Art on the Plate: The Chocolate Rose

Cape Cod Life  /  November/December 2020 /

Writer: Elizabeth Shaw / Photographer: Elizabeth Shaw 

It’s been a busy couple of years for Vanessa and Jason Benoit, and The Chocolate Rose. Since 2017, the couple has been working out of their storefront in Mashpee, with a focus on elegant, unique custom wedding cakes. Then, as for many others, the coronavirus pandemic changed everything. Prior to the statewide shut down, Vanessa and The Chocolate Rose focused primarily on custom bakes for weddings and other celebrations. With weddings on hold and the future uncertain, the Benoit’s adapted to the changing times, and have thrived. 

“We opened the storefront here in 2017, and at that point the business was seven years old. Our main goal in opening this space was adding the square footage!” Vanessa laughs. Before opening their Mashpee storefront, the Benoits operated out of their home in Sandwich. “I had a licensed commercial kitchen on our property in Sandwich. It was a section of our house closed off and turned into a kitchen. We primarily did wedding and birthday cakes, with some desserts and pastries, mostly specific to weddings. Once we started the storefront, we added our whole breakfast pastry line, as well as the dessert case.” The result is a chic, welcoming bakery, bursting with mouthwatering, handcrafted pastries and desserts at the forefront of the cases, with intricate, stylish cakes behind, waiting to be picked up. And in the back, Vanessa works to create stunning custom orders for weddings, birthdays or any occasion that needs celebrating!

Today, The Chocolate Rose draws crowds for their enticing grab-and-go goodies, specifically their breakfast pastries. The baked stuffed french toast is a fan favorite thanks to  its variety of flavors and unique concept, while classics like croissants, scones and cinnamon rolls are available for every sweet tooth craving. For those who prefer to start their mornings with a savory spot, frittata, quiche and savory croissants are popular picks. Other treats include gluten free options, as well as coffee, tea and fresh juice. The Benoit’s have also made it easy for customers to support local artisans, with locally made gifts, cards and jewelry available. Grab a card and cake, and support small businesses!

Pictured right, Vanessa’s enviable decorating skills are on full display with her popular chocolate mousse cake, which features three layers of chocolate cake filled with two layers of chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache. Using Italian buttercream, Vanessa creates those iconic Cape Cod hydrangeas in their muted fall shades of dusty pink and green. Every creation at The Chocolate Rose is made from scratch, from the fruit compotes down to the vanilla used in the cakes and frostings. And to keep things interesting, every week sees a new menu of five to seven different cake flavors available. And for more options, orders must be placed two weeks in advance, with over 30 flavors to choose from. “And that’s just our cake menu! Then, we have our items in the cases. While the items themselves stay the same, we always have cakes, tartes, cheesecakes and gluten free items. The flavors for those items change weekly as well,” Vanessa explains. “It’s fantastic for me! I don’t want to make the same thing 5,000 times! This way, I get to keep things fresh too, with new garnishes, new flavors; it just makes it fun. And that’s part of being a chef­­—getting to enjoy what’s local, what’s fresh.”

Visit The Chocolate Rose in person and online at chocolaterosecakes.com!

For more Art on the Plate, click here!

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth Shaw is a former assistant editor, photographer & videographer for Cape Cod Life Publications. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Elizabeth spent many summers on the Cape, before she and her family moved down full time in 2016. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island as a double major in Writing & Rhetoric and Film Media, and started at Cape Cod Life the following fall. In her free time, she takes as many pictures of her dog, Watson, as possible, in between beach trips.