Tom Cruise has been sending this cake to A-list friends each holiday for years. The bakery says he’s ‘kept us in business’
Suzy Byrne Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Mon, December 14, 2020, 12:05 PM EST
For about a decade, the action star has gifted friends, co-stars and TV show hosts a signature item: the White Chocolate Coconut Bundt Cake from Doan’s Bakery, a small, family-run business in Woodland Hills, Calif. Those who are on his gift list all seem to rave about it — like Jimmy Fallon calling it “unbelievable,” Kirsten Dunst saying it’s “one of the best cakes I’ve ever had,” Henry Cavill describing it as “the most decadent, the most amazing” cake and Barbara Walters digging into it on The View — and try to remain on the superstar’s “nice” list for the next year.
While speaking about his cake gifting in 2018, Cruise said doesn’t consume sugar when he’s training for his high-profile movie roles, which is pretty much all the time, so “I send [cakes] to everyone… and I wait for the calls,” from recipients to hear how good the cakes are. “I’m like: Tell me about it.”
Yahoo Entertainment spoke with Eric Doan, who runs Doan’s Bakery with his mother Karen, about the celebrity-coveted, mouth-watering culinary creation and what makes it so good.
“The funny thing is, we’ve been doing that cake for a quarter of a century,” Doan says of the culinary concoction — a coconut bundt cake with chunks of sweet white chocolate, layers of cheese frosting and dusted with toasted coconut flakes — that his mom, now 78, started making when the business opened in 1984. “It’s just a unique cake that we dreamt up 25 years ago and we’ve always done it for different cafes, restaurants and caterers,” as they are largely a wholesale business.https://www.instagram.com/p/CIlsO8ihlug/embed/captioned?cr=1&v=12
On the bakery’s own website, there’s no photo of the delicious looking dessert or mention of it being the “the Cruise cake,” what Dunst, who appeared in Interview With the Vampire with Cruise in 1994, calls it, or “Tom Cruise deliciousness,” the name given to it by Cobie Smulders, who worked with Cruise on 2016’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. It’s merely listed among the 30 or so cakes they regularly sell from their store or via wholesale. (They also do custom cakes, including this one for Jennifer Lopez’s twins’ 5th birthdays.)
“Over the years of Odin Productions gifting it,” referring to Cruise’s business through which the orders are placed, “it’s taken on that moniker of the ‘Tom Cruise cake,’ if you will,” but they don’t advertise it that way. In fact, as Doan explains, their first famous customer who enjoyed the cake “was probably Diane Keaton, if you want to know the truth.”
Cruise talking about gifting cakes with James Corden and his Mission: Impossible co-star Angela Bassett, who are both on his Christmas cake list:https://www.youtube.com/embed/qIndgAfMU3o
As the story goes, Keaton and Cruise’s then-wife Katie Holmes, who has a notorious sweet tooth, were filming the 2008 movie Mad Money in Shreveport, La. Both women claimed to know the best place to get a cake, so each one flew in their selection — Keaton’s from Doan’s Bakery — with Cruise doing a taste test to pick the winner, which was the coconut bundt cake that he’s now been gifting longer than that particular marriage lasted.
“That is true,” Doan says of the infamous cake showdown story. “Diane had been a fan of that cake for quite a while” before Cruise made it famous.
Just some of the celebrities raving about the “Tom Cruise cake,” a nickname bestowed upon it by Dunst:https://www.youtube.com/embed/a33xxtCM6U8https://www.youtube.com/embed/CQvKGtLvtN0https://www.youtube.com/embed/kzETLpmtV8w
One thing Doan wants customers to know is that when they come into his shop to buy the 10-inch cake, which is about $50 (though they have smaller sizes), or $99 via Goldbelly, a company that ships gourmet food nationwide, is that the fancy gift wrapping treatment — O’Donnell’s boasted a shiny reindeer ornament this year — is done by Cruise’s team.
“That’s an important point. I’ve had people order that cake in the past who were expecting it to come like that,” he says. “That’s all Tom’s crew. Basically, every year I receive gift boxes from [Tom’s team]. Then they take the cake to a secondary location and they spruce it all up,” with the fancy wrapping.