There are all sorts of weird, and sometimes wacky, national and international observances. In February alone there’s everything from Lame Duck Day, Tuesday, Feb. 6, to World Sword Swallower’s Day, Feb 24. But today, as we prepare to leave January behind, we can do so with a smile on our face and chocolate in our tummies, as we celebrate National Chocolate Cake Day.
My resolution this year: If I’m going to treat myself to sweets – it won’t be your ordinary run of the mill Reese’s Cup (although we do LOVE our Reese’s Cups). No, if I was going to occasionally indulge, it was going to be something homemade or baked by an artisanal baker. After all, I deserve the very best! (That’s why I live at the Retreat at Mountain Brook – smile:)
So, my friend and I set out in search of the very best chocolate cake in the Birmingham area. First stop, Nothing Bundt Cakes, located at the Summit. The first thing you notice when you walk through the door is the aroma — ahhh, just like visiting grandma’s kitchen — on steroids. The mélange of aromas greets you as you enter the cheerful bakery, causing us to remind ourselves of our mission — chocolate. After pondering our choices, we caved and purchased a dozen Bundtinis. Yum.
Off to our next destination – a Birmingham classic – Edgar’s Bakery at The Shops of the Colonnade – here we opted for breakfast because we knew we would need lots of energy for our task of the day — finding chocolate cake. I had the Croque Madame ($6.49) and my friend had Crabcake Benedict ($9.49), both lovely breakfast dishes. Although, I must say that we had to keep reminding ourselves that we were not there for Edgar’s famous Strawberry Cake (OMG) or the King Cake, which we could come back for in time for our Mardi Gras party. We left with a whole Chocolate Decadence cake. ($55)
Onward and Upward. Back towards Homewood, to make a stop at Dreamcakes – their motto: We BAKE the world a better place. Love that. Almond Joy, Boston Cream Pie, Chocolate Cheesecake, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate High, Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate Truffle, Chocolate Sundae, Dolly Madison (gasp), Foreign Affair (ooh la la), Mint Chocolate Chip, Mississippi Mud, Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake, Smores and Turtle Dreamcakes. Two of each, please. Now it’s a party. We get our phones out and start texting – there’s clearly a chocolate party in our future — so we start to invite friends over, knowing we can’t do this on our own.
With just two more stops before we end up back home, Olexa’s in Mountain Brook and Zoe’s Kitchen in Crestline – we are in full-fledged party planning mode, and decide to pick up some other party foods while on our mission! We get to Olexa’s, order Chicken Salad ($12.99 lb.), Seafood Louie Salad ($15.99 lb.), and their signature Corn and Black Bean Salad ($6.99 lb.) and two pieces of chocolate fudge buttercream cake, just in case we get hungry on our way back home.
Our final stop before meeting all of our friends back home at The Retreat at Mountain Brook is Zoe’s Kitchen in Crestline Village. Perhaps we could have gone there first and satisfied our chocolate cravings with a piece of their chocolate cake. Zoe’s Kitchen was founded by Mrs. Zoe Cassimus in 1995. Everything Mrs. Cassimus, aka Yaya, created for her family and followers, was amazing, but her chocolate cake… (moment of silence)…was, and is, to die for.
Located at 225 Country Club Park in Crestline Village, Zoe’s Kitchen is a 7 min. drive from home, The Retreat at Mountain Brook. It’s now 4 pm. The party’s gotten so large, we’re taking over the clubhouse, to share our bounty of the day with friends and family. Cheers, and here’s to National Chocolate Cake Day!