that tastes really good. Reasonably attractive is just fine; it doesn't have to be real elaborate or anything.

      Thanks for the Breads Unlimited recommendation. I've tried some of their baked goods years ago, but never a birthday cake. Will definitely look into this

    2. I like Just Cakes, although I don't think I've ever gotten a birthday cake there (more like cupcakes, bundts, etc.). Giant will do a decent sheet cake if that's all you want.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Doh

        I think we probably want something a bit fancier than a sheet cake but I'll keep Giant in mind as a back-up as well as for future reference on other occasions. Thanks

      2. Definitely Tout de Sweet:


        Just Cakes is pretty gross - the cakes are dry and often overcooked and the frosting is just loosely held together sugar. All sweet and no flavor.

        6 Replies
        1. re: reiflame

          Wow, I've never heard of Tout de Sweet. Their website looks interesting enough but I think I will have to stop by in-person to scope things out and get more detailed information -- and try a couple of items :)

          1. re: uwsgrazer

            The croissants and cupcakes I've had from Tout de Sweet have been really good (I didn't even realize they would do a birthday cake).

            1. re: uwsgrazer

              I highly recommend any of their cupcakes, muffins and croissants. Friday is red velvet day (but you need to get there before 2 or they sell out).

              1. re: reiflame

                The best (for me) is if you can get a warm croissant (esp. chocolate)!

                1. re: Doh

                  Thanks for all the Tout de Sweet recommendations. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to try any of them out so far, but I think we're likely to order a couple of birthday cakes from Tout de Sweet later this month, probably Fruit Charlotte and Fraisler.

                  I'll post back after we've tried them. Thanks again for the input!

            2. re: reiflame

              The Chevy Chase Supermarket used to sell cupcakes from Just Cakes and they were dreadful. Just as you've described - dry and super-sweet frosting.

            3. If North Bethesda is ok, Stella's has very good cake.


              1. I'm actually a big fan of Just Cakes. We've gotten at least a half dozen celebration cakes from them, in all sizes. I don't find the cakes we order to be overly saccharine, but maybe its the combo that we choose (almond cake, raspberry mousse layer with fresh raspberries, buttercream frosting). I'm not a big fan of overly ornate cakes either, and have been pleased with simple swiss dots with some buttercream flowers on top. The cakes aren't cheap, but I have been pleased with the quality of the actual cake (their cakes are not the fluffy white cake kind...more dense, but in a good way, with great flavor, and you don't end up with an icky belly full of sugar, if you know what I mean). Just my two cents!

                1. We ordered from Tout de Sweet and were thrilled with the two celebration cakes we got, Fruit Charlotte and Fraisler. They were a huge hit with everyone so thanks again for the really helpful input.

                  The Fruit Charlotte was very light and delicious. The Fraisler was also very good. It's a much richer cake, though, so depending on people's taste it may be a bit much (or I guess you could just serve smaller slices).

                  We ordered the 8" cake which I think is billed as serving 8-10 people. We managed to serve 12. I don't think anyone felt deprived, especially since one cake was served for dessert at lunch and the second cake after dinner. Both cakes are pretty delicate so I would think they are best served the day they are made.

                  We also had some cappuccino and a couple of croissants (pain au chocolat and an almond croissant) when we picked up the cakes. We bought a small bag of madeleines to go. Everything was outstanding (I didn't try any madeleines).

                  Tout de Sweet is a great addition to Bethesda. I hope the shop does well and is around for a long time.

                  3 Replies
                    1. re: uwsgrazer

                      Glad you liked it! I'm a little obsessed with their cupcakes.

                      1. re: reiflame

                        Well, I guess I'll just have to check out the cupcakes one day! They have so much good stuff it will be hard to just pick one or two things to try on any given visit.

                    2. I love Shilla (Twinbrook)!