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A tall slice of coconut layer cake sits on a plate with a scoop of ice cream next to it. An upscale restaurant dining room is visible in the background.
Grill 23’s coconut cake with coconut dulce de leche.
Grill 23

Where to Order a Single Perfect Slice of Cake in and Around Boston

When the mood strikes for just one slice of chocolate cake or birthday cake or flan, try one of these local spots

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Grill 23’s coconut cake with coconut dulce de leche.
| Grill 23

Whether it’s a special occasion or just a regular old Monday afternoon, sometimes a person wants a single perfect slice of cake. Birthday cake, crepe cake, flan, Boston cream pie — for whatever the appetite, there’s probably a Boston-area restaurant or bakery that can provide. Here are some of the best by-the-slice (or single-serving) cake options in town. For most of these, no pre-planning or pre-ordering is necessary; just waltz right in, grab a slice, and enjoy.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. Note that as of January 15, 2022, restaurants in the city of Boston are required to check for proof of vaccination for customers dining indoors; Brookline has a similar mandate, but Brookline’s also covers outdoor dining. Outside of these communities, venues with their own vaccination proof requirements are noted as such on this map.

This map was originally published on August 30, 2021; it is updated periodically, and the date of the most recent update appears above.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

7ate9 Bakery

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Strictly speaking, cheesecake isn’t technically cake, by most definitions. But instead of quibbling over the definition of “cake,” why not spend that time devouring a personal-sized cheesecake or three from this Somerville shop, which is the master of the genre? The mini cheesecakes come in flavors like peanut butter cup, lemon, and mocha. There’s no seating; takeout, delivery, and catering are available.

La Saison Bakery

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La Saison Bakery, which debuted in late 2020, is the place to go for the absolute best sourdough bread in town. Co-owner and baker Soheil Fathi, whose first version of La Saison was a “super, super luxe” chocolate business in Tehran, is now serving up ultra-rich chocolate cake at his Cambridge shop, featuring 65% Belgian chocolate cream in between light layers of chocolate souffle cake. Grab a single slice, topped with a hint of a gold flake, or order a six-, eight-, 10-, or 12-inch cake. There’s a bit of seating outside, but this is primarily a takeout shop.

Manoa Poke Shop

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Located near Porter Square, this extraordinarily popular little poke shop only serves takeout Friday through Sunday. Plan ahead and make it over there for poke, irresistible fried chicken, and the fan-favorite pineapple cake, which comes in individual servings. “Grandma’s recipe,” notes the menu. “Every piece is a corner piece!” The guava cake with whipped guava cream cheese frosting and guava compote is also a must.

Gate Comme Des Filles

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Alexandra Whisnant’s chocolate shop at Bow Market is the place to go for impeccable bonbons, but there are some wonderful chocolate plated desserts available, too, for customers to grab and enjoy at home or in Bow Market’s courtyard. The menu changes a bit with the seasons, but there’s often molten chocolate cake available (allow 15 minutes for baking); it’s currently paired with a small tub of salty honey ice cream from Maine-based Parlor Ice Cream Co. Ok, it might be a slight stretch to include this on a list of cakes by the slice, but this petite melty round is suitable for one hungry chocolate lover, or maybe two. (Whisnant is also behind new Cambridge wine and dessert bar Zuzu’s Petals, which doesn’t have cake by the slice but does have must-try creme brulee, tiramisu, and more.)

La Flaneteria Pop-Up

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Sometimes (ok, frequently), one needs a single, jiggly slice of flan to make the day better. Fortunately La Flaneteria pops up frequently at Buenas at Somerville’s Bow Market, typically restocking on Wednesdays — watch Instagram for ordering details and updates — with a rotating list of flavors, such as pumpkin spice, honey sesame, mudslide, and more.

Milk Bar

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Now with locations across the country and distribution to grocery stores, Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar chain doesn’t have quite the indie bakeshop feel that it used to, but it still makes some killer cakes, and the Harvard Square outpost sells a few flavors by the slice, including the rainbow sprinkle-studded birthday cake (gluten-free or not) and chocolate birthday cake. Delivery and takeout are available.

The Danish Pastry House

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The Danish Pastry House, as its name suggests, offers some specialty Scandinavian baked goods and pastries on its vast menu, as well as custom cakes and plenty of other treats. For those seeking a single serving of cake, there are usually a few options available, such as four-inch cheesecakes; frog-shaped mini cakes in lemon or raspberry with buttercream and marzipan; or chocolate and rum cake with buttercream, wrapped in marzipan and dipped in chocolate. There’s a location in Medford, too.

