🎂 Cake? or 🥧 Pie? April 8, 2020 11:46 AM   Subscribe

As the Highlander always says: “There can be only one.” Are you team cake or team pie? Discuss.

*Remember to be kind to yourself and to others. Stay safe friends.*
posted by Fizz to MetaFilter-Related at 11:46 AM (138 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

posted by Fizz at 11:48 AM on April 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

I remember a birthday party where my friend’s mom divided us into Team Cake and Team Pizza for a game. Team Cake promptly renamed themselves The Thunderbirds.
posted by michaelh at 11:50 AM on April 8, 2020 [5 favorites]

Team Cake promptly renamed themselves The Thunderbirds.
This is a metaphor for something.
posted by Fizz at 11:51 AM on April 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

TEAM PIE. WE WILL FIGH… wait, “be kind?” Oh. Um.

I encourage everyone to enjoy pie, which I prefer to cake.
posted by fedward at 11:54 AM on April 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

Is cheesecake the in-between?
posted by mightshould at 11:55 AM on April 8, 2020 [9 favorites]

Pie 4 eva
posted by Gray Duck at 11:55 AM on April 8, 2020

Team Brownie, thank you.
posted by Fukiyama at 11:56 AM on April 8, 2020 [9 favorites]

As the Highlander always says: “There can be only one.”

Don't tell me how to live my life.
posted by Tehhund at 11:59 AM on April 8, 2020 [16 favorites]

Team cake. There was almost always a pound cake at granny's house, sometimes with caramel icing. I like the occasional slice of pie when I'm out somewhere (probably apple) but when I buy one at the store I have to eat the whole thing myself so not so often.
posted by zengargoyle at 12:03 PM on April 8, 2020

posted by OHenryPacey at 12:08 PM on April 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Why not enjoy both? Cake is for celebrations and breakfast. Pie is for dessert and lunch.
posted by niicholas at 12:09 PM on April 8, 2020 [7 favorites]

I prefer pie, but I have a very strong bias toward fruit-based desserts in general.

I am also pro-meringue and generally prefer it to whipped cream on pies.

Although it is really a kind of custard pie, I do not care for cheesecake and would sooner have actual cake.
posted by jedicus at 12:12 PM on April 8, 2020

I refuse to take a side and experience has taught me that you can bake a cake in a piecrust and then frost it.
posted by lepus at 12:13 PM on April 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

Paul F. Tompkins already solved this. Cake vs. Pie [youtube]

I saw him at a show in Madison, WI where an audience member brought him a frosted pie. He brought him up on stage and asked, "what kind of pie and more importantly, what flavor frosting?" "Apple pie with maple frosting." The audience let out a collective "hmm" as we debated within ourselves that apple pie with maple frosting might actually work. . .
posted by acidnova at 12:17 PM on April 8, 2020 [7 favorites]

We'll always have the Cherpumple.
posted by niicholas at 12:19 PM on April 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

Coconut Cream Pie or Lemon Cake. Hmmm. If it's good, really good, I'll join Team Lemon Cake.

And what about cobbler? What about blackberry cobbler? Cobbler fresh from the oven with vanilla ice cream?
posted by Beholder at 12:19 PM on April 8, 2020

Pie is my favorite. I love fruit more than just about any food and pie highlights and shows off fruit. For my birthday, in the summer, my spouse makes a fresh fruit pie, which is basically a quick jam out of about a third of the blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, poured over the rest of them. And then I keep making them, until we're done with berry season.

One year we had a big party for our anniversary, our 15th. And I made fresh fruit pies for everyone, including a crustless one for the gluten free people. I carefully tucked it away, to make sure it got to the people who needed it. I apparently didn't get it out fast enough, though, because when I saw people had started on the pie, I got it out, took one to my mom, and saw her eating the inside out of a slice of pie and licking the crust off.
posted by Margalo Epps at 12:20 PM on April 8, 2020 [2 favorites]

Pie all day. Cake is for babies who don't like fruit.
posted by saladin at 12:23 PM on April 8, 2020 [2 favorites]

There's a reason people usually have birthday cakes and not birthday pies. I'm not a fan of cooked fruit and I think it's generally best for desserts to include some chocolate, so obviously I'm on Team Cake. And if inter-cake-team warfare breaks out, you'll find me on Team Chocolate Cake.
posted by Redstart at 12:24 PM on April 8, 2020 [5 favorites]

obviously I'm on Team Cake. And if inter-cake-team warfare breaks out, you'll find me on Team Chocolate Cake.


