In recent years, Freak shakes have been a rising dessert trend at bakeries, restaurants, and other foodservice establishments. These “extreme” milkshakes first took over the scene in the mid-2010’s thanks to their Instagram-friendly appearance.
These milkshakes stacked with piles of cakes (as well as cookies, candy, and other sweets) are a cultural phenomenon, but they’re also a way to make extra use of desserts. Few know the value of Freak shakes better than Bake’n Babes, a Tampa, Florida-based bakery. Each month, Bake’n Babes rotates in a new Freak shake based on the season.
Last year, the bakery made headlines with a shake for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and one that celebrated music artist Lizzo. In January, the featured Freak shake celebrated Gasparilla season. On Jan. 25, Tampa residents and visitors enjoy the Gasparilla Pirate Festival, a large parade and series of related community events held almost every year since 1904.
The Gasparilla Freak Shake featured a large tres leche milkshake in a skull and crossbones-adorned glass, topped with a slice of chocolate milk cake and a non-edible pirate rubber ducky.
Throughout February, the bakery is teaming up with Heart Gallery of Tampa, Inc. to print out five cards featuring children who are currently up for adoption in the Hillsborough County area, which will be presented with the February Freak shake. The "Send Love" Freak Shake is a loaded strawberries and cream milkshake with a jumbo Funfetti cupcake topped with a mini ice cream cone, cotton candy, a heart-shaped lollipop, a candy bracelet, and decorative conversation hearts.