Even though everyone enjoys a bowl of ice cream or a few cookies, there are still major trends in the dessert industry every year that overshadow the classics. A handful of delicious sweets always gain huge popularity and spark tasty and beautiful dessert creations. These are the top 5 dessert fads of 2011 and a breakdown of when they were most popular online. I’ll also take a stab at predicting what the biggest trend of 2012 will be, so if your sweet tooth is acting up, you might want to grab a brownie before you read another word!



Many people said the cupcake fad would die in 2010, but these tasty treats are still going strong, and it doesn’t surprise me in the least. Why go back to eating cake when you can have an adorable, mini cake individually frosted and flavored? The variety of decorative possibilities and the controlled portions make cupcakes an amazing choice.

And cupcakes’ popularity remained steady throughout 2011. In fact, their biggest peak was in April of 2011, proving that the doubters were wrong about cupcakes’ tapering popularity. So there you go, cupcakes. Don’t let the naysayers get you down. (And yes, I am directly addressing cupcakes. Don’t judge me.)

Cake pops

Cupcakes aren’t the only miniaturized cake treats getting attention. People are loving cake pops, which are basically little round pieces of cake on a stick, hence the “pop” part of the name. Instead of having traditional wedding cakes, many brides and grooms are choosing to go with cake pops to put a modern twist on an old-fashioned dessert.

Cake pops are at their Internet search peak in October, probably because October is one of the most popular months to have weddings. Not only have married-couples-to-be noticed the cake pop trend—even commercial retailers like Starbucks have spotted the fad and started selling the pops in their coffee establishments. Nice looking out, Starbucks.


Despite looking like the Pretty Patties SpongeBob invented (Google it), macaroons will delight your taste buds. The French type is sweeping the dessert world, and while the coconut variety is popular, the multi-colored ones more frequently appear at weddings because they add both flavor and decoration to the dessert table.

Macaroon hype peaked in April and experienced a second worldwide Internet search peak in September, though that’s just for the search term “macaroon,” which would also include the common coconut variety. The search for the term “French macaroon” peaked in March and October. Looks like people need their treats at their weddings and in the spring!

Whoopie pies are also getting attention on the wedding circuit, and just like every dessert listed before them, theytastelike they belong to the cake family. (Sensing a trend within a trend here?) It’s essentially a cake sandwich with cream or frosting in the middle, which means making these things is always a good decision.

Whoopiepies were searched online the most during the months of February and March, and while they’ve been less popular than the other desserts on this list, they’ve maintained a steady interest throughout the year.

Finally breaking from the cake theme, pies of all types made a real showing in the dessert world this year. From apple to chocolate cream, people have a taste for pie these days, which is sparking more and more shops to open up that are strictly dedicated to baking and selling homemade pies.

In terms of search popularity, “pie” blows everything out of the water, though we have to assume some of these searches were actually for “whoopie pies.” Poor whoopie pies — never getting any of the credit.

2012 trend prediction: Homemade packaged desserts

Baking enthusiasts have been whipping up their own versions of classic packaged treats like Hostess Twinkies and Cupcakes this year, and it looks like it’ll be a trend that’ll really gain some steam next year. Dozens of recipes exist on recipe sites like Recipe Finder and foodie blogs for homemade versions of Pop-Tarts, HoHos, MoonPies, and more, but this trend seems to have started toward the end of 2011. Let’s hope 2012 brings us delicious,non-processed versions of the treats we loved as kids.


Cake’s boring. Or at least that’s what seems to be going on here. Cake is like a super popular, old-school TV show that’s now the cause of four amazing spin-offs. Appreciate pies and cake-like treats for these last few months, because new trends will be arriving in 2012 that will surely grab our attention and satisfy our sweet cravings!