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, North Park
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.
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.
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.