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If I knew you were coming, I'd have bought a cake

Here's a fun question for all of you urbanMamas.  "The Boss" is hoping to find the perfect cake for her daughter.  Does the following stir up any recommendations?

We were up in Seattle recently to attend the 1st birthday party of the daughter of a dear friend.  The cake was one of those wonderful old-fashioned sheet cakes that I remember from my own childhood; it came courtesy of this old-school bakery there, Remo I think was the name.

My own bambina is turning 1 this week and I'd like to have some friends over - and would love to land a similar kind of sheet cake.  But I don't wanna do Fred Meyer; would rather throw my money at a mom-n-pop-type bakery, something neighborhoody, if possible.

Anyone have any ideas where to satisfy my nostalgia for a simple sheet cake for the bambina's bday? 


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try beaverton bakery or costco. fyi, for the *best* tasting cake anywhere, go to Piece of Cake in sellwood, but they don't do sheet cakes...if you need a vegan, sugar free or gluten free cake, they do those also...and so good you wouldn't even know it wasn't a *real* cake! http://www.pieceofcakebakery.net/home/index.php

I also recommend making one (if you have time). Just pour a mix into a pyrex casserole pan and you're good to go. For my little one's first bday I decorated the cake simply with messy frosting (key component!) and iced animal cookies. He loved it, and so did the adults. Also, cupcakes are always great for a large group. And you could use different colored icing on the cupcakes for a colorful presentation.
I'm getting that Magnolia Bakery cookbook though!

I'm not sure of this, but I think St. Cupcake also does sheet cakes as a special order.

You could make one! The Magnolia Bakery cookbook (Magnolia is a GREAT very old-fashioney 50's sort of feeling NYC bakery) has some delicious recipes. I always make my kids cakes out of this book and they turn out yummy.

Helen Bernhard's Bakery on NE Broadway has been around forever and has a huge selection of sheet cakes and fillings.

Oops - how could I forget my own neighborhood favorite: Tulip Bakery in St. Johns. Family owned and operated for about 50 years. Everything is super delicious!

I second Helen Bernhard's, we got our wedding cake there and there were so many great flavors of cake and filling (?) to choose from.

Oh, thanks for the St. John's bakery tip...I'll get a cake there for Rowan's 1st b-day in January. We've been going to Helen B.'s for years, and love it, but they are wildly popular and won't miss my business. That being said, we got our wedding cake there, and planned to save the top tier for our 1st anniversary. That cake was so incredible, we took it out of the freezer after only a month and ate it all in one sitting!

Check out Anja Spence at the North Star Ballroom in North Portland near Mississippi. She makes amazing cakes that taste oh so good. I am not a fan of Helen Bernhards or Beaverton Bakery, too sweet. Anja does weddings, birthdays, what ever you might need. Her web site is http://www.misszumstein.com/ In the SW the best is Baker and Spice. I would drive cross town for baker and owner Julie Richardson. http://www.bakerandspicebakery.com/ She did our wedding cake (and hand pies!) years ago and our friends and family still talk about how good they were. I only had one bite. It sure was yummy...

One more thought. Helen over at http://www.mamasmuse.com/ celebrated her daughter Tess's birthday this past spring. Rather than giving her a piece of cake she gave her a bowl of slightly sweetened whipping cream. Tess had a great time eating her sOf course then there would be more cake for you!!

I am a big fan of the $15 costco cake. But you must understand that it took me a long time admit that! I had what friends called the "Martha Stewart Autumn Carnival" for my son's 1st birthday in September. Picture 45 guests, 20 kids, hay bales, pumpkins for painting, carmel apples for eating etc....all along w/ a Cosco cake. To be honest - it was great for the budget but delicious as well!

If you are not as "crazy" :) as I became - I would try something a little more old fashion. Has anyone tried http://www.cupcakemama.com? The site is super cute and it looks like they may do special orders, they may make a sheet cake for you. I love the idea that cupcakemama is a mom w/ young children and bakes as a small biz.

I second Beaverton Bakery. They are awesome.

I'd third Beaverton Bakery (we used their outlet in Lake Oswego), we got an old-fashioned yellow sheet cake with buttercream frosting that was just like what my mom made (= yummy!)

Wow - thanks so much to everyone for all the great cake insights! I feel like we've got lots of good options. (And believe me, I *would* bake if I *could* bake - but have had nothing but unmitigated failure in that dept., sigh.)

Try JaCiva's on Hawthorne. Very old school, very delicious.

I highly recommend Zee Cakes (www.zeecakes.com). It's a mama-operated business that's named after the owner's daughters Zoe and Ella. The cakes are not dirt cheap, but they are DELICIOUS and can be made as simply or as elaborately as you like. Melinda made an exceedingly dreamy applesauce cake for my daughter's first birthday last June. Ingredients are mostly local and organic, and 10% of all sales are donated to programs that support children. According to the website, donation recipients in 2005 included MercyCorps, OPB, and various local schools.

I'm a big fan of cupcake mama! http://www.cupcakemama.com Her cupcakes are beautiful and incredibly delicious. I know she spent many long hours perfecting her recipes for both the cupcakes and frosting and it has really paid off. The texture, flavor and appearance make these cupcakes very special. I don't know about the sheet cake but I wouldn't hesitate to give her a call.

We do vegan cakes that taste as good as any thing else. Zee Cakes... Piece of Cake (pieceofcakebakery.net)... and Black Sheep Bakery (black sheep bakery.com) .

I agree with Beaverton Bakery: we had our wedding cake done there and, when my husband was catering lots of weddings, he always brought me home cake whenever Beaverton Bakery made it :)

Piece of Cake is, indeed, yummy, and I can't wait to check out cupcakemama! it sounds like something i'd dream up...

Beaverton Bakery gets another vote! Its worth an occassional trip for sweets , plus AMAZING Cinnamon swirl bread. We were craving it last week and drove out there. The owner mentioned they have an outlet at Portland Airport maybe they'd meet you curbside...LOL

I have to say that I don't even like cake and each year am presented with the difficulty of finding a passable birthday cake for my guys. I enthusiastically second the above recommendation for Zee Cakes, a local mama's business that makes THE MOST DELICIOUS (non-homemade) cakes I've ever had. They are also gorgeous, mostly organic, and of course not cheap. But worth every penny if you can swing it! Especially if you have to feed a lot of people.

Well, ladies, here's the update: We did in fact go w/ Zee Cakes, in part because she's located close to my home (proximity is always a plus!). We got us a lucious applesauce/caramel cake. Thanks again to everyone for all the sweet & tasty suggestions! We'll be trying all suggestions out whenever we can find an excuse to do so...

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