Pie Showdown

High End

Gwendolyn Rogers is making a move on Central Indiana once again. Get ready for the opening of another Cake Bake shop, located right at City Center. Prepare to indulge in a slice of Gwendolyn’s Famous Earls Court Chocolate Cake, awarded Best Cake at London’s Cake & Bake Show at the Earls Court Convention Center. Enjoy a cup of warm sipping chocolate, topped with fresh whipped cream. Above all, make sure to save room for a slice of the famous Chocolate Silk Pie, featured as one of Food Network’s guilty pleasures.

Cake Bake truly represents the upper crust of bakeries and pie eateries. When I entered the storybook-like cottage, I was immediately greeted by twinkling fairy lights, sparkling chandeliers, faux pink flower trees and, of course, rows of glass displays containing delicacies ranging from three-layer cakes to French macaroons. As the hostess guided me to my table, I watched as master bakers poured cake batter into rows of aluminum cake tins. Other workers sprinkled glitter onto French macaroons, the signature finishing touch of a Cake Bake dessert. I couldn’t help but feel as if I was transported straight into a French fairytale.

The food served at Cake Bake can only be described in one word: magnificent. I began with ordering the French Press for three ($7). The freshly-ground Illy coffee pressed tableside in the traditional French style made for a vibrant cup of coffee with bright and sweet flavors. Next, I ordered a slice of the famous Chocolate Silk Pie ($9.50). The pie was perfect. The Valrhona French chocolate cream surrounded by cinnamon graham cracker crust and topped with freshly whipped cream melted right into my mouth. Each bite was better than the last. Anyone who tries a bite of this pie will understand why it was recognized by Hallmark’s ‘Home & Family.’

Overall, the dining experience was the perfect blend of an authentic storybook experience and fine dining. I strongly recommend it to anyone aiming to indulge in the upper crust of Indiana’s bakeries.

Low End

Just five minutes west of the soon-to-open Carmel Cake Bake location is the hallmark of Midwestern grocery stores: Kroger. Just as hot dogs go with the  Fourth of July, ham with Christmas and cookies with Valentine’s Day, pumpkin pie is a staple dish for Thanksgiving. If your family isn’t one to bake homemade pies, keep in mind that although Kroger pies may not have the “upper crust” taste that pies from Cake Bake offer, Kroger’s pies are delicious and affordable, ranging in flavors from pecan to pumpkin.

One unique benefit to the Kroger pie selection is the wide range of dietary needs various pies meet. Kroger offers pies that are dairy-free, nut-free, kosher and gluten-free. Additionally, there are full, half and quarter pie and even one slice size options. The varying options make for a pie that will certainly appease every family member this holiday season.

Kroger’s pie crusts are equally as buttery as they are flaky. My favorite is the “Old Fashioned Oven-Baked Apple Pie.” If apple pie isn’t your favorite, I still recommend any of the Old Fashioned pies because not only do they taste delicious, they look as if they were completely homemade! The private selection brand offers more decadent pie flavors, such as Peanut Butter Creme and Dark French Silk. Surely, Kroger pies offer a flavor for everybody.

Still, if you feel the need to indulge in a Cake Bake-esque dessert, the Kroger off of Rangeline Road fosters a partnership with the Cake Bake Shop. Clearly, Kroger offers the one-stop destination for delicious pies that will make this Holiday Season extra special and extra tasty.