At Cocoa & Fig, baker Laurie Pyle requires a 48-hour notice for her triple-layer cakes, but they're so worth the wait. Choose from chocolate or vanilla basics, or dive into espresso-infused chocolate, pumpkin spice, banana or toasted coconut, all finished with silky buttercream icings in a long list of flavors.

651 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-333-1485

Gorgeous made-to-order cakes are a specialty of the Salty Tart, but James Beard award-nominated baker Michelle Gayer also makes it easy for last-minute shoppers to drop in and grab a not-so-basic beauty from her well-stocked case.

920 E. Lake St., Mpls., 612-874-9206

Every day, Patti Soskin and her crew whip up three varieties of layer cake at Yum! Kitchen & Bakery, and they're all paragons of grandmotherly perfection, right down to the signature Patticake, an ultra-moist chocolate cake layered with absurdly thick vanilla buttercream icing. They're sold by the slice, too.

4000 Minnetonka Blvd., St. Louis Park