What are the best bakeries in the world for a luxurious cake? Whether for a wedding, special birthday, or just an everyday luxury, a gorgeous delicious cake is an instant mood boost. Our correspondent Jillian Tangen has rounded up a list of the best cake bakeries in New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong and more. Forks in the air! It’s time to eat cake like a boss.
where can you find a truly special cake?
We don’t know about you, but to us, a party just isn’t a party without a cake. Not that we’ve ever really needed a special occasion to take Marie Antoinette’s famous advice. Today, at everything from baby showers to weddings to birthdays to graduations, cake is one of the ultimate symbols of a luxurious celebration. And the more photogenic, the better.
The modern cake as we know it was invented in Europe during the 19th century and quickly became a symbol of luxury thanks to components like eggs, milk, butter and sugar. As we know, these ingredients were expensive, so it was a privilege to be honored with a cake.
And while today a basic cake isn’t all that expensive, it is the message of cake that remains constant. It’s a powerful way of showing a recipient that they are both important and loved.
So what better way to show those you love just how much you care about them? Luckily, it doesn’t have to be $75 million one to get your point across.
It’s key to the effort that the cake actually taste good, of course. We all know that what’s underneath the frosting is just as important as the hand-made sugar flowers placed on top.
To help you treat your loved ones to one of the best cakes ever, we’ve rounded up some of the finest cake designers and bakers from around the globe. They’re bringing their creative talent and incredible artistic skills to the edible world of desserts. And not only are their designs stunning, they’re delicious, too.
Let’s dig in.
the best bakeries in the world for a luxurious cake
New York City
You could say that baking is in Madison Lee’s DNA. She grew up taking inspiration from her mother, who would bake and decorate cakes for her and her brother as a hobby. And from her father, who worked at a local bakery. Today, Madison Lee is considered one of the world’s foremost cake artists and sugar flower experts. She’s creating cakes that range from the darkly beautiful to the classically pretty, all while never doing the same thing twice. Be sure to plan ahead though. A cake from Madison takes anywhere from 6 months to a year for the planning, design and execution. It’s definitely worth the wait.
If you are in need of a vegan, dairy free or gluten free cake, then look no further than Brooklyn’s Lael Cakes. Owner Emily Aumiller has created her own unique blend of non-gluten flours to make the perfect pastry flour. She employs alternative ingredients as substitutes for refined sugar, saturated fat and dairy to ensure each cake is deliciously moist. Her work takes cues from not only traditional cake decorating methods, but also the natural world, fine art, and even flea market finds.
It feels like practically all of the cakes in Flour Shop were made with social media in mind. Fortunately they’re are not only Insta-worthy, but tasty too. Owner Amirah Kassem grew up baking and sculpting with her mother in Mexico, where she discovered an appreciation for fine ingredients and mastered the art of multi-sensory experiences. Today, her food-based installations are exhibited everywhere from events at the Whitney Museum to the 64-foot edible hallways at the Brooklyn Museum. The shop’s most popular cake is the explosion cake, which spills out sugary goodness after you cut it open (so be sure to have your cameras ready). A two-tiered explosion cake for 50 people starts at $800.
Maggie Austin Cakes.
A trained classical dancer, Maggie Austin’s cakes are almost as elegant at the ballet career she left behind when she opened her cake shop, Maggie Austin Cakes. With cakes that feature the look of multi-tiered feathers from Black Swan and ones that look like stained glass, it’s no wonder her cakes have been in high demand. Everyone from former First Lady Michelle Obama (who commissioned a Christmas cake) to Hollywood celebrities to the planners of runway shows for Paris Fashion Week have been her clients.
Fiona Cairns was tasked with making the elegant, extravagant cake for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2011 royal wedding and she did not disappoint. Her success at crafting the eight-tiered, three-foot-tall, 224-lb fruit cake covered in lace-like detailing solidified her place as one of the most famous and sought-after wedding cake bakers in the UK. Be warned though. The most basic custom cake from Fiona starts at around $660.
Flavourtown Bakery is a newcomer on the London cake scene. Before opening in 2017, the company made a name selling at food markets and supplying the likes of Selfridges and Harrods. At their shop you will find whimsical, fun and colorful styles perfect for any child (or child at heart). Their best-seller is the six layer rainbow cake in vanilla buttercream. For larger parties and events, this dazzler can be stacked into a double-tiered cake with the same or another cake style. Such a doubly-delicious cake tower starts at around $190, and feeds around 24 people.
Leave it to the French to put a stunning twist on a party cake. At Ladurée you can get a towering pyramid of macaroons that will surely thrill almost anyone. This Parisian bakery, famed for its pastel-colored macaroons, transforms these delicate treats into beautiful celebration cakes. Up to 520 macaroons form a single pyramid, made in the flavors and colors of your choice. We’ll take the pale green pistachio one, please.
Known for his decorative sugar-work sculptures, Bastien Blanc-Tailleur creates extravagant cake creations known to practically scrape the ceiling. Bastien’s larger-than-life cakes aren’t just large, either. They also feature detailed and intricate lifelike flowers, each crafted by hand. These little works of art adorn nearly the entire cake. We hate to say it but, these cakes are almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
Jasmine Rae Cakes.
Take one look at her work and you can see why Jasmine Rae calls herself a texture junkie. Anything but the typical tiered cake, Jasmine’s cakes are complex. They often reflect items like marble, feather, stone, bark or coral. Unusual designs include a tiered creation of grey marble slabs that almost appear like modern skyscraper. Other cakes feature a series of ruffles so romantic they could be a miniature version of a bride’s dress. In addition to unique styling, Jasmine’s cakes use unusual ingredients like honey, hibiscus and earl grey tea.
Jacinta Yu is considered a pioneer of Hong Kong’s cake decorating world. It’s even said that her impressive and inventive creations have led to brides bursting into tears of joy when they first set eyes on her completed cakes. Her bakery, Complete Deelite has created fantastical masterpieces for everyone from Tiffany’s to Christie’s to Manolo Blahnik.
That’s it – our top picks for the best bakeries in the world for a luxurious cake.
We don’t know about you, but all this cake talk has us feeling hungry. Fortunately for us, there’s a little something called Postmates that can bring us a mini cake from Milk Bar just in time for our afternoon sweet tooth.
What’s your favorite cake stop? We’d love to check it out.
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Jillian Tangen is the Head of Research at Dandelion Chandelier. Formerly, she was a Senior Research Analyst at McKinsey & Co and Analyst at Shearman & Sterling. She is an avid fan of Nordic design, having owned an independent lifestyle store and sales agency focused on emerging Scandinavian design. Jillian lives in NYC and is married with three young children. She loves cross country skiing, the New York Rangers, reading, travel and discovering new brands.
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