Lotus: May Christmas be Delicious, Fruity and Bright
As one of Omotesando’s long-standing modern cafés, Lotus is a pillar of the community. It serves New York-style fare alongside coffee, while records play in the background. Run by the group behind Bowery, it is open late, and often hosts parties with regulars including local DJ legend Towa Tei. Each year it returns with Christmas dinner and a newly perfected Christmas cake lineup, though the shop’s favorite remains the strawberry shortcake. Featuring a teeny santa-elf figurine with a saw, the top of each cake looks like a crime scene, as the cheeky santa-elf gets set to do the dirty on an innocent fruit.
The shortcake comes in two varieties: a matcha sponge with pink icing and vanilla with white icing. Gluten free is available upon request.
Price: from ¥4,500 (2-3 servings)
Order by: Until sold out
Cracked Bolos: Kooky, Mystical Worlds
Cracked Bolos blessed the Tokyo cake scene when its baker moved from Portugal to Japan earlier this year. Since the end of 2020, he has been shaking up the conventional cake world with his wacky creations that have been featured in magazines like The Face and across numerous fashion shoots. He even counts actress and model Julia Fox as a fan.
Anything goes as Bolos creates a surprise cake based on a theme and flavor of the customer’s choosing. Past themes included, “cat,” “fancy,” “fall fireworks” and “red,” for which Bolos used crimson ingredients, such as red glitter and a scarlet flower stabbed at the heart of the confection.
A rarity in the Tokyo cake world, Bolos offers a vegan option too, which comes just as brightly concocted as the other types, so everyone’s a winner. Decide your theme and let the magic happen.
Price: from ¥7,000 (eight servings)
Order by: December 14
Cream Palette: Cute Korean Dreams
Dreamy and creamy to make you beam-y (sorry). Operating out of its tiny bake shop in Shinagawa, the Korean baker at Cream Palette invents the most adorable cakes. Harnessing the Korean culture of baking cakes featuring K-pop idols, many of his orders include cakes proclaiming ‘happy [insert K-pop idol name] day.” Satisfied customers take pictures of the product with their K-pop idol’s picture next to it. They then devour the cake with glee, as Cream Palette is as much about the taste as it is about appearance.
The Christmas cake selection this year includes “Awwww.. Santa” (pictured above), with poor Father Christmas face-down in a heap of snow.
Price: Awwww.. Santa from ¥5,960 (2-3 servings)
Order by: December 19. Both pick up and delivery are possible.
Etoile: For a Rootin’-Tootin’ Christmas
Etoile is a tiny, American-inspired café serving up toasties and neon-colored soda at its Nakameguro location. Since branching out into desserts, its brightly colored, U.S.-style cakes have been lighting up parties across the Tokyo scene, with customizable writing and colors. Using ingredients like plump glace cherries and sparkling silver balls, the sponge cakes are baked just like grandma used to do them. Snap some pics and then divvy up the confections, which come in three different styles this year.
Put your orders in fast, as last year the goodies were sold out by December 14.
Price: from ¥6,900 (3-5 servings)
Order by: December 15
Cake With: For a Joyful Christmas
Yoyogi-based café, Cake With, is running with a “Kawaii cakes” theme this year, almost as if it knew about this article in advance. The store takes its design responsibilities seriously, serving up a variety of cute cakes with color schemes ranging from pure white to crimson. Its pastel offering comes with a two-toned pink pastel candy cane that is truly adorable. In typical Japanese Christmas cake style, it is the strawberry shortcake varieties that dominate here. Cake With differentiates from your typical fare with its bold icing choices.
The “Joyful Christmas” cake comes in two varieties: vanilla sponge with fresh strawberries and cream or chocolate sponge with fresh strawberries and chocolate cream.
Price: from ¥5,500 (3-5 servings)
Order by: December 27