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.

To enter, make sure you’re a registered member of the site and simply leave a comment below.

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

    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
    • Debbie Purdue

      Oops, computer so-called my email address. Can it be deleted? Thanks!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. Renee Wilson

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


    A SWEET READ INDEED thanks for the chance

  13. vex 3

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

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. Cindy Hickling
  17. Susan T.

    I’m OK with CBD and charcoal in food but I draw the line at dessert hummus. It’s an abomination!

  18. Joan Salinger

    All of these trends sound awful to me, but maybe I would try dessert hummus or CBD coffee.

  19. Tiffany

    These look so good!

  20. Susan Wilkinson

    Such interesting recipes. The most I would do is try something with tea leaves. Thank you for the article and drawing.

  21. Jane Schwarz

    I’m not sure if any of your trending foods will make it, but I might try the kale candy. Thanks for the opportunity to win copies of the two books.

  22. Marilyn Weisman

    Would love to read this book! Along with all the others!

  23. Glorianne Wong

    I love Kale and anything that resembles a candy cane is good in my book! i just made several batches of prickly pear cactus jelly and it would look lovely on the table with hot rolls and glitter canberry sauce

  24. Candi Hammel

    Pumpkin Spice hummus is also an atrocity. I’m a full blown pumpkin spice everything fan and that pushed even my limits.

  25. Mary Kearney

    None of the above trends sound too good. But I do enjoy reading mysteries involving cooking. Thanks for chance to enter!

  26. Rosa roth

    awesome chance ~ thanks!

  27. Marisa Young

    I cannot believe these trends. Great article.

  28. Ruth F

    I’m more interested in the soft orange cardamom morning buns mentioned in the introduction. Charcoal anything does not appeal.

  29. Melinda LGSM

    I’m down for CBD drinks, but not my latte. Leave my precious alone! Also, dessert hummus is pure blasphemy. No no and no.

  30. Karen Lauterwasser

    The glittery cranberry sounds intriguing, but you can keep the rest. I’m usually game to try most things, but none of these sound all that inviting to me!

  31. Janice Milliken

    Interesting trends, but I think I will stick with my traditional recipes!

  32. Kelly Jo Amos

    Yea I think I am going to stick with chocolate, butter, sugar and flour. None of the new “hip” ingredients for my cookie tray thanks .

  33. Christine

    These books sound deliciously good!

  34. Lynn Fitzpatrick

    I would love to read both novels! What a great opportunity!

  35. Richard Derus

    Kale. “Candy Canes” flavored with…kale.There isn’t a gawd but there is a Devil and she’s Pure. Evil.

  36. Loretta Leda

    Love mysteries and this cooking themed novels. I’m going to add them to my list to order. Would love to win tour books too! Happy to leave reviews too! I am also an author.

  37. April Wanstrom

    I’m not sure about any of these. The charcoal cake might be a way to eat cake without absorbing any nutrients from it – activated charcoal has that effect.

  38. Karen Parisot

    I don’t think I’ll be trying any of these trends. They sound positively awful. Maybe the CBD, then again maybe not.

  39. Diane Furst

    Kale candy—-what are they going to think of next? I could not even enjoy the kale chips. Might be interested in chocolate hummus. The rest get a pass from me. I would rather go to Torte’s!!!!

  40. Laura West

    I really like mysteries and these sound very interesting

  41. kathy

    I loved the five trends and I cant wait to read the mystery.

  42. Anne

    Love the books and interesting trends.

  43. Pearl

    Unique and unappealing trends but the books are wonderful.

  44. Lori P

    Those recipes are right up there (down there?) with chocolate mashed potatoes.

  45. Mary Woods

    Extremely interesting recipes. I might even try one!

  46. Amy Hunt

    I, too, am a hummus aficionado and have been trying to convince myself to try the chocolate hummus. I regularly try new foods without pause and yet, the dessert hummus remains a mystery. I am not a wuss. I shall try the weird hummus.
    As for twilight cranberry sauce, I’d give it a go. Kale candy may need to be bought for family this year. Holiday fun!!

  47. Desmond Warzel

    Count me in, please!

  48. Diane Roach

    I thought I was bad liking peanut butter and pickle or peanut butter and cheese sandwiches, but those are things I don’t even want to be in the same county as. Blech.

  49. lasvegasnv

    sounds gross

  50. Audrey Alford-Wolfe

    Sounds like so much fun; tell me more, so I can get cooking!

  51. Ginny Fitzwater

    I’m envisioning glitter in the commode bowl the morning after

  52. LauraN

    I fully agree that most of those are horrid ideas! I would be willing to drink the CBD latte though since, unlike its cousin THC, CBD tends not to have much taste or noticeable effect, but it definitely helps my fibro and arthritis. Still, I would prefer it in another form while I enjoy my coffee drinks the way I’ve always had them.

  53. Beth T.

    Why, oh why, are these people so determined to destroy the concept of “dessert”? Where I come from, charcoal is something you ingest, sometimes forcefully, after you’ve swallowed a toxin. Charcoal cake? No thanks.

  54. Jeannine

    I’ll have my usual please.

  55. Susan J

    These were new to me except for the dessert hummus (and I only heard of that in the last week or so). I suppose I’d try it. Not something I’d probably eat regularly though.

  56. amy friedman

    I am looking forward to reading these new books

  57. Cathy

    Sorry but kale as candy is just wrong on so many levels. as it is I barely eat the vegetable as it was intended to be eaten! And charcoal in cake can really cause a problem if you are on any medication. as one commentator mentioned it is most useful for mopping up toxins. Rather than making these baking abominations I would rather read a book or two!

  58. Jeanne S.

    I’d heard of kale candy canes. None of the trends sound very appealing to me. Thanks for the chance to win.

