Dessert Comes First

An obsession with dessert and other unabashed opinions of a food writer

Magnum White King

5 of the best chocolate cakes in Manila

posted by in Home Bakers, The Best... Lists

chocolate glow

Chocolate cake: deconstructed
I never really know what to expect when someone offers me a chocolate cake. My idea of a chocolate cake could be someone else’s brownie, a bakery’s flourless chocolate cake, or still another home baker’s sponge cake.

I’ve tasted many chocolate cakes that would be more correctly described as sponge cakes, soufflés, thick mousse with icing, and pudding in cake form. I have nothing against any of these, but they don’t fit my definition of what a chocolate cake should be.

For me, a chocolate cake has to have structure – it shouldn’t be one big fudgy brownie slathered in icing. The cake should have “bite,” and a consistent crumb. The cake should be moist, an indication that it was mixed well, baked properly, and most importantly, not a week old. I’m not fond of eating cakes that are so dry it feels like my throat is being scrubbed with every swallow. Lastly, a good chocolate cake should have enough icing: ganache, marshmallow frosting, 7-minute icing, or simply the instant stuff from a can – whatever it may be, there should be enough of it. A cake that lacks icing is like eating kare-kare without bagoong or peanut butter without bread. Sure, it tastes good enough, but why settle for good enough?

As long as it’s a chocolate cake that I find difficult to stop eating, it doesn’t matter to me what sort of “secret” ingredients go into it. I’ve seen recipes that call for really strange stuff like sauerkraut, beets, and even beer. Hey, if it rocks, then more power to the baker.

I’ve been working for a few months now on a quest to find the best chocolate cakes Manila has to offer. These cakes to me, define what a chocolate cake should be. Most importantly, these are the chocolate cakes that with one bite, made me weak. Flung into a state of chocolate cake-induced rapture, I ate a slice of each (though not all at the same time!) not caring, not sharing, eating the results with eyes shut tight to enjoy so delectable a moment undisturbed. Here they are in no particular order:

chocolate spill
Irish Deep Dark

Chocolate Cakes from Chocolat
This little store in Quezon City is perhaps the best-kept secret of hard-core chocoholics. Called Chocolat: the Chocolate Baker’s Store, it’s a tiny place that sells a mishmash of baking equipment and surprisingly, wines too. There appears to be no order to the clutter here, which gives the place a somewhat homey feel that I like.

All is forgotten however, once I lay eyes on the two chillers displaying the chocolate cakes. Obviously the star of the store, these are simple cakes, wet in their chocolate magnificence and enrobed in glistening fudge frosting. There are four kinds available, each differentiated by various sprinklings (chocolate chips, nuts, etc.): Classic, Kahlua, Irish, and Bailey’s. You can buy the cakes in slices, six-inch and nine-inch rounds (P250-P360).

When I visited Chocolat, a woman was sitting at the lone table in the room generously icing individual cake slices, an enormous pot of ganache sitting beside her. So deep and inviting was this ganache that I had to physically restrain myself from dipping my finger into the pot while the girl’s back was turned.

Despite the cakes’ alcoholic names, the alcohol is barely detectable, so have no worries about feeding these chocolate delights to children or non-drinkers like me. Frankly, it’s difficult to imagine a more honestly rendered chocolate cake.

G/F Llanar Bldg.
77 Xavierville Ave., Loyola Heights, QC

Starbucks' choc cake

Chocolate Cake from Starbucks
Alright, laugh if you must, but I unabashedly declare that Starbucks has some very good pastries, two of them being the butterscotch fudge bar and this chocolate cake.

What I like most about this cake — aside from its dense yet soft crumb, velvety icing, and intoxicating chocolate fragrance — is that I can have it any time I want since Starbucks is literally, everywhere. This is the cake I send my Bin out to get when everything else is closed and I have a cake craving that won’t let me sleep.

Available at all Starbucks outlets.

Callebaut choc cake

Callebaut Chocolate Ganache Cake from Dulcelin
I’ve recently waxed romantic about this cake — a cake that I nibbled and savored, the silky Callebaut chocolate filling smoldering my tongue. This cake defines my mouth’s imagination at work.

