Kim and Jake's Cakes rolls out a fall list featuring paprika, vindaloo and beer

The new fall menu for Kim and Jake's Cakes goes well beyond vanilla.
The new fall menu for Kim and Jake's Cakes goes well beyond vanilla.
Samantha Baker

Kim and Jake Rosenbarger, who own Kim and Jake's Cakes in Boulder, believe that cake should be an everyday indulgence, rather than a special-occasion luxury. To encourage their patrons to eat more of the dessert, they've created an interesting line of unusual flavors, incorporating booze, spice and salt into sweet batters. And with their fall menu, they've taken their cakes to new heights.

"We're playing around with a lot more savory flavors," Jake explains. "I'm kind of obsessed with some of them, but they're not necessarily for everyone."

For example, he's whipped up a ginger-vindaloo spice cake iced with salted Thai curry caramel and dusted with black sesame seeds. Another offering adds smoked paprika, alder wood-smoked salt and Urfa chiles to chocolate cake, which gets topped with a sweet paprika butter cream.

The idea, says Jake, is to balance the sweetness with other interesting flavors, giving dessert a complexity that's usually reserved for main courses. They've developed a reputation for more adult flavors, their signature alcohol creations (the pair is admittedly geeky about cocktails, wine and beer). And from the start, they've made sure that eaters don't overload on sugar and push the cake aside after the first few sweet bites.

But who would want to push aside a nut brown ale cake studded with dried fruit and toasted nuts, and filled and iced with brown butter caramel? Or a chocolate stout cake topped with malt-milk chocolate buttercream, a vino rosso confection iced with cream cheese and sprinkled with shaved Manchego, or a strawberry margarita pastry that's actually soaked in a 100 percent agave margarita?

With all of that on the menu, Jake is still baffled that the shop gets so many orders for red velvet and vanilla -- and he hopes that patrons who come in to order a slice give the new creations a try. And for non-cake people -- or those planning ahead for the holidays -- the couple has also added a pair of pies to the menu: They'll be serving up apple-cinnamon and sweet potato as the weather cools.

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