Mamaleh's Delicatessen

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Jewish-style delicatessen Mamaleh’s has one of those old-school tall cases full of cakes and pies; there’s typically a pie slice of the day available, as well as slices of a rich chocolate layer cake. Both locations — this one in Cambridge and a newer Brookline outpost — are offering dine-in, takeout, and delivery. Stay tuned for the planned March 2022 opening of a new location at the forthcoming High Street Place food hall in downtown Boston.

Bova's Bakery

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One of Boston’s very few 24-hour establishments, North End staple Bova’s Bakery is the spot for pastries, breads, and Sicilian pizza late at night or anytime. Those seeking a single slice of cake will typically find a few varieties, such as chocolate cake with sprinkles, coconut cake, carrot cake, and more, not to mention various types of cheesecake.

Paris Baguette

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French-inspired bakery mega-chain Paris Baguette, which has locations worldwide, has an outpost tucked inside Cambridge’s H Mart, with takeout and delivery available. It generally offers around a dozen different cakes by the slice, with options such as a three-layer mango and coconut cake or a chocolate cake with layers of strawberries and cream. Might as well grab a croissant-wrapped hot dog while you’re there.

Here’s something different among the chocolate cakes, carrot cakes, and coconut cakes of this map: an olive oil polenta cake with citrus and a side of maple soft serve. Try it at Pagu (available on the dine-in menu), a Cambridge restaurant that highlights chef and owner Tracy Chang’s background cooking both Spanish and Japanese cuisine. Proof of vaccination is required for indoor dining.

Some consider babka a sweet bread; some consider it cake. Either way, it’s a delicious treat, and it’s available by the just-out-of-the-oven slice at Bakey in flavors such as chocolate, almond, raspberry, and more. There’s some seating inside, but Bakey is steps from Boston Common if you’re in a picnic mood.

Two long, narrow loaves of chocolate babka sit side by side on a silver tray, cutting diagonally across the front of the photo. In the background, almond babka is a bit visible.
Two loaves of chocolate babka, with an almond babka in the background, at Bakey.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Eldo Cake House

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This Chinatown mainstay — one of several excellent bakeries in the neighborhood — offers numerous cake slices in its jam-packed pastry cases, but the shop is particularly known for its sponge cakes stuffed with cream and fresh fruits, so be on the lookout for one of those.

A slice of vanilla sponge cake with a layer of strawberries and cream sits in an open plastic takeout container.
A slice of cake from Eldo Cake House.
Eldo Cake House

Ocean Prime

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One of the Seaport District’s many steakhouse-and-seafood chain restaurants, Ocean Prime is particularly known for its ten-layer carrot cake, which is garnished with cream cheese icing and pineapple syrup. Takeout and delivery are available.

Flour Bakery & Cafe

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Joanne Chang’s beloved local cafe and bakery chain Flour, which has nine locations throughout Boston and Cambridge, may be best known for its sticky buns, but it offers a variety of cakes by the slice that are not to be missed, including carrot cake, coconut cake, Boston cream pie (which, despite its name, is cake), birthday cake, lemon raspberry cake, and more. Indoor seating, takeout, and delivery are available at all locations; some locations also have outdoor seating. Proof of vaccination for indoor seating is required at Cambridge locations as well as Boston.

L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates

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With local storefronts in Back Bay and Harvard Square, decades-old chocolatier L.A. Burdick is known in particular for its little chocolate mice and luxurious hot chocolate, but don’t miss the extensive selection of cakes by the slice (most featuring chocolate, of course). Options include dark chocolate raspberry cake, chocolate-glazed lemon cream sponge cake, earl grey mousse cake, and more. Both locations offer online preordering (Boston, Cambridge).

The Smoke Shop BBQ

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Chef Andy Husbands’s mini-chain of barbecue restaurants (with this Boston location as well as two in Cambridge, one in Somerville, and a mini takeout location at the Hub Hall food hall in Boston’s West End) offers a sweet, simple square of butter cake on the dessert menu. Diners can even specifically order an edge piece for an extra bit of caramelization. Takeout and delivery are available from the full locations; just show up to order at the Hub Hall location.