*raised hands*
posted by Fizz at 12:33 PM on April 8, 2020

posted by Sparky Buttons at 12:36 PM on April 8, 2020 [7 favorites]


Fruit should be cool and fresh and in its natural state as far as I'm concerned, baking ruins it. Grilled pineapple is, like, OKAY. Also pastry crust gets gross (graham cracker is pretty good).

Cake is beautiful and soft and lovely. Except, of course, carrot. Get your bloated raisins out of my food (raisins plain are fine).
posted by wellred at 12:42 PM on April 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Carrot cake does not have to include raisins. No baked goods have to include raisins, thank god.
posted by Redstart at 12:46 PM on April 8, 2020 [5 favorites]

Pie. But it has to be GOOD pie. There is so much bad pie in the world, it's no wonder some people prefer cake. Getting pie crust right takes practice, but that just means you get to eat more pie (of course, it also means you have to eat some bad pies before you get the good ones, but that's life). My favorite birthday present ever was a ticket to a pie crust workshop. I was good at pie crust already, but that really got me over the top.

There's only one restaurant I'll order pie at, because I've had too many disappointing pies. I make pie at home a lot, though. Mostly rhubarb and peach and apple, though I'll make berry pies and cherry pies in season and pumpkin and pecan in the fall. I don't do custard pies or cream pies or meringue. When my son is home, a big fruit pie is a one-slice-for-dessert-one-slice-for-breakfast affair.

Bad cake is always better than bad pie. But good pie is always better than even the best cake. Hm. Think I need to go brown some butter.
posted by rikschell at 12:48 PM on April 8, 2020 [8 favorites]

Cake and pie are both fine. They are also both treats for special occasions and for having with coffee or tea. They are not breakfast, lunch or dessert. Why on earth would I want cake or pie after a meal? I've just eaten, haven't I?

And Rosinenschnecken have to include raisins, as do krentenbollen.

Geeze... do I have to explain everything?
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:51 PM on April 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

You will not make me choose. :-P
posted by Splunge at 12:52 PM on April 8, 2020

Pie 4 lyfe

All butter crust, homemade. If you don't have time to make pie crust, don't buy one, make a crisp instead. All you no-hot-fruit people puzzle me, whence comes this wrong opinion?

I make cakes for those who prefer them but that is because I am generous and kindly in the kitchen. It should not be considered an endorsement.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 12:52 PM on April 8, 2020 [2 favorites]

Cake is for celebrations and breakfast. Pie is for dessert and lunch.

nickeltoes has the only correct answer. What is that? it's niicholas? Well now you have a nickname.

Cake is easier to make, sometimes too easy. That said, you can make a cake fancier than you can make a pie. That said, a sublime pie crust is a glorious tricky thing. Cake is better with ice cream. But pie goes with coffee. I am a huge fan of coconut anything and a good coconut cream pie is better than the best coconut cake. It's easier to write something on a cake. I can't imagine having pie at a wedding. A tiny cake is better than a tiny pie. I would have a meat pie but would not have a meat cake.

I think we can all agree that fondant is awful?
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 12:55 PM on April 8, 2020 [20 favorites]

I think we can all agree that fondant is awful?

yes, this is true
posted by acidnova at 12:59 PM on April 8, 2020 [7 favorites]

Cake is for celebrations and breakfast. Pie is for dessert and lunch.

I'll go with you that cake is for celebrations, but have to pump the brakes on that second point. Pie is absolutely for breakfast. Slice of pie and cup of coffee? Come on.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:11 PM on April 8, 2020 [6 favorites]

I can't imagine having pie at a wedding.

If you're the kind of person to get married in a park and use the picnic shelters for the reception, blackberry crisp in giant pans works quite well. Also, it was delicious.
posted by Margalo Epps at 1:11 PM on April 8, 2020 [12 favorites]

posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:13 PM on April 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

LobsterMitten: Pie is absolutely for breakfast. Slice of pie and cup of coffee? Come on.

