How Cake Pops Became An Internet Dessert Sensation

Assortment of cake pops
Assortment of cake pops - Sviatlana Lazarenka/Getty Images

Nowadays, it's common to walk into a Starbucks and spot an array of cake pops sitting alongside the coffee chain's pastries and breakfast sandwiches. It's hard to imagine that it was only in 2011 that Starbucks started to sell the mini round cake-like dessert -- and even harder to think the cake pop craze only occurred a few years prior.

Cake pops were popularized by home baker blogger Angie Dudley. It was February 2008 when Dudley first shared chocolate cake pops shaped and decorated like cupcakes on her blog "Bakerella." She wanted to share the cute creations to the world and they quickly went viral after being reposted by a popular cupcake blog called "Cupcakes Take the Cake." A few months later, Dudley went on to showcase her sweet creations on Martha Stewart's cooking show.

Dudley's appearance on the show helped accelerate the popularity of cake pops. And today, they can be seen in bakeries and chains such as Starbucks as well as in the aisles of Walmart and Target.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

What Exactly Are Cake Pops?

Cake pops
Cake pops - Ruthblack/Getty Images

Cake pops are not only visually interesting, but they also are easy to make. Essentially, cake pops are minuscule round cake balls on a stick coated with a sweet mixture like melted chocolate or icing. Cake pops aren't confined to any flavors. From carrot cake and red velvet cake pops to classic chocolate cake pops, the possibilities are endless. The most captivating part of cake pops for most people is the inventive, fun designs. Though many cake pops are simply coated cake rounds with simple decorations like sprinkles and drizzles, you can get creative when designing your cake pops.

Just as Dudley's cupcake-shaped cake pops went viral, subsequent cake pops gained the attention of dessert lovers due to their unique decorations. For instance, Starbucks sells limited cake pops to commemorate certain holidays and seasons like a mummy cake pop for Halloween or a bumblebee cake pop to celebrate summertime.

Cake Balls Around The World

Glutinous rice balls
Glutinous rice balls - Ika Rahma H/Shutterstock

Though cake pops may be one of the most popular desserts of the past decade or so -- thanks to the internet -- these eccentric cakes on sticks are a form of dessert that has existed long before the World Wide Web. Before cake pops, there were cake balls. Cake balls are essentially cake pops, just without the iconic stick used for holding and displaying the mini round cake bites. Whether you call them cake balls or cake pops, these are not the only round desserts noshed on around the world.

The first forms of cakes originated in Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, which were more disk forms. Cakes gradually evolved into the round cakes many people know today. But there are other round desserts enjoyed around the world.

In China, glutinous rice balls are a popular dessert snack. Also known as tang yuan, the rice balls are made with rice flour and are typically filled with sweet fillings like red bean, sesame, peanut, and other nuts. In India and nearby regions, gulab jamun is a dessert delicacy. They're fried round dough balls sweetened with floral syrup. And Dutch oliebollen, akin to donut holes, are round-shaped dumplings topped with powdered sugar. Whether you like munching on cake pops or donut holes, round desserts are plentiful for your sweet tooth cravings.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.