As I mentioned in a previous post, dreary February is my birth month, and this past weekend was my birthday. As I battled vicious icy gusts of wind, I longed for the simple, sweet pleasures of summer birthdays: picnics, outdoor beer gardens, cake on a patio. But just because these things will never come true for me, it doesn’t mean that I need to deprive myself of a larger sense of “birthday”. Can’t I still have my cake?
Not always. When I walked into Sugar Sweet Sunshine looking for a classic, birthday layer cake, I was underwhelmed by the selection. SSS does a mean cupcake – and offers quite the selection – but cupcakes often leave me wanting. Too soon devoured, lacking fillings and layers and (often) complexity, cupcakes simply don’t satisfy me the way a stacked piece of cake does. For me, it feels more civilized to eat dessert with a fork.
So, as you probably know by now if you’ve been reading consistently, instead I went for the pudding.
SSS does right by pudding. Their flavors are nuanced and seasonal and playful. Take the newest offering, the Schmapple Puddin’. Apples are baked with cinnamon: homey, classic. Then they are tossed with simple vanilla pudding: unobtrusive backdrop. The whole thing is filled with caramel whipped cream: a bit of sophistication. Then add the walnuts: crunch. The net effect: a cross between a caramel apple and apple crumble a la mode (without the oats).
Another thing I love about SSS is that a 10 oz cup of pudding, more than enough for one person, is a very reasonable $4.00. If the thought of 10 oz of pudding is overwhelming, never fear! For a mere $2.50, you can get a pudding shot to satisfy your craving but not weigh you down. Of course, sizes go up from 10 oz, but you’ll definitely need a few folks with you (or a few days) to polish off a full cup.
Vaguely autumnal and lighter than most bakery puddings, this is a snack that will remind you of the crisper days of autumn. Winter is not permanent. And a spoon can be just as good as a fork for birthday desserts.