Three fabulous cake shops in San Francisco

See recent posts by Debbie Abrams Kaplan

Kara's Cupcakes


A good dessert and a cup of coffee is the perfect ending to any day. Or the perfect breakfast. Or even the perfect afternoon tea — minus the actual tea. Luckily San Francisco’s patisseries don’t disappoint at any hour, so when your sweet tooth starts tingling, head to one of these shops.

Citizen Cake: The goods are as good as the name at this Hayes Valley bakery. Signature cakes include Mocha Mi Su, with cocoa genoise cake and dripping with buttercream, mousse, and ganache. Or go for more individuality, with cupcakes like Joe Cool Chocolate Mint, or Persian Love, with rose buttercream filling, saffron punch and rose confectioner’s glaze. There’s also a full-service restaurant. 399 Grove St. You won’t be far from Citizen Cake when staying at the Good Hotel.

Miette Cakes: With three San Francisco locations, you’re never too far from a cake with your name on it. Not literally, of course: The cakes at Miette are too pretty to clutter up with anything other than their candy rose decorations. We indulged in one when my in-laws were visiting, taking home a Scharffen Berger masterpiece from the Ferry Plaza location. Stop by Miette at the Ferry Plaza, Marina or Hayes Valley Locations. If you stay at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero, you can forget room service and just go for cake.

Kara’s Cupcakes: Kara has quite the reputation in San Francisco for fresh, tasty cupcakes. When you visit the shop in Ghirardelli Square, you might ask yourself whether you should indulge in a cupcake, or in a hot fudge sundae across the way at the famous Ghirardelli chocolate and ice cream shop. The answer is that life is short. You should do both.

Staying at the Fairmont Heritage Place at Ghirardelli Square certainly makes it easier to do that. As for cupcakes, try a sweet vanilla, with Madagascar bourbon vanilla frosting, or a seasonal pumpkin spice number. And in spite of the “cupcake” in the store name, Kara makes six-inch cakes too.

–Debbie Abrams Kaplan of Frisco Kids and Kaplan Ink.

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