It may seem surprising to discover that the cake industry is subject to fashions and fads, just as in the design world, but the fact is that cakes go in and out of fashion as surely as hemlines rise and fall. Some cakes, such as the ubiquitous Victoria Sponge continue solidly on with very few variations, but with the rise in popularity of cooking and baking programmes the cake is undergoing a resurgence in popularity with new trends cropping up on a regular basis.
Most people experience this fascinating trend in cake fashion when attending a wedding. The traditional wedding cake always used to be three tiers of fruit cake covered in marzipan and white icing topped by a bride and groom. Now however, this style of wedding cake is the exception to the rule, with many brides choosing to make a statement with their choice of cake as much as they do with their choice of dress. Towering confections in every shade can now be seen at most wedding venues, with the addition of some new styles, such as the profiterole cake or the increasingly popular cupcake wedding cake. It seems the trend for fashionable cakes began with the humble cupcake. Once the poor relation of the cake world, the individual cupcake has been reinvented over the past few years to become the cake of choice for every occasion. Cupcake companies sprang up all across the country, producing lavishly decorated cupcakes in every colour and with almost every conceivable type of topping.
In America, doughnuts have long been the guilty pleasure of choice, available in a huge range of varieties, with a multitude of fillings and toppings. Now however the whoopee cake has seen a recent rise in popularity. Also known as the whoopee pie, this is best described as an individual Victoria sponge cake with a creamy filling. As with the march of the doughnuts, it can only be a matter of time before the trend hits our shores, not to mention our waistlines!
Programmes such as The Great British Bake Off have inspired a whole new generation to try their hand at cake making, fuelling a desire to source new recipes and styles. Where mothers once laboured to produce a birthday cake for their child based on a favourite TV or book character, flights of fancy are now overshadowing the more popular themes with elaborate buildings and gingerbread houses packed with intricate detailing taking centre stage.
Even adults are joining in with themed cakes. Current favourites include cakes designed to resemble a pair of shoes or a statement handbag for example. For those who have less than perfect baking skills there are any number of dedicated professionals setting up shop designing and producing the most incredible flights of fancy on any theme the customer desires.
At the moment, although the cupcake looks set to continue its domination over the cake market for the foreseeable future, a new and emerging trend is gaining popularity with every passing day the cake pop. This new kid on the block is a clever combination of cake and lollipop, offering a bite-sized cake on a stick. Available in a variety of flavours and colours, watch out for cake pops appearing in a shop near you very soon perfect alongside an award-winning coffee as produced by Caffe Society for the ultimate fashionable treat.