If cakes had a pageant dedicated to them, this nonpareil carrot cake would take home the tiara – and that’s why it deserves a spot on the cover of this week’s magazine. This slice makes our heart beat faster. Its dual level combination of cake and cream cheese frosting is promising, and a gentle reminder to the palate of the changing season. What hasn’t changed, however, is Lime Tree’s recipe for its most famous creation. When the home-grown café launched in Jumeirah back in 2001, its carrot cake was among the first things on the menu, and the hard-working kitchen has been turning it out, completely unchanged, for the past 15 years. One notable development, though, has been the launch of the brand’s dedicated, certified gluten-free bakery this year, which knocks out as good an imitation of the original as imaginable for all the city’s coeliacs. If carrot cakes aren’t your thing, try any one of the chocolate cakes, cheesecakes, fruit cakes, slices, cookies, crackers, fudges or truffles – all made daily and without unnecessary additives or preservatives. You won’t be disappointed. Dhs30 (slice), Dhs360 (whole cake).
Tucked away inside Dubai Garden Centre in Al Quoz, this cute café already wins in the flora department. Its no-nonsense approach to cakes and other bakery items is refreshing. The ornate appearance of the carrot cake is kept to a bare minimum, and the crunchy walnuts bode well with the thin layer of cream cheese icing. Dhs22 (slice), Dhs264 (whole cake).
Traditionally served as a tart, this forest berries cake sits on a very light and fluffy pastry with toppings of fresh berries and light cream. This home delivery cake service doesn’t use any artificial colouring or preservatives in its baking, making every cake birthday party and baby shower-friendly. It also does made-to-order cupcakes. Dhs350 (whole cake).
Cakes aren’t meant to be upside down, unless they are home-baked by an amateur. But Clinton St. Baking Company is using all its reputation to put upside down cakes back on the baking radar. The simple butter pound cake is topped with sweet pineapple slices and ground almonds; perfect for grandma’s birthday. Dhs34 (slice), Dhs200 (whole cake).
This elaborate cake incorporates the traditional pastry aspects of a French tart, and it’s draped with fresh whipped cream, powdered sugar and crushed pistachios. Antioxidants have never tasted (or looked) any better. Dhs25 (slice).
If Christmas came in a cake form, it would be this. This cinnamon, orange, nutmeg, lemon and almond-spiced cake needs to be your go-to for a December birthday. Or all year round, whatever. Dhs20 (slice), Dhs180 (whole cake).
This cake is served like a piece of art; perfect chocolate garnishes, branded chocolate buttons and chocolate truffles aplenty. If you’re a fan of chocolate, caramel and almonds, this cake wins without a battle. Its rich icing might discourage a few with its aggressive sweetness, but if you can get past the coated layer of sugar, the cake is well worth devouring. From Dhs350 (whole cake).
What’s better than cake in its most unique form? Round balls of cake on a stick. While this might sound frightening to some, we suggest you don’t shun it until you’ve tried it. Each cake pop is portion controlled for those calorie counting their sugar intake. The red velvet cakes are glazed with strawberry, vanilla or chocolate icing. Dhs300 (25 cake pops).
Somewhere over the rainbow, this cake is calling our name. Hailing from Notting Hill’s famous Portobello Road, this bakery is more than just a cake shop. It’s the cake shop to get your sugar fix at. Its world-famous (and Pinterest popular) rainbow cake with vanilla icing and hundreds and thousands is like a unicorn come to life. Dhs140 (whole cake).
We would like to argue that, in 1789, when Marie Antoinette sassily uttered the words, “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” which translates to “Let them eat cake”, she was referring to this red velvet couture cake. Made with organic flour and three layers of cream cheese frosting, this crumbly soft and moist cake is very Instagram-able too (in case you’re into that). From Dhs115 (whole cake).
This newly launched space, located inside Surf Café, is adding a twist to its traditional cake recipe. This ultimate cheat day treat comes in the incarnation of a skillet fondant in a pan with an array of toppings to choose from. Top the red velvet cake with vanilla, salted caramel, chocolate or strawberry ice cream, and then choose a garnish of marshmallows, M&M’S, snickers, Oreos or walnuts. Dhs35.
While some might call it boring, you can never go wrong with a classic yellow butter cake flavoured with pure vanilla extract. Top that equation with cocoa-mixed peanut butter icing, and you have yourself a winning cupcake formula. Take note, mathematicians. Dhs35 (three pieces).
