Tag Archives: Corner Bakery Cafe

Brownies and Blondies – Part 2

Chocolate Chip Blondies from Cake and the Beanstalk

Chocolate Chip Blondies from Cake and the Beanstalk

At the end of November, 2013, I investigated the popularity of Brownies vs. Blondies. (See the November 23rd Brownies and Blondies posting.) This was an eye opener for me. Before I conducted this research, I was convinced Brownies were more popular than Blondies. Surprisingly, my research seemed to refute this. But some interesting questions remained. Are Blondies a New York thing? Were Blondies more popular because the companies I spoke to were based in New York (even though they ship their goodies nationwide)?

I’m trying to answer these questions now. And that’s why I’m obtaining information from non-New York-based bakeries/restaurants.

A sign in Cake and the Beanstalk

A sign in Cake and the Beanstalk

Dan Klein, owner of Cake and the Beanstalk, a Philadelphia-based coffee bar/bakery said his Blondies are about twice as popular as his Brownies (walnut and plain combined). Blondies are available with mix-ins, and the most popular mix-in is Oreo cookies, followed by Butterfinger bars. Dan indicates that Brownie sales come closer to Blondie sales during the colder months. A sign in Cake and the Beanstalk, above, reflects the popularity of his Blondies—and after a snack of iced coffee and Blondies, I too feel that I can conquer the world!

However, as you’ll see below, bakeries/restaurants in other parts of the country appear to be much more Brownie-oriented.

Goodies from Sweets for the Soul

Goodies from Sweets for the Soul

Los Angeles-based Sweets for the Soul offers 13 kinds of Brownies. According to owner, Lilly LaBonge, the bakery is passionate about chocolate and uses Valrhona chocolate in its Brownies. The most popular Brownie is its Salted Caramel Brownie, with house-made salted caramel. A Blondie, with toasted pecans and white chocolate is available for customers that who don’t want to eat regular chocolate.

A Fudge Brownie from the Corner Bakery Cafe

A Fudge Brownie from the Corner Bakery Cafe

Corner Bakery Café is a nationwide chain of cafes offering baked goods, breakfasts, sandwiches, salads, pastas, and soups and the company’s corporate headquarters is in Dallas.  Two varieties of Brownies are on the line-up: Fudge and Cream Cheese. The Fudge Brownie is the more popular Brownie and in fact it’s one of Corner Bakery Cafe’s top three best-selling sweets. Seasonal flavors round out the offerings. The Sweets menu is Blondie-free.

Cream Cheese Brownies from Piece of Cake in Georgia

Cream Cheese Brownies from Piece of Cake in Georgia

To obtain a slightly larger sample size, I looked at the web sites of 16 bakeries.  These bakeries are located in: Arizona; California; Georgia; Illinois; Maine; Massachusetts; Minnesota; Nevada; Pennsylvania; Oregon; and Texas. 

Of these bakeries:

— 12 offered Brownies but no Blondies

— 3 offered Brownies and Blondies, but the line-up was skewed toward Brownies

— 1 offered Brownies and Blondies, but the line-up was skewed toward Blondies

What to make of this? It appears as though the Brownie is the winner, nationwide, although there are pockets of Blondie fans. And of course, since my sample size is small, it’s impossible to draw definitive conclusions.

However, to show my allegiance to Blondies, I think I’ll enjoy one tonight. 

Tagged , ,

Bundt Cakes

Coca-Cola Bundt Cake from Baked

Coca-Cola Bundt Cake from Baked

Why do I like to bake Bundt Cakes?  For two reasons, really.  The only decoration a Bundt Cake needs is a dusting of confectioner’s sugar or a glaze (and since decorating/frosting cakes is not my forte, this is a big deal for me).  More importantly though, Bundt Cakes are delicious.

What is a Bundt Cake?  It may be a bit of a circular definition, but a Bundt Cake is a cake baked in a Bundt Pan.  A Bundt Pan is a tube pan with curved, fluted sides.  And to add to the fun, Bundt Pans are also available in whimsical shapes – castles, flowers, pumpkins, etc.

Fleur De Lis Bundt Pan from Nordic Ware

Fleur De Lis Bundt Pan from Nordic Ware

There are plenty of us Bundt Cake fans.  Nordic Ware, the company that trademarked Bundt Pans, has sold about 60 million of these pans to date.

Corner Bakery Cafe's Bundt Cake

Gingerbread Pumpkin Baby Bundt Cake from the Corner Bakery Cafe

Corner Bakery Café is a nationwide chain of cafes offering breakfasts, sandwiches, salads, pastas, soups, and of real interest to me, baked goods.  Ric Scicchitano, the Senior VP of Food & Beverage at Corner Bakery Café said that his company has been offering Bundt Cakes for over 20 years.  Chocolate Bundt Cakes are the best sellers.  When I asked if Corner Bakery Café has plans to add other Bundt Cakes to their menu, Mr. Scicchitano noted:

“We always have our Chocolate Bundts, but we change up our other Bundt Cakes on a seasonal basis.  Our Gingerbread Pumpkin Bundt is a guest favorite that people look forward to every fall and our new Strawberry Bundt was a big hit over the summer.  Other seasonal flavors include: Lemon; Caramel; Chocolate Cherry; and Banana.”

A Birthday Bundt Cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes

A Birthday Bundt Cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes

Even though Bundt Cakes are popular, I’m still a little surprised that a bakery chain, Nothing Bundt Cakes, bakes and sells only Bundt Cakes. These are special occasion cakes – iced with a thick frosting in a petal shape.  All of the cakes are highly decorated; birthday cakes may sport mini birthday hats, flower decorations, etc.

Bundt Pan Trivia:

Bundt Pan sales took off after the 1966 Pillsbury Bake-Off contest.  That year, the second prize was awarded to a “Tunnel of Fudge” Bundt Cake – a chocolate cake with a gooey fudge center.  See the posting on Baking Contests.

I’ll be baking Bundt Cakes for the holidays!

Tagged , , ,