John Gardner, director of customer marketing for DecoPac, points out that decorated cupcakes remain a bestselling item for all ages during Halloween. “This year’s trends take a twist on the classic icons of Halloween, like our Chalk-o-Lantern pumpkins that blend the popular chalkboard feel with a standard pumpkin,” he says.
Another trend and popular cake design are drip cakes. DecoPac has taken the mess out of these cakes and now offers drip designs on PhotoCake® Image Strips, for easy ready-to-place application.
Kristen Ilecki, assistant marketing manager for Flavor Right, says that popular seasonal flavors for the holidays include pumpkin, egg nog, apple, caramel, cookie dough, and red velvet.
For October and November, think dipped apples, caramel apple cakes, whip cream cakes, pumpkin shaped cakes, cornucopia cakes, pumpkin flavored cakes, and infused whip cream pumpkin pies, she suggests.
“October does kick off the fall season, which we do a number of seasonal cakes that incorporate chocolate and nuts and cherries,” says Lincoln Kretchmar of Kretchmar’s Bakery in Beaver, Pennsylvania. “Our season cake lineup in October includes German Chocolate, Black Forest and Peanut Butter Specialty Tortes.“
According to Gardner of DecoPac, “The trend we are seeing for this Thanksgiving is festive fall. Bows with leaves and acorns as a printed pattern brings the season to life. Rings shaped as leaves, acorns, and flowers add a touch of whimsy to the celebration. The Thanksgiving trend of festive fall items has a longer selling season for bakeries and can be sold to consumers from September through November.”
Of course, Thanksgiving is all about pumpkin spice and cinnamon. “We make a Pumpkin Cheese Cake Torte that sells very well at Thanksgiving,” Kretchmar adds. And finally, during Christmas Kretchmar’s Bakery adds a Peppermint Torte and Red Velvet Torte to its specialty torte line.
“We carry eight different specialty tortes with unique flavors at any one time. Four of the tortes are sold year-round. Three of the specialty tortes are seasonal and are swapped out every quarter.”
Dobra Bielinski of Delightful Pastries in Chicago, says they feature a Death By Chocolate Torte during Thanksgiving and, for Christmas, the lineup includes Poppyseed Walnut Vodka Torte, tiramisu, buche de noel and stollen.
“Our customers expect our signature cakes to be available all year round. We mostly do seasonal bars and pies,” she says, “The cakes not so much, with the exception of some of the tortes which we only make around December.”
Ilecki at Flavor Right says that December flavors that fit perfectly into the season include black forest cakes, coconut cakes, wreath cakes, Christmas tree shaped cakes, egg nog whip cream cakes, mint cakes, black Russian cakes (coffee flavored), and red velvet cakes.
Flavor: Caramel apple.
Tip: Make a cake with chunks of apple, filled with a caramel buttercream and covered with rolled fondant for a fun flavor combination.
Flavor: Cloves with peaches and white chocolate
Tip: Add chunks of frozen peaches to any cake base with white chocolate buttercream and rolled fondant infused with clove oil for a class Thanksgiving fragrance.
Flavor: Cinnamon, cranberry, orange all pair well with dark chocolate and almonds.
Tip: Combine almond paste or marzipan in cake bases and fillings with the richness of chocolate fondant for festive indulgence.