Is it Turkish? Is it Egyptian? Kunafa desserts are making their way around town, but its cheesecake avatar at Sukar House of Desserts is the one we are most interested in. The crispy exterior and creamy interiors are worth every dairy-full calorie. Dhs180 (full cake), Dhs24 (slice).
There’s something special about a cake that requires different chewing pressure to get through the layers – from the creamy whipped top, to the thick quicksand-like wedges of PB sandwiched between fluffy chocolate, it’s almost worth deconstructing the whole thing and devouring it in pieces. Dhs34 (slice), Dhs240 (whole cake).
Akin to a cake from Barbie’s dollhouse, this textured, all pink cheesecake is having an identity crisis, but it’s good enough to make our shortlist. The scarlet-hued crunchy outer layer plays matchy-matchy with the blush cake inside, with every bite boasting tangy punches of raspberry. Dhs35 (slice), Dhs110 (whole cake).
Some things are not meant to be eaten raw, this cake, however, is not one of them. Unlike other cheesecakes, this one has a base of chia seeds, dates, flax seeds and cacao powder, and the dense filling is made of bananas, cashews, dates and vegan milk. It doesn’t get much healthier than this. Dhs175 (whole cake).
Popular among the coeliac community of Dubai, The Gluten Free Kitchen & Café also specialises in sweet somethings for special occasions. This cake miraculously, and unlike the usual profile of gluten-free cakes, is moist hours after it’s been cut into pieces, courtesy of the reduction in the amount of flour used in the batter. The roasted almonds and textured fig add to the zest as well. Dhs350 (whole cake).
When a bakery is located next to one of Dubai’s most sought-after gyms, you can’t expect an off-the-charts-calorific slice of cake presenting itself before you. The lemon cake at Nathalie’s is free of any gluten and sugar, and makes for a perfect treat post-birthday bootcamp session. Dhs22 (slice), Dhs120 (whole cake).
Cake doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure if it comes packed full of super fruits. SugarMoo’s Mango Tango cake is topped with an ample layer of fresh mango pieces, key lime slices and red berries, making the lemon cake all the more tasty. Dhs180 (whole cake).
Snickers bar and guilt-free aren’t interchangeable words, but Muncherie is determined to contradict that notion. This Snickers cake is homemade by Natasha Stephenson and it proudly bears the flags of being gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, dairy free and paleo-friendly. Each bite is richly coated with roasted peanuts, fudge-like caramel sauce and nougat. Dhs275 (whole cake).
With its four towering layers of melted chocolate and dark chocolate sponge, smothered in fudgy frosting, this cake looks straight out of the 1996 Danny DeVito-directed adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda. Unlike Bruce Bogtrotter, you won’t need goading into devouring it. A perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Dhs28 (slice).
If you’ve been to a birthday party in Dubai, then you’ve almost certainly eaten a sugary slice from Magnolia Bakery. This iconic New York bakery got its pop culture moment when Carrie Bradshaw devoured a cupcake on its Manhattan porch, and has since been a popular address for trendy Dubaians. This triple-threat chocolate cake consists of two layers of actual chocolate cake and two layers of filling encased with coconut caramel pecan icing. If we could celebrate our birthday every day, we would be eating this cake. Dhs25 (slice), from Dhs140 (whole cake).
This golden cake sits on a crumbly biscuit base and calls the smooth cream cheese centre its BFF. The soft buttery texture is drizzled with extra caramel sauce, just in case your taste buds forget what the dark warmth of caramel tastes like. Dhs160 (full cake).
So you've been invited to a pot-luck supper and asked to bring dessert. Lucky you, because Cold Stone Creamery’s very grown up ice-cream cupcakes are a delight to end any meal with. We tried the red velvet ones, an explosion of rich red cake and sweet ice-cream. Best of all are the cupcake holders, made from solid milk chocolate. Dhs15 (each), Dhs70 (for six).
If you ever fancied a piece of Frosty the Snowman on your plate, complete with little blue scarf and a hat set at a jaunty angle, then the creamy dreamy ice-cream treat at Baskin Robbins has your name on it. We tried the rich praline ice-cream mixed with vanilla – a truly moreish combination. Try not to fight over the bright icing nose. Dhs125 (whole cake).