As consumers begin to return to some sense of normalcy, in the wake of the COVID pandemic, decorating trends this summer are awakening with a sense of fun and festive colors. For example, from Barry Callebaut, Gertrude Hawk’s marshmallow flavored Magical (pink and yellow swirled) and Monster blue and green swirled) Morsels bring brightly colored fun to fresh baked goods and snacks.

Their unique colors and flavor bring a memorable, playful dimension to your treats.

Magical Morsels are pink and yellow swirled, and Monster Morsels are blue and green swirled.

• Marshmallow flavored chips bring extra flavor to treats

• Morsels are perfect for use in cookies, brownies and blondies to bring unique color and flavor to your baked goods

• Use them as a topping on a cake/cupcake

• Perfect for adding a whimsical touch to your creations

Minis in demand

The trend toward single-serve and minis has taken off even more since the surge of at-home food consumption. So, what are the tricks and tactics when it comes to icing, glazing, and finishing mini cupcakes and desserts?

“We have several options for decorating mini desserts. It really depends on the customers’ overall needs (throughput, staff availability, etc.), product specifications (product viscosity, batch size, particulates, product temperature) and fine tuning our equipment configurations for their needs,” said Sonia Bal, director of marketing for Unifiller Systems. “There have also been times that the customer's need for the equipment has driven the need to improve/standardize their processes or recipe, resulting in greater ROI and a happier customer.”

Unifiller’s RP depositor has been used to finish mini cupcake bites with buttercream frosting and sprinkles. By the same account, Unifiller’s Pro and Multistation depositors have been used, with a custom cupcake head, to finish eight cupcakes at a time, while the robotic module can finish 6, 8 or 12 cupcakes, in shell packaging. The injection and enrobing equipment injects, enrobes, and drizzles snacks and cupcakes. Customers have used the injection systems to inject cupcakes with fruit fillings, custards, and flavored buttercreams.

“Customers really just want more throughput, the ability to offset the limited availability of staff while ensuring that they can produce products at lower cost per cupcake,” Bal said.

And don't forget that small and large-scale batter depositors are available for accurate batter portions when it comes to cupcake production that can help bakeries ensure they are reducing product waste and producing as efficiently as possible.

For pastries, premium fillings often have larger fruit inclusions. Unifiller equipment is ideally suited to accurately portion and deposit all types of fillings and toppings. The unique product SV valve is designed with smooth passages that can portion delicate fillings with fruit inclusions easier and with more integrity than other depositors. Unifiller offers a range of single and multi-piston volumetric piston depositors for spot deposits and spreading fillings and creams on pastries, as well as several solutions to apply dry goods toppings and injecting into pastries.

Unifiller’s partner Boyens also provides a world-class glaze sprayer unit, which finishes pastries with a wonderful tasting glaze that helps pastries stay fresher longer.

“A premium dough uses higher quality ingredients including butter,” Bal said. “The dough may be more delicate and temperature-dependent. Accurate control of the dough process is important. Starting with a premium dough indicates that the pastries will be of higher quality. Fillings may have larger particulates and creams more natural ingredients. Unifiller equipment is perfectly suited to integrate into any production process of pastries. Servo piston depositors can portion fillings more gently and repeatably than pneumatic piston depositors.”

Whipped toppings

Hanan Products, a third-generation maker of whipped toppings, icings, and dessert fillings, just turned 75 years old. Founder Stuart Hanan, a research chemist, pioneered an industry when he created Tasty Whip, one of the first whipped dessert toppings ever manufactured for wholesale use by bakeries, institutions, and supermarkets. Since then, Hanan has put the icing on an estimated 300-plus million cakes in supermarket chains and independent bakeries around the world.

Stuart’s grandsons, the company’s chief financial officer Paul Hanan and chief operating officer Ryan Hanan, are hands-on, ushering in new technology, on-trend products, and customer service innovations to their customers. The company has doubled in size over the past 20 years and come out on the other side of COVID-19 stronger than ever. As a leading food production manufacturer, Hanan has developed a broad line of premium quality whipped toppings, icings, and fillings sold by distributors and used by supermarkets and bakeries around the world.