Dulcelin choc cakes
front: chocolate decadent cake with caramel sauce,
back: Callebaut chocolate ganache cake

Dulcelin also offers a simpler chocolate cake, the chocolate decadent cake with caramel sauce (P360/P650). A shinier, denser frosting playfully topped with whole walnuts is the perfect accent to the caramel sauce that you can serve on the side or as I do, douse on the cake.

36 Times Street, West Triangle, Quezon City
374-2165 or 67
Mobile: 0917-535-2592

choc ganache cake

Chocolate Ganache Cake from Karen Young
I first saw this cake (P550 / 9”) on Anton’s website almost two months ago but only got to try it last night for my sister’s birthday. The cake’s frosting is visually arresting, a design piped on by an intricate leaf tip – veritable eye candy.

As for the cake, I might as well say, “Hit me!” It packs a macho chocolate punch, all that’s missing is the leather get-up and the crack of a whip. Wah-pak! The crumb is soft, almost too soft. Completely immersed in its moistness, it has just enough structure to escape being categorized as pudding. An uninterrupted adoration at the temple of chocolate, this cake is whole and independent in its devotion.

Karen Young
Karen’s Kitchen (KEY Specialty Foods)
428 Adalla St. Palm Village
Mobile: 0917-5394968

choc-yema cake

Chocolate Cake from Shoppersville Bakeshoppe
Unassuming in its blue and white striped box, this is a cake that sneaks up from behind and consumes you. Nestled beneath the glimmering icing is a feathery crumb and a cache of yema filling. Yema is egg yolks and milk cooked with sugar until thick, and formed into a ball. Here, it’s the piece de resistance, the showpiece if you will, of the cake. Sweet and thick, it adds an unexpected flavor to the cake, and of course that delightful burst of yellow when you cut into the first slice.

This is the cake that I brought to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Defined by its understated deliciousness and simplicity, this cake is a winner on all counts, including its price – (P260/P375 – 7”/9”).

Shoppersville Bakeshoppe
355 Katipunan Ave.
Loyola Heights, QC
426-1247 / 426-1246 / 920-8050

102 Responses to “5 of the best chocolate cakes in Manila”

  • Hi Lori,

    I love your site and I couln\’t help but share with you my latest food escapades… and it\’s not just any ordinary food but … CHOCOLATE CAKES.

    At Salcedo Community Bazaar (this is a new cakeshop, i think they just started this year…), you can find this cake shop called SYMPHONY SWEETS and to tell you honestly, ive tried almost all the cakes you have on your top 5 list but theirs is the best so far…. You should try their STRAWBERRY CHOCOLATE TRIFLE (a bit frozen) and their ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CAKE (its so scrumptious with the heavenly raspberry after-taste). It is to die for….




  • Hi!!!

    i just want to share that there’s a very yummy cake in Laguna. You can buy it in UP Los Banos and they have an outlet in South Supermarket in Los Banos as well. The name is Mer Nel’s!!!!!

    The icing is so good. Its worth traveling from Manila to Laguna!!!!

    By the way, I love your site… I’m a chocolate lover as well!!!


  • Haven’t tried the ones you mentioned but am chalking trip time to Katips to look up those bakeshops.

    Allow me to add:
    For low budget drool times: Max Fried Chicken Restaurant’s Choco loaf PHP60@
    For i deserve this dates: Luscious bakeshop (Ortigas & Ayala ave)Dementia
    For double drool: Annabel Lee’s ChocoMocha cheesecake

    Personally, if I can find a truly deep dark chox cake/truffle/torte then that would be heavenly. :)


  • Purple Oven is located # 63 Saint Peter Street, Oranbo, Pasig. Near the Valle Verde Country Club. You can call them at 6314221.


  • chocolate carrot cake of CHOCOLAT… the bessssttttttt!!! around 495 pesos for a round cake

    branches at katipunan and sm the block, i think they have one at moa too


  • my daughter and i are chocolate lovers… this definitely helps narrow down the search for best of the best…. we’ve tried cakes and pastries from Starbucks & i simply couldn’t agree more from all the heavenly comments it has bagged! We’re looking forward to have a taste of these other treats you’ve featured!


  • oh my…. chocolate………. yum yum…


  • I agree with Starbucks and Shoppersville. To die for!


  • Lori!! i always love your posts!! everything is so delicious haha

    I sooo love chocolates so just want to share this with other avid chocolate fans!!

