Cake Inclusions Take The Cake

Cake Creates Reasons to Celebrate

Without cake, where would birthday candles go? What would the bride and groom feed each other at their wedding? How would you ceremoniously send coworkers off into retirement?

Cakes are for celebrations. And celebrations give justifications to indulge. Of course, celebrations go beyond parties, showers, and ceremonies. Promotions, good report cards, college acceptances, and even Friday nights are all events people use as reasons to go out and celebrate.

But why cake?

Although anyone can buy a boxed mix off a grocer’s shelf, cakes can also be made more fanciful and complex than other desserts—like cookies or brownies—making them ideal for special occasions.

In addition to enjoying cake in classic formats, incorporating cake bites can be a way to add celebratory excitement to a variety of other formats, from ice cream to milkshakes to iced coffees and more.

Ice Cream and Cake: The Perfect Pairing

Cake takes the cake when it comes to top-ranked desserts.

According to Mintel, cake is the second leading dessert-menu dish, up 8% between 2015 and 2017.

Coincidentally, while cake is topped by ice cream in dessert-menu rankings, ice cream is a perfect vehicle to be topped by cake.

Simple and fresh, a scoop of classic vanilla bean ice cream topped with delicate white cake pieces and sun-ripened strawberries appeals to those consumers seeking pure, clean ingredients.

While a strawberry shortcake-inspired dessert works well for summer, strawberries certainly lose their fresh-factor in the fall and winter.

As the weather gets crisp, try topping cinnamon ice cream with poached figs, which were declared flavor of the year for 2018, and pound cake pieces. Drizzle on a warm and boozy rum sauce for an added layer of grown-up allure.

For all the many occasions to celebrate during the winter months, try mixing chocolate cake pieces, peppermint flakes, and a fudge swirl into white chocolate ice cream.

 Intriguing International Flavors

While consumers’ tastes change with the seasons, tastes also change with the times and trends. Today’s hot trends continue leaning toward exotic indulgence, as seen at the 2018 Summer Fancy Food Show.

Asian flavors specifically saw a rise in popularity. This provides an exciting opportunity for restaurants wanting to experiment with new flavor combinations. Add cake to the equation, and a trip around the (food) world is the perfect way to celebrate a life event.

For a Thai-inspired dessert, try a mint and coriander ice cream drizzled with chocolate and topped with chocolate cake pieces. Or get spicy with a coconut and curry ice cream mixed with pound cake pieces and topped with toasted coconut flakes.

Ginger is another iconic Eastern flavor that’s pairs well with other ingredients. Easily upgrade a spiced ice cream by topping with a peach and ginger fruit mixture and white cake pieces.

Of course, cupcakes are always delightful treats for intimate celebrations. Try a lemon and ginger cupcake with lemon curd frosting. To show that it’s a real celebration—and to respond to the still-popular layering trend—elevate the dessert further by topping with pound cake pieces.

Tea Infusions

The spike in Asian flavors likely fuels the other notable trend seen at the 2018 Summer Fancy Food show: tea-infused foods. This opens opportunities for both beverages and desserts.

As consumers continue flocking to coffee houses for cold brews, an opportunity exists to offer exciting tea blends, like a frozen chai tea topped with cinnamon and white cake pieces.

Blurring the line between beverages and desserts, a white chocolate and chamomile milkshake makes for an indulgent treat perfect for a party of one or as an upgrade from a usual tea drink when enjoying a night out with friends. Layer with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and chocolate cake pieces for added decadence.

Keeping with the top dessert-menu item, green tea and ginger are an exciting and refreshing flavor combination for ice cream. Mix pound cake pieces into a scoop of the ice cream and top with a swirl of honey to “tea-up” your desserts for trendiness and tastiness.

Combining New Trends and Familiar Tastes

The caveat of the exotic-flavor trend comes is that, according to Technomic’s 2017 Flavor Consumer Trend Report, “baby boomers are less likely to try a new flavor.”

To help find the middle ground between boomers celebrating retirements and Millennials celebrating new milestones, some bakeries may want to try offering traditional cheesecakes with trendier flavors. As suggested by Baking Business, bringing  both familiarity and innovation into the fold helps to bridge the gap between sometimes divergent tastes.

Start with something more accessible, like a dulce de leche caramel cheesecake topped with a salted caramel swirl and pound cake pieces. Or get inspired by trattorias with a cinnamon-swirled tiramisu cheesecake topped with brandy-soaked white cake pieces.

For those comfortable with going beyond familiar stepping stones, Food Navigator calls saffron “the latest on-trend” flavor, and Mintel says saffron adds an “exotic flavor and premium appeal.”

Try enticing those inclined to travel to new taste experiences with a pistachio and saffron cheesecake. Top with chocolate cake pieces for an added touch of familiarity and intrigue.

Add Flavor to Festivities

Parker Products’ new baked cake inclusions help turn frozen treats, coffees, and more into celebratory desserts.

If you have a reason to celebrate, and if you’d like to work with one of our developers to create a flavor concept seen here or something entirely new, send us a note at