If you’ve been to Disney’s BoardWalk recently, you may have noticed some demolition going on over there. The ESPN Club has closed, and Disney has been taking down the signs and previous decorations in that area. So what’s going to fill that space now? Luckily, we didn’t have to wait long for the answer!
The Cake Bake Shop, owned by Gwendolyn Rogers, is going to fill at least part of the space where the ESPN club used to be! Disney previously announced that this restaurant would come to Disney’s BoardWalk, and now it’s exciting to know exactly where it will be. But what else can we expect when this spot opens? We visited one of The Cake Bake Shop’s other locations to see the restaurant and try out the food — here’s an exclusive look at this restaurant!
The Cake Bake Shop will open at Disney’s BoardWalk sometime in 2023 (a more specific date hasn’t been announced yet). In an exclusive interview with the owner, Gwendolyn Rogers, we learned that the restaurant will have both sweet and savory foods, an afternoon tea service, space for private events, a champagne bar, and more.
We’ll have to wait for a while to see The Cake Bake Shop’s location in Disney World, but we just couldn’t wait any longer to try out some of the food, desserts, and drinks that might be available at this restaurant. So we did the only logical thing — we took a road trip to Indianapolis to check out one of the other locations!
The Cake Bake Shop has 2 locations in Indianapolis: one at Broad Ripple Village (the original location) and another in the Carmel City Center (which is a bit bigger). We visited the one in Broad Ripple Village to check out the atmosphere, eats, and treats. Come along with us to check it out!
Although this spot is most famous for its desserts (it’s not called “The Cake Bake Shop” for nothin’), another iconic element of both of the existing locations is the decoration. Over-the-top decor includes vines covered in flowers, chandeliers, soft pastel colors, marble tables, and a window display featuring a princess and a swan. With a strong dedication to theming, this restaurant is going to fit right in at Disney World.
The decorations change seasonally, and Gwendolyn Rogers has said that the Carmel City Center location usually has 14 Christmas trees outside during the holidays. She hopes to bring the same level of decoration to the Disney World location once it opens next year.
At the Broad Ripple Village restaurant, there was a central counter with a large bakery case attached on one side and a bar attached on the other.
A small dining room took up the front of the shop, with booth seating and chairs around circular tables.
Towards the back of the shop, there was more seating and a separate, private dining area for parties or other special events. We noticed while we were there that some of the tables had balloons and “Happy Birthday” signs on them as well. When we made our reservations, there was a space to let them know if we were celebrating anything — it seems like if you note in that space that you’re celebrating, the staff will provide little decorations for the tables.
Speaking of reservations, we made ours about a month in advance. There were limited times available for the Broad Ripple Village location, and it seems like the Carmel City Center location books up even further in advance. Although both locations will try to accommodate walk-in guests, it’s best to make your reservations early! This will likely be the case when the restaurant opens in Disney World as well — the earlier you can make a reservation, the more likely you’ll be able to dine at the time of your choice.
Now that we’ve seen the gorgeous atmosphere, let’s take a look at the real reason we’re here: the FOOD!
The menu at the Broad Ripple Village location is very similar to the one at the Carmel City Center location. We’re expecting a similar menu at the one in Disney World when it opens, although no announcements have been made yet about what will be available there.
Gwendolyn Rogers has said that she’s “excited to share any and all of my recipes that we make here [at the existing locations] with the Disney guests,” which sounds like we’ll see some of the same menu items in Disney World as what we found in Indiana. On the menu at Broad Ripple Village, there are several cocktails, Champagne cocktails, and non-alcoholic drinks to choose from.
You can try signature drinks like Gwendolyn’s Famous Cosmopolitan, a Blood Orange Margarita, or a Raspberry Passion Sangria.
Or, if you want the non-boozy options, check out mocktails like Petunia Punch or Sparkling Lavender Lemonade. There are also a few different options for milk and hot chocolate drinks, including Unicorn Hot Chocolate. And check out the Coffee & Espresso menu to find more drink choices.
Moving on to the food, there’s a selection of hors d’oeuvres, salads, and quiche available. Our server told us that the quiche is a popular choice!
