The Absolute Best Cakes In The US

The American love affair with cake is a long, sweet story that dates back to the very roots of our country. So whether you're sinking your teeth into a decadent slice of red velvet cake with thick buttercream frosting or getting your fix of the tropics with a creamy slice of coconut cake, it's hard to overemphasize the simple joy that comes from this sweet confection. Whether you're into more traditional styles, whimsical creations, or even ice cream cakes, there's a tasty treat out there that will skyrocket you straight into sweet-tooth heaven.

Although you can certainly whip up a cake in the comfort of your own home, these bakery-shop classics are bound to satisfy even the most sophisticated sugary palates. No matter where you are in the United States, there's a bakery nearby serving up a mammoth slice of sweet, spiced, fruity, or chocolatey goodness topped with plenty of frosting. We've found the top spots in the country so you can start savoring your cake without delay. 

Macrina Bakery and Cafe's Almond Torta - Seattle

Macrina Bakery & Cafe in Seattle, Washington, is well known for its huge, flaky pastries that take the chill out of even the dreariest and rainiest Seattle day. Still, true sweet connoisseurs know that the bakery's most incredible confection is the almond torta. A special Valentine's Day offering, this luscious cake is a combination of sweet almond cake, chocolate ganache, and brandied raspberry whipped cream. Topped with a generous layer of white chocolate buttercream, it's a delightful and sinfully delicious treat that's even better than a big bouquet of roses.

Order one for your Valentine or treat yourself to a slice of almond paradise. The almond torta is a limited-time offering that you can only get if you order ahead of time, so make sure that you get your hands on one, stat. Since it only comes around once a year, we won't tell if you decide to have two slices!

Ken's Artisan Bakery's Canelés - Portland, Oregon

According to Portland MonthlyKen's Artisan Bakery is the place to go in Portland, Oregon, for delicious authentic canelés. These addictive canelés have a near-cult following thanks to their balanced, nuanced flavor and the combination of a crispy shell and creamy interior. Ken's Artisan Bakery's canelés get their trademark taste from fine almond flour, a hint of citrus, rum, and premium vanilla, but the real secret to their success might just lie in how they're baked.

The bakery has its own set of special copper molds that are perfect for caramelizing the outside of each canelé. Every bite is a combination of sweet filling and crunchy, sugary crust. It's a simple confection that doesn't rely on any special tricks, unique ingredients, or whimsical presentations to satisfy. Instead, it's just an exceptional cake with artfully balanced flavors that goes well with a hot cup of coffee.

Bakery Lorraine's Cheesecake - San Antonio

Proving that the best desserts are often the simplest, Bakery Lorraine in San Antonio, Texas offers plenty of traditionally-loved cakes made with premium ingredients. So if you have a hankering for a decadent slice of cheesecake, skip the Big Apple. The Lonestar State is definitely the place to go. Bakery Lorraine's cheesecake is dense, creamy, and crowned with whipped cream and berries. You'll get a tart taste of fruit in every delicious bite, and the flavors are perfectly balanced with just the right amount of sweetness and light cheese flavor.  

This cake is a true masterpiece of form, function, and taste, and it's small enough so that you won't feel overly full after your cheesecake fix. You can stop into Bakery Lorraine to grab a slice of cheesecake or order one online. If you're a cheesecake connoisseur, you definitely need to get your hands on this creamy treat.

Bakery Nouveau's Classic Chocolate Cake - Seattle

Bakery Nouveau's triple layer classic chocolate cake is the holy grail of chocolate cakes in Seattle, Washington. One of the first details you'll notice about this exceptional confection is its presentation. Caramel design graces the smooth chocolate glaze in a stunning design that's reminiscent of art deco style. The contrast between caramel and chocolate gives this layered chocolate cake an elegant flair, and that's just the beginning.

This cake is super moist and packed with tons of chocolaty flavor. You'll get your chocolate fix in various forms, from the cake itself to delicate and decadent layers of dark chocolate mousse. Top the whole thing off with a rich kiss of glaze, and you easily have one of the finest cakes on the planet. Bakery Nouveau has several locations in Seattle, so make sure that you stop by one of them to taste this epic treasure.

Dominique Ansel Bakery's Chestnut Bûche de Noël - New York City

The chestnut bûche de Noël at Dominique Ansel Bakery in NYC is a tempting treat filled with a rich creamy chestnut ganache. The smooth texture is complemented by a typical bûche de Noël rolled design made with whiskey-flavored almond biscuit and candied chestnuts. The top is covered in a heavenly milk chocolate glaze with candied chestnuts and white chocolate eggs. 

