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Cake Man Raven -- how does one get a cake from there?

v
vvv03 Aug 7, 2007 09:10 AM

Okay, so a colleague from my office has been trying everything to order a cake for the office from Cake Man Raven. She tried calling, no luck. She lives in Ft. Greene, so she went there, no luck. They have all these strange rules like you have to call 7 days in advance, but then when you call they are not taking orders. When she went into the "bakery" there were no cakes. It's a little ridiculous. We were half joking that this may be a case of "a friend of a friend once had this cake and it was delicious" and in actuality, it's really just a money laundering scam or something.

So if you have the password, knock or secret handshake, please let me know what it is. How do we get a cake from this illusive baker?

  1. g
    gnosh Aug 7, 2007 11:32 AM

    That's strange. Maybe they're in a state of decline or something. I've ordered a couple of cakes from them (thought not in the last year), and it was more or less normal. They were a little officious, but nothing extreme. I don't think I ever gave more than a day or two notice.

    1. m
      mrs.L Aug 7, 2007 01:31 PM

      i know your plight all too well. i wanted a red velvet cakeman cake for my wedding last november. it is truly the best cake i've ever had and it was the first wedding decision i made. i called them 6 months prior to my wedding thinking that would be plenty of time. i spoke with someone who told me it was too early to place an order- call back in a month. i did that too- i left 4 voicemail messages, 3 messages with whoever answers the phone there- no call back. i went to the store and spoke to the counter person- they took my information and told me someone would call. not a chance. about two months before my wedding, fraking out without a cake, my MOTHER called them up furious (shes good for something) and got an appt with cakeman himself. my husband and i showed up on time and cakeman showed up an hour late- no apologies. he took our order- which aparently only he is qualified to do. we paid, crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. i was pretty sure there would be no cake at our wedding...but there it was- perfect and delicious.

      and that is a testament to how good the cake it. i would never put up with such nonsense if it wasnt for that sweet tasting slice of heaven.

      my advice is to buy a slice- if you like it, keep trying. if not, move on.
      good luck!

      2 Replies
      1. re: mrs.L
        k
        kevin Aug 7, 2007 02:55 PM

        sounds like he's harder to pin down than the arepa lady.

        1. re: mrs.L
          c
          CornflakeGirl Oct 15, 2007 05:41 AM

          I haven't even tried it yet but we're having the same "wedding" dilemma. And I'm already getting the runaround from Smack Mellon re: the space. Hopefully my cake plight will be a little bit easier.

          I need to score a slice and make sure it's right and then try to place an order.

          Were your guests as impressed with the Cakeman as you were. I love my Red Velvet but I'm not sure it's for everyone.

        2. i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream Aug 7, 2007 02:40 PM

          I've had the same experience with them not having any slices. I went to try a slice and they just shrugged at me. Nothing. In fact, there was nothing at all in the refrigerated cases-- not even any whole cakes to purchase. Weird.

          1 Reply
          1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream
            c
            Claire Aug 7, 2007 04:28 PM

            I recently had a slice of red velvet cake from a little hole in the wall called Mitchell's on Vanderbilt Ave. It was very good. You might want to give them a call and see if they can accomodate you.

          2. b
            Bookistan Aug 7, 2007 05:20 PM

            I had a similar experience to the other posters, albeit a year ago when I tried to order a birthday cake. The person on the other end of the phone was rather snippy and couldn't care less. Because I clearly didn't know the "rules," whatever they were, they just weren't going to deal with me. I ended up getting a cake at Baked in Red Hook - absolutely delicious; incredible buttercream frosting.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Bookistan
              chompchomp Aug 8, 2007 10:45 AM

              I'm glad I'm not alone! After reading all these posts, it was my dream birthday cake. But my boyfriend called 4 days in advance, which was apparently not enough time. Instead, we got a red velvet cake from Amy's (great cake, awful frosting)...

              1. re: chompchomp
                b
                bklyndiner Aug 8, 2007 12:20 PM

                There are no excused for their behavior; I do think they are just overwhelmed. They never expanded to meet the demand of all their great reviews. I was there on the weekend recently and there was a line out the door at 10 p.m. and they literally were baking one cake at a time. As an alternative, I'd suggest Two Little Red Hens bakery on 8th Ave in Park Slope. They make a great red velvet cupcake and I would bet they would do a whole cake if you ask. They are nothing but professional and very easy to deal with.

            2. Woodside Al Oct 14, 2007 10:30 AM

              But the more important question is: why all of the problems for people trying to get cakes?

              1. c
                CornflakeGirl Oct 15, 2007 05:44 AM

                What are the actual hours and is it still possible to get a slice of cake there? Or only a whole cake? Or maybe no cake?

                2 Replies
                1. re: CornflakeGirl
                  s
                  Shayna Madel Oct 15, 2007 06:16 AM

                  Now I know, this all sounds like a spin-off of the Soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld.

                  1. re: Shayna Madel
                    c
                    CornflakeGirl Oct 15, 2007 05:49 PM

                    No cake for us!

