Angel Cakes, a bakery specializing in cupcakes, has set up shop in the former location of one of Oakland's iconic restaurants, T.J.'S Gingerbread House.
Owner Jen Angel has been operating her business for eight years, baking custom cakes and cupcakes from a variety of commercial kitchens in the East Bay; now, she's opening her first retail shop, which will allow customers to taste more of the bakery's quirky flavors. "Our thing is that we'll make any flavor you want, so we don't have a set menu," said Angel. "I'm excited for customers to be able to try the more unusual flavors, like grapefruit miso, one at a time." Though she's open to new flavors, Angel Cakes does have a list of options available, ranging from standard chocolate and vanilla to Turkish coffee, made with coffee cardamom and mint (modeled after Philz Coffee's popular drink). Many of their flavors are inspired by drinks, cocktails and other desserts, like a Samoa cupcake made with coconut, chocolate and caramel.
The building itself is part of a quirky piece of Oakland history, located under a freeway overpass and BART rail and built to resemble a giant dollhouse. It was part of the multi-building complex that was home to T.J.'s Gingerbread House, a Cajun restaurant, teahouse and gift shop that operated for 36 years. (Check out the amazing retro commercial below.) After closing in 2007 the complex sat vacant until it was purchased by kink social club Mission Control according to this article. (UPDATE: the club's founder Polly Superstar says that Mission Control does not own this property.) "I wasn't really planning on opening a retail store, but I know the people who bought the building," said Angel. "They thought cupcakes would be a good fit."
Angel Cakes opens March 23rd. The shop will be open Wednesday- Saturday; hours vary.