Although these holiday favorites are big across the pond in France, it can be tough to get an authentic bûche stateside. Fortunately, renowned pastry chef Dominique Ansel addressed the hole in the market with designer bûches that you can get right in Soho, Manhattan. One thing that really sets this cake apart is the balance of unexpected flavors and traditional themes. Chestnuts are not as popular in the United States as they are in Europe, so it's a true joy to see them celebrated in a conventional holiday dessert that's as elegant as it is playful.

Liliha Bakery's Guava Passion Chiffon Cake - Honolulu

There are cream and fruit cakes, and then there's the guava passion chiffon cake from Liliha Bakery in Honolulu, Hawaii. Liliha Bakery specializes in marrying traditional tropical flavors with your favorite desserts, and the guava passion chiffon cake is certainly no exception to this rule. Guava has a slightly tart, distinct taste that pairs perfectly with sugary, chiffon white icing. Although this cake will certainly satisfy your sweet tooth, it's fairly light and won't leave you with that overly full feeling.

Striking the right balance between the familiar and the unexpected, this guava passion chiffon cake is airy, sweet, and beautiful to look at. Each one has a stunning, deeply colored design on the top that highlights the stark whiteness of the chiffon frosting, adding to the appealing presentation. For the closest thing to an island vacation on your plate, pick up one of these delicious cakes.

Smith Island Baking Co.'s Smith Island Cake - Crisfield, Maryland

Smith Island cake is among one of the country's best desserts, and nobody does it better than Smith Island Baking Company in Crisfield, Maryland. According to the Washingtonian, Smith Island Baking Co. produces tens of thousands of these finicky but delicious cakes every single year. The bakery can barely crank them out quickly enough! There is so much demand for this multi-layered dessert that combines thin slices of moist cake with rows of frosting because it's one of the only cakes on the planet that has the coveted frosting to cake ratio just right.

It's a laborious process, and you'll feel the love as soon as you dip your fork into a Smith Island cake. Every bite is balanced, texturally interesting, and full of tasty home-baked flavor. If you're a cake lover who hasn't sampled this Smith Island specialty, this dessert might just rock your world.

Poupart Bakery, Inc.'s King Cake - Lafayette, Louisiana

Poupart Bakery, Inc.'s King cake is a Lafayette, Louisiana, fan-favorite made out of either puff pastry or brioche, topped with colorful frosting, and hiding a few surprises tucked inside. What makes Poupart Bakery's traditional French King and Mardi Gras King cakes so absolutely delicious is the filling. The French King cake is full of thick, sweet almond icing and is reminiscent of the tastiest coffee cake that you've ever had.

The Mardi Gras King cake has a luscious filling too, with cream cheese, nuts, and chopped fruits. The balance of sweet filling with perfectly baked brioche makes this cake something that you'll want to have all year round. Plus, it's got vibrant yellow, green, and purple frosting and a plastic baby to pop inside the cake before serving it. Throw in some Mardi Gras beads, and you're ready to have a party.

Chez Fonfon's Coconut-Pecan Cake - Birmingham, Alabama

Visit Birmingham, Alabama to enjoy some of the best coconut cake you'll ever taste. The coconut pecan cake at Chez Fonfon is a light, luxe, and delicious treat that perfectly melds the sweet taste of coconut with the delightful crunch of pecans. This heavenly sweet is an excellent option if you want a little break from chocolate cakes and rich desserts. Although plenty of places feature a coconut cake, nobody does it quite like Chez Fonfon.

The expert pastry chefs at Chez Fonfon make this master creation with four thin slices of cake and thick coconut custard. You'll get an excellent ratio of custard to cake in every bite. Top it all off with a layer of frosting and an even sprinkle of finely minced pecans, and you have one of the most wonderfully balanced deserts in the state. Even if you're not a fan of coconut, you should try this cake.  

Sugar Bakeshop's Red Velvet Cake - Charleston, South Carolina

Sugar Bakeshop's red velvet cake looks like something straight out of "Alice in Wonderland" thanks to tiny hearts decorating the exterior and a generous drizzle of white icing. Plus, it tastes pretty extraordinary too! Although you can get this cake in virtually any size, there's something adorably decadent about its miniature version. While the exterior of Sugar Bakeshop's red velvet cake might be pretty in pink, the interior has the classic red velvet flavor that cake aficionados love and expect.

