Let Them Eat Cake!


Photo courtesy of The Art of CakeArt you can eat? Yes, please! At The Art of Cake, owner Gloria Bednarz, along with her family and talented baking staff, whips up show-stopping treats that taste as good as they look.

The Art of Cake started as a small farmers’ market booth, but with reputations carrying over from their days in the hotel industry, they didn’t stay small for long. “We did have lots of corporate clients that came to us, and so things started to build, and the farmers’ market got busier and busier, and we just kept expanding to a little bit bigger space until we finally found a home,” says Gloria. For almost six years, that home has been in Columbia Plaza, where The Art of Cake serves the public both as a bakery and as a cozy, vintage-inspired café.

The stars of the show are right in the name—The Art of Cake is renowned for its custom creations, which have delighted guests at weddings, birthdays, and get-togethers of all kinds. The possibilities are pretty much endless, from an elegant white chocolate petal cake to kid-pleasing scenes of Batman or the Minions. It’s all thanks to the artistry of Gloria and her team: both she and her husband Guenter have creative backgrounds(he’s also a watercolour artist) that allow them to bridge the gap between food and art. “I always like to think that the cake is my canvas, just like the canvas is to the painter.” With every cake comes the task of taking ideas and making them a reality. “Sometimes [clients] can’t see past that picture that they’ve brought you, so you as the artist have to take those ideas and then transform that into the cake level.” With her uncanny ability to translate a client’s ideas, no matter how nebulous, into a culinary masterpiece, Gloria is a prime example of how anything can be elevated into art.

Of course, it’s also what’s on the inside that counts. “People always want a cake that tastes just as good as it looks. A lot of feedback that we get is, ‘Oh my god, the cake tasted so good! Not only was it beautiful, but it just tasted so good.’ ” Their most popular flavour is vanilla cake with lemon curd and raspberry buttercream; Gloria’s favourite, however, is marble cake with hazelnut buttercream and hazelnut liqueur. It’s not typically on the menu due to allergen concerns, but for regulars she’ll sometimes make an exception. It’s these regulars that Gloria has come to cherish over the years; she’ll often make cakes for several generations of the same family. ”It’s awesome that we get to know not only them as a customer but them as a family,” she says.

Beyond cake, the on-site café boasts a deliciously diverse selection of sandwiches, soups, specialty drinks, and alcoholic beverages. You’ll also find a wide array of pastries (including cinnamon buns on the weekends), cookies, and seasonal pies.

The shop’s decadence goes beyond towering cakes and mouth-watering treats—the entire space has an atmosphere of warmth and elegance. One room is darker and cozier, with vintage pictures of Edmonton and old bankers’ lamps, while “Gloria’s side”, as she calls it, is pink and airy, complete with a skylight.

It’s a perfect place for community gatherings of all kinds. Before the pandemic, it was even the venue for a grief support group. Now, as the shop emerges from the pandemic, there are plans to expand their reach to the nightlife scene. “We’re working more on more of a night-time atmosphere, with a nice drink menu and a nice dinner menu, that kind of thing where you can come in after work, and can have some appetizers, some hors d’oeuvres, and then have a couple of drinks with some friends,” says Gloria. “We want to do it right. We want the ambience to be correct, and we want the menu, the drink menu, and the food to be reflective of what it is that we’re trying to get people to feel.” While they’re opening up slowly to re-acclimatize to full capacity, several beloved events have returned, such as the weekly Sunday High Tea, which has been consistently selling out. Patrons are also booking private events in the space once again, including bridal showers and birthday parties.

Gloria knows that while times are still somewhat uncertain, her team has her back. “The success of the business has been phenomenal, but I can’t do that without an amazing team behind us. My husband, the staff have been so great… I can’t do what I do without them.”

This article by Margarita Wilson appeared in Info Edmonton Magazine – May/June 2022.


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