    Try the ChocoMud cake of secret recipe, they got tons of other yummy cakes but this one is the best chocolate cake i tried! It’s not that sweet and i just felt completely satisfies after eating. Also, the American brownie a la mode! definitely delicious. I think they got a branch at fort, shangrila and another in RP Midtown

    Here’s their site:


  • would anyone know where to find the supplier of Alex III chocolate cakes? I wonder why that cake never made it to the list, even in other sites that i found. It is definitely sinful! but they dont sell it anymore, I think because it lacked that much marketing within the resto, if anyone of you knows the supplier, please let me know! Thanks!


  • im sooooo inspired to eat those sinful chocolate cakes and other flavored cakes that all of you are suggesting.

    there is this chocolate cake that i would like to share with you- Risa Perez’s chocolate cake located at the main road of BF Homez, Quezon City. You can do walk-in’s (it’s her house) and the maids will gladly sell you their yummy chocolate cake. Her house is infront of a picket-fenced house. the security guards at the guard house can guide you.


  • thanks for giving our wet dreams a good review. you may want to drop by our new branch at robinson’s manila midtown wing, opening on Monday, May 26, 2008. It’s going to be a Cheesecake Melliza Cafe. We do hope you get to try our choco almond mini cake. thanks again


  • my wife started a cake shop a few months ago and so far we had very good response, please try visiting , thanks


  • after reading this, i just had to order karen young’s cake again! the pictures and the nicely detailed posts ogt me all excited!!!! I also got extra caramel sauce (on the side) for an additional P50, which i think is worth it. will try dulcelin next. thanks for the great tips!


  • oh shoot!! im now craving for chocolate cakes!!!

    mukhang taga QC ka a talaga a! :) ntry mo na yun sa UP? Choco Kiss I think? :P yum rin don!! i should go try mga ibang suggestions mo… looks soo nice!!!

    here in Makati.. Secret Recipe sa The Fort… yun Choco Mud Cake and Chocobanana cake should definitely be part of your list… iba cya e.. hindi nakaka-umay.. and just the right taste of chocolate!!

    thanks for ur site!! sarap na mag choco cake tripping :P


  • im wondrin if chocolat can give me a little gift :D if they can write words on my cake two words lang naman… gusy,is it possible? my phone’s not working properly so i cant make a call to them and inquire bout that… sux

    pang reconcile ko sana :D hee-hee-hee-hee


  • We guarantee you that we only give Fresh and Quality Eggs straight from the farm. The following are the size and their respective prices. We are located in Project 8 Quezon City


    JUMBO 135

    XL 125

    L 110

    M 105

    S 100



  • mag comment lang ako sobra sarap ng donut/& cakes sa purple oven sana marami pa keong ilabas ng new style cakes & bread ok ::::::tenk u mam khate taba:))


  • i love the pictures!!! it makes me hungry!


  • Thanks for posting this. I could rant on about how helpful it’s been, but you may have had enough of that.

    Anyway, I just wanted to add a couple of other places for my fellow chocoholics:

    Xocolat, Miss Dessert and Cupcakes by Sonja (all in Serendra, in front of Bonifacio High, Taguig)

    There’s also another chocolate shop there which name I forgot, I’ve been meaning to check that one out but I never found the time… It simply looked good from the outside, so you guys might want to experience that place for yourselves…

    Oh, there’s also a place that sells chocoate truffles and whatnot called Cacao, for people who may have lost their spark for chocolate…If you want to be re-enchanted, visit that place and be wow-ed by the array of sweets they’ve displayed… Looking at so many gorgeous chocolate pieces in one place would make you want to try everything; you’d be compelled to collect ‘em all. Just make sure to bring money as their prices are a tad expensive.

    Good luck to us all guys. Let’s hope diabetes won’t defeat our bodies in the end, although death by chocolate seems interesting (and tempting) enough. Ms. Lori, keep blogging; many appreciate and support, if not rely on, your work.


  • hi nel! may i have the number of the starbucks cake supplier? thanks!


  • please try “choco supreme” or “choco velvet”. i”ve been a great fan for the past 28 years. the place – aristocat bakeshop along roxas blvd., mla!!! i’m soO sure u’ll enjoy these cakes as much as we do.


  • Try Chocolate Amaretto Cake of Rustan’s Le Gourmet, I swear its heavenly!


