According to a Penn State University professor, our taste buds crave foods that have contrasting textures, which is a phenomenon called “dynamic sensory contrast.” It’s why combining a chewy, dense brownie with a creamy peanut butter icing and rich fudge makes for an irresistible treat. Lawrence Foods features insights like these to take peanut butter to a whole new, craveable level.

To make Buried Treasure Cakes, poke a small hole in the top center of a cupcake and fill with Lawrence Foods Supreme Fudge Icing or Banana Crème Filling. Ice top with Lawrence Foods Peanut Butter Buttercrème Icing. Dip edges in chopped peanuts and top with chocolate peanut butter candy. Or try yellow cupcakes filled with Strawberry or Raspberry Filling.

Another craveable idea is to make colorful fondant cake decorations (like fun animals, owl faces or striped bow ties) ahead of time and stock in your front display case for customers to add to their favorite birthday and summer cakes. These fondant decorations can sell from $1 to $7 apiece. This serves as another way the bakery helps customers create one-of-a-kind experiences.

Weddings with a twist

For the coming year, The Knot predicts that eats with a twist will be popular at America’s weddings. Think pairings that are unconventional and Instagrammable, such as root beer floats in champagne flutes. In desserts, the wedding industry saw donuts become a big part of receptions in 2018, and that trend will extend to different baked goods in 2019 as wedding cookies and cinnamon rolls take center stage.

Wedding cakes will remain popular, but they will evolve in appearance. Couples are hiring professional cake bakers to create unexpected shapes and varying sized tiers that effectively turn cakes into art installations. Many cakes will feature stunning designs rich in color and texture.

Birthday party planners

Thanks to the clever chocolatiers at Let Them Eat Candles, cake shoppers can now offer customers a new way to top party cakes and cupcakes with premium milk or dark chocolate candles, festively decorated in 12 colorful candy designs. These edible artisan candles are the brainchild of architect Loree Sandler.

Another time-saving, cross-merchandising idea involves offering party supplies that complement your cakes. At Cake Life Bake Shop in Philadelphia, chef/owners Nima Etemadi and Lily Fischer sell eye-catching Meri Meri party supplies, including 6-inch birthday candles and party hats. “Being a bit of a one-stop shop is important,” Fischer says.