Want a delicious cake? Or are you in search of a beautiful centerpiece? You'll have both if you order one of the specialty cakes from the Rolling Pin Bakery in Bladensburg. But the bakery also serves incredible pies, pastries and cookies. Are you hungry yet? Just head out Annapolis Road and look for the sign of the giant neon rolling pin.

We tried Rolling Pin's color portrait cake for my niece's christening. I brought in a color picture of her two days before the event and ordered a half sheet cake ($43) for our party of 20. In a conjunction of tradition (Rolling Pin opened 52 years ago) and 1990s technology, the color picture was scanned into a computer and the bakery then produced a gorgeous (completely edible) cake with a faithful reproduction of the picture of my niece on top. It was almost too beautiful to eat. When we cut into the cake, we found light, moist yellow cake with buttercream frosting (creamy, not too sweet and the perfect complement to the cake). The half sheet was more than enough for the party of 20; in fact, we managed to preserve most of the picture to freeze for my niece's first birthday.

For larger celebrations, color portrait cakes are available in full sheets ($64) as well. But cakes are just the beginning of what the Rolling Pin Bakery does well.

The friend who told me about Rolling Pin referred to its "outrageous pies." On any day, you have your choice of nearly 20 different kinds, in two sizes, large and small. Additionally, you can order mini-tarts of almost any pie filling (or get lucky as I did when I stopped by, since they had a few extra to sell). The cherry was my favorite-- juicy, huge cherries in a flaky crust--but the blueberry was a close second. The list goes on: slightly tangy lemon pie, pineapple, banana cream and sweet potato. If you have heard of it, Rolling Pin more than likely bakes it.

The vast pastry selection also will tempt you. The strawberry turnover and apple turnover head the list, both filled with hunks of fresh fruit.

There is also a wonderful assortment of all-occasion cakes and most of them are available as individual slices as well, so you can try a couple and pick your favorite. The carrot cake was my daughter's favorite--heavy on the carrots and a delicious creamy frosting. The German chocolate cake is sure to please any chocolate lover, with its creamy, rich frosting tasting like fudge with a hint of coconut. There is a wide assortment of tea cookies--I counted 30 different trays. Did I mention the doughnuts and cupcakes galore along with a large selection of breads?

For special occasions, a family dessert or just for your own secret snack, the Rolling Pin will meet your sweet needs.

Rolling Pin Bakery, 4918 Annapolis Rd., Bladensburg, Md.; call 301-699-9119. Tuesday-Saturday, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Closed Mondays.

CAPTION: Lanny M. Weese and Edna M. Spearman of the Rolling Pin Bakery in Bladensburg with specially decorated sheet cakes. Below, cake decorator Tina Evans airbrushes icing for a motorcycle motif on a cake.