"Western" style cakes and pastries have become extremely popular in Japan during the last few decades however very few homes (at least in Kyoto) have 'western' style ovens to bake them in. As a result there are plenty of wonderful pre-made goodies available for taking home or visiting friends.
In the basement foodhall of Takashimaya department store (corner of Shijo and Kawaramachi streets in the centre of town) is one of my favourite places for picking up medication for my sweet tooth - 'Gramercy New York'. I'm yet to decipher the connection to the big apple but hey.... I don't actually care. Their stuff rocks! Looks great and tastes better.
And I love that you get to keep the little baskets or cups they are presented in (ie the ceramic or glass versions - not plastic ok!!) . You can see from above that the prices are pretty reasonable for such quality. Currently you are looking at about 100 yen to the Australian Dollar so you'd be paying an average of about $5.50 a piece. Absolutely worth it. (and half what we would pay in Oz for the good stuff!)
and, and, AND... in summer they sell THE most amazing almond tofu (annindofu /annin tofu -below) - served chilled with fruits in syrup. Oh god, I can taste it now. I think a container of this may have been responsible for saving my life on one particularly cruel summer's day. Refreshing, creamy, sweet and restorative.