But owner Gwendolyn Rogers says getting this gorgeous sweets palace up and running didn’t come without a fair share of roadblocks. “I was turned down by five different banks,” she says. “I thought I would never get a loan.”
Then came her big break. She was chosen out of 3,000 applicants to be part of the top 30 at the 2013 Cake and Bake Show in London. At the end of the competition, Britain’s Best Bakery judge Peter Sidwell dubbed Rogers’s chocolate cake the best in the Taste and Presentation category. And as luck would have it, Elton John’s people got word and requested her award-winning cake at his show in Paris. “It didn’t even feel like reality,” the baker says. “I thought I was going to wake up from a dream.” Rogers came home with renewed confidence and finally secured the funding last year to flip an old, rickety house on a Broad Ripple side street into her dream business.
Cake Bake Shop opened in November, and it already boasts a loyal group of regulars lined up at the counter in the morning to snag a slice of Rogers’s coveted caramel cake, layered with brown-sugar maple frosting and soaked in vanilla syrup. What’s the secret? “I’m really not doing anything all that special,” she says. “But I think the ingredients I use make a huge difference.” Most treats, whether the hummingbird cakelette (her version of a cupcake) or the luscious eclairs, get infused with European butter that she special-orders, and the French silk pie is a showstopping combination of Valrhona cocoa and a flaky, all-butter crust. “I’ve always been the happiest when I’m in my kitchen,” Rogers says. “So it just feels like I’m opening up a part of my home to the public.” 6515 Carrollton Ave., 317-257-2253, thecakebakeshop.com