There are pie people and there are cake people. I am firmly in the latter camp. And not just any cake will do. Sugary frosting isn’t my thing. I need buttercream, mousse, whipped cream, all spread around a light sponge or chiffon.
Finding my ideal not-too-sweet cake isn’t always an easy task, but I’ve had good luck over the years with Asian-fusion bakeries. Enter Shilla Bakery, a local chain that allows me to get a slice anywhere I’m craving it.
I’ve tried two Shillas in the last two weeks, and each had a unique personality. The one in Centreville appears to be more flavor focused, with a wide variety of options in both slices and whole cakes. In Annandale, decoration reigns supreme and there are whole cakes made to look like sheep, puppies and pandas. As evidenced by the photo above, even the slices have faces.
But that wouldn’t matter if it weren’t excellent cake within. My favorites so far have been a fruit-topped, custard-filled slice and a slab of blueberry layer cake. The blueberry cake in particular is a thing to behold, with its purple exterior. Inside, layers of chiffon alternate with a blueish cream that’s dotted with extra-large berries and spread with blueberry jam. It’s a blueberry explosion akin to when Violet turns violet in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. The blueberry crêpe cake above isn’t as flavorful, but it’s so pretty and such a textural delight that I didn’t really mind.
As much as I’m enjoying blueberry season at Shilla, I can’t wait to see what the bakery’s cake wizards come up with next. // Multiple locations
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