Cakewalk Sweets, Coffee, & Gifts offers decor, desserts, coffee and other gifts. Jennifer Mitchell, the owner, moved to Athens, Georgia from Tampa, Florida a year and a half ago. The store opened on January 16, 2018. (Photo/McGee Nall, www.mcgeenall.com)

Cakewalk, Athens’ newest bake shop on Milledge, offers an adorable old-fashioned feel right upon entry, along with a selection of cakes and desserts that adds to that authentic bakery appeal.

Cakewalk switches out its cake selections periodically and orders its cakes from Savvy Cakes and Hoosier Girl Cakery. During this particular visit, I took it upon myself to try the red velvet cake and the mint chocolate chip cake. Some of the other cake flavors included orange dreamsicle, Oreo, peanut butter and s’mores.

At first look of the mint chocolate chip cake, I was a bit concerned that it was going to be one of those cakes where they make the chocolate cake part so overly rich just to make up for the lightness of the frosting. Luckily, that was not the case. The cake part was not overwhelmingly sweet but still had enough flavor that you could appreciate it. It tasted like more of a German chocolate kind of cake instead of a sugary fudge kind of cake.

This went along well with the smooth mint frosting that sent a peaceful and airy taste into my mouth. In fact, I’m still sitting here in a bit of pickle trying to figure out how it is that the frosting could taste so and feel so effortlessly light when it was clearly one of those dense frostings made from scratch. But at the same time, why should one ever question deliciousness?

Oh, and don’t even get me started on the red velvet cake. Maybe I just haven’t tasted enough red velvet cakes in my life, but this was by far the best red velvet cake I had ever tasted. The cake was a little bit richer and a little bit more moist than the mint chocolate cake, as it should be. The cream cheese frosting is just as creamy as you expect it to be, and while it didn’t have the same airness as the mint frosting, I still didn’t feel overwhelmed by its density.

One of the great things about these cakes was that the slices were cut into actual reasonable sizes instead of these enormous over-priced slices that only a monster could devour — even though I have definitely devoured one of those before. The cakes also didn’t have an overbearing amount of frosting on them either, ensuring that the frosting was just a topping onto the cake instead of 50 percent frosting and 50 percent cake as it too often is.

The only disappointment with Cakewalk is the lack of an indoor setup. The baker shop includes a small gift shop with all sorts of trinkets and greek life themed objects, but unfortunately this little gift shop takes up the other half of the shop where a nice little sitting area could be. Additionally, there was no music playing in the shop when I came to visit. While this does not impact the taste of the food, the addition of music would have provided for a more upbeat mood in the bake shop — which could have added to the old-fashioned feel to the shop.

Yet, I have to applaud Cakewalk on its outside set-up. The porch is the perfect place to enjoy your cake and coffee with a friend on a nice spring day. With the location being right on Milledge, you have a great view of all the nature on the street and a great spot for people-watching. The only problem with the porch is that I don’t particularly see myself enjoying a slice of cake there on a cold winter day.

Despite these few flaws with the setup, the store’s selection of cakes has enough variety that there is always something for the adventurous dare-devil, but also the person who likes to stick with the originals. The old-fashioned feel is complimented nicely by the outside porch, and the shop really does seem to take you back to the days before Starbucks was your only bakery option.

Corrections: The original version of this article stated that the red velvet cake had cherry flavoring, when the flavor is just chocolate. Cake Walk is a bake shop, not a bakery, as stated in a previous version of the article. 

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