When it comes to pie vs. cake, the debate is an emotional one.
In 2012, PBS polled its readers and found that 59 percent preferred pie, where only 41 percent preferred cake. Three years later, in 2015, a Buzzfeed poll revealed that 52 percent preferred pie and 48 percent preferred cake. And when we polled our newsroom last year, cake actually beat out pie by two votes.
But you know who can speak to this issue best? The industry professionals who actually make cakes and pies for a living. We reached out to experts in the pastry field to get their professional opinions on the topic. The responses were passionate, to say the least.
The Argument For Team Pie
“When is there ever a wrong time for pie?” Kat Mattenson of Billy’s Bakery in New York City asked us. That is the very same Billy’s Bakery that makes some of the best carrot cake to have graced this earth. Clearly, pie holds a special place in Mattenson’s heart.
“We bake from four generations of family recipes. Most people have memories of their grandmother, or mother, baking pie. Basically, pie has soul!” Lindsay Hollister Heffner founder and owner of The Pie Hole LA told HuffPost.
“Also, what is Thanksgiving without pie?” pointed out Hollister.
Good point. We know some people bake cakes for Thanksgiving, but we’ve yet to eat a Thanksgiving meal that wasn’t finished off by pie. And we’re pretty sure a revolt would ensue if anyone tried to do away with the classic pie options.
The Argument For Team Cake
“I’m a cake person because I like the process of baking cake and the end result is an expression of pure happiness and delight, no birthday should be without,“ shared Meg Ray of Miette in San Francisco. “Chocolate and chantilly cream, sponge cake and pastry cream, banana cake with walnuts... these are my favorite things.“
“I choose to bake cake simply because nothing makes me happier than to eat cake,” elaborated Ray.
The Birthday Debate: Team Pie
“Cake is dry, cake is boring,” Hollister said. When asked when the right time for cake was, she answered: “If your family hates you and gives it to you for your birthday.” Ouch, clearly, pie-baking expert Hollister eats pie on her birthday.
Though not everyone takes such a hard stance. Some have a seasonal view.
“Sometimes in the summer, a birthday pie is the perfect treat! During a New York winter, however, we all need a little more sugar to keep us warm. That’s when we’d go for cake!” shared Mattenson.
The Birthday Debate: Team Cake
“100 percent birthday cake, every time, and without hesitation,” Richard Reutter of Caroline’s Cakes in South Carolina told HuffPost. “I think that there is something really fun and special about filling up the top of a cake with candles.”
“Plus, with cake, you can always sneak another little sliver, whereas with pies it may be more difficult to get away with a smaller portion because the fillings are harder to contain,” Reutter elaborated.
If You Can’t Pick A Side ...
If you happen to be the kind of person who loves both cake AND pie, we have just the cookie cake pie recipe for you. It’s decadent, but it doesn’t make you choose between two favorites. After all, you only live once.