The rich red velvet cake pairs perfectly with sweet buttercream icing and tastes amazing all by itself or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It certainly makes Sugar Bakeshop one of the best places in Charleston, South Carolina, to get your sweet tooth fix. Try it onsite at the bakery, or take one home to share with your friends and family. Just make sure that you keep it refrigerated.

Little Cupcake Bakeshop's Good Humor Strawberry - New York City

Little Cupcake Bakeshop, with various locations in New York City, offers the perfect blend of strawberries and cake with its luscious, multi-layered Good Humor strawberry. You will get all of the flavors of a Good Humor strawberry ice cream bar with luscious vanilla cake, strawberries, and plenty of thick strawberry buttercream. It's the closest thing that you'll get to a slice of summer, and it's one of Little Cupcake Bakeshop's most popular dishes. 

For starters, it's visually stunning and the flavors will transport you right back to your childhood. If you love strawberries and want to enjoy a beautiful riff on a traditional strawberry shortcake, get your hands on one of these slices. Every bite is packed with fresh strawberry flavor, velvety vanilla, and deliciously decadent buttercream frosting. There's so much yum packed into every morsel you'll have to forcibly stop yourself from licking the plate. 

The Buttery ATL's Carrot Cake - Atlanta

If you're one of those people that think that carrot cake is kind of boring, The Buttery ATL in Atlanta, Georgia, is here to prove you wrong. Here, carrot cake isn't an afterthought; it's the star of the show. This Southern bakery celebrates the nuance and flavor of the humble carrot with a dense four-layer cake that's full of spicy flavor and studded with small pieces of carrot. Topped with a thick layer of fresh cream cheese frosting, biting into this cake is a decadently satisfying experience that will rival just about any chocolate cake out there.

The Buttery ATL tops its creation with a flurry of carrot chips for a one-of-a-kind presentation. The deep orange color of the carrots and bright snow-white cream cheese frosting elevate this cake to another level. Trust us — this cake is the top menu item at The Buttery ATL.

Alpine Bakery and Trattoria's Million Dollar Cake - Alpharetta, Georgia

As the name might suggest, Alpine Bakery and Trattoria's million dollar cake is a no-holds-barred, sophisticated dessert that delivers several different layers and flavors of sweetness in every bite. In fact, it's so good that it managed to put the Alpharetta, Georgia bakery on the map. People come from all over the state to sample the million dollar cake, and with the first bite, you will totally understand why.

It's brimming with layers of all your favorite tasty treats like thick frosting, homemade cake, and soufflé. Even though this cake has plenty going on, it still all works together, with no single layer overpowering the others. Plus, the million dollar cake is beautifully decorated with white and chocolate frosting, a squirt of whipped cream, and a chocolate design on top. You could say that it looks and tastes like a million bucks.

Janjou Pâtisserie's Vanilla and Caramel Bûche de Noël - Boise, Idaho

The second bûche de Noël on our list comes from Janjou Pâtisserie, an exceptional bakery in Boise, Idaho, that specializes in French-inspired desserts. If you're looking for a bûche that will knock your guests' socks off next holiday season, this rich vanilla and caramel cake will do the trick nicely. It's got a fabulous design with snowy-white frosting and gold decorations. It's the kind of understated, elegant dessert that would work well at any gala or event, no matter how upscale it is. Inside, you'll find that traditional bûche swirl and plenty of decadent pure vanilla and caramel flavors.

Janjou Pâtisserie is a local gem with a fanbase throughout the state. Since it's in a strip mall, you have to really look to find it. Once you do, you will undoubtedly be coming back for more, especially around the holiday season.

Jean-Marc Chatellier's French Bakery's Opera Cake - Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh might be traditionally known as the Steel City, but after tasting Jean-Marc Chatellier's French Bakery's opera cake, you might be inclined to think of it as the city of incredible French desserts from now on. The bakery makes its opera cake true to form, with delicate layers of almond-scented sponge cake, homemade buttercream, chocolate mousse, coffee, and a touch of chocolate ganache. It's slightly reminiscent of tiramisu but a little lighter and heavier on the almonds and chocolate.

Although Jean-Marc Chatellier's French Bakery's opera cake is decadent, it's still light enough to enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or even after a meal. So if you want to taste the perfect hybrid of almond and chocolate cake with just a tiny hint of coffee and some luxe buttercream, try a slice of this opera cake. You certainly will not regret a single bite!