KOI Dessert Bar, Chippendale
Pasticceria Papa, Haberfield
Buttercream Bakery, St Peters
Black Star Pastry, Newtown
Honestly, who doesn’t like indulging in a piece of cake? Cakes signify celebration, whether it’s for a birthday, wedding, or just a job well done, and that’s what makes them so special.
There are some seriously talented cake makers and bakers in Sydney so narrowing down our favourite has been no easy feat. But as far as we're concerned, these are the best slices in Sydney. So go on, have your cake and eat it too – because life is meant to be lived!
Jillian’s Cakery is the place to go for kitschy, home-style cakes that scream nostalgia. Located on Elizabeth Street, the shop has a vintage American feel, and you can tell that Jillian – a corporate professional turned baker – is doing exactly what she loves. There are a range of treats on offer, and its cosy vibe makes it the best spot to settle in for a rainy afternoon.
Top treat: The divine Sticky Date Cake, served hot with a drizzle of butterscotch on top.
242 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills
This inner-west gem specialises in buttercream creations, and you can expect any cake, cupcake or cake pop, you get to be colourful and hand-painted to perfection. With Kat Logan at the helm as head baker and decorator, Buttercream Creations has carved a niche for itself thanks to its weird and wonderful icing flavours. There are the usual ones, like chai and cookie dough, then there’s purple yam and matcha. Can’t get to St Peters? Never fear – the team delivers anywhere in Sydney.
Top treat: The Pancake cupcake with maple syrup for the sweetest start (or middle) of the day.
Suite 7.03. Precinct 75, 70 Edith Street, St Peters
Looking for something unique? Try Sydney Smash Cakes the cool cake concept that’s exploding on Instagram. Handmade to order, the chocolate domes are filled with lollies, chocolates, toys and other treats. They’re interactive and great for kids birthdays and special occasions. There are also themed, corporate and gluten-free options available, and you can have your cake delivered or pick it from Bondi or St Peter’s.
Top treat: No two Smash Cakes are the same, but you can get an idea of past creations here.
If we had to give an award to the Sydney cake shop with the best window display, it’d be Black Velvet. After travelling the world learning to master the cake-making craft, owner Orlando Sanpo opened the luxe shop in Darlinghurst. The store whips up gorgeous cakes, chocolates and over 100 flavours of cupcakes, including salted caramel, bacon and cheese, and lemon vodka.
Top treat: The BV signature cake, a rich hazelnut and chocolate torte with a crunchy outer.
3a/110 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst
Dessert bar, café and cooking school rolled into one sugary empire, KOI Dessert Bar knows the importance of a good dessert. Masterchef contestant and dessert maestro, Reynold Poernomo, is at the helm and delivers mouth-watering Japanese creations including bright green mango yuzu, coconut kalamansi, and yuzu curd and almond sable.
Top treat: ‘Mr Pistachio’ – Pistachio mousse with raspberry and kalamansi on almond sable.
Chippendale and Ryde
Ex-Hartsyard pastry chef Andy Bowdy’s cakes are almost too pretty to eat. Almost. Made out of the Messina kitchen, each one is a delicious work of art, with layers of mousse, pastry, ganache and edible flowers. The cakes are bonafide Instagram sensations, and since they need to be ordered seven days in advance, Sydneysiders scramble to get their hands on one. The flavours change regularly, and they’re all as good as each other.
Top treat: The ‘Grace’ – a carrot cake layered with caramel mousse, baked cheesecake chunks, mandarins, walnuts and a gingerbread cookie base.
Café Saga, 178 Enmore Road, Enmore
For the best baked ricotta cheesecake this side of the equator, go to Pasticceria Papa. After the wild success of the Haberfield store, Salvatore Papa and his team opened a second on Hall Street, Bondi Beach – and the locals can’t get enough. Both stores feature a huge display cabinet piled high with Italian cakes, desserts, and sweets, and friendly, fast service.
Top treat: The famous baked ricotta cheesecake, which is light yet deliciously creamy, and finished with icing sugar and cinnamon.
Haberfield and Bondi Beach
Feel like a slice (or two) of France? Head to Le Renaissance Patisserie and Café, whose cakes, tarts and of course, croquembouche, attract visitors from all over. In fact, they’re so incredible that La Renaissance was the first patisserie in the Southern Hemisphere to be admitted to Relais Desserts, the super prestigious organisation that only lets in the very best French patissiers. Not bad, huh? As a bonus, most cakes are gluten-free.
Top treat: The Monet cake, featuring layers upon layers of vanilla sponge with white chocolate bavaroise, raspberries and lychee jelly.
The Rocks and Waterloo
There are lines around the block for Black Star Pastry, and it only takes one bite to know why. Headed by pastry master Christopher Thė', the shop has a formula that works: all-natural ingredients, fresh flowers, traditional techniques and more than a dash of creativity. Our advice? Go early, because many of the cakes sell out on a daily basis.
Top treat:Thė's signature dessert, the Strawberry and Watermelon Cake. Think layers of almond dacquoise and rose-scented cream filled with watermelon and decorated with strawberry glaze, fresh strawberries, pistachios and rose petals.
277 Australia Street, Newtown
His croquembouche made him a household name, and now, pastry chef Adriano Zumbo has a string of cake shops tickling tastebuds all over Sydney. With stores in Balmain, Circular Quay, The Star and the QVB, as well as Chatswood and Macquarie, there’s always a store close by to feed a cake craving. Just don’t forget to grab a box of Zumbarons (macarons) on the way out!
Top treat: The V8 cake, Zumbo’s signature that you may recognise from Masterchef. It’s eight layers of velvety vanilla, and there’s a Nutella version too!
Balmain, Circular Quay, Pyrmont & CBD