As the Baltimore location of CakeLove closes its doors, I am reminded of my one experience with their wares. The Baltimore store was located on Boston Street in Canton, not far from the ProMetric testing center where I took my CAPM certification exam. After six months of course work and three hours of testing, I passed the exam and was officially PMI certified.
To reward myself, I stopped at CakeLove for a splurge. I dropped about $30 for a two-layer carrot cake that was baked in the Canton location. When I asked, I was informed that the batter and dough for their baked goods was shipped in from their main location in the DC area. Still make from scratch, just in phases.
The cake looked like a carrot cake should - two hearty layers of moist, spongy cake with a generous amount of cream cheese icing between the layers and on top. And, really, the icing was the crown of the cake, as a good cream cheese icing should be. The perfect balance of tangy and sweet, it stuck to the insides of my mouth and made my teeth ache. It was thick and creamy and heavenly and sent me into a sugar coma of satisfaction.
The cake, however, was a confused and busy mess. The cake itself was spicy and delicious, but this was lost in a virtual trail mix of added ingredients that caused the cake to crumble while overpowering the spicy, carrotty goodness. By trail mix, I mean everything you've ever gotten in a carrot cake - walnuts, raisins (brown and golden) pineapple chunks, and shredded coconut, and in high volume. The cake itself, what I could discern of it, really was a fine carrot cake with a semi-sweet, earthy quality that spoke of genuine talent. When I caught a taste of that, I understood a little about the choice of names for the store. I ended up removing the pineapple and walnuts as I ate, and eventually abandoned the cake for the far superior icing (certainly not for the first time in my life, but the first time with a carrot cake).
So was my one and only experience with CakeLove. In all honesty, I had intended on going back for another try. Nestled next to Starbucks in the heart of Canton, I'm sure it will be missed as there are few things better than a nice cupcake with your afternoon coffee.
For a quality $30 cake, there is still Patisserie Poupon at Baltimore and President streets down by the old shot tower. While they do not have carrot cake, what they do have is hand-made from scratch on site. Their garnishes alone are worth the price.