Gearing up for a fun get-together? Here are O.C.’s Best Party Cakes

No other food brings on a celebratory mood quite like cake

Photograph by Priscilla Iezzi

Gearing up for a fun get-together? You can’t go wrong with a stunning layer cake to top off the occasion—not that you need a reason to partake of this classic and indulgent dessert. Here are our five favorite shops in Orange County that really take the cake.

1. SusieCakes
With its pale mint walls and wholesome 1960s nostalgia, SusieCakes invokes an all-American sensibility. The selections, which range from an Old-Fashioned Six-Layer Chocolate Cake to Southern Red Velvet, are made with all-natural, premium ingredients such as butter, Scharffen Berger cocoa, Ghirardelli and Guittard chocolate, and Tahitian vanilla bean. We’re suckers for the Vanilla Celebration Cake—its six layers of vanilla cake speckled with colorful sugar confetti and topped with a retro-blue vanilla frosting. Can’t decide between chocolate and vanilla? Get the Classic Marble Cake with chocolate chips, filled and frosted with vanilla and chocolate buttercreams. $6.25 by the slice, $36 to $49 for round cakes. Locations in Costa Mesa, Laguna Niguel, and Newport Beach,

2. Sweet Lady Jane
The confections from this Los Angeles import have garnered rave reviews for years, even from Oprah. Of the more than two dozen elegant layer cakes offered, the Triple Berry Shortcake rules them all: three slender tiers of yellow butter cake held together with three layers of lightly sweetened whipped cream and fresh raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries. It’s light but luscious and elegant enough for someone special’s birthday. $8 per slice, $40 for a 6-inch round cake. 3732 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar, 949-270-6366,

3. Blackmarket Bakery
You’ll be happy with any of the scratch-made cakes at this beloved baked-goods emporium from chef Rachel Klemek and her talented team. If you like tropical fruits, the Bollywood Star is love at first bite. The coconut buttermilk cake with passion fruit simple syrup, fresh mango, and vanilla buttercream is rich but refreshing. Chocolate lovers can’t resist the luxuriously decadent Moulin Rouge: chocolate cake with silky chocolate mousse, whole toasted hazelnuts, fresh raspberries, and ganache. Best of all, the cakes come in dainty 4-inch rounds, perfect for two. Blackmarket offers larger round and multi-tiered cakes, too. $10 to $94. 2937 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714-662-3095; 211 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, 714-571-0801,

4. Paris Baguette
Not a fan of overly sweet cakes? You won’t find ’em at this charming Korean bakery chain. For a delightfully unusual offering, try the Sweet Potato Cake. Filled with creamy sweet potato paste, its exterior is studded with fluffy little cubes of vanilla sponge cake. The Blueberry Chiffon really beguiles: a triple layer of soft and spongey purple-hued cake with fresh cream and blueberries that has just the right amount of sweetness. It’s also gorgeously styled—frosted with smooth, fresh cream and topped with artful dollops of lemon curd and fresh blueberries. $4 and up for a slice, $30 to $35 for cakes. Locations in Buena Park, Irvine, Garden Grove, and Fullerton,

5. Merely Sweets
The retro-modern cakes at this downtown Brea shop could have been inspired by the delectable paintings of American artist Wayne Thiebaud. Take the Merry Berry cake: vanilla cake layers joined by fresh raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, finished with a sleek coat of whipped cream and a modest berry cluster garnish. The 24 Karat is a terrifically dense carrot cake with freshly grated carrots, lots of chopped walnuts, and an airy cream cheese frosting that’s embellished with two tiny orange rosettes. It’s cake imitating art at $6 to $7 per slice, or $28 to $55 for a round cake. 260 W. Birch St., Brea, 714-529-9909,

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