Two days ago, I turned 26. This is not a particularly revelatory age (quoth Patton Oswalt: “Go to work! Who gives a shit?”), and I suspect 26 will closely resemble 25. Nevertheless, I find myself in the midst of a minor adulthood crisis (I’m 26 and I’m still in school and I live in an underfurnished studio apartment and god only knows the last time I cleaned out my refrigerator, et cetera).
But luckily, to distract me from the inevitable confrontation of my immature existence, I have birthday cake.
This year, Spice lovingly donated a birthday cake to my cause, which is sometimes referred to as “Unlike-Diane-Lane-(,)-subject-to-advances-in-the-calendar-year-and-the-aging-process-and-the-fifth-dimension-generally” or “birthday” for short. Anyway. The cake was from Amanda’s Bakery, and it was glorious: two layers of moist chocolate cake, the freshest raspberry filling imaginable (it makes other fruit fillings cower in inferiority), and sugary chocolate icing. It was appropriately topped with the words “I am too nostalgic” (which means nothing to those un-obsessed with Noah Baumbach’s 1995 film Kicking and Screaming, but is significant to me). I spend many days seated at my desk, daydreaming of cake; this cake exceeds even my imagination. It turns cake-haters (ambivalers?) into cake-believers.
(I wish I had the foresight to photograph this wondrous creation, but like shooting stars and barefoot Ethiopian Olympians, it was gone too quickly.)
Amanda’s Bakery is an all-vegan bakery located in Field’s Market in West Hills—a shining beacon of culinary greatness in the unholy collection of strip malls that comprise the San Fernando Valley. Amanda is a FYH alum and close friend of Spice, but don’t think this glowing tribute was born of bias: one bite of any of her luscious treats will prove otherwise.
As a vegan baker, I am not always impressed by vegan baked goods. I mean, I never met a cookie that I didn’t at least sort of like (that is to say, that I wouldn’t finish), but that’s just a testament to my being a fat kid. My palate is more discerning than my will to consume sugar, and I regularly find myself thinking, “Well, this is all right. I think I could do better, but I didn’t have to make this!”
Not so with Amanda’s goods. If anything, I find myself in awe of her work, asking myself how she made orange cake taste like spongey, buttery, orangey heaven (with a slightly sugary exterior!).
Amanda has a rotating menu of cupcakes, loaves, donuts, scones, and more. I can attest personally to the outstanding quality of the orange loaf, maple bacon donuts(!), chocolate/vanilla cupcake, chai donut, and, of course, her birthday cakes. She also offers gluten-free selections, coffee, and tea.
But enough of this rambling assortment of praises. Get thee to Field’s Market and try one (or a dozen) of her brilliant confections.