No, I'm very sorry, but that's not a real thing. It cannot possibly be.
Slice of pie and cup of coffee at eleven, on the other hand, is certainly a thing.

Baked goods are obviously not just a land, but in fact a world of contrasts.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:16 PM on April 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

I'm a lumper, not a splitter. Breakfast and celebrations can and should have a dessert course.
posted by niicholas at 1:18 PM on April 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Isn't 11 breakfast time?
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 1:26 PM on April 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

The real solution is to play one side off against the other. Get each team to bring you the best example of their craft. You get to eat double and be judgemental. Its win-win-win.
posted by biffa at 1:32 PM on April 8, 2020 [5 favorites]

Neither. Baked goods are kind of meh in general. I guess I like cookies and brownies well enough. I really only eat cake once a year, on my birthday. I really only eat pie once a year, too, at Thanksgiving.
posted by kevinbelt at 1:34 PM on April 8, 2020 [2 favorites]

Pie's problem is that it's not enhanced by coffee all that much, but cake and coffee, OMG.

On the other hand pie does have cheddar cheese . . .

OK I give, I don't know the answer.
posted by jamjam at 1:34 PM on April 8, 2020

Although, it’s important to note that I generally purchase a pie for others on March 14th.
posted by kevinbelt at 1:35 PM on April 8, 2020 [5 favorites]

If I make the cake, cake. It's way too iffy when others make a cake, some people believe frosting can cover any number of cake problems, these people are wrong. If I want a bucket of over-sweetened frosting... well, I'll never want that.

I've never been able to make a great pie. Some were OK, some no so OK. I make a mean chili pie, with cornbread crust or crushed Frito crust. But I only make it a few times a year

But pie made by a master is the best. Coconut cream, chocolate banana, dutch apple, and shoo-fly are my favorites.

That having been said, a good apple cake doughnut at the cider mill in October is the clear winner.
posted by Marky at 1:41 PM on April 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Pie is superior because it’s more like real food (I’m talking about fruit pie here, the only kind worth discussing) UNLESS it’s the plum cake that I made six of last fall using a tiny fraction of the plums I picked from my friend’s tree just after the first frost and then with amazing foresight stuck in the deep freeze and didn’t proceed to plow through in my usual fashion. I pulled one out last night and omg. A delectable gift to me from Past HotToddy! I am Team Fruit Pie or Cake.
posted by HotToddy at 1:44 PM on April 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

As I'm a Lowlander I always say: “There's always one”, so I propose delicious (Scottish) Albert Cake. It's a cake inside a pastry shell. It may have a cherry on top, to appease those odd types who eat fruit.

Albert Cake. Albert Cie. Albert Pake.


(There's also the Fern Cake, which is a small pastry pie shell filled with cake and icing. Bakewell tarts are also pies-but-also-cakes.)
posted by scruss at 1:57 PM on April 8, 2020 [2 favorites]


This is reminding me that I have fresh rhubarb in the fridge from the last grocery delivery, and maybe I should get some strawberries for a pie.
posted by gingerbeer at 1:58 PM on April 8, 2020 [2 favorites]

posted by Greg_Ace at 2:03 PM on April 8, 2020 [2 favorites]

Isn't 11 breakfast time?

AM or PM?
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:05 PM on April 8, 2020

I am team "both/and" not "either/or."

Also I require three teams: cake, pie, and pie, because Friday night is pie-as-in-pizza night, and both types of pie are #1. As is cake.

Top cakes: chocolate layer, cinnamon coffee cake, German's chocolate cake, orange bundt or lemon bundt.
Top pies: cherry (with vanilla ice cream), apple (with vanilla ice cream), pecan, chocolate cream, banana cream. Seeking a chocolate-banana cream pie.
Top pies: mushroom, mushroom onion sausage, artichoke hearts with caramelized onions and no red sauce, pepperoni, okay really they're all good pies Brent.
posted by kristi at 2:05 PM on April 8, 2020 [4 favorites]

This is the dumbest false dichotomy ever.