Grill 23 & Bar

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There’s something about steakhouses: Most serve a killer slice of cake or two on their dessert menus. (See also: Ocean Prime above.) Not looking for a full steak dinner? Try to grab a seat at the bar to unwind with a glass of wine and a bit of cake (or order for takeout or delivery). Back Bay favorite Grill 23 calls its coconut cake with coconut dulce de leche “famous”; indeed, it’s a popular pick among repeat customers of the nearly 40-year-old steakhouse.

Lady M Cake Boutique

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This international chain is known for its crepe cakes, each featuring at least 20 crepes with layers of pastry cream in between, available in flavors like passionfruit, green tea, and salted caramel. The Newbury Street location offers the cakes by the slice, as well as a few non-crepe cakes, such as a strawberry shortcake layer cake.

May's Cake House

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May’s Cake House, a basement-level storefront hidden a bit away from the busiest section of Boston’s Chinatown, offers mousse cakes and Swiss rolls by the slice, not to mention other cakes like red bean, pineapple, or walnut. Beyond cakes, be sure to try rice noodle rolls stuffed with shrimp, beef, or fried dough.

A slice of white cake with a thick layer of mango mousse in the middle and more of the same on top sits in an open white styrofoam takeout container.
Mango mousse cake from May’s Cake House.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Cafe Madeleine

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This French bakery in Boston’s South End generally has at least a couple different cakes available by the slice among its beautiful pastries and baked goods, such as a chocolate cake with layers of chocolate mousse and hazelnut gianduja or an airy chiffon cake. The best way to keep an eye on the cafe’s updates and specials is to watch pastry chef Hana Quon’s Instagram account. (Note: The cafe is closed for the month of February 2022 for winter break; it’s scheduled to reopen on March 1.)

Fiore's Bakery

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Specializing in vegan and gluten-free options, this Jamaica Plain bakery offers a rotating selection of sweets and baked goods; there are typically a few kinds of cake squares and cake bars available.

Sugar Baking Co.

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This West Roxbury bakery, which makes cakes for all occasions, has a variety of single-serving treats available that fall under the cake umbrella, such as mini mocha cakes and Italian-style flourless chocolate cakes. Keep an eye out for cheesecake slices, too.

Greenhills Irish Bakery

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This popular Dorchester spot for baked goods, imported Irish goods, and more sells plenty of cakes for special occasions, and sometimes it offers cakes by the slice, but not always, so interested customers should call first to check. When available, the slices are typically the bakery’s classic chocolate or vanilla.

7ate9 Bakery

Strictly speaking, cheesecake isn’t technically cake, by most definitions. But instead of quibbling over the definition of “cake,” why not spend that time devouring a personal-sized cheesecake or three from this Somerville shop, which is the master of the genre? The mini cheesecakes come in flavors like peanut butter cup, lemon, and mocha. There’s no seating; takeout, delivery, and catering are available.

La Saison Bakery

La Saison Bakery, which debuted in late 2020, is the place to go for the absolute best sourdough bread in town. Co-owner and baker Soheil Fathi, whose first version of La Saison was a “super, super luxe” chocolate business in Tehran, is now serving up ultra-rich chocolate cake at his Cambridge shop, featuring 65% Belgian chocolate cream in between light layers of chocolate souffle cake. Grab a single slice, topped with a hint of a gold flake, or order a six-, eight-, 10-, or 12-inch cake. There’s a bit of seating outside, but this is primarily a takeout shop.

Manoa Poke Shop

Located near Porter Square, this extraordinarily popular little poke shop only serves takeout Friday through Sunday. Plan ahead and make it over there for poke, irresistible fried chicken, and the fan-favorite pineapple cake, which comes in individual servings. “Grandma’s recipe,” notes the menu. “Every piece is a corner piece!” The guava cake with whipped guava cream cheese frosting and guava compote is also a must.

Gate Comme Des Filles

Alexandra Whisnant’s chocolate shop at Bow Market is the place to go for impeccable bonbons, but there are some wonderful chocolate plated desserts available, too, for customers to grab and enjoy at home or in Bow Market’s courtyard. The menu changes a bit with the seasons, but there’s often molten chocolate cake available (allow 15 minutes for baking); it’s currently paired with a small tub of salty honey ice cream from Maine-based Parlor Ice Cream Co. Ok, it might be a slight stretch to include this on a list of cakes by the slice, but this petite melty round is suitable for one hungry chocolate lover, or maybe two. (Whisnant is also behind new Cambridge wine and dessert bar Zuzu’s Petals, which doesn’t have cake by the slice but does have must-try creme brulee, tiramisu, and more.)

