Which is the better dessert: cake or pie? | The Tylt
For those with a sweet tooth, this can be one of the hardest questions to answer. Cakes are the ultimate special occasion dessert. The spongy layers and velvety icing enable endless flavor combinations, making room for both classics and creative feats. Pies, on the other hand, are the perfect comfort food. They're great for holidays of all kinds, and whether the fillings are sweet or savory or they're baked or frozen, pies never fail to please. Which dessert is your favorite?
Which is the better dessert: cake or pie?
The team at Vox had its own pie vs. cake debate in 2016. The ordeal involved a bake-off in which participants presented their favorite cakes and pies to sway undecided voters. In the end, the team still couldn't pick one dessert over the other.
Nevertheless, Vox's Kelsey McKinney makes the case for pie, saying:
Pie is an American tradition about love and family. Pie is delicious, and complicated, and infinitely better than cake.
According to McKinney, making the perfect pie is a far greater feat than making the perfect cake. Therefore, everyone should treat this dessert with the respect it deserves:
Making a pie is an art. It requires careful attention to the crust and the filling, as well as intricate instructions, even if the pie crust is (god forbid) store bought.
But Vox's Alex Abad-Santos was ready with a rebuttal. According to Abad-Santos, while pies may require a tad more attention to detail, the perfect cake is an accomplishment in its own right, making it a universal love-language for all manner of celebration:
Served at weddings, first birthdays, golden anniversaries, going aways, graduations, and holidays, cakes have been the way humans tell other humans they are loved, and that this moment they are sharing matters. These monumental days, hours, and even minutes are marked by cake...That's not to say that pies don't have their moments, because they do — particularly at funerals.
Would you show up to someone's birthday party with a measly 12-inch pie? No. You come with a full three layers of moist, yellow goodness. As Abad-Santos says:
And if someone loves you enough to break you out of prison, they do not bake you a pie. They bake you a fucking cake.
Some cakes may be coming into their own as far as creativity goes, but pie takes the cake when it comes to variety. Kat Kinsman explains to Bon Appétit that pie is both humble and complex. Pie does not hide behind frosting and candles, and every kind of pie in the rolodex must be carefully concocted:
So while there is now a particular canon of classic pie formats—your fruit pies, cream pies, nut pies, custard pies, chocolate pies, meringue pies, molasses pies, mince pies, sweet potato pies, onion pies à la Eudora Welty, savory meat pies, not to mention single crust, double crust, lattice crust, hand pies, and so on—there is enough variance to allow each happy homemaker to put her own stamp upon it.
Honestly, this entire debate can begin and end with apple pie alone. There is no better dessert.
But a well-crafted cake is a masterpiece of chemistry and creativity. Whether you prefer chocolate-on-chocolate cake, lemon pound cake, or orange-almond upside-down cake, this dessert can be as beautiful as it is delicious. Plus, even cakes that go slightly awry still end up being enjoyable, and baking a cake is its own reward for this very reason.
Cake offers something for everyone. You can have an ice cream cake just as easily as you could have a funfetti cake, or a cookie cake to replace a bundt. The cake gods have already thought of everything, making this the superior dessert.