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Jan 19, 2006 09:32 PM


  • p

Just thought I'd give my opinion about this place. We bought a cake, the hazelnut crunch, and were extremely disappointed. Not only was the frosting overly sweet and oily, but it was literally dripping off of the cake after sitting at room temperature for less than 30 minutes. The cake was dry and not particularly flavorful. The cost was 40$ for a 6 inch cake, way too much for what we got. Anybody else have any better experiences with Cakelove?


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  1. Tried several types of cake at their cafe, love cafe. the cakes were gorgeous, but not tasty. was disspointed.

    16 Replies
    1. re: foodgeek

      Y'all are not alone. Despite all the great hype and pr campaigns, the actual product looks beautiful and tastes pretty bad. Spending $40+ on a cake with frosting that tastes like sweetened crisco is a shame.


      1. re: jackie

        yawn- why I was not overly impressed with the product - and said product was eaten at room temperature- I am even more bored by this endless bandwagon

        1. re: DCFoodieperson

          Chalmers is is also important to see if cakelove improves...which I'm hoping it does. Clearly, it hasn't yet. Thanks for the review.

          1. re: J

            Some of us have been waiting for Cakelove to get it's act together since it opened! The wait obviously continues. They're basically coasting on location and the notoriety of the proprietor.

            Why people, who can afford $40 for a cake, are willing to put up with this nonsense is beyond me.

            1. re: WG

              Because they're people like my friend who care more about being able to say their cake came from CakeLove, than about what it tastes like. I know I'm pointing out the obvious, but among the fashionistas - not the foodies - CakeLove is the place to buy your cakes in D.C.

              1. re: MB

                Hmm, two things that suck on U Street, Ben's Chili Bowl (overhyped greasy spoon) and Cake Love, but all getting by with novelty and hype. Maybe I need to open up a Noba (cousin of Nobu) there and people will come in droves for my sushi catered by Ace sushi, the supplier for Safeway.

                1. re: RL

                  Ben's isn't THAT bad. Their halfsmokes rock! It's Florida Avenue Grill that's cruising on the greasyspoon novelty.

                  What I find worse than Ben's is Coppis: $20 for a personal pizza with about $2 worth of ingredients? Or Pollys: you want HOW much for a burger with no fries?

                  Indeed, the fashionistas rule on U Street.

                  1. re: WG

                    Ben's isn't that bad, but their overhype makes you wonder what's so special about this place? If Ben's opened up last week instead of having been there since the 60's, would anyone care? With regard to their halfsmokes, I think they don't even make them on the premises, but buy them. I think only lately, they've resorted to making their own chili.

                    1. re: RL

                      There's a lot of sentimental attachement to Bens because it was one of the few establishments that survived the 1968 riots. There's also the clientel: compare the mix of young/old, black/white, to the homogenized patrons of some of the other U Street establishments.

                      And they definitely don't make their own halfsmokes. But compare them to the ones available on the Mall (boiled) or the local 7-11 (nasty).

                      1. re: WG

                        Yeah, I don't know about overhype for Ben's. It's a neighborhood landmark, but the only hype I've read about it being a great place to eat as opposed to just taking in the atmosphere have been places like

                        I do like Ben's. If anyone knows another place to get a grilled smoked sausage with tasty chili, definitely share it, but I don't know if there is one. Other than Ben's, DC isn't a hot dog town, as far as I can tell.

                        1. re: Alan

                          I think hard times cafe does half smokes, and Johnny's Half shell makes their own hot dogs, available lunch only though.

                          1. re: RL

                            Yes, Johnny's has house-made hotdogs for lunch. And a fine eight dollar hotdog it is, if you like eight dollar hot dogs. I personally like hotdogs that manage to be tasty AND cheap because that's kind of the whole point of a hot dog, isn't it?

                            1. re: qwertyy

                              Hi all,

                              We removed some off topic posts that wandered away from food found uniquely in the DC / Baltimore area. Please help keep it on track.

                  2. re: RL

                    And I took an out of state friend to both Ben's and Love Cafe in the same evening. I had never been to eother and was a bit embarrassed about my choices. Yes, the dogs at ben's are good...but i much prefer Hard Times Chili.

                    1. re: foodgeek

                      It's a crime to take anyone to Ben's as long as Oohs and Aahs is open. Late at night, when nothing else is open, is the only time to go to Ben's, and even then the only appropriate order is a half-smoke (NOT a hot dog)with chili and a cherry shake.

                      Then, I give Ben's the thumbs up.

                    2. re: RL

                      I love Ben's chili bow. Have to disagree. The chili is really good and especially on a hot dog with some fries!!!! Salivate......

        2. The only thing he makes that I really like are his Eclairs. His cakes kinda suck - always very very sweet.

          1. There was a decent debate going on about this subject especially between Tom Sietsema of the Wash.Post and Warren Brown, the owner of Cake Love. Most pretty much agreed that his offerings are overhyped and overpriced with the baked goods being pretty, but barely edible.

            Because of this, Warren Brown came up with a new angle that all his offerings need to be brought to room temperature before consumption. Now this revelation that cakes are melting faster than the wicked witch of the east. Too funny.

