By Laurie Jo Miller Farr
Carrot cake lovers know they need to search a little harder to find their dream. Some of San Francisco’s most-decorated and best-loved bakeries (Arsicault, Tartine, b. Patisserie, Shubert’s, Arizmendi) don’t do carrot cake. No worries, these bakeries do an excellent version for a quick carrot cake treat with coffee or a custom made one for a party.
Devil’s Teeth Baking Company
3876 Noriega St.
San Francisco, CA 94122
A discovery in the Outer Sunset, where surfers and runners can happily indulge and then work off the calories. Carrot cake excels, but so does everything else in the bakery showcase. Although some say this recipe could use more spices and nuts, others claim it’s the best carrot cake in town. Sit outside on a sunny day (opens at 7 a.m.) with your huge slice of heavenly, moist carrot cake…but be sure to get there early before it’s all gone.
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2109 Chestnut St.
San Francisco, CA 94129
If you love your carrot cake with real chunks of carrot, pecans, juicy golden raisins, a praline filling, and topped with a traditional cream cheese frosting, come to the Marina. SusieCakes uses grandmother’s recipe, nothing artificial, no trans-fats. The carrot cake is sold by the slice or by the whole cake to take out and feed a crowd or to present as a birthday cake. Open until 8 p.m. and well worth a detour.
2605 Ocean Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94132
This place feels just like the family-run bakery on Main Street in whatever suburban town you called home when you were little. As one of San Francisco’s oldest, it’s one of the lesser known and best. Behind the glass, the cake display is a riot of tempting flavors and colors; everything is fresh and baked on the premises. Carrot cake is simple and simply delicious. Service is super friendly service and the small shop with a half dozen tables to eat in is open at 6 a.m. on weekdays.
Noe Valley Bakery
4073 24th St.
San Francisco, CA 94114
Basically, the only decision is whether to begin or end your day with this dreamy, creamy-topped version of carrot cake from the bakery that’s been serving Noe Valley and beyond since 1995. Get the carrot cake as a cupcake or a big cake to serve 10 or 12 for a party. Marvel at the shredded carrot, raisins, and walnuts topped with sweet. light, and creamy traditional cream cheese frosting decorated with a little orange and green carrot shape on top. If you’re nowhere close, they’ll deliver anywhere in the city for a fee.
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Ferry Building Marketplace
San Francisco, CA 94111
From this achingly pretty-in-pastel spot, there’s a carrot cake choice. Order at least two days ahead and pick up in store (Hayes Valley or Ferry Building locations) for a moist 7-inch carrot cake with walnuts, currants, and cream cheese frosting in a small loaf form to serve six to eight people. Alternatively, get the eat-in version in its irresistible cupcake form. Tip from the baker: Store a carrot cake overnight in the refrigerator but remove beforehand, bringing it to room temperature prior to serving.