La Flaneteria Pop-Up

Sometimes (ok, frequently), one needs a single, jiggly slice of flan to make the day better. Fortunately La Flaneteria pops up frequently at Buenas at Somerville’s Bow Market, typically restocking on Wednesdays — watch Instagram for ordering details and updates — with a rotating list of flavors, such as pumpkin spice, honey sesame, mudslide, and more.

Milk Bar

Now with locations across the country and distribution to grocery stores, Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar chain doesn’t have quite the indie bakeshop feel that it used to, but it still makes some killer cakes, and the Harvard Square outpost sells a few flavors by the slice, including the rainbow sprinkle-studded birthday cake (gluten-free or not) and chocolate birthday cake. Delivery and takeout are available.

The Danish Pastry House

The Danish Pastry House, as its name suggests, offers some specialty Scandinavian baked goods and pastries on its vast menu, as well as custom cakes and plenty of other treats. For those seeking a single serving of cake, there are usually a few options available, such as four-inch cheesecakes; frog-shaped mini cakes in lemon or raspberry with buttercream and marzipan; or chocolate and rum cake with buttercream, wrapped in marzipan and dipped in chocolate. There’s a location in Medford, too.

Mamaleh's Delicatessen

Jewish-style delicatessen Mamaleh’s has one of those old-school tall cases full of cakes and pies; there’s typically a pie slice of the day available, as well as slices of a rich chocolate layer cake. Both locations — this one in Cambridge and a newer Brookline outpost — are offering dine-in, takeout, and delivery. Stay tuned for the planned March 2022 opening of a new location at the forthcoming High Street Place food hall in downtown Boston.

Bova's Bakery

One of Boston’s very few 24-hour establishments, North End staple Bova’s Bakery is the spot for pastries, breads, and Sicilian pizza late at night or anytime. Those seeking a single slice of cake will typically find a few varieties, such as chocolate cake with sprinkles, coconut cake, carrot cake, and more, not to mention various types of cheesecake.

Paris Baguette

French-inspired bakery mega-chain Paris Baguette, which has locations worldwide, has an outpost tucked inside Cambridge’s H Mart, with takeout and delivery available. It generally offers around a dozen different cakes by the slice, with options such as a three-layer mango and coconut cake or a chocolate cake with layers of strawberries and cream. Might as well grab a croissant-wrapped hot dog while you’re there.

Pagu

Here’s something different among the chocolate cakes, carrot cakes, and coconut cakes of this map: an olive oil polenta cake with citrus and a side of maple soft serve. Try it at Pagu (available on the dine-in menu), a Cambridge restaurant that highlights chef and owner Tracy Chang’s background cooking both Spanish and Japanese cuisine. Proof of vaccination is required for indoor dining.

Bakey

Two long, narrow loaves of chocolate babka sit side by side on a silver tray, cutting diagonally across the front of the photo. In the background, almond babka is a bit visible.
Two loaves of chocolate babka, with an almond babka in the background, at Bakey.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Some consider babka a sweet bread; some consider it cake. Either way, it’s a delicious treat, and it’s available by the just-out-of-the-oven slice at Bakey in flavors such as chocolate, almond, raspberry, and more. There’s some seating inside, but Bakey is steps from Boston Common if you’re in a picnic mood.

Two long, narrow loaves of chocolate babka sit side by side on a silver tray, cutting diagonally across the front of the photo. In the background, almond babka is a bit visible.
Two loaves of chocolate babka, with an almond babka in the background, at Bakey.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Eldo Cake House

A slice of vanilla sponge cake with a layer of strawberries and cream sits in an open plastic takeout container.
A slice of cake from Eldo Cake House.
Eldo Cake House

This Chinatown mainstay — one of several excellent bakeries in the neighborhood — offers numerous cake slices in its jam-packed pastry cases, but the shop is particularly known for its sponge cakes stuffed with cream and fresh fruits, so be on the lookout for one of those.

