Make Your Own Dessert Mashups
1. Seek Out a Challenge
Sometimes, the best ideas come when you’ve been put on the spot. The Pumpecapple Piecake was born after a food editor challenged Three Brothers Bakery in Houston to bake a pie in a cake. And baker Bea Vo created the townie—a brownie tart—after London Evening Standard tasked her with inventing a dessert mashup to rival the Cronut.
2. Anchor in a Bakery Staple
Familiar elements can help ensure a mashup’s longevity. “Even if you’re using a trend, you need to morph it into something that’s not a trend,” says Jamie Saunders, chef at Johnny D’s Waffles and Bakery in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and creator of the red velvet waffle. “Waffles are not a trend. People will be eating waffles until the end of time.”
3. Have a Clear Vision
Bakers need to experiment and tweak their recipes to perfection, but having a defined goal at the outset can save time and resources. “You have to have that visualization of what things will look like and how they’ll taste when you’re doing it,” says Three Brothers Bakery co-owner Bobby Jucker, who created the Pumpecapple Piecake.
4. Play Up the Scarcity
Consider launching new dessert mashups as exclusive, limited edition items. The novelty of the dessert won’t wear off as quickly as that of permanent menu additions, and if consumers respond to your creation with strong demand, you can revive it seasonally or periodically.
5. Put Social Media to Work
The rise of foodie culture and Instagram [AB1] have steered many bakeries toward photogenic desserts. “If you can create a product that resonates with your customer’s personal narrative, you can make your entire PR and marketing budget disappear,” says Rene Montelongo, brand director for San Francisco’s Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, creator of the Cruffin.
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