Five Murderous Baking Trends

Author Ellie Alexander (The Bakeshop Mystery series / The Sloan Krause Mystery series) is always on the hunt for a good recipe to include in her books . . . but sometimes her research has her stumbling on other "god-forsaken baking trends," a number of which are featured here. Bonus: comment on the post below to enter for a chance to win 2 of Ellie's books—one copy of Beyond a Reasonable Stout and one copy of A Cup of Holiday Fear.

I’m constantly on the hunt for interesting baking trends to work into my mystery series. I want readers to feel fully immersed in the sensory world of an artisan kitchen when they step into the pages of my books. I want you to be able to smell herbaceous rosemary flatbread charring in a wood-fired oven, and taste the layered and perfectly balanced spicy, sweet flavors of soft orange cardamom morning buns. I love weaving in unique combinations and imagining real-world pastry chefs who push our palates to the edge. But, sometimes my research leads me down a deep, dark rabbit hole of god-forsaken baking trends.

Be forewarned that the following may have you running for your grandmother’s kitchen for a slab of peach pie made with real butter and a plain old fashioned cup of Joe. Each of these trends are absolutely murderous and a crime against professional bakers everywhere.

  1. Kale Candy — Yeah, you read that correctly. Kale candy. Need I say more? Kale first popped onto the baking scene by appearing as chips and freeze-dried savory bites. Then it progressed to sickly sweet maple kale candy. What’s hitting the market today? Kale candy canes. Just in time for your holiday celebrations, you can tuck a green stripped kale candy cane into your kiddo’s stocking. They may kill you come Christmas morning. But can we blame them? I think not.
  1. CBD Lattes — CBD is all the rage right now, at least here in the Pacific Northwest. From curing minor aches and ailments to calming anxiety, the compound’s many benefits have been highly touted. The jury is still out on whether CBD has lasting power or will become just another fading fad. There’s one thing I know for sure—don’t put it in my latte. I don’t want my latte infused with anything other than a strong shot of espresso. I certainly don’t want my morning buzz to taste like a plant or have a lingering aroma of hemp. Shudder.
  1. Glitter Cranberry Sauce — Thanksgiving may be over a month away, but that’s not stopping trend-setters from queuing up for jars of edible cranberry shimmer. Because who wants to eat boring fresh cranberries that have simmered on the stove with oranges and an aromatic assortment of holiday species? Gross. I want my cranberries glittered out and ready for a long night of clubbing. Are you with me on this? Eating cranberries without glitter would be like serving a slice of pumpkin pie without lipgloss.
  1. Charcoal Cake — Um, I guess things have changed because when I was a kid there was a constant threat that if we didn’t eat our peas and carrots (among other things) that Santa might stuff our stockings with coal. Unless I’m missing something, I’m pretty sure coal is the signature ingredient in charcoal. Activated charcoal is making an appearance in cakes, cupcakes, and custards. Forget black velvet, if you really want to make your baking feel dark and stormy simply add in some nice and grainy charcoal. Yum. The best part? If you don’t happen to have any charcoal on hand you can dig some out of your summer grill.
  1. Dessert Hummus — Hummus is my spirit animal. If I’m ever stranded on a desert island, give me a lifetime supply of hummus and I’m just fine. Never did I think I would need to clarify that I don’t mean DESSERT hummus for my desert island exile. Roasted red pepper. Check. Garlic. Check. Pesto. Check. Brownie batter hummus? Vanilla bean hummus? Snickerdoodle hummus? No. No. And, no thank you.

Tell me your thoughts? Are you on board with any of these murderous baking trends? Or (gasp!) have you stumbled upon worse?

Comment below for a chance to win one copy of Beyond a Reasonable Stout and one copy of A Cup of Holiday Fear.

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Ellie Alexander Murderous Baking Trends Comment Sweepstakes: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.  A purchase does not improve your chances of winning.  Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 years or older as of the date of entry.  To enter, complete the “Post a Comment” entry at beginning at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) October 10, 2019. Sweepstakes ends at 11:59 p.m. ET October 28, 2019. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Macmillan, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10010.

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  1. Jackie Mungle

    I would love to read this and give review.

    • Chris Royal

      We actually love the chocolate hummus. Have not tried the other dessert hummuses (sp?) And have not heard of the other trends, but don’t plan on trying any of them, except maybe the glitter cranberry sauce. That sounds fun!

  2. Debbie

    Those all sound icky to me.

  3. Barb Pavoni

    Don’t think I would like any of those recipes except for the cranberry sauce. Unfortunately no one I know likes cranberry sauce except me, BUT I would love to have a copy of the newest Sloan Krause book to review. I love all your books. I have read every single one but being on social security the hardcovers are pricey even with my B&N membership. Unfortunately, I have broken down and bought the first two in hard cover…………………….

  4. Anne V.

    And here I am, tired of salted caramel… Guess I just haven’t “lived” yet. Thanks for the chance to win!

  5. Cheryl smith

    not sure about those but you never know

  6. Carol Schmoker

    These five trends are appalling!

  7. Debbie Purdue

    Well, I agree with the first four, but have to say that I love chocolate hummus! Especially with fresh strawberries or sweet cherries! the glittery cranberry sauce intrigued me. How is that done, anyways? Lol!

  8. Lenicooks

    I have tried chocolate hummus. Not my cup of tea. I prefer copious amounts of garlic in my hummus. 😉 I would try the CBD latte. Kale anything is disgusting. Great fodder for mysteries, though. Torte should definitely serve up some of these delights. lol.

  9. Caryn Stardancer

    I’m curious about glitter cranberries, but otherwise I’ll pass …. Although dessert tahini is good, so perhaps the dessert hummus would work. But, why?

  10. Renee Wilson

    I like kale. But kale candy? That’s just wrong!


    A SWEET READ INDEED thanks for the chance

  12. vex 3

    Five trends to kill people you share very well. I enjoyed reading this article.

  13. Emily McBroom

    These sound very artsy fartsy but awful. I might try chocolate hummus as it seems to be popular but definitely leave kale as a savory and leave my cranberries out of the club scene!

  14. John Smith

    I do like hummus, but more than a taste or two sort of burns my tongue from all of that acid! –Actually, if someone could invent snickerdoodle hummus, that sounds like it could be quite delicious!

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