Is a hotdog a sandwich?
posted by Fizz at 2:41 PM on April 8, 2020 [9 favorites]

a good coconut cream pie is better than the best coconut cake.
I think we can all agree that fondant is awful?

posted by Splunge at 2:42 PM on April 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Pie. Depending on the pie. Nothing was better than my mothers pecan pie. I cry when I realize that I'll never have that again.

Oh. And. Generally, frosting is sorta gross. It's like eating plaster half the time.
posted by Everyone Expects The Spanish Influenza at 3:03 PM on April 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

If you don't limit them to desserts, the Pot Pies win the competition*, because there's no such thing as Pot Cake (well, the emergence of marijuana edibles may have changed that, but not for me). And why haven't we heard anything from Team Pudding**???

*Deep Dish Pizza is definitely a Pizza Pie, but I am one who put pineapple on my pizza AND in in my salsa.
**of course, the British definition of pudding confuses things further.

And, as long as we're getting totally confusing, cupcakes or muffins?
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:10 PM on April 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

Cake most definitely. But I do think the Pie Contingent has more ardent defenders.
posted by Glinn at 3:16 PM on April 8, 2020

A million times Pie. Cake is too dry. Even the "moist" versions are too dry. The only acceptable version is carrot cake.
posted by soelo at 3:23 PM on April 8, 2020

I was going to say cake, because I was the kid who loved frosting so much that I would eat it out of the can with a spoon (and I do understand that canned frosting does not even come close to a good homemade buttercream icing, but I've never been able to convince anyone to give me their bowl of buttercream whereas it is usually pretty easy to sneak the "for cake emergencies" frosting can out of the pantry. Also, I totally made it sound like "I did this when I was a child" but HAHAHAHA I would have done it yesterday given the chance.)

But then I realized that any time I go out to eat and there is a fruit dessert, I will always take that over any kind of cake or any chocolate dessert. A good pie or crisp, warm, with ice cream is my absolute favorite. Cherry pie or crisp in particular, or peach if you've got good peaches. The only issue is if the crust or crisp topping is soggy. I do not even begin to understand this in the case of a crisp. There is a restaurant near me that I occasionally forget my previous experiences and order their apple crisp, and the topping is always as soft, soggy and unappealing as can be. How can this have gone so wrong? It's right there in the fucking name.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 3:36 PM on April 8, 2020 [5 favorites]

I made seventeen pies fresh for my sit-down wedding and while that was more than slightly over ambitious scheduling, I do not regret the pies.

There have been good cakes in my life, but for me cake is a frivolity and pie is serious business.
posted by clew at 3:47 PM on April 8, 2020 [6 favorites]

I'm a diabetic and I was forced to resign from both Teams Pie and Cake :(

I'm with oneswellfoop about the Deep Dish Pizza Pie except for putting pineapple on it. I'm a big fan of Austin's Conan's Deep Dish Pizza made with whole wheat crust and topped with all the veggies.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 3:50 PM on April 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

I saw him at a show in Madison, WI

I was at that show too! So great!

I'm team cake 100%.
posted by Twicketface at 4:03 PM on April 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Cake but some pies are truly outstanding
posted by ferret branca at 4:16 PM on April 8, 2020

Can't find a clip, but there was a memorable bit in the movie 2010: The Year We Make Contact where a Russian guy says "easy as cake" and an American guy says "no no, piece of cake" and the first guy says "right, right, piece of pie" and the other guy says "no, no, easy as pie"
posted by niicholas at 4:29 PM on April 8, 2020 [6 favorites]

I love them both. Pie is for gatherings, because you can't freeze it and it often gets soggy after a day or so. Cake can be cut up and hidden in the freezer for those days when you really need a piece of cake.

And pie is generally trickier: I've never had a cake fail as badly as the occasional pie (peach soup, or overworked crust).

