The first two paragraphs are intended to be facetious. Elmomonster and I are friends on very good terms.)
My little buddy Elmonster has a truly annoying habit. He scoops me, innocently and with intent to inform. Each time it happens exactly the same way. I make a new find, spend weeks or months gathering photos and information, and just when I'm about ready to post my review-BAM! He cold cocks me from right field with a well-written, illuminating article on the same damn location. I swear, it's enough to make me want to gnash my teeth, rend my clothes, and wail.
Monkey Bread. Read Elmo's review.
But really, is that so bad? We live really close to one another and share similar tastes in food. It's inevitable that our paths will cross. That we happen to like the same places just means more exposure, more business, and, ultimately, a better chance that I'll be able to enjoy the same tasty treats for years to come. So really, I should be grateful to Elmo, and I am. That still won't stop me from plotting my saccharine sweet revenge. Something involving an orgy of comestibles and the mother of all food comas. Yes...
The latest bit of scoopage is Layer Cake Bakery, a relatively new arrival to Irvine. Located in part of the space that used to house my beloved, yet ill-fated, Irvine J's market, Layer Cake Bakery is the most exciting addition I've made to my regular supplying rotation in over a year.
Stylish counters and display cases overflow with fresh treats made from scratch, a point that the lovely proprietress is quick to emphasize. After years of delicious toil at Margaret's French Bakery (nee Marjolaine), I have very high standards when it comes to cakes, pastries, and other baked goods. Layer Cake is the first bakery that I've encountered since I left Margaret's that comes close to matching her flavors.
At the heart of Layer Cake Bakery's business are its lush cakes, which neatly straddle the boundary between richness and lightness. The problem with many types of Western cakes, each one a dense ode to the wonders of buttercream, are their heaviness. Most Asian cakes are significantly lighter in both flavor and milk fat, but are also little more than whipped cream, fruit, and sponge cake. It's rare to find a bakery with just the right balance between the two.
(Green Tea White Chocolate)
However, Layer Cake Bakery manages with offerings such at this Green Tea White Chocolate cake, my absolute favorite. Moist, airy, and loaded with macha (green tea powder), it manages to be both rich and flavorful without being too cloying. I'm also in love with their Chestnut Vanilla Buttercream.
(Ton-Ton likes cake. The employees like Ton-Ton.)
Although the owners are Indonesian, as Elmomonster proudly asserts, the cakes are not restricted by borders or cultures. The bakers proudly, and even recklessly, draw their inspiration from the recipes and ingredients of countries around the world. The result is an array of uniquely delightful confections. A list of the day's cakes is posted every morning. If you don't want to buy a whole cake, the staff will cut a slice for you without hesitation, a refreshing policy I wholeheartedly support.
If cakes aren't your cup of tea, Layer Cake Bakery also offers a variety of single-serving pies with flaky crusts and homey flavors that have prompted spontaneous recollections of their grandmothers' pies from more than one entranced individual. I know at least one gentleman who never stops by without taking home several of the little pies to last him through the week. I can personally attest to the quality of their Pumpkin Pie and Apple Pie.
In addition to desserts, a similarly eclectic array of pastries and other baked goods are available. From delicate croissants for breakfast to hearty quiches for lunch, the assortment is wide-ranging and interesting. The cookies, in particular, are constantly shifting selection of pleasant surprises. Just last week I had a Pistachio Macaroon that simply melted away in my mouth. It's always a good idea to wander in and try your luck.
Wash it all down with one of their excellent coffees or a cup of whole leaf tea. My regular order is the Cafe Americano. Elonweis prefers a steaming pot of Moroccan Mint Green Tea.
Layer Cake Bakery - An exciting and innovative addition to Orange County. Classily untraditional and avant-garde, I can only hope that this is the beginning of a new trend in cake making. Stop by and give it a try. There's something amazing waiting for you.
Layer Cake Bakery
4250 Barranca Parkway, Ste. 1
Irvine, CA 92604