Whether you’re out spending the day exploring, detouring or need something to soak up your wine tastings, these are the best spots for great cake in the Winelands. Disclaimer: we’re not responsible for how many times you end up returning.
Big Dog Café (Franschhoek)
Find fresh new cakes here daily, with flavours like lemon meringue, traditional hummingbird and carrot, lemon and blueberry. Others include a chocolate-and-date sponge with dark chocolate ganache (called the Brooklyn blackout cake); a lemon-and-blueberry layered cake; a dark chocolate cake with passion fruit icing; and an avocado-and-lime cheesecake. Slices cost R45 each. You could also come across vegan offerings like a cookies-and-cream cheesecake and a slice of matcha, mango and macadamia cheesecake. Call ahead to find out what the day’s bake is or just head in – you’re sure to be satisfied.
The Birdcage (Stellenbosch)
This unassuming bakery in Stellenbosch produces simple sandwiches, salads and wraps, as well as heartier curries and burgers. As delicious as these dishes are, you’d be forgiven for being blinded by The Bird Cage’s cakes. Sit down and enjoy a slice of whichever flavour is fresh out of the oven for between R45 to R55, or order a whole cake for a wedding or celebration. You’re spoiled for choice when ordering. Some of the flavours on offer include vanilla sponge with vanilla frosting and a filling of butterscotch or lemon or berry curd; lemon poppy seed with vanilla frosting; or chocolate sponge with a dark chocolate ganache and pecan nuts. Their semi-naked cakes have become popular for weddings, most notably their Gold Digger cake because, well, look at it. The whole cakes vary in price, ranging from about R380 to R690.
Blush Cake Studio (Stellenbosch)
From the genius team behind Meraki comes Blush Cake Studio. The cakes on offer here are straight out of a fairytale and come in the most glorious colours, designs and shapes. The perfectly crafted vanilla sponge is wildly popular, as is the lemon poppy seed. When it comes to decorating, the sky is the limit. As you’ve come to know from the Meraki name, the Blush cakes are as beautiful as they are tasty. They have a range of flavours that include carrot, classic dark chocolate and lemon meringue, all of which can be decorated in everything from rose gold and fresh flowers to gold foiling.
Inke’s Cakes (Stellenbosch)
Inke will custom-make you a cake for any occasion that will look as good as it tastes. She bakes everything to-order from her home studio in Stellenbosch, using only the best ingredients available. As she creates everything from scratch, she’s able to make any cake a reality, but she reckons her flourless chocolate cake covered with a Lindt ganache is one of the best.
Joostenberg Bistro (Stellenbosch)
As with the best cakes, here it’s all about seasonality and baking everything fresh on-site. Pastry chef Jared Olivant whips up tasty treats like their fig or almond tarts served with home-made vanilla ice cream (R55) and the baked cheesecake with berry coulis (R50). Also, when in season, look out for their showstopper lemon drizzle cake. It features lemon curd and meringue. Though traditional, these cakes won’t fail to impress.
Pajamas and Jam Eatery (Somerset West)
Warning: do not look at their Instagram unless you’re prepared to drool. Pajams and Jam does something new and insanely tempting daily. Inspired by the seasons, you could find a fig cheesecake or a pomegranate chocolate cake on display. Other popular past creations include the Lady Tira, a toffee cake with popping candy; a chocolate cake shaped like a muffin and topped with chocolate ganache, pomegranate arils, figs and edible flowers; a koeksister cheesecake; a flourless chocolate cake; a hazelnut mud cake; a granadilla cake with cream cheese icing; an orange, cardamom and white chocolate cake; and a sweet potato, rooibos and honey cake. You’re spoilt for choice.
Pane e Vino (Stellenbosch)
Though the Dalla Cia estate is known for their grappa, their restaurant, Pane e Vino, is also not to be missed. The simple Italian-style menu changes daily, so you never quite know what’s going to be on offer when you arrive but whatever the cake of the day is, you won’t be disappointed. The torta caprese (a flourless chocolate-and-almond cake) has become their most popular flavour, in addition to the ricotta cheesecake. While they don’t specifically supply whole cakes, you are able to enquire about ordering one and if the kitchen is able to accommodate your order, they will. Slices of cakes at the café will cost you between R40 and R50 depending on the flavours. Whole cake prices are available on request.
Spier Farm Kitchen (Stellenbosch)
Spier Farm Kitchen, previously the Eight to Go deli, is a great spot for an afternoon stop-off to enjoy a light picnic in the sunshine. Their flourless orange-and-almond cake is the one to look out for, as is their classic chocolate-and-carrot cake. While you’re unable to order whole cakes, you’re guaranteed to have the freshest slices available when you visit. Slices cost about R48 each.
Tokara Deli (Stellenbosch)
You know the wines and the refined dining at the restaurant, but the deli is also not to be overlooked. If you’re looking for a quiet spot and a beautiful locale to enjoy something sweet, the cake and the views at Tokara deli will tick all the boxes. The deli doesn’t offer whole cakes, but you can order a slice of of their classics – chocolate, carrot and cheesecake – priced at R55 per slice.