A slice of vanilla sponge cake with a layer of strawberries and cream sits in an open plastic takeout container.
A slice of cake from Eldo Cake House.
Eldo Cake House

Ocean Prime

One of the Seaport District’s many steakhouse-and-seafood chain restaurants, Ocean Prime is particularly known for its ten-layer carrot cake, which is garnished with cream cheese icing and pineapple syrup. Takeout and delivery are available.

Flour Bakery & Cafe

Joanne Chang’s beloved local cafe and bakery chain Flour, which has nine locations throughout Boston and Cambridge, may be best known for its sticky buns, but it offers a variety of cakes by the slice that are not to be missed, including carrot cake, coconut cake, Boston cream pie (which, despite its name, is cake), birthday cake, lemon raspberry cake, and more. Indoor seating, takeout, and delivery are available at all locations; some locations also have outdoor seating. Proof of vaccination for indoor seating is required at Cambridge locations as well as Boston.

Related Maps

L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates

With local storefronts in Back Bay and Harvard Square, decades-old chocolatier L.A. Burdick is known in particular for its little chocolate mice and luxurious hot chocolate, but don’t miss the extensive selection of cakes by the slice (most featuring chocolate, of course). Options include dark chocolate raspberry cake, chocolate-glazed lemon cream sponge cake, earl grey mousse cake, and more. Both locations offer online preordering (Boston, Cambridge).

The Smoke Shop BBQ

Chef Andy Husbands’s mini-chain of barbecue restaurants (with this Boston location as well as two in Cambridge, one in Somerville, and a mini takeout location at the Hub Hall food hall in Boston’s West End) offers a sweet, simple square of butter cake on the dessert menu. Diners can even specifically order an edge piece for an extra bit of caramelization. Takeout and delivery are available from the full locations; just show up to order at the Hub Hall location.

Grill 23 & Bar

There’s something about steakhouses: Most serve a killer slice of cake or two on their dessert menus. (See also: Ocean Prime above.) Not looking for a full steak dinner? Try to grab a seat at the bar to unwind with a glass of wine and a bit of cake (or order for takeout or delivery). Back Bay favorite Grill 23 calls its coconut cake with coconut dulce de leche “famous”; indeed, it’s a popular pick among repeat customers of the nearly 40-year-old steakhouse.

Lady M Cake Boutique

This international chain is known for its crepe cakes, each featuring at least 20 crepes with layers of pastry cream in between, available in flavors like passionfruit, green tea, and salted caramel. The Newbury Street location offers the cakes by the slice, as well as a few non-crepe cakes, such as a strawberry shortcake layer cake.

May's Cake House

A slice of white cake with a thick layer of mango mousse in the middle and more of the same on top sits in an open white styrofoam takeout container.
Mango mousse cake from May’s Cake House.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

May’s Cake House, a basement-level storefront hidden a bit away from the busiest section of Boston’s Chinatown, offers mousse cakes and Swiss rolls by the slice, not to mention other cakes like red bean, pineapple, or walnut. Beyond cakes, be sure to try rice noodle rolls stuffed with shrimp, beef, or fried dough.

A slice of white cake with a thick layer of mango mousse in the middle and more of the same on top sits in an open white styrofoam takeout container.
Mango mousse cake from May’s Cake House.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Cafe Madeleine

This French bakery in Boston’s South End generally has at least a couple different cakes available by the slice among its beautiful pastries and baked goods, such as a chocolate cake with layers of chocolate mousse and hazelnut gianduja or an airy chiffon cake. The best way to keep an eye on the cafe’s updates and specials is to watch pastry chef Hana Quon’s Instagram account. (Note: The cafe is closed for the month of February 2022 for winter break; it’s scheduled to reopen on March 1.)

Fiore's Bakery

Specializing in vegan and gluten-free options, this Jamaica Plain bakery offers a rotating selection of sweets and baked goods; there are typically a few kinds of cake squares and cake bars available.

Sugar Baking Co.

This West Roxbury bakery, which makes cakes for all occasions, has a variety of single-serving treats available that fall under the cake umbrella, such as mini mocha cakes and Italian-style flourless chocolate cakes. Keep an eye out for cheesecake slices, too.

Greenhills Irish Bakery

This popular Dorchester spot for baked goods, imported Irish goods, and more sells plenty of cakes for special occasions, and sometimes it offers cakes by the slice, but not always, so interested customers should call first to check. When available, the slices are typically the bakery’s classic chocolate or vanilla.

Related Maps