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
It’s fussy patisserie at its best. Looks good, tastes good and will cost a few bob.
2. Evelina’s Patisserie, N10
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
Excellent patisserie. My best photo is of one of their almond croissants which is also terrific.
4. Dominique Ansel Bakery, SW1W
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.