The hypnotic glow from the gold, metallic letters, listing flavors ranging from red velvet to Italian cream, draws me closer to the assortment of the pastries on the other side of the dark blue door. Through the window I can see an unavoidable display of cake-covered countertops. Finally, after I give in to my sweet tooth, I face a new challenge inside the shop: how do I only pick one flavor when they all sound so good?
The Cake Bar at Trinity Groves is a Southern-style pastry shop filled with a variety of homemade cakes, cookies, pound cakes, quick breads and ice creams. Experienced baker and founder Tracy German was inspired to open this dessert hotspot after selling cakes from her house for 14 years. German strives to bake the types of cakes that people used to eat from their own kitchens with sticky fingers from licking the batter off the spatula.
“Making food for people is a very personal thing,” German said on the official Cake Bar website. “It connects you to every person.”
Growing up in Augusta, Georgia, she watched her mother improvise recipes to concoct a multitude of flavorful sweets.
“She was the best scratch baker I knew,” German said on the official Cake Bar website. “She didn’t need to follow a recipe, and if she did, she changed it to make it her own.”
German also encourages customers to submit family recipes so she can recreate them and feature them as cake of the month. With this idea, she wishes to honor old memories, but also to form new ones.
Once you narrow down their large and tempting menu you may be left to choose between a classic chocolate chip cookie, a mysterious slice of hummingbird cake or a full-sized red velvet cake. After the decision is finally made, customers can enjoy the shop’s warm, bakery feel which feels almost as if you had just walked into the heart of your grandma’s kitchen after she has baked a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies. You can tell that everything comes straight from the kitchen in the back of the shop and that each slice is cut from the dozens of cakes displayed on the countertops.
There is usually a small mid-afternoon crowd, which gives you the perfect amount of time in line to debate which flavor to choose. But post-dinner the shop gets a little overcrowded, making it difficult to find indoor seating. Standing shoulder to shoulder with dozens of voices trapped in this small space, customers sometimes struggle to enjoy their cake in this buzzing atmosphere.
When all the tables inside are occupied, the patio, which overlooks the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge along with the rest of Downtown Dallas, is a good spot to sit and enjoy your pastries and the view.
Servings are generous. Each slice of cake is put into a clear container, making it easy for those who want a cake to-go. However, it would be nice if the shop offered pastries on dining plates for those who wish to enjoy their sweets in the shop, rather than just in the plastic to-go boxes.
The menu includes many traditional flavors such as red velvet cakes and chocolate chip cookies along with a variety of unique flavors such as piña colada cakes, toffee pecan cookies and maple bacon pound cakes. Each slice is moist, fluffy and crafted with a balanced icing-to-cake ratio.
Although I usually feel like I need a glass of milk to wash down any rich, chocolate dessert, the Cake Bar’s German chocolate cake is not too rich nor too sweet and could stand on its own. Another less traditional option to try is a slice of their hummingbird cake, a mix of pineapple, banana, toasted pecans and cinnamon, iced with cream cheese frosting. Although it seems like an unusual combination of ingredients, they all work together to enhance each other and the result is a cake that tastes like homemade banana bread, sweetened with several layers of frosting.
But if you are looking for something less sweet and rich, you will also find zucchini, sweet potato and pumpkin quick breads on the menu. To compliment their pastries, the dessert bar also offers traditional ice cream flavors such as vanilla, chocolate and butter pecan.
Before you fill yourself to the brim with whatever pastry you select, you can’t forget to pose for a picture with your dessert of choice in front of the iconic, flashy Cake Bar sign.
The variety and creativity on their menu will certainly accommodate any sweet craving.
– Amelia Brown – Asst. Sports and Health Editor –
3011 Gulden Ln #117
Tuesday–Thursday 11:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Friday–Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Sunday 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.