One of the perks of living in a food-centered society is always having something new and delicious to eat, and if that food happens to be a dessert, even better! Some of the greatest culinary works of art are desserts. Chefs and home cooks alike take pride in satisfying people's sweet tooth with innovative desserts that focus on presentation as much as flavor. One of the most recent of these sweet works of art to explode on the market is the cake pop. The youthful whimsy of a lollipop and the sophistication of specialty cake flavors make for a fun and delicious, yet classy, dessert for anyone to enjoy on just about any occasion. But how did cake pops come about?
Donut Holes and Cake Balls, Oh My!
The concept of a ball of sweet cake is actually not new. Donut holes, though the cake itself is only one or two basic flavors, come in yummy round balls glazed or coated with sweet toppings like chocolate glaze or cinnamon and sugar crumb. These, however, have pretty much stayed in the "breakfast pastry" realm of desserts with only a basic, but perfectly acceptable, quality of presentation and have never really moved beyond that category. But this is why a donut hole is a donut hole, and we love them just the way they are.
This brings us to cake balls. Again, cake balls, like donut holes, are actually not a new concept, though the purpose of the cake ball then and now have changed. There is little to define the exact when and where of the cake ball's origin, but there is one thing that is clear: the original purpose of the cake ball was to use leftover cake. The leftover, and potentially stale, cake would be crumbed and rolled into balls with icing or some other binding ingredient, which makes it denser and typically sweeter than normal cake, and then coated with chocolate or other sweet exterior. Then, voilà! You saved the original cake by making it into something new!
Popularization of Cake Pops
Cake balls became so popular that bakers began making them from the start, no waiting for the right time to revive last week's birthday cake. This then led to the stroke of genius that made cake balls into the cake pops that we know and love: why not put a cake ball on a stick!
Cake pops have been popping up all over, from online stores like Amazon, to bakeries, coffee shops, and home kitchens. And, thanks in large part to the generous creativity of the cake pop queen herself, Bakerella, who really put the spotlight on the artistic potential of cake pops, they have become today's go-to dessert, whether you want one for an afternoon treat, for your kid's birthday party, for your next corporate event, or even for your wedding. Their versatility makes them perfect for any occasion. Just make sure you have enough to go around!