So: it depends? I think I love pie better because it's more special, but they're both great. And now I want pie, damnit.
posted by suelac at 4:33 PM on April 8, 2020

Either, as long as the flavor is not described using the letters k, e, y, l, i, m and e.
posted by Gorgik at 4:46 PM on April 8, 2020

why the fuck do you think they call it a pie hole
posted by drlith at 5:22 PM on April 8, 2020 [5 favorites]

I’ve never heard of a pizza cake.
posted by jenkinsEar at 5:33 PM on April 8, 2020

Although, maybe that’s what’s going on in Chicago.
posted by jenkinsEar at 5:35 PM on April 8, 2020 [6 favorites]

I'll have the chicken, please.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 5:40 PM on April 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Pie. Particularly savory pie.
posted by aspersioncast at 6:09 PM on April 8, 2020

Hmm. Chocolate cake over most pie flavors, but I'll definitely go for a good pecan pie. (A colleague once produced a chocolate bourbon pecan pie, which I have to say was pretty high on the decadence list.)
posted by thomas j wise at 6:40 PM on April 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

posted by clavdivs at 6:48 PM on April 8, 2020 [2 favorites]

Cake, because I can make it deliciously. Piecrust is so easy to get wrong, and it scares me.

But I really miss fruit pie here in the UK, where pie usually has meat or fish in it.

(I can't make meat pies myself either, so right now I miss those too.)

Next time I happen to have a really good slice of pie with a perfect crust, I'm going to appreciate that fucker like it was the Mona Lisa.
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:09 PM on April 8, 2020

I’ve never heard of a pizza cake.

Finding examples of its usage is a piece 'a cake - easy as pie!
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:20 PM on April 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

So many people here are right about stuff until they mention coconut. Just let the coconuts stay were they are, wherever that is.
Personally, I'm not a big fan of sweets. I heard a podcast featuring David Lebovitz, and he said he isn't either - in spite of being a pastry chef! I mention this because it turns out you can have opinions and recipes and even be a famous chef even if you are not an enthusiast.
Technically, I'm on team pie because I love, love, love all savory pies. And sometimes I miss McDonald's deep fried apple pies. Why did they go away?
On the other hand, my paternal grandmother was a really bad cook, but she was very good at the sweet stuff. For holidays she made a layered cake with dark, bitter chocolate that children hated but it was delicious. And she made little cones that were in-between cookies and cake (not ice cream cones) which she served with freshly whipped cream and jelly. And what about no-flour chocolate cake? Isn't that a proof of good in the world.
When I was a teen, I went to a riding school where the owner was incredibly strict. We were all scared of her. But the thing was, she had a laser focus on the welfare of the horses. Stupid teens were not her thing. Once, my pony was hurt at an event, and I called her from a phone booth to say I'd have to walk him home, and it would take hours. In the meantime, she baked a spice cake. After that, I realized that she cared for kids who cared. She just didn't talk too much about it.
And then, here is an ask: once I had a recipe for an apple cake. It wasn't a pie, it was a real cake, but there were slices of apple in it and maybe some cinnamon. I've lost it, and I miss it. Does anyone know such a recipe?
posted by mumimor at 7:23 PM on April 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

Personally, I'm not a big fan of sweets.

Yeah, this is where you lost me.

Cake, for the record.
posted by bkpiano at 7:26 PM on April 8, 2020

Mumimor: the Silver Palate Cookbook, perhaps the definitive cookbook of my childhood, has a fabulous apple cake recipe. Daresay it is easy as pizza; a piece of pie.
posted by niicholas at 7:28 PM on April 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Venn diagram:

( Pie ( souffle ) cake )
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:30 PM on April 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm on team "just give me the raw ingredients, 'cause they're certain to be tastier than anything anyone can possibly bake using them." Unless cheesecake and meat pies count. In which case, I'm on team "cheesecake and meat pies."

I'm glad people like cake and pie. I'm glad there's cake and pie for people to like. I wish all the cakeheads would believe us when we tell you we really don't want any. Maybe if you'd listened to us the first fifty times that we asked for a tiny slice, we could have all remained polite.
posted by eotvos at 7:42 PM on April 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Cheesecake, which is basically a pie.
posted by bondcliff at 7:45 PM on April 8, 2020

Cake is better with ice cream.

Have a slice of blackberry pie with French vanilla, then tell me that.
posted by aws17576 at 12:11 AM on April 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

mumimor, I give you Marie-Helene's Apple Cake. It is heaven. I like a less-sweet dessert too, and this might be my favorite cake of all time.
posted by HotToddy at 3:57 AM on April 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

It depends on the kind of pie, I think. Because fruit pies and cream pies are very, very different. And I think that whether you fall into Team Cake or Team Pie can depend greatly on where you fall into the Fruit Pie vs. Cream Pie camps.

