'Tom Cruise Cake' Breaks The Internet Every Christmas

The Top Gun star gifts this coconut cake to just about everyone at the holidays. Here's how it tastes.

This time of year, especially if you live in Los Angeles, there are a few things you can count on when it comes to holiday cheer: Every palm tree will be covered in Christmas lights; you will see fake snow (called snoap) falling from the sky at Disneyland and almost everywhere else you go; and your internet algorithm will change to focus on one food and one food only: The Tom Cruise cake.

The Tom Cruise Cake, explained

The A-list actor has made it a holiday gift tradition to send out this very specific cake to hundreds of friends and business associates each year, and so tales of the cake have spread far and wide. In a 2019 episode of The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon and Cobie Smulders compared notes about being on the official cake list. "Tom Cruise cake," Smulders said. "The most glorious time of the year."


"It's unbelievable," Fallon replied.

In 2016, Kirsten Dunst and Graham Norton had a similar conversation on his talk show—although Norton's cake, according to Delish, was reportedly delivered to the UK on Cruise's private jet, so it probably tasted fancier.

"We call it the Cruise Cake in my house," Dunst said. "It's the best coconut cake I've had in my life."

Even if there's no way to measure this statistic, I'm pretty sure no cake in the world has been more widely praised by more high-profile people than Doan's White Chocolate Coconut Bundt Cake. People magazine even keeps a running list of everyone who has spoken publicly about receiving one of these coveted confections.

How does the Tom Cruise cake taste?

The cake in question is a coconut Bundt studded with white chocolate pieces. Once baked, it's covered with mounds of cream cheese frosting and roughly a blizzard's worth of sweetened shredded coconut. The result is very sweet, but it's worth the sugar rush. It's a moist, dense cake, and the chunks of white chocolate take on two textures: the ones inside are melty, and the ones that make their way to the exterior are caramelized and chewy, a nice textural counterpart.


In effect, the cake tastes just like your mom made it, if your mom were an incredibly talented home baker who then turned her talent into a business. (My mom actually did this, so I know what I'm talking about here.)

That's exactly what happened with Karen Doan, too. She started her baking business in Woodland Hills, on the upper edge of the San Fernando Valley, when current co-owner Eric Doan was just a kid, and she opened the storefront in 1983. Now, her son Eric and his wife Carrie Doan run the shop, which doesn't shy away from its Hollywood fame. On the day I went to pick up my order, there was a sign out front: "Life is better with a sprinkle of coconut!"

"Most of these recipes were my mom's and grandma's," Eric told The Takeout. Over time, the legend of Doan's has grown and grown. "It was more than a decade ago that Tom Cruise's association began," he said, "but I think it was more Katie Holmes and Diane Keaton." Keaton, a longtime fan of the cake, gifted one to her co-star Holmes while they were filming Mad Money in 2008.


The White Chocolate Coconut Bundt Cake is available all year long at Doan's, but in November and December, the bakery makes several hundred a week, according to Eric. "It's a crazy time keeping up right now," he said. In addition to Cruise's orders, other production companies order them in bulk, and the cake is also available on Goldbelly for those of us not on the A-list.

Demand has grown so high that next year, Eric said, he's going to have to expand the bakery's operations. "The demand is so much higher than what I can produce," he said. "It's cool though, all the family is pitching in."