Paris Baguette’s Yvette Castillo dishes on what cake trends to watch for this year.
To help us wrap our mind around what cake trends are hot and what are not, we turned to an expert: Yvette Castillo, Senior Research & Development Manager at Paris Baguette. Castillo not only oversees all the exhilarating cake designs for the bakery cafés across the U.S., but also has a long history of cake decorating in her own right. According to Castillo, the below are the buzzed-about new cake trends for 2022.
1. Chocolate Showpieces
“These have exploded in popularity the last year, especially because of the Netflix show 'School of Chocolate.' On cakes, chocolate showpieces can either take the form of a single chocolate piece or even something as experimental as chocolate ice sculptures on top of cakes,” says Castillo. “People are consistently putting unique chocolate designs as cake toppers on their cake these days. A lot of the time they’ll maybe even use white chocolate to add color to it or to make it really abstract.”
2. Outside-the-Box Cakes
“Square or abstract cakes are really popular right now,” says Castillo. “And while they are really different from what people are typically accustomed to, I personally find them super interesting. I’ve seen them take many forms and with many additions, but oftentimes they’ll be combined with a lot of florals.” Paris Baguette currently offers a Cappuccino cake, Castillo explains, which is a more abstract cake than a normal round cake in that it looks like a cappuccino cup with foam coming out the side. “Customers gravitate towards it,” Castillo says. “You’ll also see lots of influencers using more flowers on their cakes these days. They’ll even sometimes demonstrate how they make the usage of real flowers cake-safe by wrapping the stems of the flowers with food-safe tape so they can insert them into their cakes.”
3. Common Flavors, with a Twist
“Right now you’re seeing people take common flavors — strawberry, vanilla, chocolate — and then introducing a new flavor into the mix,” Castillo says. “I like to call this “A common flavor, with a twist.” At Paris Baguette, for instance, you can find a Matcha cake – the Green Tea Strawberry Soft Cream Cake. It is very unique compared to most normal cake flavors as it combines green tea sponge cake covered in soft cream with strawberries on the inside. “In this way, it’s mixing the most popular cake at Paris Baguette, the Strawberry Soft Cream, with green tea sponge cake,” says Castillo. “Or maybe, for instance, you’ll also see a strawberry cake with an add-in rose flavor to it. Or a blueberry cake with the addition of lavender. People are gravitating towards trying something new while still holding onto tradition.”
4. Acrylic Showpieces
In addition to chocolate showpieces, people are really leaning heavy on acrylic ones as well,” says Castillo. “Rather than using fondant-written letters on the cake, this is a great option. They can be customized to say ‘Happy Birthday’ or ‘Happy Anniversary.’ They really pop on the front of cakes.”
5. Alternatives to Cake
“Yes, this technically isn’t a cake trend,” says Castillo, “but we’re starting to see customers switch up their dessert preferences away from strictly cake and also consider other options like macaron towers, donut walls, etc. Even in our own Paris Baguette bakery cafes, customers are buying an assortment of pastries, along with a slice of cake, to mark an occasion. It’s a fresh and new way to look at dessert. Worry not, however, cakes are always going to be a classic.”