“We are really trying to focus more to grow our business domestically. Transportation costs are going up, and we are in a new age of technology,” Ryan Hanan said.

Paul Hanan explains that clean label is gaining widespread importance, and they have addressed this demand with their Pure line of all-natural whipped toppings and icings. These products represent a revolutionary addition to the whipped topping and icing industry that incorporates world class stability with the cleanest label available. They are made with the finest all-natural components with no ingredients you cannot pronounce. 

“We have also added a vegan product line. We are seeing a lot of movement in that,” he said.

The company’s new Hanan Virtual Bakery Technician program provides customers with free, remote access to its in-house product specialists and food scientists.

“Now customer service is done virtually the same day, which offers customers a lot more convenience,” Paul Hanan said. “We have also upgraded our operations software. With artificial intelligence (AI), we can predict proper inventory levels.”

Decadent desserts

Moving away from artificial additives is another key trend. Pots & Co, a London-based premium dessert company, is expanding its reach in the United States and is now available in three Kroger banner stores — Ralphs, Smith's, and King Soopers — throughout Arizona, Southern California, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and New Mexico. Pots & Co's expansion throughout the West Coast and Rocky Mountain region comes on the heels of a recent $20 million investment by 301 INC, the venture capital arm of General Mills.

The decadent desserts are made with clean ingredients, including sustainable Colombian cocoa sourced by founder of Pots & Co and UK chef Julian Dyer. All of Pots & Co's desserts are developed by Michelin star chefs and handcrafted in London before being baked in ceramic pots from Spain. Dyer and his team found that baking the desserts in these pots ensures they are baked evenly and gives the final product a depth of flavor and texture that is unparalleled by any other dessert within the store-bought dessert category.

Three Pots & Co flavors are currently available in grocery stores: Chocolate Fudge Lava Cake, Salted Caramel & Chocolate Pot de Crème, and Lemon Cheesecake. Each flavor is made with the finest quality ingredients, with nothing artificial added.

"Consumers have been forced to accept uninspired, mass-produced and additive-filled products, but I'm on a mission to prove that this doesn't have to be the case," Dyer said. "With this launch, I want to show dessert lovers that they can buy Michelin quality food from the grocery store. I've sourced the finest ingredients across the globe and look forward to sharing our passion for exceptional handmade desserts."

Classic cakes

Demand for classic cakes that are simple to prepare is growing rapidly, as bakeries seek to find effective ways to build more business. BakeMark’s Westco and Multifoods creme cake mixes make bakers’ lives easy by requiring very little to mix them up and create consistency with your loaf cakes, ring cakes or other sweets. Because creme cake mixes are not as sweet as BakeMark’s traditional cake mixes, bakers use their creativity to add flavors, icings, glazes, and inclusions like nuts, fruit, and chocolate chips.

Beyond just the versatility of BakeMark’s creme cake mixes are the choices you have to pair them.   If you are seeking a fruity flavor, BakeMark offers Westco Fruit-O! Love coconut? Try the flavorful BakeSense sweetened flake coconut.

BakeMark’s creme cake mixes are not heavily flavored, so it makes it so easy to do your own thing and create new and amazing flavors. Not only that, BakeMark offers four categories of mixes – from rich to lean and even more options in between. 

Rich creme cake mixes are just what they sound like, a rich cake high in sugar and fat content. Lean is the opposite of the rich mix with more flour than sugar. BakeMark also offers a rich/lean mix that gives you the best of both worlds with attributes from both the rich and lean mixes. Additionally, BakeMark gives you specialty options like no sugar added and clean label.

Not only that, BakeMark uses milk solids, not just whey, in all mixes. This gives you a higher quality product that features better shelf life, giving your customers the freshest tasting product no matter what time of the day they purchase. BakeMark’s chocolate creme cake mixes also use more chocolate, giving them a richer flavor and helping you make a better product.