It was 2012 and Frank Adrian Barron had just moved from San Francisco to Paris, settling into an elegant apartment in the Marais back when the arrondissement wasn’t the trendy craft-coffee and fashion-boutique mecca it is now. Try as he might, he couldn’t find a simple slice of layer cake among the city’s many macarons and millefeuilles. So he began baking his own, frosting them with smooth layers of pastel buttercream or a sleek coating of ganache, crowning them with delicately arranged fruits, lush floral bouquets, and even the occasional light sprinkle of gold leaf. 

A slice of one of Frank Cakeboy's cakes beside a frothy cappuccino (left). Frank standing in a café doorway smiling with a cup of coffee in hand (right).

Seven years and countless layer, bundt, tea, and upside-down cakes (not to mention linzer cookies, fruit tarts, madeleines, and more) later, Frank, also known by his Instagram moniker “Cakeboy,” graces the counters of esteemed Parisian cafés with his exquisite creations and hosts intimate cake workshops followed by dessert goûters in his stylish-yet-warm apartment.

Franck arranging pink dahlia flowers in his Paris apartment (left). A vase of delicate pink and purple dahlias on a table next to Frank's favorite cookbooks (right).

On a crisp autumn day, Frank welcomed HiP Paris into the artfully curated Parisian home he shares with his husband. Over a porcelain pot of Sencha green tea and delicately frosted Korean sugar cookies, the ever-hospitable Cakeboy shared his dream day in Paris with us. 

A ceramic pot of white orchids standing on books on a wooden stool inside Frank's dreamy Paris apartment (left). A vase of pink and purple dahlias on a table next to some of Frank's biscuits (right).

Truffled Eggs and Pain Perdu for Two

I’d start my perfect day alongside my husband, James, at my favorite breakfast room in all of Paris: L’Espadon at the Ritz. Breakfast begins with truffled eggs and ends with the most divine pain perdu I have ever had. We would pick up a couple of newspapers on the way out and stroll to the nearby Tuileries to read in the sun and people watch. After lounging in the gardens, I would stroll back along the Seine towards Le Marais and head to Dreamin Man to catch up with friends over cappuccinos and a slice of their delectable apple cinnamon cake. 

Frank sitting on his couch with a cup of tea (left). The counter at one of Frank's favorite Paris cafés full of cakes and teas (right).

An Artistic Afternoon Followed by a Dip in the Pool

Fully caffeinated, I would pay a visit to the Gustave Moreau Museum, a perfectly preserved 19th-century townhouse, to get lost in the artist’s enchanting romantic paintings. His painting of the Greek myth of Perseus and Andromeda is one of my personal favorites. Luckily, my health club, Blanche, is just around the corner from the Gustave Moreau, so I’d go for a swim in their incredible pool followed by a nice steam. I don’t usually have a big lunch during the day so I would pick up an onigiri or two from Onigiriz for my post-swim walk home. 

A top shot of a blue and white China teapot and cup with biscuits baked by Frank set on a green marble counter.

An Evening of Contemporary French Cuisine and Old-School Parisian Glamour

We would make our way to the 16th arrondissement for supper at Comice, a haven for sublime contemporary French cooking. Their dishes never fail to surprise and delight our taste buds, especially their cauliflower Grenobloise. After supper, we would catch a ride on the Paris Batobus, sailing past a glittering Eiffel Tower on the way home. To wind down, I like to make an herbal infusion using fresh mint or ginger and sip while reading a fantasy novel. My current obsession is The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty.

Frank’s Perfect Paris Itinerary

L’Espadon à Hôtel Ritz, 15 Place Vendôme 75001 Paris

Jardin des Tuileries, Place de la Concorde 75001 Paris

Dreamin Man, 140 Rue Amelot 75011 Paris

Musée Gustave Moreau, 14 Rue de la Rochefoucauld 75009 Paris

Blanche, 21 Rue Blanche 75009 Paris

Onigiriz, 6 Place d’Estienne d’Orves 75009 Paris

Comice, 31 Avenue de Versailles 75016 Paris

Batobus Paris, Port de la Bourdonnais 75007 Paris

Frank Adrian Barron is a self-taught American baker who moved from San Francisco to Paris in 2012. You can follow Frank on Instagram, where he shares his creations as well as his pop-ups with select Parisian cafés, and on his website, where you’ll find information about his Paris cake workshops and custom Cakeboy sweet tours upon request.

Frank seen arranging delicate pink and purple dahlias at his Paris apartment.

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Written and photographed by Diana Liu for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.


Diana Liu

Diana Liu is a Paris-based writer and photographer who is currently completing her Master in media and creative industries at Sciences Po. She co-founded ChopChicks in Paris, a blog and community dining experience that brings people together to discover the wealth of Asian restaurants and Asian culture in Paris. She’s written about food, fashion, art & culture, and French politics for Inspirelle, ChopChicks, Wheretoget Magazine, and other publications. See more of her photography on her Instagram @sheandhercat, and discover Paris’ best Asian restaurants and join her for dinner at ChopChicks in Paris.

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