Restaurant: True Confections
Last visited: May 23, 2011
Location: Vancouver, BC
Address: 3701 West Broadway
Price Range: $10 or less, $10-20
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
- Locally owned and operated
- Dessert only restaurant
- 3 locations
- Old fashioned, homestyle cakes
- Specializes in cakes & cheesecakes
- Big portions
- 40+ cakes/pies offered daily
- Pie/Coffee/Tea/Wine available
- Award winning
- Open late
- Whole cakes available
- Mon – Thurs: 1 pm to midnight
- Fri – Sat: 1 pm to 1 am
- Sun: 1 pm to midnight
**Recommendations: Diplomat Cake, Devil’s Food Cake
Vancouver’s love for desserts goes as far as this… which isn’t very far at all. This is probably the most notorious dessert place in Vancouver. True Confections specializes in traditional old fashioned cakes, cheesecakes, and pies. They’re large in size, but not so much in flavour and I find them quite mass produced and a bit of a novelty. The recipes are all very basic and classic and there just aren’t many options for dessert only restaurants that are so cake focused and open late.
I should mention that I’ve tried every single cake, cheesecake and pie at True Confections… but it was almost 6 years ago when that happened. So how did that happen? Well I got my friend’s boyfriend to surprise her for her birthday by buying her a slice of every single pie, cake and cheesecake available at True Confections. At that time there were about 50-60 options. Anyways after $500 worth of cake later, we tried them all. Boy do I wish I was food blogging back then.
On this occasion we had just finished a very mediocre non-filling dinner at Migz BBQ on Broadway so we were looking forward to a substantial dessert. Sherman (thank you for his photos) suggested True Confections since it was nearby. It wasn’t a choice I was going to veto as I was already looking forward to the Diplomat Cake. I had been eating big meals throughout the day and I wasn’t too hungry, but rarely will I pass up an opportunity for dessert. I previously had a piece of cake from Kumare as well, but that was for lunch and this was for dinner, which means they cancel out each other. In my foodie mind, that equation all makes sense.
I used to come to True Confections quite a bit, but it’s been a while and after going to Migz BBQ I felt like it was an evening of reliving the past. I remember liking True Confections a lot a few years ago, but I think I was just less exposed to really amazing desserts and there are now more options (but still not much). I feel a bit snooty saying that, but even in Vancouver there are better cakes. True Confections is about old-fashioned recipes, so it’s not gourmet in style. The cakes are good, but they’re not great (well maybe for Vancouver since there is a lack of selection). It’s just nothing very creative, a bit plain, and there’s no presentation even though these plated sit down desserts are close to $9 for a slice.
On the table:
- Vanilla cake, vanilla custard, vanilla buttercream and puff pastry $8.75
- This is my favourite cake here. It’s my go to and it’s hard for me to order something else.
- It’s not a “traditional” Diplomat and sure there’s more cake than phyllo layers, but it still tastes very good and I like the cake aspect.
- I wish it had more and thicker layers of the flaky crispy phyllo pastry though. It didn’t have that Napoleon or Diplomat crunch and was a bit soft.
- It’s pretty much a Napoleon cake or Americanized mille-feuille.
- It would be great with almonds too, but the flaky pastry layers makes for a nutty imitation.
- It’s delicate, light and airy with classic vanilla flavours, but there are no real vanilla bean seeds used.
- It has nice contrasting layers and textures so it’s easy to eat and enjoy.
- The vanilla cake is a solid basic light and fluffy sweet cake and it’s quite tender and soft. It tends to be a bit drier though which bothers me. However I’ve ordered it as a whole cake before and it wasn’t dry.
- There are thin layers of vanilla butter cream in between the layers of phyllo and around the outside and I really like their buttercream here. It’s buttery, but not oily and it’s not too sweet either. It’s actually barely sweet at all, which is good because the custard is sweet enough already.
