Sarnos Pasticceria Los Feliz - trying to recreate a cake

This is a long shot and not sure if I am even posting in the right place. I am trying to find people who used to order cakes from Sarnos. Specifically a cake that had chocolate, rum and pistachios. When I was a child we ordered this cake for every birthday. My family has very fond memories of the cake and I am trying to recreate it for my father’s 90th birthday. The thing is I don’t remember that much about the cake and my brothers memories are different from mine.

If I recall correctly it had a yellow cake, soaked in a rum syrup with chocolate frosting and some pistachio decorations on the outside. Does this ring a bell for anyone? If yes, can you describe your recollection of the cake? Even better if you are a baker can you think of how to recreate it?

If all else fails I will make a basic yellow cake and soak in a rum syrup with a coffee-dark chocolate frosting but I can’t even remember what the filling was, just that, as a child, I thought that it was pretty close to perfection


Here’s an article about Sarno’s. It doesn’t mention that particular cake, but it looks like there’s a Sarno’s group on Facebook. Maybe someone there could help.

I also turned up some promising links by googling Sarno’s rum cake. Good luck!


Maybe @Happybaker might have some ideas?

Sadly the only help I can give is this heartbreaking news -

I’ve only had the Sarno’s rum cake once - on folks recommendations, it was the cake we chose for our west coast wedding celebration with friends. It was divine.


Thanks for chiming in, it was a divine cake!

I was recently driving past Federico’s and noticed that they were no longer there. I never did try it. I live in San Francisco so my trips to Pasadena are solely to visit family and drop in at Bulgarini, but that is a whole other thread.

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I found a few leads in responses to someone’s blog post so hopefully something comes of it. On the other hand maybe this cake just deserves to be a memory to be savored in daydreams


Hi good luck with this… a recipe is something that wouldn’t do me much good, but i love a tasty rum cake…I once made one in a bundt cake using pudding mix and soaked the hell out of it with rum…tasted better than it looked really…it was more a caribbean kind of deal

what are some good ones in LA and SF (or NYC, or elsewhere) that you can buy even if slightly different than your dream Sarno’s cake, but still an Italian style rum cake? I get it, it’s not what you may be looking for, but maybe there’s something that I should be looking for.

Gotta think Stella or some place in North Beach can deliver here? LA, Portos? Eagle Rock Italian Bakery? (I did check those spots online to see if anything matching your choc pistachio rum description and nothing really matched up that I could see)

Thanks, it does not need to be an Italian style rum cake, I have just become obsessed with trying to figure out that particular cake because it was so good and a childhood birthday traditional.

Stella has some great cakes, and I’m sure I could get something at Portos. I have some other thoughts of what to make. there is this other cake that I am fond of that made for my grandfather’s 90th many moons ago. It’s called a Royal Tropic Aroma and came from a Royal baking powder recipe booklet from the 1930s. It had spice, chocolate, coffee and a white cake and mocha swirl middle layer. It’s pretty easy. But to be honest if it’s over 90 degrees then I am not baking any cake - I’ll be placing an order!

I like your bringing back foods from history @aizercul - good luck and have fun. Don’t forget the ice cream.

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there will most definitely be ice cream!

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