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Best of LA: Taking the Cake

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With all the reasons to celebrate lately, like graduations, weddings, family get-togethers, and the omnipresent birthdays, we've been thinking about cake. Not just the random slice that gets ordered up at some eatery after a meal, but the whole thing, nesting inside a pink box, or lying in wait on a great big sheet for the eager masses to devour it in cubed portions. So we got to thinking: where in LA is the best party cake? We have some definitive ideas on the subject, after years of office parties, baby showers, and birthdays. We'll give you a slice of ours, if you promise to give us a piece of your mind.

Some folks say you can't go wrong with a sheet cake from Costco. Well, friends, yes you can. While we appreciate the fact that the frosting is a tad bit lighter (whipped cream) the bottom line is, it's still mass produced and full of who knows what kind of unnatural ingredients. Yes, it's inexpensive. And if you're feeding a bunch of ingrates you don't like, such as, oh, let's say co-workers, you'll get your money's worth. Far worse offenders, are the cakes that come from the depths of the grocery store refridgerated cases. Vons promises the "Moistest Cake Ever" on some of their packaging, and it's a downright lie. The frosting from places like Albertsons, Ralphs, and Vons, is always stiff and sickeningly sweet, and you're never sure if they'll get the name right.

So where to, then? Specialty bakeries like Sweet Lady Jane make delicious and sinful desserts that are suited to some crowds. We once stood by and witnessed a table of ten year olds get worked into a frenzy over a Sweet Lady Jane cake topped with strawberries. When the enormous slices were distributed, the kids were worn out in four bites from the richness; while this cake was wasted on the kids, grownups with sweet tooths might prefer their cake concoctions.

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But the best for us, hands down, are Hansen's Cakes. This longstanding LA mecca of party cakes serves up the best slice of sweetness in town. They're known for consistent flavor and inventive artistry, although we'll admit, we prefer them at their most uncomplicated best with their standard white cake, white frosting round cake. Not too sweet, not too rich, and the cake is moist and fluffy. Our pick for best party cake in the city is Hansen's.

So now it's your turn! What's your pick for party cake?