I actually have a copy of the Northern Exposure tie-in cookbook - and on one page they have an imagined debate between three of the characters, discussing cream pies, pro or con. I think it actually has a lot of relevance in this discussion, and how people can fall into Team Cake or Team Pie:
...You think of pie, you think of some dense, gooey suspension of apples or blueberries or cherries. Cream pies are sort of nothing - air, really, with some light stuff whipped around it.
A pie should have some heft, some meat, give you something to sink your teeth into. You should be able to heat it up, maybe flip a dollop of ice cream on it if you're feeling expansive. But these chiffon-meringue creations - that's not pie. That's a mirage of a pie.
They're silly, which is why I like them. You want a treat, you want a bliss-blast of sugar, right? But you don't want it sitting in your gut like a lump of cement, waiting to flab out your thighs. Cream pies make me at least think that i'm getting away with something.
I think if what you want out of a dessert is something indulgent yet light, you'd probably be skewing towards cream pies. And you may further be more aligned with Team Cake; it's also easy to get that light "bliss-blast" in a cake.

If you're more a fan of the big indulgent fruit desserts, then you would probably skew towards fruit pies - and cakes may leave you wanting. So you'd probably be aligned with Team Pie.

...I like both. I like fruit pies, I like cream pies. I like cakes of all kinds. I make a quick-bread tea cake thing once every couple weeks and gradually eat through it as my breakfast; I just finished my slice of the pain d'epices that's in the hopper. I made a second cake last week as a just-for-dessert option; an amazing black mocha cake. A couple summers ago I had a lot of random odds and ends of CSA fruit that needed using up pronto or else it'd go bad, so I threw it all into a pie shell and dubbed it "Usufruct Pie" and it was a delicious jammy tutti-fruti concoction, a little sweet, a little tart, just the right balance. There's a coffee angelfood cake I have a recipe for that I've been meaning to make, and that might be something that happens in a few days. One of the best dessert I had last time I was in Paris was a slice of something at a tea shop they called "tarte choco-crumble" - it was a chocolate cream pie with chocolate cookie crumbs generously laced on top, and I've been trying to reverse-engineer it ever since. My go-to dessert at Junior's is a slice of their "devil's food cheesecake" - they take a two-layer devils' food cake and insert an entire cheesecake in between the layers.

I like both. I'm going to sit on the fence between the camps and swing my legs.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:20 AM on April 9, 2020 [5 favorites]

Firmly team pie. It helps that I am an avid baker and honed my pie crust skills decades ago. I think many anti-pie folks have just not had good ones, as there is much horribleness in premade or poorly made crusts and overly sweetened, mushy fruit fillings.

I'm partial to tart cherry, any berry, pecan, and most cream pies, especially the latter when my fiance makes them because he is the only person I know who makes better pie than i do.

Cakes i find are usually too sweet, but I do enjoy lighter ones like tea cakes or carrot cake. That said, I am partial to a particular dark chocolate cake with a very rich mousse-like frosting

posted by ananci at 4:45 AM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Pie all day long. Cake makes me feel like I will be haunted by Wilford Brimley selling me diabetes medications. It's just about edible if you scrape off all the frosting....
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 6:17 AM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

It's just about edible if you scrape off all the frosting....

….Huh. You've added another angle to my "it depends upon the pie...." theory above. Because: just as there are fruit pies and cream pies, there are simple cakes and fancy cakes, and that may also affect your response.

There's the traditional, double-layer, frosted, birthday-cake kind of cake, with a buttercream and some decorations on it. But there are also plain, homey, pound cakes, where it's pretty simple and you can just eat it as it is - just, like, a bread-slice-shaped slab of cake. Maybe it has a little bit of a glaze. Or some kind of simple jelly sandwiched between the layers. Or it has some chopped fruit or nuts or chocolate chips mixed in. Or you have a flourless cake, something that feels more like a firmed-up mousse. Or you have a dense carrot cake; that has a frosting too, but the cake is denser and heftier than your traditional frosted layer cake. Or you have a super-fancy cake with ganache between the layers and fondant on the top instead of frosting and a sugar-sculpted rose and a spun sugar nest balanced on top with wee little jelly beans nestled into it as eggs.

