Cronuts, doughnuts, and cake trends of the past
By Sharon Miki, Senior Columnist
If there’s one thing I like better than studying for exams, it’s cake. Glorious mounds of tasty sugar-infused comfort—what could be better? I’ll tell you what’s better: trendy cakes and pastries. Since Seinfeld introduced the idea of trend-based baked goods with Top of the Muffin to You!, I’ve been obsessed with consuming only the most cutting-edge pastries. As such, let’s take a sweet walk down some of the yummiest cake trends of the past few years.
Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts
Do you remember when this was a thing? When everyone from your mom to your mayor was freaking out over these glazed treats?
Krispy Kreme’s claim to fame is its glazed, yeast-raised doughnut; unlike regular, run-of-the-mill doughnuts, these suckers offer a unique, melt in your mouth taste experience.
While Krispy Kreme originated in the United States in the 1930s, franchises only started popping up in Canada in 2001. When Krispy Kreme reached BC in the mid-2000s, there was a glossy period of time when everyone went crazy for these faddy cakes. Alas, the hype and the ubiquity of the Krispy Kreme trend evaporated about as quickly as one of these babies could melt in your mouth. Today, there is only one location in the Lower Mainland, located in Delta. Eat your heart out on your way to the ferry terminal, but be aware that these are no longer considered cool.
Sunshine, [cake]pops, and rainbows—oh, what a delightfully bougie treat! Cake pops are basically super-dense, bite-sized balls of cake (similar to a classic doughnut hole or Timbit) served on a stick like a lollipop and wrapped in icing. Perfect for people on portion-regulated diets, these little goodies are perfectly impractical when you take into account the work-to-taste payoff ratio.
According to Wikipedia, cake pops came of age in 2009. There was a period of a few years when you could find elaborate cake pops everywhere, though now your best bet is to hit up your local Starbucks where you can enjoy a bit of cake on a stick for about $1.60. Pricey, trendy, and full of sugar, the cake pop was the ultimate faddy treat.
Oh, to go nuts for a Cronut! The Cronut—a cross between a croissant and a doughnut—hit New York-based Dominique Ansel Bakery’s shelves in May of this year. It’s a delicate pastry made from fried croissant dough that’s sugared and touched with magic—apparently, it’s to die for. The minute the first Cronut touched a hungry patron’s tongue, it was swallowed into our culture’s conscious as the most coveted of all the cakes.
What makes the Cronut such an amazing cake trend? In my opinion, it’s the difficulty it takes to acquire one. Ansel’s process seems long and arduous (apparently it takes hours to make a single Cronut), and it’s hard to imitate. NPR reported that a black market for the treats has sprung up, with scalpers selling Cronuts for $100 a pop. That’s like $20 a bite! How deliciously chic.
While legit Cronuts are still an Ansel Bakery exclusive, I’m sure this treat will fly—much like a unicorn—down the food chain to one day reach our plebeian taste buds.
So, as we careen towards 2014, what is the ultimate cake du jour? That is, of course, a deeply personal choice that only you can make. My advice is to simply ride the waves of sugar and flour and follow the trends as they come. All you have to lose is a few pounds.