The 13 best cake shops in London

I’ve seen other ‘best cake’ lists around but with some questionable inclusions. This is tried-and-tested by me, a sugar addict who won’t waste the calories if it’s not worth it. Style is nice but substance comes first. There simply is no excuse for bad cake.

In an approximate order of excellence…

1. Yuatcha, W1F and EC2M

Hazelnut Gianduja, £9

It’s fussy patisserie at its best. Looks good, tastes good and will cost a few bob.

2. Evelina’s Patisserie, N10

Caramel and Pear Mousse, £5.60

I know you’re all gonna be like ‘what the…?!’ And yes, it’s randomly tucked away in Muswell Hill but it’s beautiful stuff. Pastries are also great.

3. Belle Epoque, N16 and N1

Almond croissant, £2.40

Excellent patisserie. My best photo is of one of their almond croissants which is also terrific.

4. Dominique Ansel Bakery, SW1W

Liquid Caramel Peanut Butter Mousse Cake, £5.90

Inventor of the ‘cronut’, these cakes are well flash. Their almond croissant was a bit more ‘cake’ than ‘croissant’ but everything is delicious.

5. Ottolenghi, E1, SW1X and W11

Hazelnut Brownie from Ottolenghi
Hazelnut Brownie, £2.80

Ottolenghi’s food is characterised by intriguing and intricate flavour combos. The same can be said for his cake which I occasionally find misses the mark. However, sometimes he keeps things really simple, like this brownie which I believe is THE best around.

6. Cutter and Squidge, W1F

Eton Mess Cake, £5.30

Beautifully crafted with lots of buttercream but it’s the Italian meringue variety, so more manageable. Sponge is tasty and presumably uses butter. These creations are not-overly elaborate and do the job very nicely.

7. Ole and Steen, SW1Y (and other various locations)

Christianshavner, £4.80

In a city over-run with Patisserie Valerie, it amazes me how overlooked Ole and Steen is. They do some very reliable pastries as well as simple quasi-patisserie cakes.

8. Élan, W1K and SW3

Caramel and Macadamia Cheesecake, £4.50

There is certainly a lot of hype around Elan but if you can cope with all the pink, they do make good cakes.

9. Estate Office Coffee, SW16

Banana and Cinnamon Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream, £2.95

This is just a small coffee shop but I have been most impressed by the cakes on sale which are sourced from various smaller producers. Long may it continue!

10. St John Bakery, SE1

Custard Doughnut, £2.50

I’m picky when it comes to doughnuts and though London seems awash with trendy doughnut (or donut) shops these days, St John do it best. There’s a lovely sugared, bronzed exterior and it’s light and fluffy inside. Bravo.

11. Peggy Porschen, SW1W

Eton Mess Cupcake, £4.50

Another pink shop. Delectable they might be, but they are just cupcakes – hence the lower position on the list.

12. Sally White, W1G and SE11

Banoffee Brownie, £2.75

A know it looks manky but it was a fine brownie, I tell thee. Other cakes are simple and satisfying.

13. Crumbs and Doilies, W1B

Lotus Biscuit Rocky Road, £3.40

A slice of cake from Crumbs and Doilies is enough for two, making it good value for money! They’re pretty buttercreamy so not for everyone but they do it well.