  • Chocolat’s deep dark classic and Becky’s Kitchen’s swiss choco cake & choco fudge cake are sooooo good! also, Chocolate Kiss’ devil’s Food Cake!!


  • Totally outrageous! This is the best chocolate color I have ever seen! I hope I can make some tonight, for Christmas.


  • I love chocolate cakes. I really enjoyed reading your article and looking at the interesting photos of chocolate cakes… I feel like eating a choco cake right now LOLZ. Thank you for sharing such an interesting and informative article. – Manila


  • We share the same sentiments when it comes to “how” a chocolate cake should be. I’ve tried countless recipes, each saying they were the best chocolate cake, only to end up with a product that has me asking whether I did something wrong or that the best chocolate cake to the recipe’s author was a brownie with melted chocolate slathered on top. Enjoyed it very much and will be trying your suggestions.

    PS: I do agree that Starbucks has good pastries, especially the chocolate cake. I, however, did not particularly enjoy their crepe cake.


  • i love Deep Dark Chocolate of Chocolat!! they have one in MOA.


  • I’m doing r&d for the best old-fashioned chocolate icing, the one with condensed, cocoa, milk, vanilla. But i am having a hard time making it “icing” like. Does anyone have a good recipe i could use??? :(


  • Have you tried the BlackOut Chocolate Cake at Poco Deli in Kapitolyo? It lives up to its name! :)


    Lori Reply:

    I’ve heard about Poco Deli and have been told about that deliciousness of theirs called the Blackout Chocolate Cake. Thanks for the tip. I will be headed there soon.



  • Hi Lori…
    Wish that there would be a cake shop in Los Angeles that served this.
    For years I have been on search of a recipe for a cookie monster chocolate cake much like the cake you brought for your thanksgiving celebration. If you have a recipe available, would you kindly share?
    I’ve never been able to duplicate the way my aunt made it, brings back fantastic memories.

    Thank you.


  • The Deep Dark Chocolate Cake of Diamond Hotel Bakeshop at Roxas Blvd is just awesome!!! Its just located at the lobby.. Comes with a price of around P1300 for the whole 9inch round cake,,, BUT! its 50% off at 8-9pm :) in that way, its always new the next day :)


  • A real good place to find Chocolate fondant & Chocolate Ganache is NACI COMFORT FOOD & DESSERT BAR in Connecticut St., Greenhills. Even their other food (non dessert items) are really good. They also have a facebook fan page. Check them out.


  • does Callebaut Chocolate Ganache Cake from Dulcelin taste good?


  • I would like to know if you could include me in your mailing list to get updates from any events involving Filipinos please.


    PS. nice site!


  • Chocolate Caramel of Cravings is one of the best cakes I ever tasted: Rich and dense chocolate cake with homestyle caramel frosting. It is Cravings’ bestseller, true enough it deserves to be its bestseller.


  • the shoppersville cake was a disappointment! :( the only thing i love about it is the icing.


  • I like it when individuals get together and share opinions.
    Great site, continue the good work!


  • Polly’s isn’t here?!
    Ohhh this post brings back memories of the chocolate cake from Cookie Monster so moist, chocolatey, with a yummy caramel filling in the middle.


  • Hi there Lori!!! I was searching for a good chocolate cakeshop in manila..and here ive found your site. I simply love your blogging. Where are you now? :)
    Thnks for all the Insider Tips, a grand worthy minutes of reading here, Merci!!


  • hi!,I love your writing so a lot! share we be in contact extra approximately your post on AOL? I require a specialist on this space to resolve my problem. May be that’s you! Having a look forward to see you.


  • An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who had been conducting a little homework on this.
    And he in fact ordered me lunch due to the fact that I found it for him…
    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this matter here on your website.


  • Hi Lori,
    Just tried a chocolate cake by Sweet Obsession Cakes. It was very moist and topped by a really gooey icing. Does anyone know how to contact Sweet Obssession. The chocolate cake was worth putting on your list of best chocolate cakes.
    Would you also have the new contact information for Carla and Elaine? They have moved out of their San Juan branch store.
    Thanks for the help.
    Mari Paz


  • Ms. Polly’s , Karen’s Kitchen and Cravings offer some of the best chocolate cakes I’ve tried, moist with just the right amount of sweetness. Chocolat ones are good(moist) but I found the icing on some too sweet.


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