Back in November we celebrated my boyfriend’s birthday. Having been together for so long, it has become increasingly difficult to come up with fun new ways to surprise him each year. So, I decided to create a scavenger hunt to lead him to the clues, presents or places I had planned for him.
One of the activities I had planned was taking my boyfriend to a special cafe where he can pick out his birthday cake and decorate it how ever he’d like. Darling’s Cake in 홍대 (Hongdae) is just such a place and it creates a very intimate and personal experience for its customers. Owning an oven in Korea is a bit of a luxury that many can’t afford, so this is a great way to still be able to give your special someone a homemade cake.
First you get to choose the type and size (18cm or 21cm) of your cake. You can choose from vanilla, strawberry, chocolate and mango. Each cake also comes paired with a filling and fresh fruit: vanilla with blueberries, strawberry with strawberries, chocolate with bananas and mango with a yogurt cream. We didn’t know this at first, so when my chocoholic boyfriend picked the chocolate cake, the fresh bananas in the middle were a bit of a happy accident.
After selecting the cake, it takes about 20 minutes to bake. You can call in with your order in advance if you don’t want to wait, but honestly we needed the time to fuel up on coffee and figure out how we wanted to decorate the cake. There are albums and iPads filled with pictures of cake designs for inspiration. Since it was for my boyfriend, I handed him the reigns and served as more of an assistant and photographer.
Along one of the walls you can find a variety of decorations from sprinkles, sugar letters and deco pens to macarons, fondant figures and cookies. Everything is individually priced, so you can just pick up a little wooden tray, head over to the buffet of sugary creativity and go wild! We ended up using a few heart shaped macarons, some frosted sugar cookies, chocolate shavings, red cookie crumbles a white chocolate deco pen, a pack of any stars and two adorable fondant pigs (a tribute to our love of eating).
In a separate area, there’s a little refrigerator where you can pick out fresh fruit to top off your cake. You can also request a piping bag of frosting and a special tip, if you’d like to get real fancy with the decorating. We asked for some vanilla frosting and one of the chefs came over to our table to show us how to do some of the “basic” shapes and designs. She made it look easy… it was not.
When we were all done, they packaged up the cake nicely so we could take it home. You could also choose to dig into it right then and there, but we had a movie to catch that night. Instead, we took it home and had it afterwards. With all the work we had put into it, we were a little worried that it wouldn’t taste as good as it looked, but it was delicious! It wasn’t overly sweet, the cake was moist, the bananas fresh and the frosting soft and creamy. With the exception of the fondant pigs (which we didn’t eat) even the topping were delicious. It was truly the perfect birthday cake.
Overall it was a lot more fun than I had anticipated and my boyfriend really enjoyed himself. I think it’s a great date or gift idea if you want to surprise you S.O. with something a bit more unique and intimate. With White Day right around the corner, it may be just the thing for that special someone. It can be a little pricy depending on how you choose to decorate it. My boyfriend’s cake came out to ₩40,500 with two coffees, the cake and all the decorations. It was totally worth it though. For the experience and the great quality cake, I’d definitely go again.
- 11:00am~9:00pm Tuesday~Sunday
- CLOSED on Monday
- 서울시 마포구 서교동 334-1
- 334-1 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
- Website (Korean Only)