This week, cakes and pies are ready to take a slice out of each other and dance on the meringues of their enemy. The dessert menu can be a daunting place and not everyone can handle the responsibility of choosing between these hallmarks of end-of-meal joy. That’s what we’re here for.
Cake: Even though a few savory cakes exist, the vast majority of cakes were meant for dessert. Sweetness can vary and ingredients include anything from spices to fruits. Cakes can also be enjoyed with or without frosting, depending on how sweet your teeth are.
Pie: If you’re alive, you probably love at least one pie. They can lean on the savory side, laden with meat and cheese, they can be filled with caramelized fruits, or they can be somewhere in between, like a squash-based pie.
Cake: Depending on the baker’s preference, a cake can be moist, fluffy, crumbly, dense, or a combination of these traits. In any case, the cake’s texture often directly correlates with how it tastes.
Pie: The crusts can have subtle nuances from pie to pie, but there’s an underlying consistency. Texture only diverges as to whether the crust is graham cracker/shortbread-based or dough-based. The filling can greatly impact crust choice and often dominates the mouthfeel of the pie.
Typical Event Use
Cake: Cakes tend to mark a special occasion like a birthday, wedding, or survival of the zombie apocalypse. Unless you have a baker in the family, you probably revel in the rare events in which you can have a slice.
Pie: Pie’s versatility makes it enjoyable year-round. Fruity pies often rule the summer while savory pies put hair on our chests in the winter. Sweet potato and pumpkin pies bookend our holiday meals while various cultural meat pies hold different levels of significance throughout the year.
Cake: If stored properly, you can get 2-4 days of counter life from a cake and 2-3 months in the freezer. Fruitcakes, resilient as ever, can last at least three years in a fridge or freezer, but many have been recorded as lasting decades.
Pie: Regardless of their fillings, pies last 1-3 days in the fridge. Fruit pies can last eight months in a freezer, but the ingredient variables in other pies estimate freezer life to be anywhere from 1-6 months.
Sorry for the M. Night Shyamalan plot twist, but, let’s be perfectly real, no one wants to choose between cake and pie. The Greeks and Italians made sure we would never have to by inventing the cheesecake. Savory and sweet, often baked, yet served cool, cheesecake is the perfect middle ground for when you want the best of both worlds.