Restaurant Review #235: Skiff's Cakes, Simi Valley


Skiff's is a small, family-owned bakery in Simi Valley that sells cupcakes and special-order cakes.

The cupcakes come in numerous flavors and are all filled in the middle with wedding cake fillings. Most have chocolate or vanilla buttercream icing. Cake and filling combinations include red velvet with cream cheese, white cake with strawberry mousse, vanilla cake with vanilla bavarian cream, chocolate cake with chocolate bavarian cream, carrot cake with cream cheese, lemon poppyseed with lemon chiffon, and more. Ordering the cupcakes was a bit of a challenge--since it's such a small bakery, there are no display cases and, while there is a list of all the cake flavors and fillings available for special-order cakes, there is no list of which flavors have been combined into the cupcakes. I was presented with a tray of perhaps fifteen flavors of cupcakes that were available and a girl behind the counter pointed and recited all the flavors to me. It was difficult to keep track of the flavors I wanted to order and the girl didn't seem particularly patient.

When I got the cupcakes home, I was disappointed in them for two reasons. First, the amount of filling inside each cupcake was miniscule--barely enough to get a taste of it. Second, the flavors I had didn't match up with what I thought I had ordered. I'm not sure if I pointed at the wrong cupcakes on the tray, if the person who made the cupcakes didn't put the correct fillings in them, or if the girl behind the counter didn't recite all the flavors correctly. It didn't really matter what the reason was--the important thing was that I didn't get everything I wanted, and for $3 a cupcake, that was annoying. Also, I found the cake to be dry and the vanilla buttercream icing to be overly sugary (but I think most icing is too sugary). The chocolate buttercream icing tastes like fudge and is quite good.

Based on the reviews I've read online and the word-of-mouth recommendations I've received, Skiff's seems to be popular and well-liked for its custom cakes. The owner, Steve, is a very laid back, straightforward, down-to-earth guy who will make you feel confident that he and his wife, the cake baker and decorator, will do a fantastic job with your order. Custom cake prices are reasonable and middle-of-the-road as far as area bakeries go, and their website has numerous beautiful photos of their creations and plenty of information about their cake flavors and policies. But my experience with the cupcakes gave me doubts about how good the actual cakes would be. I don't doubt that for many people, Skiff's is a great choice, but I will gladly drive the extra miles to go to Bread Basket in Camarillo.

Skiff's Cakes
2355 Tapo Street, Ste 14
Simi Valley, CA 93063
Skiff's Menu
Skiff's Website

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