Sometimes, all you need is cake. Whether you enjoy it with a mug of tea or coffee, or whilst sitting  in the sun, taking a second for yourself, cake is always the answer. Cake is appropriate for every moment: it’s just perfect. Here are some of my favourite bakeries in Oxford  for when that  need for cake takes over. 

It will be no surprise to anyone that Barefoot Bakery is featured in this article. Either of its two cafes could be crowned the best cake in Oxford for me.  Let’s start with Barefoot Bakery Jericho. This is the newer of the two cafes, and offers the most incredible slices of beautiful one and two-layer cakes. I bought a slice of a cake topped with fig for a friend’s birthday, and she loved it. I’ve tried a toffee apple cake, which was just incredible; I could taste caramel notes from the dates baked into the cake, which contrasted with the tartness of the cooking apples on top of toffee icing. I’ve also enjoyed an enormous slice of rich and yet pillowy chocolate cake. With a homely atmosphere and hot drinks available, it is the perfect place for an indulgence. 

Barefoot Bakery North Parade is an alternative offering to its Jericho cousin. This spot offers Instagram-friendly cupcakes with a range of flavours and toppings. It’s a smaller cafe, but it is very aesthetic and has the perk of being secluded in the haven that is North Parade. For any North Oxford residents, it’s a must. 

It would be remiss for me not to mention that both cafes offer Too Good To Go. This is an app where you can pick up food which would otherwise go to waste from your favourite cafes, restaurants and shops. I regularly make the trek from my house in South Oxford to Jericho or North Parade just to pick up one of these mystery bags. Obviously, the so-called ‘Magic Bags’ can be extremely hit or miss: I once promised that I’d bring dessert to a friend’s meal, only to receive four cheese and Marmite rolls instead of the cake that I was expecting! The rolls still went down a treat for starters though. On another occasion, I received four cupcakes, which my brother gratefully enjoyed. 

My other favourite spot in Oxford when you crave some cake is a bit more central; perfect for a midday indulgence. Columbia Coffee Roasters in the Covered Market might be a classic for a caffeine hit, but don’t overlook its sweet offerings. A recent favourite was a slice of the pear and chocolate cake, which I ate while watching the world go by at Folly Bridge. It was subtle, mature and fun. It’s also worth noting that Columbia Coffee Roasters reduce their pastries and sandwiches to half price an hour before closing. Definitely keep an eye out for that sign going up in the window to nab a bargain. 

So when I get that urge to eat some cake, these are the places I return to time after time. Sometimes, cake is truly what you need.