            I've seen his show Sugar Rush on HGTV, and what I noticed is that he focuses more on making a cake or baked good look pretty rather than the taste. Just throwing together "fresh" ingredients doesn't necessarily make something taste good. What more can you expect from a professionally trained lawyer turned baker who had no formal culinary training?

            I think if you called Cake Love to complain, he may give you a refund or something else as I don't think he wants any more bad publicity to ruin his momentum.


            1 Reply
            1. re: RL

              They now put a little card in your bag that tells you the temperature that you should eat it at. They even have it on a tshirt. It's pretty funny.

              I agree with the other poster about the eclairs. Otherwise, well, I thought I was going to get really fat when they opened in Silver Spring, but so far, not.

            2. I love when I have the opportunity to go to NYC and get a REAL cupcake or cake. I love the mosit cake with the sugary sweet buttercream fristing. I keep wondering why no one has opened the same type of bakery in DC. I've made it my mission to find the best cupcake in NYC. So far, I've tried Crumbs, Magnolia, Buttercup, Cupcake Cafe, and one other whose name I cannot recall. Buttercup is my favorite by far! They have the best cupcakes and the best selection in my opinion. The red velvet with cream cheese frosting is to die for. They offer franchises. So, any of you Chowhounds here in DC who have the finances to do so - I say - GO FOR IT! I think this thread proves that the DC market is looking for a REAL bakery with sweet and wonderful cakes. They CAN be pretty AND delicious! I wish CakeLove understood that. They don't!

              8 Replies
              1. re: DC Gal

                So you have tried the Cakelove version(s)? How does it differ?

                1. re: Tugboat

                  The cakes in NYC are moist. CakeLove's are dry and crumbly. The cakes in YC have wonderful flavor. To me, CakeLove's do not. The icing used by the NYC bakeries have that sugary texture where you can almost feel yourself getting a cavity and the sugar high is to die for (yes, I consider this a GOOD thing). I would equate the icing used at CakeLove to sweetened and flavored shortening. It has no sugary texture to it. And, the cakes in NYC, or really the cupcakes have sprinkles - which are just plain fun. I don't think I have ever seen a sprinkle at CakeLove. And, I don't count chocolate shavings as sprinkles.

                  So, those are the differences to me. I think it comes down to the old fashioned cupcake your mom or grandma used to make (the NYC version) versus the more "upscale" version trying to be the "homespun" version (the CakeLove attempt). I'll take the real thing (like mom or grandma made) anyday!

                  Hmmmm. I think I may have to find an excuse for a business trip to New York REALLY soon.

                2. re: DC Gal

                  Try ordering a cake from Natalia makes the best cakes and delivers, with delivery prices varying by area. Free delivery for Falls Church and Arlington. Dean & Deluca carries some of her stuff as well. She even had a write-up in the Post food section this summer.

                  1. re: DC Gal

                    Excellent baked goods can be found at Baked & Wired in Georgetown, at 1052 Thomas Jefferson St., right by the C&O Canal. Far better than Cakelove's -- which are simply a rip-off, in my opinion.

                    1. re: Bonz

                      Does Baked and Wired still have extremely limited hours, mainly business hours?

                      1. re: Foodgeek

                        It has been open every time I have gone by, so it doesn't seem limited at all to me.

                        1. re: Bonz

                          It used to only be business hours. like until 5pm. Maybe they've extended the hours.

                      2. re: Bonz

                        I'm SO glad I'm not the only person in this city that thinks CakeLove is a TOTAL rip-off and frankly not very good. I paid $6.00 for a "red white and blue" which is basically a cupcake-ish thing with (way too much) butter cream and a few berries. When the sales person was ringing it up and said, "$6.60" I nearly fell over. I'm happy to spend the $$ on truly delicious pastries/sweets...but this was NOT it.

                        For truly magnificent French pastries, Patisserie Poupon in Georgetown is amazing.

                    2. There was a very interesting post that I found from using the search engine that you may find interesting. The link is below. It does not seem to have changed much over the years.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Carol S.

                        Very interesting - good find.

                        I cannot fathom paying $100 for one of his cakes. She's a really good friend to do that for her girlfriend's birthday. I think I would have just gone with a big box of cupcakes!

                        My husband bought my 30th birthday cake from Loretta of CakeLore. I had fallen in love with a friend's wedding cake and had also gone along for the cake tasting. My birthday cake was as beautiful as a wedding cake. It was her "grandma's chocolate cake" with fresh raspberry filling and white chocolate cream cheese icing. She frosted it to look like a gift with a big bow made of fondant. Ii was beautiful. And, in all honesty, it may have cost him $100-125, but I think that is worth it because it was spectacular. I would pay that for a cake like that and it was also quite big. Compare that to a 12" cake with crooked writing - no comparison in my book.

                        I know that Loretta only does birthday cakes by special request and my husband had to call her way in advance, but her cakes are worth it. He did have to drive out ot her house to pick it up, but I think she would have delivered it for a price. But, again, I find that understandable since she doesn't have a shop. I cannot understand why CakeLove can't have ordered cakes ready before 4:00. Seems like he needs to take a course in the basics of business.