Those all can take you to some really different places.

I actually think that instead of "Team Cake" or "Team Pie", we may be wanting to debate "Team Light" or "Team Heft".

….I mean, I'm still in both camps that way too, but hey.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:48 AM on April 9, 2020 [3 favorites]

How is this even a question? The answer is clearly pie.

Key Lime
Coconut Cream
Chocolate Chess
Lemon Meringue
Ritz Cracker
Steak & Kidney
Chicken Pot
posted by slkinsey at 7:26 AM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

The distribution of pie quality is wider than the distribution of cake quality. It's rare for me to be disappointed by or blown away by cake.
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 7:30 AM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

I can't get excited about pie, I've tried, I simply have no sentiment attached to it; I have plenty, though, about

German Chocolate
Black Forest
Smith Island
Angel Food
Baltimore peach
Red velvet
Ice cream
Devil's food

posted by missmobtown at 8:18 AM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

I do not see the argument that pie is not for breakfast. There's an entire class of pies that are typically eaten at breakfast. Quiche is pie and is also breakfast food.

I play on both Team Pie and Team Cake, depending on mood, appetite, and whim.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:27 AM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

I would have a meat pie but would not have a meat cake.

posted by cooker girl at 8:32 AM on April 9, 2020 [4 favorites]

meat cake

If you're lurking and need a MetaFilter username. Look no further.
posted by Fizz at 9:01 AM on April 9, 2020 [7 favorites]

Instinctively I would say team cake as I am generally not a pie fan, BUT I am actually team pastry. Mille feuille! Pain au chocolate! Apple turnovers! I guess the presence of pastry, even if puff pastry, would, at a push, then default me into the pie team? The best pie is a puff pastry mince pie.

I love cake, but the frosting is always hideously sweet unless it's a good cream cheese one. I scrape it off. The problem with pie is a lot of pie filling is also hideously sweet but you can't scrape it off.
posted by stillnocturnal at 10:43 AM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Pies - because I adore a wonderful savory pie.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:25 AM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

mumimor, I give you Marie-Helene's Apple Cake. It is heaven. I like a less-sweet dessert too, and this might be my favorite cake of all time.
posted by HotToddy at 3:57 AM

That's it! [does a happy dance] I've looked for this since I was divorced 25 years ago, because that's how I lost the recipe. I don't remember there being any alcohol in the version I had, but I can try with and without, can't I?

BTW, I really enjoy making very fancy French cakes, specially if there are layers of different textures. I like the proces, and I like the happiness they bring.
posted by mumimor at 11:47 AM on April 9, 2020 [5 favorites]

Pie's problem is that it's not enhanced by coffee all that much

I can think of one Federal Agent who disagrees with you.
posted by Beholder at 12:05 PM on April 9, 2020 [6 favorites]

Pie. Duh. Obviously.
posted by pipoquinha at 12:09 PM on April 9, 2020

(I enjoy funny and informative food fights)
posted by pipoquinha at 12:11 PM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Cherry chocolate galette.
posted by Oyéah at 1:02 PM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Agent who disagrees with you Pie is in the eye of the Beholder...
posted by Oyéah at 1:11 PM on April 9, 2020

posted by Guess What at 1:43 PM on April 9, 2020

I would hate to have to pick because there are some very nice cakes out there, but pie if it came to it. I could eat a fruit pie any time of day, any day, multiple times a day if it's been a while.

And a nice dense chocolate bourbon pecan pie, shit. That's the new food pyramid. Just that one pie. It's the food circle now.

I really do like a german chocolate cake, and angel food + strawberries and whipped cream (+ a couple lactaid) will always be a favorite, but there's a lot of cake that is just kind of fine and a whole lot of frosting out there that I actively eat around. Pie never does me like that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:53 PM on April 9, 2020 [5 favorites]

I am Team Pavlova. (One pav to rule them all...)
posted by The Patron Saint of Spices at 5:28 PM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Fizz: "This is a metaphor for something."

