Hands down, the best part of any birthday celebration is the cake. So if the thought of another supermarket sheet cake with sad frosted roses brings you to tears, you may finally be ready to advance your cake game from “apprentice” to “master.” We’ve rounded up the top bakeries in town who’ve not only perfected the art of cake making but have reinvented it all together.
photo: Top Tier Treats via Facebook
BEST ALL-AROUND CAKES
Top Tier Treats
Formerly known as Jamaica’s Cakes, this bake shop may have a brand new moniker, but the same lovely owners are whipping up the same amazing cakes so many Angelenos have come to love over the years. Using the highest quality ingredients (no shortening or pesky preservatives), Jamaica Crist bakes cakes to order from scratch every single day and can pretty much transform any family’s birthday party vision into delicious reality. Top Tier prefers one week’s notice for special order custom cakes if possible, but always has plenty of 6-inch and 9-inch cakes in the front case for last-minute walk-ins. Popular cake flavors include the yumtastic Confetti Cake — sprinkles baked into moist vanilla butter cake, filled with chocolate mousse and frosted in confetti vanilla buttercream; as well the Cookies-N-Cream Cake — cookies baked into vanilla buttercake, filled with chocolate mousse and whipped cream and frosted in cookie buttercream. (Pssst…we know you’re drooling.)
Hours: Mon.-Fri. from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat. 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sun. 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Top Tier Treats
11511 W. Pico Blvd.
photo: Lark Cake Shop via Facebook
Lark Cake Shop
Family-owned Lark Cake Shop has been a Silverlake staple since opening back in 2007. Now, with an additional outpost in Pasadena, more and more LA families have made Lark their go-to when it comes to birthday cakes. Their cakes are beautifully crafted using the finest locally produced and distributed ingredients. Even their eggs are cracked fresh daily — no liquid versions or food service shortcuts here, folks. Lark also prides itself by going green by using compostable cups, clamshell boxes, utensils and paper bags whenever possible. Lark’s talented team can custom create almost anything you can dream up as long as you have a picture of your idea and the size you need. 6-inch cakes start at $39 and go up from there. Customization may cost extra depending on the level of labor involved.
Hours: Lark’s Silverlake location is open Sun.-Thurs. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. 8 a.m.-10 p.m. The Pasadena location is open daily 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Lark Cake Shop
3337 W. Sunset Blvd.
Lake Cake Shop
1355 North Hill Ave.
photo: SusieCakes via Bessy C. on Yelp
BEST CAKES FOR CHOCOHOLICS
If chocolate cake is your kiddo’s jam, look no further than SusieCakes. Sure, all of their cakes are out of this world delish, but their Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake seriously takes it to a whole new level. Picture six, mouthwatering layers of moist chocolate cake filled and covered in rich, dark chocolate buttercream frosting. It’s so good you may not want to share with your precious little ones. (And honestly, what have they ever done for you anyway?) All SusieCakes creations can be personalized with inscriptions or customized with decorations at an additional cost. From Mid-City to Manhattan Beach and many shops in between, there’s bound to be a SusieCakes location convenient to your hood. Bon appetit!
Hours: Vary by location. Check SusieCakes site for specific days and times.
Several So Cal Locations
photo: Cake and Art via Facebook
BEST WORK OF ART CAKES
Cake and Art
If this bake shop had a theme song, it would be, “Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination…” With incredibly artistic cakes that look almost too beautiful to eat (uh, we said almost), it’s no wonder they’re one of the most respected players in their industry. Almost fifty years ago, the WeHo shop opened its doors with one simple idea — turn cake design into a work of art. And boy have they gone above and beyond! Hollywood’s taken notice as well with the world’s biggest celebs consistently turning to them for their awe-inspiring creations. But you don’t have to be Oprah to get the cake of your dreams. They happily work with us, mere mortals too. “You get a cake! And you get a cake! And you get a cake!”
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cake and Art
8709 Santa Monica Blvd.
photo: Cream via Facebook
BEST ICE CREAM CAKES
What could possibly be better than a creamy dreamy ice cream cake for your birthday? How about an ice cream sandwich cookie cake! Mind…blown. With three easy locations around the LA area, Cream is the perfect way to add a unique twist to your pint-sized ice cream lover’s next fest. You pick any freshly baked cookie on the Cream menu, add your favorite flavor of premium ice cream to the middle and choose some fab toppings to put around the edge (gummy bears and Fruity Pebbles, oh my!). Each cake serves around 8-12 party guests. Pre-made cakes are often available in stores, but for something more customized, recommended ordering time is at least 36-48 hours in advance.
Hours: Vary by location. Please visit Cream for specific times and days.
Locations at USC, North Hollywood & Northridge
photo: Cake Monkey via Facebook
BEST SNACK CAKES
Let’s face it, sometimes little ones don’t exactly love sharing (except your darling angels of course) and with Cake Monkey they don’t have to. Cake Monkey Bakery makes individually wrapped snack cakes in a wide variety of flavors so every tot will find something they totally dig. From the Chocolate Strawberry Cakewich to the Black and White Cakewich (an elevated version of the Ding-Dongs we loved as kids), Cake Monkey truly has something sweet for everyone. There’s even a Birthday Cake Cakewich with pink vanilla buttercream, pink white chocolate coating, and confetti sprinkles. Nom, nom, nom.
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. 8 p.m.-7 p.m. and Sun. 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
7807 Beverly Blvd.
photo: Duff’s Cakemix via Facebook
BEST DIY CAKES
If you believe decorating your own birthday cake is half the fun, then Duff’s Cakemix is right up your alley. Founded by Ace of Cakes star, Duff Goldman, Duff’s Cakemix is the first DIY dessert design studio where customers become the artists. Duff’s provides guests with a pre-baked three-layer round cake filled with buttercream and covered with a fondant canvas, as well as decorating tools, a variety of embellishments and all the expert guidance they need to build the cake they desire. Littles come away with more than just a birthday cake, they get the experience of creating something with their own hands. Cake kits are $36 each, plus a $12 decorator fee per person. Duff’s books up quickly on the weekends, so be sure to make a reservation in advance or pop by during the week when things are slower.
Hours: Vary by location. Check Duff’s Cakemix for specific times and days.
Locations in West Hollywood, Pasadena and Tarzana (coming soon)
photo: Breakaway Bakery via Facebook
BEST GLUTEN-FREE CAKES
For families who have special dietary needs and are looking for great gluten-free birthday cakes that still taste like the regular versions you loved growing up, Breakaway Bakery is a fantastic option that never skimps on taste and texture. All cakes are handcrafted using organic ingredients and are completely free of gluten, wheat, dairy/casein, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, gums, and GMOs. With a plethora of flavors to choose from like chocolate, yellow, banana chocolate chip, lemon cinnamon and carrot cake, you’ll find something to please even the pickiest eaters. Vegan options are available as well.
Hours: Mon. 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Tues. and Wed. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thurs. 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Fri. and Sun. 8 a.m.-3 p.m., closed Saturdays
5264 W. Pico Blvd.
What’s your birthday cake go-to? Give us a sweet shout in the comments below!