Favorites from Masters of Taste: Sweet Masters

I Like Pie at the 2023 Masters of Taste event. Photo by Elise Thompson.

Masters of Taste, the annual fundraiser for Union Station Homeless Services, categorizes its participants into various types of Masters, and their “Sweet Masters,” always delight. Who doesn’t love dessert? Here are a few of our favorites from this year’s Rose Bowl celebration.

I Like Pie absolutely stole the show with a dazzling array of little pies, a classic Dutch Apple with a little shortbread cookie topper, plus a strawberry rhubarb and a mixed berry, which were almost perfect, but we really need vanilla ice cream with fruit pie, and it just wasn’t feasible. Oh, I just remembered there was an ice cream truck! Missed opportunities, sigh. Let’s hope they return next year.

Nothing Bundt Cakes is our go-to cake for office parties. If you ever showed up without one, you’d probably get called in to HR. The texture is a perfect middle ground between light and dense, and the subtle but not cloying sweetness make it a winner.

Laderach Chocolatier Suisse at the 2023 Masters of Taste event. Photo by Elise Thompson.

Butter Cake Shop is located on Hillhurst in Los Feliz and bakes everything from cookies to custom-designed tiered wedding cakes. Chef Sasha Gustafson brought four cake flavors and fun mini Pinklepuff cookies. The signature pink cookie, filled with rainbow sprinkles, didn’t seem so mini to me. We tried the raspberry cake with white chocolate and lemon buttercream icing, which was lovely, but we really loved the Red Velvet cake. They have cake tastings, and I have to wonder whether I could pass myself off as a bride?

Lark Cupcakes is a regular at food events and can always be relied upon for something chocolate with a perfect crumb. This year, the Silverlake/Pasadena bakery doubled up on the chocolate, with both Red Velvet and a Chocolate Mousse cupcake filled with whipped cream. Again, I am an absolute sucker for Red Velvet cake.

Laderach Chocolatier Suisse, our latest obsession, took Swiss chocolate to a new level with their FrischSchoggi™ which we know as chocolate bark. Their Hazelnut Milk FrischSchoggi™ is made with large, roasted and caramelized hazelnuts from Piedmont. It is irresistible and beats out Cadbury’s Whole Nut bar any day of the week.

Creamy Boys New Zealand Ice Cream truck scooped up Mixed Berry and Crunchy Honeycomb Toffee, which reminded me of Violet Crumble, an Australian candy bar.

If you don’t already know Porto’s Bakery and Cafe, are you even from LA? This classic and reliable Cuban Bakery brought a tart-but-not-too-tart lemon tartlet, flaky croissant, and something new and exciting– corn fritters! They were like deep fried corn pudding and totally blew us away. We have not found them at Porto’s bakeries yet, but definitely keep an eye out!

I Like Pie at the 2023 Masters of Taste event. Photo by Elise


Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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