And the winner is…

Today’s Raw Cake Pop Challenge tasting party was a success! We have a winner, as well as two fantastic runner-ups, in what was a very close competition.

First, here’s some background: on April 1, Lisa and I announced the Raw Cake Pop Challenge after seeing cake pops on websites and in coffee shops and books. By last Friday’s deadline, we had received 12 entries, so we sat down to carefully review each one and select three finalists based on the challenge criteria. It was a tough job because each one was so unique, but we had to do it. Those three finalists moved on to the recipe-testing round and became the guests of honour at today’s cake pop tasting party.

The three finalists were Bitt’s Double Chocolate Mesquite Madness Cake Pops, Marlie’s Mulberry Maven Cake Pops, and Bean’s Strawberry Cheesecake Pops.  We spent our entire Saturday recreating these recipes, being careful to follow each one as written, and packaged them up in preparation for today’s testing.

After so much anticipation, we devoured one of each of the flavours and began a long discussion to select the winner based on all the elements of the challenge criteria. Do you want to know who came out on top?

First Place: Mulberry Maven Cake Pops

Marlie’s Mulberry Maven Cake Pops are so lovely and sweet. The addition of maple syrup along with the lucuma and dried mulberries gave them a nice molasses-like flavour—not nearly as fruity as we had expected. With a large crumb and chewy texture, the smooth simple cacao coating was all this cake pop needed to fulfill its purpose. Marlie made use of unique ingredient combinations: the ground mulberries, the blend of different sweeteners and the discreet lavender created a complex flavour profile. Yet the simple techniques used to pull it all together made for a quick and easy recipe. Her beautiful photos and detailed notes on the process and technique also makes it easy for readers to follow.

Second Place: Strawberry Cheesecake Pops

Bean’s Strawberry Cheesecake Pops were quite refreshing with a nice balance of sweet strawberries and tart lemon. This classic summer pairing is reminiscent of a real cheesecake—but presented on a stick. At the tasting party, we were immediately drawn to these particular cake pops because of their beautiful pink hue. On Bean’s blog, her gorgeous, colourful photos highlight the cute factor of these perfect little treats. Their smooth, melt-in-your-mouth centre is encased in an innovative strawberry puree coating and topped with coconut flakes, which made them quite different from the others yet still strong enough to compete for the top spot.

Third Place: Double Chocolate Mesquite Madness Cake Pops

Bitt’s fabulous Double Chocolate Mesquite Madness Cake Pops had a deep, rich flavour with a bitter edge, much like very dark chocolate. In terms of texture, they’re similar to a traditional cake crumb. I think the dehydration helped mimic the texture of a traditional cake, and the addition of Irish moss provided some of the fluffiness. Bitt used cacao butter in the outer coating, which gave them a firmer texture and was a perfect contrast to the smooth, cake-like centre. The recipe is quite creative. It is an excellent way to use up leftover almond pulp, and the deep cacao flavour is heightened by the addition of mesquite powder. These pops would definitely appeal to any chocolate fanatic.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone who participated in the challenge! I think Lisa and I achieved our objective: to create a collection of delicious and unique recipes that surpass anything you see in stores. If you haven’t already, I suggest you take a few minutes to check out the roundup of entries and perhaps host a tasting party of your own.

If you are one of the lucky winners of the challenge, please email me your mailing address at so we can get your prize in the mail. If you were a participant but not a winner, please also email me your address (we have a little something to send your way as well). Thank you!



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