Sunday, March 2, 2014

REMINISCING: Leona Cakes and Pastries

I had the chance to visit Cebu twice the past year. Work-related visits but nice breaks nonetheless. During these trips, I discovered Leona Cakes and Pastries - an original and Cebu-based bakery and cafe established by the Ong family in 1999. My colleagues from Becca Music (who were then assigned to Cebu, also because of work) were regulars, and spoke highly of this local bakery. I got curious and went to get coffee and a slice of their popular Blueberry Crumble loaf on my first day there.

The beginning of my affair with Leona and their Blueberry Crumble. 

Up close: Blueberry Crumble - check out that blueberry ripple and that delightful sugary crust. 

The next day, I made sure I had Leona on my itinerary and grabbed a slice of their Strawberry Sensation loaf. It was equally good - not too sweet, but enough to hit the spot.

Strawberry Sensation - Strawberries, strawberry ripple and a white chocolate-topped crust. So good!

I was hooked. I made sure I brought home boxes of Leona Cake Loaves for pasalubong to family and friends right after that first visit. Forget the danggit, dried pusit, the Cebu lechon and the otap, this was way, way, WAY better!

Bringing home all these boxes of happiness!

When I went back the following month, I was all too excited to introduce Leona to my brother KA (he was there with me because we were merchandising for a concert). We've been craving for Leona Cakes and Pastries ever since. We also love their Chiffon Cakes! Leona's cakes are very affordable. A chiffon slice costs less than P20.00! They also have bread, pies and refrigerated cakes on display. So far, I've only tried their apple pie, but I heard their Strawberry Shortcake is to die for, and their Red Velvet Cheesecake is the best in town.

Cakes, cakes and more cakes!
Photo from R.

R, who was based in Cebu for a while, brings home our favorite Indonesian Bread every time he's here to visit the kids. He also is obligated to bring home a loaf or two of Leona's Banana Bread, because the last time I went to Cebu, I brought these home as pasalubong for his folks, and they now require the same of him each visit. Oops. Hehe.

Indonesian Bread is LOVE! Our favorite! Thank you, R, for bringing these home! 

The thing with Leona's cakes is they do not use any preservatives. And they tell you that each time you try to take their cakes back to Manila. Their Chiffon Cakes were made to last overnight - no extensions. And that depends on the condition they're in. If it's a hot and humid day, they will discourage you from bringing it on that plane ride back home. But we don't mind, they get eaten up right away anyway. Some bread (like the Indonesian Bread my kids love - it's the closest thing to another favorite, HK's Hokkaido Milk Loaf) and pastries last about 9 days in the refrigerator. Longer in the freezer, but again, they discourage it as they do not use preservatives, and cannot guarantee freshness of product once taken on long trips. So far, we've all been successful in taking these back home to Manila. Yay! They disappear in a day or two, so no worries.

The Leona Cakes & Pastries store at the new Northwing of SM City Cebu.
Photo from R.

DID YOU KNOW? David Pomeranz once almost missed his flight back to Manila because the Boss took a sidetrip to Leona Cakes and Pastries - just to bring home a whole Mocha Chiffon Cake for his lovey, J? Well, now you know. 

Bread, anyone?
Photo from R.

That's their popular Indonesian Bread on the lowest shelf (on the left)! About P39/ loaf.
Photo from R.

Choose your cake loaf flavor! Get them sliced or by the loaf (in two sizes, too!).
Photo from R.

Chiffon Cakes in different flavors. Our favorites are Mocha and Ube. 
Photo from R.

I can't wait for my next Cebu visit. Meanwhile, if any of you are planning on visiting Cebu, make sure to drop by Leona's and taste the difference. You will forget about other commercial cakes, I promise. This Cebu gem should come to Manila!

I heard though that the owner isn't keen on expanding (well, away from Cebu, that is). Boo! But that's all good, I suppose. This family-owned business is something Cebu can boast of, and a treasure we can always look forward to when visiting the Queen City of the South.

| 65 Juan Luna Street, Mabolo, Cebu City / Tel. (+32) 233.0386
| G/F SM City Cebu, Northwing (under Forever 21), Cebu City / Tel. (+32) 236.1015
| GQS Building, M. Cuenco Avenue, Banilad, Cebu City / Tel. (+32) 232.4450
| G/F, J Centre Mall, AS Fortuna Street, Mandaue, Cebu City


  1. Replies
    1. Sorry! I'm not sure how much. I am from Manila. Best to call them nalang. :)

  2. Try their chocolate surprise cake and you'll be surprise.

    1. Oh! I will on my next trip. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Thank you for the info. Will buy this for pasalubong.

  4. yes! i got super addicted with this brand since the first time my friend let me tried their bestseller, red velvet. it's like a homemade type of baking with an affordable price. i also keep buying this as pasalubong everytime i go home in our place.. in fairness, di siya nakakasawa. i hope they could maintain and retain their kind of baking for all the years to come. :)


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