The Handbook
The Handbook

Got a birthday to plan, a christening to arrange or simply fancy having a post-lockdown party? We’ve scaled London’s cake scene (it’s a hard job) to bring you the best celebration cakes that won’t blow half the budget.

From the retro baker making waves on Instagram to the high street creation that looks plucked from a French patisserie, here are our top picks for when you want something a little smarter than Colin the Caterpillar.

Cutter & Squidge

From show stopping dripped cakes to the glossiest salted caramel we’ve ever seen, Cutter & Squidge is the bakery to go to if you’re in need of a special birthday treat or serious ‘I’m sorry’ gift.

All of their cakes are made with 100% natural products and as little sugar as possible – don’t worry, they still taste devilishly sweet.

They work for all budgets too, with seriously Instagrammable celebrations cakes starting from around £35.

Lola’s

If you’re after swift delivery and fluffy cake everytime Lola’s is your best bet. They are famed for their moreish cupcakes but for something a little more special the celebration cakes are well worth checking out.

Expect all your usual sweet toothed fodder, from ombre designs to rainbow cakes, animal themes for little ones and even cakes with your face on.

We love the Elderflower & Strawberry 'Posh Cake' which looks far more expensive than its £35 price tag.

Radio Lamington

One of London’s most influential foodies, Clerkenwell Boy, is already a fan which means the crowds will be soon to follow. Radio Lamington’s sweet treats aren’t your average birthday cake (they’re actually basically mini birthday cakes in a box) but we couldn’t not include them as they are utterly adorable.

Hailing from Australia, the cakes are far lighter and fluffier than our British birthday counterparts and come in a range of flavours. The original is made up of a soft pillowy sponge, sandwiched with homemade jam and dipped in melted chocolate and coconut flakes.

Order a mixed box (£26) and be the hero of the office

Paul’s

Not just the home of a quick croissant and coffee run, Paul’s also do some seriously stylish, French patisserie-inspired cakes for a fraction of the price you’d pay elsewhere.

For tiered cakes with toppings that will impress any chocoholic to classic fruit cheesecakes, there’s one for every taste and occasion.

Plus, free personalisation is also available on selected cakes, making the treat even more special when delivered to the lucky recipient.

We love the Opera Cake – layers of rich chocolate ganache, sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup, coffee buttercream on a chocolate joconde biscuit base or the Summer Berry Layer Cake – three layers of vanilla sponge sandwiched with vanilla buttercream, topped with more butter cream and fresh strawberries. Devine.

Celebration cakes start from around £20.

Anges de Sucre

When Vogue claims you’re “London’s best cakes,” you’ve got to be doing something right. Enter Anges de Sucre, which means ‘sugar angels’ in French (how sweet?)

The family-run business of cake makers and decorators founded by Reshmi Bennett should be your go-to if you’re after an Insta-worthy birthday cake, be it rainbow, unicorn or pink flamingo themed.

We’re putting an order in for the Nutella Ferrero Rocher cake but their adorable 4 inch mini cakes are almost too sweet to eat and great for smaller budgets.

Hummingbird Bakery

Stalwart of the London cupcake scene, Hummingbird were making the most delectable, Instagram-ready (before Instagram was even a thing) cakes long before most. We still love them, particularly their signature Rainbow and Red Velvet offerings.

Order the Piñata Cake for your next birthday treat and slice into fluffy, freshly baked sponge to release a surprise centre of M&Ms. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Celebration cakes start from around £30.

April’s Baker

If you’re after a gloriously retro looking cake that looks plucked straight from the 1960s check out Instagram sensation April’s Bakes.

We are kind of obsessed with the frou frou, pastel-coloured cakes topped with lashings of perfect piping and glacier cherries. Choose from a range of fabulous flavours, from Rose & Raspberry to Vanilla Peach Custard.

Undeniably camp and a whole lot of fun, these are the number one choice for something a little different.

Shop some of our favourites below…