The "Tom Cruise cake" is back — and I can say with certainty that it's delicious.
Rosie O'Donnell has said getting hers each year, from her old pal "Tommy," officially kicks off the Christmas season in her home. Well, fa la la la la la la la la because it arrived at Chez O'Donnell on Wednesday.
O'Donnell even fielded some questions about the delicacy — which gets whipped up at family-owned Doan's Bakery in Woodland Hills, Calif., and shipped all over the world to people on Cruise's nice list — telling Ross Matthew that it tastes "delish."
Celebrities — including Kirsten Dunst, Renée Zellweger, Angela Bassett, James Corden, Jimmy Fallon, Henry Cavill, Cobie Smulders and Graham Norton — love talking about being on Cruise's cake list and how "unbelievable" and "decadent" the baked good tastes. For this part, Cruise — who was introduced to the cake by then-wife Katie Holmes who learned about it from Diane Keaton (it's a good story) — said in 2018, "I send [cakes] to everyone... and I wait for the calls," from recipients who ring him to say how good it was. "I'm like: Tell me about it."
The constant chatter about the "Tom Cruise cake" led me to contact Eric Doan, who runs Doan's with his 79-year-old mother Karen, and he gave me the scoop on the celebrity-approved culinary concoction. It's a coconut bundt cake with chunks of sweet white chocolate, layers of cheese frosting and dusted with toasted coconut flakes, which Karen created and debuted in 1984 when she first opened her business.
It also led this writer, after doing a story on the cake and staring at photos of it for "research," to order one, via GoldBelly food shipping service, to try. I'm happy to report it's fully worth the hype — and the two-month wait to get it.
For $99, shipping included, the cake was sent frozen, packed with dry ice, from the bakery. I couldn't resist letting it thaw enough to cut a slice right away — as I had literally been waiting months to try it. It's a coconut dream come true — and this comes from someone who's not even a coconut superfan.
As the sole coconut cake eater in a small home, during a pandemic with nobody to share with, it was enjoyed in a meandering style. I stored it in the freezer, taking the tip from Cruise's Jack Reacher co-star Smulders, who upon receipt each year stores it below 32 degrees and then chips away at it slowly from December until March versus Cruise's Interview With the Vampire co-star Dunst, who said she digs into it right away with family and finishes it in one night. I'd cut a small piece here and there — a little goes a long way because it is very sweet! — as it keeps in the freezer for four months. (I actually kept it longer than the advised four months and it was still delicious.)
For the record, I was OK with not sharing it. Each time, I had a piece I'd ceremoniously take out the box, open it, untie the ribbon and let it defrost just enough to get a knife to slice through it. Then pack up the remainder of the cake quickly so I could keep my A-list private dessert party of one going for as long as I could.
The cake, shipped from the gourmet food delivery service, is 10-inches and serves 12 to 16. I'd even say 20 because a small slice satiates. It's also important to note that if Tom Cruise isn't sending you the cake, the box doesn't come decorated all fancy like O'Donnell's with the bow and reindeer ornament. Baker Eric previously explained to Yahoo that Cruise has his Odin Productions company staffers pick up the finished cakes and they take them elsewhere to be dressed up. Odin then handles delivering them to those on Cruise's star-studded holiday list privately.
If you are in L.A. and go to Doan's, the bakery sells smaller sizes. Plus, the 10-inch cake costs $50 in the bakery versus $99 with Goldbelly's markup. Just note, at Doan's you won't see the "Tom Cruise cake" anywhere on the menu. While it's taken on that nickname because so many celebrities have hyped it, the business doesn't advertise it that way. It's simply the White Chocolate Coconut Cake — one of 30 some cakes on the menu.
Besides, they are familiar with celebrity clientele. Sweets lover Sofia Vergara is also a fan of the coconut cake (this photo says it all) and the bakery, in general, has other famous patrons, like Jennifer Lopez, who ordered custom cakes there for the birthday of twins Max and Emme.
Cruise buys a few hundred of the cakes over the holidays but also orders them during the year. The star once sent one to Corden the morning the comedian hosted the Grammys. Corden quipped that he barely fit in his suit by that night. Owner Eric has credited Cruise for helping "keep us in business," especially during the pandemic.
After doing my story on the cakes last year, I wasn't the only one unable to resist buying one. For a few months after my story ran, people messaged me to report that they visited Doan's to get one in person or also ordered it online. "I got the Cruise cake!!!!" they reported — with so many exclamation points I imagined them jumping up and down on their couch with cake box in hand.
Or maybe that's just how I felt when my own delivery finally arrived and I had my first bite.