Superior to the twee and frosting-heavy cupcake, the solitary cake towers above its tiny flanker. In fact, wise people even say that the cake is better than pie. Here are our favorite slices in San Francisco, ranked.
The Princess Cake is the best reason to stop in at Victoria Pastry Company in North Beach. The custard, the creme, the cake, and the texture of the marzipan make this one of the best sovereign cakes in all the land. 700 Filbert
Named for its feminine yet unpolished look, Miette's Tomboy — featuring layers of buttercream, made the European way using Italian meringue and adding Straus butter, added to double chocolate cake slices — makes for a complex, not-too-sweet treat. Our favorite is the summertime raspberry. 449 Octavia
There's a reason Belinda Leong's marriage of vanilla mascarpone, Sablé Breton, cassis ganache, chiffon cake, and vanilla glacage costs $7 a slice. Check out her Pacific Heights store to find out why. 2821 California
Yigit Pura's Fifth Element cake is as gorgeous as it is delightful to eat. However, the Top Chef: Just Desserts winner's Mille Crepe is what we make a beeline for when shopping in Union Square. This masterpiece, featuring layers of thin crepes sandwiched into a cake, gets high marks for its simplicity and delicate taste. Best eaten right away. 170 O'Farrell
Yes, the darling cake gets a second appearance on the list. A San Francisco classic, Schubert's Princess Cake tempts with white cake layers with raspberry and kirsch custard filling, whipped cream, and marzipan icing. This one ranks higher than Victoria's since, well, it always seems to make an appearance on your author's birthday table. 521 Clement
One need look no further than the new Oreo or M&M flavors to know that birthday cake is having a moment. Arriving to your table with a pin-thin candle (psst, you don't need to order this when it's your actual birthday; that's part of its whimsy), this cake changes flavors daily depending on pastry chef's Emily Luchetti whim. 1652 Stockton
Locals know something that line-waiting, designer coffee-sipping, transplant foodies don't: Yasukochi's Sweet Stop's Coffee Crunch Cake is the best, period. The star of this massive gem is the coffee crunch candy surrounding the outside, with light layers of cake and whipped creamed tying it together beautifully. Not for those who lack a high-tolerance sweet tooth or, insipidly, find flourless chocolate cakes the highlight of a dessert menu. To find one, head over to Super Mira Market in Japantown and hit up the Sweet Stop Bakery. 1790 Sutter