While there are always birthdays, graduations, anniversaries and a number of milestones to celebrate with cake, freedom is the realisation that there actually doesn’t have to be any celebration on the horizon to indulge in a slice of cake. That said, Auckland is blessed with a v variety of cakeries and clever pastry chefs who are offering the kinds of cakes we would order with or without an excuse. Whether you have an occasion to mark or not, these are the best cakes in Auckland.
The Pantry at Park Hyatt, Wynyard Quarter
Inspired by the sweet treats created for him by his gran and aunt, Park Hyatt Auckland’s Executive Pastry Chef, Callum Liddicoat has dreamt up a way to bring The Pantry’s famous afternoon tea directly to your doorstep. Perfect for any occasion, The Pantry’s cake range includes two-layer celebrations cakes decadently filled to the brim with ganache or buttercream as well as fuss-free staple cakes in a delicious range of flavours such as honey burnt butter and thyme, and sticky date and banana.
Zi Sweet, Online
Looking as though they’ve leapt straight out of our parent’s 1970s wedding album, Zi’s ornate retro-inspired masterpieces have quickly become the must-have cake for each and every special occasion. Available in a variety of insanely delicious flavours including chocolate salted caramel and matcha strawberry, Zi’s spots are snapped up quickly so we recommend ordering well in advance to avoid missing out.
Fundraiser by Dali McDonald, Online
Dali McDonald is a cake maestro — a fact that anyone who has tried a slice made by him will attest to. Having grown up with a chef for a mum and after cutting his teeth working in some renowned kitchens, McDonald has spent the last couple of years honing his own culinary voice via his Instagram, Fundraiser, where what started as a more casual offering has grown into a bona fide business. Now, Fundraiser has its own, comprehensive cake menu outlining a number of delectable options, depending on what you need. From beautifully-layered Russian Honey cake to Salted Caramel Toffee cake to a simple but elevated Citrus Marscapone cake, every option by McDonald is a taste revelation.
Mint Cakery, Ellerslie
If it’s a satiating and beautifully-decorated cake that you seek, look no further than Mint Cakery. Skilfully made by Michelle Morfett, who offers a number of crowd-pleasing flavours such as blackberry blondie and dark chocolate pear and salted caramel, it’s easy to see why these cakes are some of the best in Auckland.
The Caker, Karangahape Road
Jordan Rondel’s The Caker, has become something of an Auckland icon, which means that it was all the more heartbreaking to hear of the imminent closure of its K’ Road bakery — the spot where Rondel launched her now-global brand and the place on which most of us have relied for every birthday, graduation and milestone celebration. “It’s heartbreaking to say this part of The Caker journey is coming to an end,” Rondel said on her Instagram, “but change opens doors to innovation and fresh possibilities, and I am confident that with more space in my brain, my future endeavours will bring even more value to you, my amazing Caker community.” Despite the fact that the popular The Caker kits will still be available for us to buy from the supermarket, the celebration cakes won’t be from Sunday the 3rd of September. So, we advise getting your final orders in over the next couple of weeks (Rondel says she will be releasing a raft of final flavours and iconic, end-of-era cakes) to ensure that The Caker goes out with a bang.
Amano’s bakery is a favourite amongst Auckland locals and visitors alike. And while the freshly-baked bread, doughnuts and sandwiches here have become go-to staples for anyone seeking something delicious in Britomart, it’s Amano’s decadent cakes that we have come to rely on for all our celebrations. Available to order online, flavours range from lemon meringue and classic carrot to basque cheesecake and Valhrona double chocolate.
Sweet Cheeks, Avondale
Now operating out of her latest endeavour, Burnt Butter Diner, pastry chef Claudia Long’s exceptional cake service Sweet Cheeks produces some of the tastiest cakes and some of the most sought-after cakes in town. (Case in point, her orders are already booked out until October 2023.) No wonder, really, with flavours like burnt butter and dulce de leche, passionfruit and miso, salted dark chocolate, hazelnut with sour plum and so many more.
Not only a humming café, Catroux is also renowned for its event catering — and cakes. Whether you’re a fan of citrus flavours or decadent banana and caramel; classic carrot, chocolate or red velvet, Catroux’s cakes are special without being over the top and are available in a variety of crowd-pleasing sizes.
Noughts and Crosses, Parnell
While your intention to recreate a Woman’s Weekly masterpiece is admirable, why not leave it up to these experts? Noughts and Crosses fanciful designs are bound to capture the imaginations of both big and little birthday people.
Little Bird Organics, Ponsonby
If you or someone you are celebrating (or hosting, for that matter), is vegan look no further than Little Bird’s selection of indulgent and entirely plant-based cakes for your next occasion. Offering flavours like tiramisu and chocolate cheesecake, these mouthwatering desserts are creamy and decadent while also feeling like a slightly less sinful iteration of their conventional counterparts and are certainly delicious enough to keep everyone at the party happy (vegan or not).
K Cake, Grafton
Known for their crafty and hyper-realistic cakes (fried chicken bucket, anyone?), K Cake is an essential contact to have for any themed party or other apt celebration. Cakes here are sweet and sumptuous, as they should be, coming in more than 10 different flavours. Chocolate raspberry is a reliable favourite — but there’s something so addictive about the lemon elderflower flavour too.
From Sugar, Rosedale
Specialising in the kind of cute and decidedly pink cakes from the days of yore, From Sugar’s sweet treats are certainly some of the most delicious. We love their ‘lunch box’ size cakes too, which supposedly serve 2-4 — they’re just perfect for those more intimate affairs.