It's not a real party unless there's birthday cake, or so believe my own children. If you're not a baking sort of parent, you'll want to keep this list of birthday cake bakeries taped inside your cabinet. Or just order a tower of donuts!
Happy Birthday to your kid! Where to get a birthday cake in the East Bay
Smaller bakeries that do it right
Prices are all over the place. A quarter sheet (layered or not) will probably work best for your standard kid party; 8″ is the standard round size (layered or not, you'll want to be sure before paying your $50). Then again, the cupcake-cake might be the most genius idea around! We put ballpark prices in to give you an idea of where to start.
- James and the Giant Cupcake, S. Oakland. Order minis, regular-size, or giant cupcakes along with round layer cakes. The 6″ 3-layer cake is $45. Flavors change monthly. Online ordering available. Location: 6326 San Pablo Ave, Oakland
- Sweet Adeline Bakeshop, S. Berkeley. Cafe serves coffee, cookies, and lots of pastries with pie and cake by the slice. Offers special order cakes with 72 hours notice (custom artwork may require 2 weeks notice). Quarter sheet cake is about $50. Location: 3350 Adeline St, Berkeley.
- Masse's Pastries, N. Berkeley. Pastry shop serves delicate French treats. Round layer cakes available in 8″ size for about $40 in several flavors (including gluten-free options). Location: 1469 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley.
- Miette Cakes, Oakland. Fancy, round layer cakes available in 6″ or 8″ starting around $40. Location: 85 Webster St (Jack London Square), Oakland.
- Angel Cakes, Oakland. Order cupcakes, mini or regular in so many flavors. Also offering larger cakes, $55 for an 8”. Location: 745 5th St, Oakland
- La Farine, Oakland. French pastry shop with many treats to nibble. Classic cakes made with top notch ingredients and creamy fillings. Starting at $38 for an 8”. 3 Oakland locations
- Feel Good Bakery. Find cookies, cakes and tarts here. Custom cakes available, starting at $40 for an 8″, $100 for a quarter sheet cake. Location: 1650 Park St, Alameda
- The Crowned Cupcake. Cupcakes, cake pops, custom cakes, and more. Quarter sheet cakes start at $55 with offerings of several flavors and seasonal fillings. Location: 701-C Belmont Way, Pinole
Bigger chain stores that do cakes just right, many 510 locations
- Whole Foods is my personal go-to for single-layer quarter sheet cakes for about $20.
- Costco has a bakery that will personalize your sheet cake with classic designs. The price is certainly right at about $0.40 per serving. Must order in person.
- Safeway has sheet cakes and the brilliant cupcake cakes (cupcakes frosted to look like a cake!). Pro tip: buy a smaller cupcake cake and then more cupcakes by the dozen to fill in for quantity.
- Lucky Supermarkets offers custom cakes starting at $29.99 for a quarter, $16.99 for an 8″ round. Photo printing options available.
Ice cream birthday cake
- Ben and Jerry's has small, pretty ice cream case in the cold case and ready to go. They also allow you to customize and pre-order online.
- Fentons ice cream cakes are colorful with seasonal designs.
- Baskin Robbins makes delicious, albeit sugary, ice cream cakes. “Always a crowd pleaser,” says Anne Marie, the owner of Grove Street Kids.
We inquired on the 510Families Facebook page (which you should like, if you don't already) about favorite birthday cake makers in the East Bay. The responses, together with a few other sources of intel, resulted in this list. For more birthday party ideas, check out our birthday party guide.
Any other local favorites? Tell us your favorites in the comments below.