Still sweet, despite the lost tip of unicorn horn
My latest dessert quest took me to North Park, where novelty cake curator The Cake Pop Shop recently opened its first storefront. Already known among wedding planners, the business has a knack for crafting decorative bite-size balls of cake, served on a lollipop stick.
4594 30th Street, San Diego
Most of these cake pops stick to a visual theme built around the spherical cake, so a wedding cake pops might be dressed up to resemble tuxedoes and bridal gowns; a graduation party might get cakes designed to look like they're wearing a mortarboard cap and tassel; and an Easter party might see the pop receive a sugary pair of edible bunny ears.
Decorative cakes dressed to resemble ice cream cones
While Cake Pop Shop still caters events, now that it's got a little counter storefront, fans may drop in to try a rotating assortment of pops. I found several ranging in price from $3 to $4.50 apiece, depending on how complex they were. At the top end of the spectrum was the unicorn pop — complete with sugary horn — while a simpler $3 pop had chocolate icing and sprinkling of peanut butter chips.
The catering business has got a counter storefront.
Icing or frosting might not be accurate. One of the advantages of putting a little round cake on a stick seems to be that you can simply dip it in something melted like chocolate or vanilla. Each cake pop boasts a smooth, even coat that dries fairly solid, so the treat winds up tasting more like a ball of cake wrapped in a candy coat.
I grabbed three, including my favorite, a cake pop made to look like a scoop of chocolate ice cream topped by rainbow sprinkles and an M&M, sitting atop a tiny cone (which was also impaled on the stick).
The little round cake inside these decorations were fairly good; rich and not too dry. The candy coating made the whole thing richer still. While my three pops for $11 didn't add up to the size of a $5 slice of cake I can get at a more traditional nearby dessert shop, when I ate all three in a sitting, I realized I probably would have been satisfied with two. I got about three large bites out of each.
I would file these under premium gift desserts. They'd be excellent as a birthday treat, or something to show up with to a date. A bunch would be better still as an apology offering. From day to day, though, they're far too cute to simply eat out of a little paper bag, even if that's how they were served.
And there's my only real complaint, as a grown man, enjoying a cake pop: the tip of my unicorn's horn broke off before I got home. Travel with care.