The sweetest trends for treats in 2013

2013 was a big year in terms of sweet treats, with a number of old classics making their comeback. Sit back and start drooling as we take you through some of the very best baking trends from 2013. So, If 2013 was the year of the Cronut, what will 2014 bring?

The trend: Peek-a-boo cakes

Just a simple cake when you look at it face on, it’s only when you cut into these cakes that the real magic is revealed. The trick to the deception lies in baking what looks like a ordinary plain sponge, but concealing what lies beneath. From multi-layered cakes in vibrant colours, to hidden hearts embedded in an outwardly plain sponge. It’s a classic cake that combines the best of these American trends – edible colour-coding plus some clever jigsaw work.

The trend: Marshmallows

Mmmm Marshmallows. So good when we were kids! My my, but haven’t they become so sophisticated! The flavours can be as grown up as you like, from saffron to strawberry, blackcurrant to beetroot. Let your inner kid take hold and your imagination run wild.

The trend: Zebra cakes

We all remember marble cakes! Well, these are a 21st Century version, where a little precision results in a uniformly stripy sponge. The key is all in the batters (yup, that’s right multiple batters in one cake – how can you go wrong): they have to be as similar in consistency as possible. With a bit of effort you then have endless colour and flavour possibilities.

The trend: Eclairs

Eclairs are the cupcake of Paris right now. The prettier and more jewel-like the decoration, the better. The French have been experimenting with this classic treat. Perhaps transforming the fondant icing with natural food colouring, then tailoring the flavour to match the colour – a drop of blackcurrant Cassis works with a purple icing, while framboise (raspberry) would work well with pink. Bakers were also experimenting with the cream filling, by adding hazelnut or almond extract, coffee or cocoa.

The trend: Donuts

Following a vast trail of baked goods before them, the donut has turned into an art form. Restaurants serving flavours such as chicken liver, black pudding and bacon, and fennel salt have turned the Homers favourite snack on its head. The most famous of the lot was the Cronut.

Surely the most hyped of all sweet treats, the Cronut reigned supreme in the world of fanciful food fads. All other fads must now measure themselves against the breakout popularity of this donut made with croissant dough. While some insist that this deep-fried croissant has been around for decades, trademark rights go to Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City, where people endure long waits and pay $5 per Cronut (with a limit of two per person). If the wait is too long and you’re willing to spend more, score one on Craigslist, where Cronuts sell for around $30 each.