You can also find several different soups and sandwiches…
…as well as entrées, sides, and a kids’ menu.
And of course, you can’t forget about dessert! There were several different cakes on the menu when we stopped by. According to Gwendolyn Rogers, there are usually 8 cakes that are always available, and the rest of the flavors change seasonally. Some of the staples include Gwendolyn’s Famous Earl’s Court Chocolate Cake and the Carrot Cake.
You can also check out the pies, cheesecakes, cookies, and bars.
Or find some options for pastries (including macarons) and ice cream (including scoops, cones, sundaes, and an ice cream sandwich).
Most of the food on the menu falls into a price range of $9 to $22, with sides costing between $5 and $10. Kids’ meals are about $12 to $13 each, and slices of cake cost between $15 and $17 each. The rest of the desserts range in price from $4 (for macarons) to $15 (for some pie slices). And non-alcoholic drinks cost anywhere from $4 to $8.
To drink, we tried out the Petunia Punch for $8 — a mocktail made with lemonade and lemon-lime soda flavored with guava, served over crushed ice. It also had sparkles mixed in, which was a fun touch that definitely matched the decor of the restaurant.
We thought this drink was very refreshing. You can really taste the guava in it, which we loved. The flavors weren’t overpowering, but the drink was very sweet.
Nothing about it tasted artificial, but if you usually like more simple drinks or don’t love sweet flavors, this might not be your favorite. However, anyone with a sweet tooth — and especially younger kids who want a special drink — will probably enjoy this.
For our entrées, we tried the Croque Monsieur, which is country bread with French ham, Gruyère cheese, and Maille Dijon mustard topped with a creamy béchamel sauce. It’s served with an arugula salad tossed in a homemade lemon vinaigrette and crumbled Parmesan cheese. This dish costs $22.
We loved this sandwich! The portion size is very generous, especially with the side salad as well. The cheese on top tastes like it’s a great quality cheese, and it had a very tasty flavor.
Despite the cheese and sauce on top, the bread was still holding up well, and we could have picked it up without the fillings falling out. This sandwich was pretty heavy on the Dijon mustard — if you don’t like that flavor, you may want to steer clear. But if you’re looking for a filling meal with lots of flavor, we recommend this one.
The arugula salad was pretty simple. You can definitely taste the arugula (it’s the strongest flavor) over the vinaigrette, but it was nice to have the light side because the sandwich had pretty heavy flavors.
We also tried the Choose Two combination, where you can select 2 options from a variety of sandwiches, soups, and salads for $20. We got the Blackberry Avocado Salad and the Caprese Sandwich. The salad is made with baby spinach, blackberries, avocado, toasted almonds, bleu cheese, and honey balsamic vinaigrette.
It came with plenty of bleu cheese, avocado, and blackberries on top! We could easily have a little bit of each topping in every bite, which was great. The salad was coated in the vinaigrette, which had a pretty strong flavor but was still very light. The star in terms of flavor is the bleu cheese, so if you like that flavor then you’ll love this.
Like the Croque Monsieur, we could tell that the ingredients in this dish were all high quality. The blackberries tasted fresh, the dressing was light, and the spinach was crisp.
The Caprese Sandwich was tasty as well! It’s made with freshly sliced tomatoes, homemade pesto with walnuts, basil & mozzarella on a toasted baguette. The bread crust was very crunchy, and it tasted like fresh bread. The pesto on it was a little surprising — we didn’t expect it on a Caprese Sandwich, but it added some great flavor. The mozzarella and tomato also were very fresh and light flavors. Overall it was simple and delicious.
Since dessert is such an important part of the experience, we tried 3 different treats here! We got a slice of Gwendolyn’s Famous Earl’s Court Chocolate Cake ($16), a Magic Bar ($11), and a Lemon Blueberry Marie Antoinette ($12).
The chocolate cake is “named after the Earl’s Court Convention Center in London where Gwendolyn received awards for ‘Best Chocolate Cake’ at the London Cake & Bake Show in 2012.” It’s made with three layers of Valrhona French chocolate cake filled with Callebaut Belgian chocolate ganache and malted cream. It’s topped with Callebaut Belgian chocolate fudge and Fleur de Sel from Île de Ré in France.