                2. j
                  JanetG Oct 17, 2007 03:49 AM

                  http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/...

                  Apparently you get your CakeMan cake by going to a chain restaurant

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: JanetG
                    c
                    CornflakeGirl Oct 17, 2007 05:16 AM

                    OMG! Now I'm actually upset. How unbelievably tacky. Why are so many "professionals" going this route these days? Have we learned nothing from Mr. DiSpirito?

                    I wouldn't set foot in Applebee's if they were giving the cake away!

                    I'm going to look into Ladybird Bakery (formerly Two Little Red Hens) in Park Slope. I tried one of their cakes at a bridal shower that was pretty fabulous.

                    Also instead of a traditional Viennese Table we're going to see if Baked can put something together for us.

                    They're our favorite bakery right now. I'm just not sure about ordering a wedding cake from them. Although my fiance would be thrilled if I ordered their Coca Cola cake and called it a day!

                    And if I can score a slice from the Cakeman...

                    1. re: JanetG
                      s
                      Shayna Madel Oct 17, 2007 01:40 PM

                      Which explains the whole thing about not baking onsite anymore...

                    2. k
                      Koren Oct 19, 2007 01:38 PM

                      I have had similar experiences... a friend was visiting from out of town for her birthday one weekend and wanted to get slices from there. We went by twice (Sat afternoon and Sunday afternoon) and both times they had no cake whatsoever. They said they were expecting it to be delivered...

                      1. r
                        racer x Feb 25, 2008 09:15 AM

                        I make it out to Ft Greene about once every 2 or 3 yrs. After reading so many wonderful things about the cakes at Cake Man Raven, I finally went by the shop yesterday afternoon looking to try just a slice of cake or some cupcakes. With all the hype about how good the cake is, I was pretty sure I would not be impressed.

                        When I arrived, there were about a dozen punters lined up in the shop, and nary a cake in or on the display case. Nor was there any movement. I innocently asked the guy in front of me what everyone was waiting on line for. He sneered, "For the cakes," as if I must be from Mars. (Since the display case was empty, I had figured everyone was waiting to pick up a custom cake, or to get into a back room for a private function.) Someone else quickly added, "If they ever get here." Not a good sign.

                        I left the shop to check out a few other places in the nabe. When I returned about 45 minutes later, the line was moving. People were coming out with their boxes of cakes and bags of cake slices. The display case was still empty, so I asked someone on line what kinds of cake they had. He said they might have red velvet, pecan cake, pistachio ... As I approached the counter, I could see that the cake slices in plastic cartons were being scooped out of some cardboard boxes behind the counter. It turned out they only had red velvet cake - with or without nuts - and red velvet cupcakes. Ok, so I settled for a slice of cake without the nuts.

                        That is some seriously good cake! I loved it. Incredibly moist cake, flavorful but not overly chocolatey, with a delicious creamy icing.

                        So the cake is still good. And the service still SUCKS. How can anybody run a shop like that? Thank heaven the cake was good. I would have been more than annoyed if they had only had one flavor and it was a flavor I didn't like (or if it had nuts and I couldn't eat it because of a nut allergy or something).

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: racer x
                          chompchomp Feb 25, 2008 09:30 AM

                          Yeah, I'm not sure quite what the problem is there. That's a pretty typical experience. The cake however, is pretty transcendent. My fiance spent 45 minutes on Valentines Day waiting in line for 2 slices of red velvet cake and it was miles better than any flowers or boxes of chocolates!

                        2. oolah Feb 25, 2008 09:39 AM

                          You could also try making it yourself, which I found is far more reliable and just as delicious. Here's the cakeman raven recipe:

                          http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                          I've made this in cake and cupcake form and every time it gets *devoured* by anyone I've served it to.

                          1. c
                            cmrfan Apr 9, 2009 01:21 PM

                            You'll be surprised (or maybe not surprised at all) to find out that this sort of thing is still going on two years after your posting. I am getting married in August 2009, and I have been trying to contact CMR since mid-February. My fiancée and I have called the shop several times to AT LEAST secure an appointment with him. To date, we have not even been able to get that far and we too were told that he is the ONLY one who can take the order. We FINALLY received a phone call a few days ago to let us know of an 'event' that CMR is hosting in April, but as bad luck would have it we are out of town and cannot attend. The person from the shop sounded frustrated when we said that we were unable to attend the event, and promised to call us back with an appointment to meet with Cake Man Raven himself. My thoughts were... "Yeah, right!". I won’t hold my breath. My fiancée suspects that the business must be very poorly run, or something like that. At this point I wish that the people at the shop would just be honest with us and say "You have no chance of securing a cake with us for your wedding. CMR will never call you back"... :-/ *sigh* ..I guess it's time to go to Plan "B".

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: cmrfan
                              t
                              Tay Apr 9, 2009 02:47 PM

                              I don't think ANY food, no matter how 'special' is worth this sort of degrading nonsense. This is NYC! I'd seriously rec finding a less humiliating option.

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