With specialist cake shops a growing trend in South Africa, sweet-toothed travellers are in for a treat. Inspired by the patisseries of Paris, the cupcake stores of New York, and the café bakeries of Europe, delectable gateaux, pastries and confectionary created by local confectioners will sweeten your journey.

Did you know?

Moema's is so-called because owner Danielle Postma’s eldest granddaughter, unable to say ouma (grandma), called her Moema instead.

Cape-based cake lovers will tell you that you cannot leave the city without a visit to Charly’s Bakery – one of the country’s specialist cake shops – just off Buitenkant Street.

This funky Cape Town bakery is splashed with colourful animated cupcake figures to match its vivid, tongue-in-cheek confections. Must-trys include the famous cupcakes; or you can order one of Charly’s legendary 'Mucking Afazing' wedding cakes or a cake for another special occasion.

In Woodstock, at the Saturday Neighbourgoods Market, confectioner Martin Senekal will wow you with his deliciously different cakes. Using only seasonal and 100% natural ingredients, he creates tiny gateaux that look too good to eat – almost! Take home a box of his signature macaroons after you’ve sampled his green tea cake with black sesame and candied pineapple.

In Jo’burg, the Patisserie in Illovo’s chic Breakfast at Tiffany’s atmosphere provides the perfect respite from city stress. Choose from the elegant range of made-on-the-premises cakes, cupcakes and quiches, served on designer china, and enjoy the tisane poured from silver teapots.

Pastry fanatics queue up at Johannesburg patisserie Moema’s, in Parktown North, to buy Danielle Postma’s European-style sweet and savoury tarts, petite fours and bundt cakes. Moema’s is all about the best ingredients, quality and freshness – hence the mischievous sign requesting patrons not to drool on the shop display window!

In Pretoria, the Carlton Café is run by chef Rachel Botes. Think date and fig cake served with brandied figs, vanilla panna cotta and a shot of espresso, and you understand why the thimble-sized eatery is a legend in its own lunchtime.

Also in Pretoria, Mydarling’s Patisserie is another place to go for a local take on cakes – in particular the Top Deck and Bar One chocolate cakes, both inspired by popular local chocolate bars. And Isabella’s Cake & Food Shop may be a franchise, but that doesn’t mean the cakes aren’t to die for. Pretoria foodies recommend the chocolate and beetroot layer cake or the Cape Velvet mousse cake.

Looking for specialist cakes shops in KwaZulu-Natal? Daniela’s Deliciously Decadent at the Heritage Market in Hillcrest specialises in Parisian macaroons. She produces about 30 different flavours of this delicate confection. For chocoholics, her chocolate cherry meringue, Nutella chocolate mousse cake and roasted caramel pecan chocolate cakes will prove irresistible.

A second store, in Green Point in Cape Town, means there’s a better chance of tasting Daniela’s carrot cake with a white chocolate and cream-cheese frosting.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Charly’s Bakery
Tel: +27 (0)21 461 5181
Email: charlysbakery@gmail.com

Daniela’s Deliciously Decadent
Tel: +27 (0)21 418 1920 (Cape Town)
Tel: +27 (0)31 765 2505 (Durban)
Email: daniela@danieladotan.com

Martin Senekal confectionary design
Tel: +27 (0)82 925 6285
Email: msenekal@mac.com

The Patisserie
Tel: +27 (0)11 268 0044

Moema’s
Tel/ Fax: +27 (0)11 788 7725
Email: moemasfood@gmail.com

Carlton Café
Tel: +27 (0)12 460 7996
Email deli@carltoncafe.co.za

Mydarlings Patisserie
Tel: +27 (0)12 362 1014
Email: info@sugarcatering.co.za

Isabella’s Cake and Food Shop
Tel: +27 (0)12 346 0769

Best time to visit

Visit the individual bakeries’ websites for opening and closing times.