  59. Julie McDonough

    I have heard of some of these trends, but I would not want to eat most of them. I might try the dessert hummus, it might be interesting.

  60. Diana Hardt

    These books sound really interesting.

  61. Michael Carter

    Yes, please enter me in this sweepstakes.

  62. Alicia

    I just saw a Halloween drink recipe using charcoal water. Kinda weirded me out because I only heard of charcoal being used for medical purposes like poison control. Didn’t know people ingested it on purpose. Yuck.
    I always liked the Bakeshop Mysteries and just discovered the Sloan Krause series and feel in love with them too. I’m so excited for both these books.

  63. M Thompson

    Love mystery novels and baking, so these books would be great to win.

  64. Kathi B

    Not a fan of dessert hummus but would love glitter cranberry sauce. My family loves the canned stuff!

  65. kmria9

    I’m fine with the CBD latte, but as more of a tea drinker, I’d say that seems a more natural pairing.

  66. sarah jane

    Insane! What possesses someone to adulterate perfectly good dishes with…. charcoal? hummus? GLITTER?

  67. Michelle King-Best

    Being a former professional chef & restauranteur i would agree with you on all of these…. except for the hummus. A lot of the dessert flavors sound wrong (like key lime pie hummus for example, which does unfortunately exist), but i was proven wrong With the brownie batter hummus. Its actually really good. (I was tricked into trying it at a party.) Its also a convenient and fairly low sugar way to sneak beans into my 5 year old’s diet. I am in agreement with you on the rest of the dessert flavors. They are pretty unpalatable.

  68. Joyce Mitchell

    I’d rather eat candy corn. Thanks for the chance to win.

  69. C

    I’ll stick with the classics. Chocolate chip cookies and brownies are all I need.

  70. Susan Craig

    Those sound disgusting. I went to a dinner party where the hosts served a chocolate fondue (good!) with circus peanuts for dipping (No – just no.)

  71. Cheree H. Goolsby

    I am always looking for a new author and this one sounds like one I will really like!

  72. Susan Lynn Smith

    I would pass on these trends but gladly read your latest books!

  73. Sheryl Sens

    I shall have to pass on these baking trends, none of them sound pallet worthy to me..but I’d love your book for sure!!! Thanks so much and have a great day!

  74. Saundra K. Warren

    I would probably pass on all but the books!!

  75. Susan Morris

    I agree with all five of your picks for disgusting baking or recipe combos. Also, I don’t want any sweet hummus. I love lots of garlic or spicy peppers in mine.

  76. Laurie C Reissler

    I can’t say that I’m intrigued by any of these new food combos. But the mysteries sound great.

  77. CarolT

    I’ve given my family plenty of new foods in the last few years as I became an accidental vegan, but I think they would finally revolt at any of these.

  78. Theresa Eberhardt

    I agree with you that these dessert trends sound pretty nasty, but I also think that any dessert without dairy is gross.

  79. Pellington21

    I loved this article! Especially: “…and an aromatic assortment of holiday species? Gross.” For once, spellcheck made the sentence even better.

    Would love to read your books.

  80. Erika Acosta

    I like the ideas, “ugly food”. I’d love to win & read the books!

  81. Theresa

    I’ll pass on all those trends too!!!
    I like to try new things but some things, but there are some things I’ll draw the line at!! LOL!

  82. Patricia Benn

    Trends come and go and sometimes we are really glad to see them go! I really enjoyed your article and since I consider myself a foodie then I am anxious to read your books!

  83. Kathy Waxler

    Charcoal cake?!?!?!?! Kale candy???? Are you sure you aren’t making this up? Who would actually try any of these things. Yikes.

  84. Rose Jones

    Sorry, but five nos on these.

  85. susan beamon

    I thought nothing could be worse than carob in place of chocolate, but kale candy knocks it down a peg.

  86. Belinda Turner

    I’m afraid that I pass on all the weird food trends that you mentioned! I would like the books, so thank you for the chance to win them! ♥️👀🎃👻🕷💀😈🦇🦉♥️

  87. Maria Speer

    Totally not going for the coal one at all! Now glitter cranberries sounds like fun!

  88. Schwope

    Honestly, the food trends sound criminal to me. Kale candy is an oxymoron. Caffeine is stimulant enough for me. Anyone who has had to clean up after a [reschool craft time that includes glitter must be shuddering at the thought of glittering cranberry sauce. I really prefer the raw cranberry, apple, oranges, and sugar variety myself. As for charcoal cake, my grandfather used to take charcoal to soothe his ajita. Dessert hummus sounds a bit like chocolate or vanilla fondue. Everything old is new again, as they say!

  89. Amy Clark

    I guess glitter cranberry sauce would be a bit more festive for the holidays. I have a recipe I love, and if I had edible glitter, I suppose I could sprinkle a bit over the top, bit it just sounds weird and expensive. Everything else just didn’t sound appealing to me at all.

    I am interested in the books. I’m not familiar with Ellie Alexander’s writing, but I do love culinary mysteries.

  90. Sally Schmidt

    Ugh, ugh, and ugh. Whatever happened to normal food? Funny post, and thanks for the giveaway.


    I would be grateful to win and share with senior center.

  92. Sally Schmidt

    I would love to read the books, but I think as far as food is concerned I’ll stick with the old boring stuff and skip these trends.

  93. Tiffany

    These sound great

  94. Patricia A Korn

    these trends don’t appeal, but still, good to know. thanks!

  95. Christal M

    This article made me hungry lol

  96. Bonnie Smith

    I love The CBD lattes. There is no taste of hemp, weed, or anything else just good coffee! Also there is no THC in it

  97. Shop online nz

    Thanks for sharing this quite info. Get all the updates and buy your products online in Auckland Newzealand.

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