The pièce de résistance for any kids birthday party is almost always the birthday cake. Ice cream, carrot, or chocolate, it’s the one treat that every little party-goer looks forward to (well, maybe the goodie bags too). With all that pressure to produce a confectionery treat worthy of Cake Boss, you’ve probably stressed yourself out way too much. Give yourself a reprieve and go ahead, order a birthday cake. Planning a party is enough work without the stress of baking and decorating a cake. Whether the birthday boy or girl would like a triple-layered masterpiece or couldn’t care less about what it looks like, leave it to the pros and feel no guilt about it. Here are a few choice spots that are sure to fit the bill next time you need an awesome birthday cake.

V.G. Donut & Bakery

V.G.’s cakes are as good as their donuts. This third generation business is a favorite among locals for all baked goods, including kids birthday cakes. A range of design options are displayed on their Facebook page with prices starting at $40 for a half sheet. No shortening here either, it’s all delicious buttercream frosting. A popular choice for a kids birthday cake is white cake with Bavarian cream filling. Order at least 24 hours in advance.

106 Aberdeen Drive
Cardiff, Ca
760-753-2400
vgbakery.com

VONS
Yes, it’s a grocery store. However, moms around San Diego will vouch for the convenience, value, and surprisingly good taste. A half sheet cake has a layer of filling and starts at $32.99. You can buy one off the floor in a pinch, but there are no guarantees for getting your desired flavor. VONS uses buttercream frosting and their in-house cake decorator can do some specialty designs. The most popular kids cake flavors are white with buttercream filling and chocolate with chocolate buttercream filling. Call at least 24 hours in advance for special orders.

Over 30 stores in San Diego county
VONS.com

Elizabethan Desserts

Comfort food with an elegant touch and an emphasis on taste is what you’ll find at Elizabethan Desserts. There are no set cake designs so call and tell them what you’re looking for. They do not typically make classic sheet cakes, but rather 4 layers with 3 layers of filling. Specialty cake flavors are what they’re known for, however, a simple white or chocolate cake can be ordered too. Standard design includes simple piping, white chocolate medallions, edible gold and a message of your choice. Everything here is homemade, down to the peanut butter. A 6” round cake starts at $45. Order 2-5 business days in advance.

155 Quail Gardens Drive
Encinitas, Ca
760-230-6780
elizabethandesserts.com

The French Gourmet
Hello, gorgeous. If you really want to knock the socks off your guests, here’s where you go for an edible work of art. The pricing of specialty cakes starts at $4 per serving and increases depending on the level of detail. Strawberry Bagatelle (vanilla cake with Bavarian cream and fresh strawberries) is the most popular cake choice for all ages, though hold the Kirsh for the kids. Call in advance to discuss your masterpiece. Simple signature cakes are available too.

960 Turquoise
San Diego, Ca
858-488-1725
thefrenchgourmet.com

Grove Pastry Shop

Baking since 1947, this local favorite likes to layer buttercream on their cakes first and then fondant, giving party attendees the best of both worlds. You may have just buttercream, however. Standard cake design includes either streamers or roses. For approximately $20 extra, they can apply an edible image to your cake using any digital photo. Call to verify size and cost of your particular image. A half sheet cake starts at $53.95. Filling can be added at an additional cost. The most popular kids birthday cake flavors are white, chocolate and marble. Order 2 days in advance.

3308 Main Street
Lemon Grove, Ca
619-466-3277
grovepastryshop.com

If you decide to skip baking, where do you buy birthday cake?

–Katie Dillon