- If I go into the specifics, I’m actually not impressed with the vanilla custard. It has no real vanilla flavour and it tastes like sweetened pastry cream. It’s thick and it’s good, but it could be better.
- It’s a pretty ideal wedding cake and the flavours could be appreciated by anyone.
- Notte’s Bon Ton Pastry & Confectionery is probably the “best” and most famous place in Vancouver for the Diplomat Cake. I also heard Fratelli Bakery makes a great Diplomat too.
- Chocolate devil’s food cake,chocolate cream and marshmallow frosting $10.95
- This is one of their signatures and most famous cakes. It’s their biggest and tallest cake too. It’s visually exciting.
- It looks richer and sweeter than it actually tastes, and the chocolate flavour is quite sophisticated, although it’s a very kid-friendly cake as well.
- It’s still quite rich but the cake is actually quite light, airy, moist and not too sweet.
- The cake is quite good, but it’s not your rich chocolaty Devil’s food cake either.
- The frosting is surprisingly not that sweet and it’s almost like a light milk chocolate mousse.
- The sweet part is the marshmallow cream frosting that covers the outside. It’s not sticky or hard, but creamy and fluffy without that granular sugary texture or chewiness.
- If you get some of everything in one bite it just kind of melts in your mouth and it’s as sweet as chocolate milk.
- I couldn’t eat a whole piece of this and I don’t find it particularly amazing, but if anything the best part is that chocolate frosting layer.
- For a more decadent, rich and sweet chocolate cake there is also the Conspiracy Cake at BG Urban Cafe. Or if you feel a little fancy go for the Chocolate Fondant ($7) at Pair Bistro just a block away.
Vanilla sponge cake, vanilla custard and chocolate glaze $8.75
- This was pretty much a light and fluffy chiffon meets sponge cake with a very thick layer of custard in between.
- I found it quite simple and boring especially for $8.75.
- It’s just such a literal interpretation of a Boston Cream cake with lack of imagination and passion.
- I didn’t like that the chocolate was only on the outside and there was no incorporation of it.
- It was comparable to a chiffon cake and it wasn’t buttery so it was more like a springy sponge cake. It was light and airy like an Angel Food Cake too, but not nearly as sweet as one. It’s not that sweet at all actually and it was a bit dry.
- The custard was very thick, rich and quite good, but it also doesn’t have much flavour. It just coated your mouth and they gave you a lot which I liked because there was so much cake.
- The chocolate ganache was more like a dense bittersweet soft chocolate truffle and I really wish they had melted chocolate drizzled over the cake upon serving it too.
- It was just hard to enjoy the cake as a whole and I was eating it in sections.
- This sounds bad, but the best custard cream I’ve had was in the Cock N’ Balls Donut I had from Voodoo Doughnut in Portland. I’m serious. The one in the Saint Honore Cake at Fratelli Bakery in Vancouver is excellent as well.
- Our creamy cheesecake, baked with bananas and pineapple and topped with a chocolate dipped banana with a cherry on top. Served with strawberry sauce $8.25
- I’m biased because I’m not a fan of dense New York style cheesecakes and these are the kind of cheesecakes True Confections makes.
- However I like banana splits, and even if I did like dense cheesecakes, this one still didn’t taste very good, even according to dense cheesecake lovers like Sherman.
- Its a baked cheesecake without a crust and it was really heavy and substantial.
- It had the components of a banana split, but the execution wasn’t great.
- It’s a very rich cheese cake and it was quite tangy and a bit chunky with little bits of banana and pineapple throughout.
- The banana flavour was there, but not strong, and the cheese flavour was the most predominant flavour.
- The banana was a bit creamy and sweet and then there were bits of citrusy pineapple and it just tasted a bit conflicting with the cheese flavour.
- It had some fresh strawberry sauce over top and some unsweetened whipped cream on the side, but overall it didn’t taste as good as a banana split cheesecake may sound.
- I would rather have a banana split sundae from Dairy Queen.