An Addendum to The Great Cake Quest: I am finding it difficult to actually find places that serve slices of cake. What I find are cupcakes representing their larger kin in most places and, so it only seems fitting, since this is the only option that will allow me to taste multiple things, to include cupcakes in this adventure. And away we go!!!
Don’t you just love the feeling you get when you’re going through your closet and, for some unknown reason, you plunge your hand inside the pocket of a jacket you only wear in the fall and find a $20 bill? How about when you turn the corner of an often walked street – your mind off miles away – and you run into an old, much loved friend you haven’t seen in years? Then there’s my favorite…when you’re searching through the cupboard like Indiana Jones for a special treat and all the usual nibbles are there in all their regularness, not enticing in the least. Then, that favorite piece of chocolate that you’ve somehow overlooked in all those months of snack hunting, is there, just beyond the Fritos Scoops and the Grape-Nuts, gloriously revealing itself and you devour it. Welcome to my experience with SadieCake’s of Robbinsville.
Oh the wonders that lie outside your own zip code! I found SadieCake’s Cafe on my own since MercerMe gives me the whole county to explore and I wanted something from somewhere that I wouldn’t normally find myself. Robbinsville came to mind for some reason and so I Googled “cake in robbinsville” and SadieCake’s popped up. A welcoming awning on a busy road beckons you to come in, especially when the patio umbrellas are up. A classic neon sign gives way to eclectic curios inside and a pastry case so filled and varied there is definitely something for everyone, even the dog.
The case, the case, oh my goodness, the case! There were many different kinds of cupcakes on display, each one vying for my attention like a pastry red light district. There was the tried and true Very Vanilla and an old favorite, Cookies and Cream, both of which were moist and rang familiar notes on my tongue. Then there was The Ashley: a deep, rich chocolate cupcake topped with a generous dollop of raspberry icing and studded with icing pearls.
“That one is named for my niece, Ashley,” owner and pastry chef Cindy Lukenda shared. Cindy named her cafe after her grandmother, whose picture sits centered on the wall opposite the counter, misted in sepia tones on a repurposed wood door. She is holding a toddler Cindy in her arms.
“Some of these recipes are hers,” she states, pushing a flowery yellow and pearl topped cupcake in my direction. “This one is called the ‘Lemon Drop’.”
Honestly I was dubious; lemon can be done so very wrong. Cindy and her team did it absolutely right. The cake was lemony; not that sugary sweet lemon but more like lemonade. It was bright and very fresh, and somewhere between the cake and the icing was this quick zing of tart that reminded you that lemon is not a docile flavor. The Lemon Drop was hands down, my favorite. There was also the Devil Dog cupcake which was just like it sounds (a shout out to that decades old favorite from Drakes Cakes). The difference is that you didn’t need a whole glass of milk to wash it down. I tried the Mint Chocolate Chip, which was like eating an Andes Candies: perfect for your after dinner coffee, or after breakfast coffee, or after you get to work coffee… or by itself.
Growing up, I got used to the gritty sugary overdose that topped most cupcakes. Eventually, the smooth chem-lab taste of canned frosting became so addictive that we didn’t even bother with the cake part of the cupcake. SadieCake’s boasts a lighter, fluffier, tastier icing that features less sugar and more flavor.
“One of my favorite cupcakes I named for my best friend who works for the FBI,” Cindy informs me. “It’s called the Secret Agent and it’s a vanilla cupcake with caramel icing, drizzled in homemade caramel with a touch of sea salt.”
There were several unavailable flavor offerings that I wanted to try: Peanut Butter Lover, Almond Joy, Carrot Cake, Cannoli… as you can imagine, the list goes on and on.
“We custom make all of our cakes. Any flavor, any design, anything. That is why we don’t have a set list. People come in here and ask us ’Can you make this?’ and we do.”
SadieCake’s makes mini cakes in any flavor that serve between 2 and 6 people so any size occasion can be accommodated. Cindy Lukenda is not the only magician there. Stephanie Melendez and Mandy Bair, who are head decorator and master pastry chef respectively, are part and parcel of the success of SadieCake’s, along with Donna Peters, who whips up some of the other delights they are known for like salads, pastries, sandwiches and the like – did I mention they are a full service cafe? They are. And brace yourselves, my Celiac Disease afflicted friends, … they have extensive gluten free options that are seriously tasty. Imagine a variety of gluten free cakes, pastries, breads and cupcakes. I’ll give you a minute.
“I like that it’s bright and relaxing,” says regular Kristen Dombrowski (Almond Joy Cupcake). “They know me here and they fix my breakfast sandwich just the way I like it. They custom make everything here.”
Kristen wasn’t the only one with a laptop working away and enjoying the cupcakes and other pastries surrounded by the local art that adorned the walls. “We don’t kick anyone out. You can come here and sit as long as you like,” said Cindy, darting off to meet a prospective bride selecting her wedding cake. And it seems many do stay, as I saw several contented patrons with laptops and other mobile devices paired up with a favorite cupcake and table. “I like that they can make your salad into a sandwich” beamed Mike (Carrot Cake Cupcake) along with his faithful four-legged rescue chihuahua, Clio. “Everything is so healthy and fresh,” he continued, “…and Clio even gets a homemade biscuit.”
SadieCake’s has really developed quite following since opening in 2011 which only continues to build. From events like this weekend’s “Wine and Paint” party, to cupcake decorating classes and parties for adults and kids, they are really becoming quite the happening spot. With cupcakes, pastries, breakfast (all day), coffee, tea(handmade tea bags), homemade hot chocolate and Sunday Brunch (biscuits and gravy anyone?) and of course custom cakes, SadieCake’s has what you didn’t know you were missing. Now you know, grab a favorite mug, your taste buddy and get there! Tell all your friends! SadieCake’s Cafe, 2346 Highway #33 Ste. 101 (in the Washington Town Center), Robbinsville, New Jersey. www.sadiecakescafe.com. Check them out on Facebook. Yum it up!