Yesterday was my dad’s birthday. Finally at the age of 54, he’s celebrating it properly by spreading the festivities over the course of a birthday weekend. Last night, he planned to meet up with friends. (I’m interested to see if I’ll see him at yoga this morning!) Today he’s planning on treating himself to something that he’s wanted for a long long time: a tattoo – how cool is that?! And tomorrow, his best daughter and best son-in-law are going to treat him to one of their favorite brunches on the West side.
But in my book, a birthday isn’t a birthday without the proper form of celebratory dessert. For my loved ones, I like to stay traditional and surprise them with cakes from my favorite Northeast Ohio bakery: Michael Angelo’s Bakery in Broadview Heights.
I discovered Michael Angelo’s back in 2005 in the early planning phases for our wedding. My mom and I were driving home from our florist just down Broadview Road and saw a sign in the window of a storefront that said “WEDDING CAKES”. Mom and I looked at each other and without a word, she made a hard right turn into the parking lot. The folks at the bakery impressed us so much, we put a deposit down on my wedding cake nearly a year in advance. Hans had the final say on the flavor so we ended up with this four tier apricot cassata cake:
A.MAZ.ING. Even though it was five and a half years ago, I can still remember how it tastes. PIP Fun Fact: the servers at our wedding cleaned the room so quickly, Hans and I didn’t get to eat a piece of our cake!! Instead of freezing the top layer, we ate it over the course of the ten days between our wedding and honeymoon.
But yesterday I needed something for Papa LaVecchia so rolled into their shop mid-afternoon. Realizing it was close to closing time, I was surprised to see I still have a good selection of items to choose from. But I knew exactly what I wanted to buy him: one of their “mini” cakes. These individualized servings are perfect for when you want to treat someone but don’t need an entire 9″ cake. There were plenty of flavors to choose from, including Cookies ’n’ Cream:
…Tiramisu and Carrot cake:
…Lemon Coconut cake and Chocolate Raspberry cake:
…and what I would have loved to try, their Bailey’s cake. Holy yum.
But a bit overwhelmed by the selection, I went with an old standby: their Strawberry Cassata cake:
Notice how their’s only one left – it’s their most popular selection! But I couldn’t leave without a treat for Hans. I snagged something that I knew he’d enjoy:
I didn’t have the heart to tell the nice girl at the counter that the word “cannoli” is actually the plural of the word “cannolo” – no need for the -es on the end! Other than my maiden name, that’s the only Italian I know, so consider that your PIP Italian lesson until I learn more!
LONG STORY SHORT: I left his mini birthday cake in his fridge that afternoon and received a text message later in the evening thanking me for the surprise. My favorite bakery in Cleveland yet again didn’t disappoint! Maybe next year I’ll be better organized and I can have them make him a themed cake: they have some cool examples of what they can do on their Facebook page. If you’re on my side of town, swing by Michael Angelo’s to check out their array of cakes, baked goods, chocolate covered treats, coffee… everything but birthday cards. You’ll have to stop at Walgreen’s for one of those… HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!
What’s your birthday treat of choice? For me, it’s a huge scoop of coconut ice cream from Honey Hut Ice Cream Shoppe!