So, with that disclaimer of sorts out of the way, on to the list...
|Vendor||Recommended||Price Range (est./guess)||Comments|
|Costco, all over the place||Maybe. Definitely if price is a big concern.||$15/48-slice sheet cake||Costco sheet cakes are ludicrously cheap, so if you're doing things on a budget and either don't need to have a real wedding cake or want to get a small "presentation cake" from a bakery but use Costco sheet cakes to feed all your guests, you could get away with this. Costco's sheet cakes are not inspirational, but they are really decent. They are far better than, e.g., Margaret's French Bakery and Icing on the Cake, IMHO, and look at the price differential.|
|Fleur de Cocoa, Los Gatos||Strongly recommended!||$4-9/slice||Fleur de Cocoa's cakes are made in the french style, which means (apparently) a lot of mousse and a little bit of cake (through the middle). Their mousses are hands down the best mousses we tried, and everything about their cakes is yummy and wonderful. The ones we particulalry like are the Fleur de Cocoa (dark chocolate mousse, dark chocolate cake, dark chocolate ganache), Fleur de Vanille (tahitian vanilla mouse, yellow cake, white chocolate ganache), and the Red and Black (dark chocolate mousse and ganache, but with seedless raspberry through the middle, with the cake(?)). Their wedding cakes start at $7/slice (really... start at; not terribly complex decoration was going to add $160; customization would cost extra also), but they can do sheet cakes if you want to do the "presentation cake" thing, and those started at $4/slice or something. Alternatively, they have individual cakes for $5.25 a piece. These are the same individual cakes they sell in their store, and at the same price. Tasting appointment consists of 2 free samples (individual cakes), with further samples being ... you buy other individual cakes. Note: The "Red and Black" is usually only available on weekends, though with enough notice they may be able to accomodate you. It was a really tough decision between Fleur de Cocoa and the vendor we went with.|
|Margaret's French Bakery, Campbell||No!||$4-5/slice(?)||Cake was dry. Flavours and mousses entirely uninspiring.|
|Icing on the Cake, Los Gatos||Not really.||low-mid range||Tastings are constructed on-demand using cupcakes and icings/fillings on certain prescribed Saturdays. No appointment necessary. See web site... but... well, probably don't bother. The cake was only ok.|
|Sugar Butter Flour, Los Gatos/Santa Clara||Yes!||low-mid range||They're based in Los Gatos, I believe, but they actually bake their cakes in the kitchens of Mission College, Santa Clara, and do tastings there too. The cakes were excellent. They're all-round really good, and they laid on a mind-boggling tasting of 10 different cakes (each an individual cake, decorated and all). It was quite the feast. BTW, They had awesome tiramisu and carrot cake (I don't typically like carrot cake at all, but this stuff was actually good...). Actually, urox says, "Sugar Butter Flour has the best tiramisu and carrot cakes that I have ever tasted in my life. And I've tasted quite a wide range of tiramisu." We didn't select them for our wedding cake, but I would totally recommend them as a place to taste and consider, and I'm definitely hoping to order cakes for other occasions from them.|
|Woodside Bakery, Woodside||Yes!||low-mid range||Woodside Bakery has the fluffiest, most delectable cake. Their mousses were also really good, but nothing beats Fleur de Cocoa in the mousse department. We're so going to have to patronise Woodside Bakery in future!|
|Citizen Cake, San Francisco||Maybe...||$7-13/slice||Citizen Cake's cakes were innovative and yummy, but their prices are decidedly on the high end, and they have a very contemporary style, so if their style is what you're looking for, fantastic, but they don't do traditional wedding cake decoration. Also, I don't think their cakes keep as well as some of the others.|
|Copenhagen Bakery, Burlingame||Not really.||$4-6||Copenhagen Bakery's cakes were pretty decent, but not exciting, especially after a lot of really good cakes.|
... so there you have it. That's the way the cake crumbles.