By Emily G. Peters
Lark Cake Shop has been getting some buzz the last few years. It’s garnered multiple local awards and, just this winter, Los Angeles Magazine noted their berry shortcake as a must-try in Los Angeles.
Though only arriving on the scene in Pasadena in 2015, Lark Cake Shop owner John Hensley has been building a name for himself since 2007 when he opened the first Lark Cake Shop in Silverlake. Formerly working in television, Hensley turned to baking due to his own love for premium, from-scratch baked goods, ultimately baking his way back to San Gabriel Valley.
“I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, and Pasadena is very dear to my heart,” said Hensley, who chose Pasadena’s Historic Highlands neighborhood for Lark’s second storefront. “We provide cakes, cupcakes, treats and dessert bars for everything from weddings to corporate events to kids coming home from school and popping in for a cupcake.”
The shop’s sweet treats are an ideal addition to the neighborhood. Here, Hensley balances a clean aesthetic with flavors like lemon key lime, vegan Boston banana and (my personal favorite) carrot cake. Hensley’s stand-out selection? The icebox cake.
“Our ice box cake/cupcake is seven layers of chocolate wafer or gingersnap cookies iced with whipped cream,” said Hensley. “It’s light and like nothing you’ve ever tasted. It’s our most popular item for good reason.”
In true community form, Lark sources ingredients from other local artisans. Their most recent ice box creation is spiked with the Cold Brew Concentrate supplied by neighboring Pasadena favorite Lavender and Honey Espresso Bar.
“The new product is off-the-charts delicious,” said Hensley, “and it’s great to partner with another local business.”
Like with all sciences, precision is key to Lark Cake Shop’s baking success with new products and patron favorites. Hensley seeks to set Lark apart by striving for consistent quality.
“The toughest part of establishing success is consistency. Not just the product, but the decoration, the service, everything,” he said. “It has to be perfect every day, every time. We try very hard to achieve this daily.”
For now, it looks like the future of Lark Cake Shop lies in opening new locations—a strategic gamble for any business owner, no matter how successful. Yet as Hensley scopes out his next move, he seems to have found something of a homestead in San Gabriel Valley.
“The Historic Highlands neighborhood has a great mix of people who’ve really been supportive. The historic building we’re in, The Shops on Hill, is such a beautiful building and it’s exciting to be a part of an up-and-coming location,” he said. “We love being part of the Pasadena community.”
Lark Cake Shop is located at 1355 N. Hill Avenue in Pasadena. Contact them at www.larkbakeshop.com | (626) 798-1031 | firstname.lastname@example.org and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @larkcakeshop.