Cakes and pastries are no-brainer gift ideas, popular presents for any occasion and always appreciated by the intended. Who isn't happy to receive food, let alone sweets? But sometimes the same-old choices of chocolate-flavored or frozen cake get a little tiring. So we say mix it up with these cakes that are just as big a crowd-pleaser as your typical cake buys -- and easy to find, too. We've listed them down according to the most affordable.
When you can't think of anything to buy at the last-minute... UCC's Halo-Halo Cake (P280; single serve)
This is wonderful for those times you actually forgot to buy someone a gift. It feels thoughtful, not like you're covering up for guilt (which you are, but you get the picture). Inspired by the Filipino shaved-ice summer treat, UCC’s Halo-Halo Ube Cake is layered with a slice of leche flan, beans and even more ube paste, topped with cornflakes and langka. Scoops of ice cream at the side make it a cold treat, just like halo-halo. And, yes, they can pack this to go, er, to gift. A plus: it is round in shape, but the size is similar to the diameter of an ice cream pint's lid.
When you're visiting relatives -- lots of them... Goldilocks' Ube Brazo de Mercedes Roll (P300 a roll)
Ube is this year's hottest flavor that is getting a lot of love abroad. This is already a Pinoy staple especially during the holiday season, but have we ever thought it could be a filling to the Brazo de Mercedes roll? Nope, but Goldilocks thankfully did. Just make sure to call ahead as it’s only available in select branches. Also, if you're in Goldilocks already, we highly recommend picking up its Polvoron Mallows -- it is as good as it sounds. See a list of Goldilocks stores here.
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When you want to make a sweet impression... Tous Les Jours' Strawberry Inspiration (P598; whole cake)
Just look at it -- even your own disapproving mother-in-law would probably find it hard not to smile when she sees this. People aren’t just queuing up at Tous Les Jours for their macarons -- they’re there for the cakes too. One of the favorites is definitely Strawberry Inspiration which is filled with strawberries from Korea, iced with yogurt cream and is topped with fine strawberry powder. Doesn't that sound like a dream?
When you want to show your child's teacher some love... Banapple’s White Chocolate Truffle Berry Cheesecake (P1,400; whole cake)
Let's face it: at one point or another this year you were probably one of those moms from hell at your child's school, and his teacher, the one your child adores, got the brunt of it. Make up for it with this White Chocolate Truffle Berry Cheesecake from Banapple. It's a gift worth giving.
See a list of Banapple stores here. When you want to show a friend you appreciate her matcha obsession... Jipan’s Matcha Taisan
When you have no idea or don't even like matcha, Jipan's Matcha Taisan, a combination of the popular Japanese green tea flavor and Filipino chiffon cake, is your best bet. As of this writing, it isn't in stores yet but as a Jipan fan here at the office told us, you can rely on this store to bake awesome cake and bread. We can't also wait to sink our teeth into Jipan’s other Christmas treats like Banana Caramel Upside Down Cake, Panettone, Gingerbread Pound Cake, and Noche Buena Monkey Bread.
When you owe your sibling big-time... The Baker's Tables's HawHaw Cake (P1,050; whole cake)
This pastry shop is famous for their cake versions of popular Filipino candies and snacks like Flat Tops, Butter Ball, Viva Potchi and, most recently, Whammo's. The HawHaw Cake, on the other hand, is one of our favorites. It's made of a vanilla spong cake with cream cheese frosting and the melted candy in between layers. Nostalgia hit! The Baker's Yable is at 88-B Maginhawa Street, Teacher's Village, Diliman, Quezon City.
When you're having the VIPs in your life over at the house... Wildflour Cafe + Bakery's Salted Chocolate Cake (P2,700; whole cake)
Everyone a chocolate-cake lover? Take it up a notch with Wildflour’s Salted Chocolate Cake. Spot.ph has named the café the ultimate when it comes to choco cakes and this one is just the right amount of special for those intimate gatherings at home.
Wildflour Cafe + Bakery has branches at 4th Avenue corner 26th Street, Taguig; The Podium, Mandaluyong; 125 LP Leviste Street, Makati; and 111 Rada Street, Makati City.