This cake was SO. GOOD. It’s honestly one of the best slices of cake we’ve ever had. The cake was very moist and fudgy, although it was lighter than the cakes we’ve had at Gideon’s Bakehouse. The ganache was very rich, and the chocolate in every element came through beautifully. If you’re a chocolate lover, this treat is a must-try!
It’s very sweet, and the buttercream added to that sweetness. That buttercream was very thick and almost ganache-like, although the ganache was probably even thicker. It felt indulgent to eat, and the portion size was pretty large. Although $16 is pretty expensive for a slice of cake, we think you could definitely share this slice between a couple of people.
Next up was the Magic Bar. This is made with a graham cracker European all-butter crust topped with sweetened condensed milk, butterscotch chips, Callebaut Belgian chocolate, walnuts, and toasted coconut.
We thought it was really tasty as well! The dominant flavors were coconut and graham cracker, so if you like those then we think you’ll enjoy this.
The textures all worked well together in this treat, and we thought it was very filling. It was also a pretty generous portion, which made it easy to share.
And finally, we tried the Lemon Blueberry Marie Antoinette. This is 2 large macaron shells filled with pastry cream, fresh lemon curd, and lemon and blueberry buttercream. It’s topped with fresh blueberries and a Cake Bake Shop chocolate disc.
The first thing we noticed about this treat is how gorgeous it looks! Seriously, your social media feed is begging for this treat. The second thing we noticed is that it’s pretty difficult to eat. (Pro tip: start with a fork and knife. Picking it up to eat like a sandwich did NOT work out well.)
The flavors in this treat were more subtle than we were expecting. The macarons were very tasty, and we think they were lemon-flavored. The dominant flavor was the buttercream, as there’s quite a lot of it inside. The different flavors of buttercream were distinguishable, but again, the flavors weren’t super strong.
If you’re looking for a lighter dessert with a more summer-y flavor, this would be a great option!
Nosh or Not
Make getting reservations for The Cake Bake Shop a top priority when it opens in Disney World if you:
- Are looking for a spot to get a filling and high-quality brunch. Although most of the food we tried had light and well-balanced flavors, the large portions and rich ingredients made it more filling than we were expecting.
- Want to eat in a beautiful environment. This would be a great spot for a celebratory meal, such as a birthday, anniversary, or bridal shower! And the Disney location will have 2 different private dining areas.
- Love baked goods (especially chocolate). There are several options for cake, cookies, pies, truffles, bars, cheesecake, and more. Even if you won’t sit down and eat, we recommend coming in to get something out of the bakery case!
Consider stopping by for a treat, but you might not need to sit down and eat here if you:
- Want a fast, cheap meal. The prices were fairly high at this spot, and it’s meant to be more of an experience rather than a grab-and-go affair (at least for the food — some desserts might be available as grab-and-go). If you’re looking for quick and easy on the BoardWalk, check out the BoardWalk Pizza Window.
- Are looking for a uniquely “Disney” restaurant. Although there are only 2 other locations for The Cake Bake Shop, it is possible to get the same food somewhere outside of Disney World. For a completely unique experience, check out the AbracadaBar on the BoardWalk instead.
Our experience at The Cake Bake Shop in Indianapolis was great. The service was fantastic — everyone was very kind and attentive, and they gave us great recommendations. The atmosphere was very fun and immersive, and we loved exploring the location to see all the beautiful decorations.
The food was definitely the main attraction, though. Although prices were fairly high in general, we thought the quality of the food and the great flavors made most items worth the cost. And we’ll be dreaming about that cake every night until we can finally have it again when the new location opens in Disney World!
We’ll be watching for more news about The Cake Bake Shop’s location at Disney’s BoardWalk, so keep following DFB for all the latest Disney food news!
Are you planning to visit The Cake Bake Shop when it opens its Disney World location next year? Let us know in the comments.
The post PREVIEW and PHOTOS: Is This What We Can Expect When The Cake Bake Shop Comes to Disney World? first appeared on the disney food blog.