The Cake Bake Shop hit a quiet street in Broad Ripple in 2014 like an A-list actress does an Oscars red carpet: dressed to the nines, sparkly, and ready to celebrate. And celebrate, they have. Gwendolyn Rogers has had a line of customers curled around the display case in the entrance of her iconic white bungalow since the moment she first flung open the doors, and weekend wait times without a reservation now hover in the two-to-four-hour range.
A self-taught baker, Rogers launched her dream business when her home kitchen could no longer accommodate all the orders for cakes and other goods she was getting from friends and family. Rogers, who grew up in Sun Valley, Idaho, had a previous life as a photography student in San Francisco, then a career as a modeling agent in Los Angeles, before moving with her Indiana-born husband to his home state. Her experience in the visual arts is evident everywhere you look, from the ornate decorations she assembles herself to exquisitely detailed cakes and glittering French pastries. It adds up to a place where customers flock for celebrations big and small, just as Rogers had hoped. “It’s not about the cake or the pie,” she says. “It’s about creating a place where people can have an experience together as a family and make a good memory that will last forever.”
Why a Slice of Cake Costs $12.95
Rogers spares no expense in delivering a culinary and aesthetic experience for the books. All chocolate used in the shop is imported from Belgium and France, the flake salt is harvested just three months out of the year off the west coast of France, and European butter is the only kind you’ll find in anything on the menu. Even her coveted pink take-home boxes with silver-foil stamps are custom-made in a small town in England.
Earl’s Court Cake
This is a life-transforming cake—it turned Rogers from a home baker into a budding culinary star. In 2013, she entered the London Cake & Bake Show on a whim, submitting a recipe she had originally created for her son’s ninth birthday party. The tall, dark looker is three layers of French chocolate cake filled with Belgian chocolate ganache and malted cream, then topped with chocolate fudge and fleur de sel. Rogers beat more than 3,000 entries to win the Best Chocolate Cake category. It’s been her top seller every year since she opened in 2014. She even hand-delivered one to Elton John at a concert in Paris, at his request.
How to Snag a Seat (and a Parking Spot!)
- Make a reservation on the website; The Cake Bake Shop is usually booked out for two weeks. But they save half of the seats for walk-ins.
- Come when the shop opens at 10 a.m. Monday through Wednesday—relatively quiet days.
- Avoid the busiest times for a better chance at walking in. Peak Cake Bake craziness is noon to 12:30 p.m., 2 to 2:30 p.m., and the last hour of service, which varies by day of the week.
- Come during warm weather (we know—we all wish that were an option right now). When the patio is open, more customers can be seated. Without it, space dwindles quickly.
- Street parking in the area is free and can be plentiful, depending on the time of day. There are five dedicated Cake Bake Shop parking spaces just to the right of the front entrance, and you can usually find street parking one block east on Ferguson, then walk through the parking lot to the restaurant.
Rogers is creating a “fantasyland” for her second location, to open at Carmel City Center this fall. At 3,600 square feet, it’s nearly double the size of her Broad Ripple shop. She also signed a cookbook deal–later this year, you can try your hand at Cake Bake Shop classics.
Want an added taste of Cake Bake Shop? Check out our online exclusive recipe for their famous chocolate chip cookies.
The Cake Bake Shop, 6515 Carrollton Ave., 317-257-2253