Isn't everything ultimately a metaphor for something?
This, for example?
And this?
posted by signal at 7:53 PM on April 9, 2020

I am definitely Team Pie. Pie has a million variations I enjoy - from fruit to a tasty cottage pie - while cake is sometimes good, but often a mediocre, minimally flavored frosting pile I regret eating. (Carrot cake and hummingbird cake is usually good, though.)
posted by tautological at 8:52 PM on April 9, 2020

Cake vs Pie
posted by growabrain at 9:52 PM on April 9, 2020

I think we can all agree that fondant is awful?

Yes, absolutely. Which is something that never fails to amuse me about cake bake-offs on tv. Inevitably, it's more about which contestant can mold and sculpt mountains of inedible fondant more than it is about, y'know, how good the cake part of the cake is.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:04 AM on April 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

I dunno, is baklava a cake or a pie?

And what about pain au chocolate? (Chocolate-filled croissants)
posted by soundguy99 at 4:05 AM on April 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

Pie - Steak and Cheese preferably, but mince will do. And for dessert - I’ll second team Pavlova. Remember to always blow on the pie - safer communities together.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 5:27 AM on April 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Not only is pie the correct answer, but cake is the worst dessert, period. Cake vs. cookies? Cookies. Cake vs. brownies? Brownies. Cake vs. pudding? Well, I take it back, pudding is the worst dessert.

Soundguy99 - I'm a big fan of slotting foods into categories (coffee is soup, pop tarts are calzones, pizza is an open-faced sandwich, etc.) but for the sake of this argument baklava and pain au chocolate are their own things.
posted by papayaninja at 6:20 AM on April 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

soundguy99: I dunno, is baklava a cake or a pie?

No, it's not. It's a pastry. Same as pain au chocolat.
posted by Too-Ticky at 6:30 AM on April 10, 2020 [1 favorite]


Daddy has to work from home and I’m not your personal pie and cake maker
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:53 AM on April 10, 2020 [4 favorites]

Jeez, OK, Dad, you don't gotta yell . . .

*eyerolling & slouching towards the door*
posted by soundguy99 at 9:01 AM on April 10, 2020

You can't make me choose. #Nicetry

I made my 1st lemon meringue pie for zoomseder. Decided soft meringue is not that great, though I do like crisp meringue with a slightly chewy center. (Layer with whipped cream or substitute and strawberries, oooohlalalala.) I had fresh lemons and stale gingersnaps, and lemon pie with gingersnap crust is very tasty, though the crust was not kosher. On zoom, no one can tell! I made a small pie because it's just me, and it's intensely sweet. I was so cranky about yesterday's foul weather, which included snow in meaningful quantity, that I finished the pie. The power went out @ 7:30 pm. Nature always wins. Power was restored a short while ago.

Cake is a necessity. Sweet, rich, moist, and adaptable. My yeast* will need to be divided soon, and I have been making yeasted sweet pancakes. I would very much like a proper bit of cake, so I'll see what can be done. *it's not sourdough; it came from 1/2 packet of yeast that I have been keeping going. Real sourdough would be a treat. Fresh bread is nice, though.
posted by theora55 at 9:19 AM on April 10, 2020 [6 favorites]

Pies are in pastry crusts, so I’d say pies are pastries but not all pastries are pies, eg baklava. Am having trouble with pavlova - there isn’t any flour in one usually, is there? Maybe thickening a custard? Possibly it is a v unusual soufflé, if merengues are not a category alone.

Trifle is my second favorite dessert and though it requires cake I don’t know that it is one. Maybe it’s a compôte.

(Categorizing by making crisp rules and looking for fuzzy cases* is fun, but I feel it’s right when skill at making one thing in the category translates into skill at making the others.

* Are there any pastries that should be fuzzy? )
posted by clew at 9:36 AM on April 10, 2020

Pavlova (cake)
posted by missmobtown at 9:58 AM on April 10, 2020

Incontestable folksonomy! I can meet it logically by thinking of merengues and génoise as the same skill, too.

Loved this bit:
the modern pavlova can be traced back to the Austro-Hungarian Spanische windtorte.
Happened all the time with dances, everyone gets them from a country/language that names them after the place they think originated it or was cool.
posted by clew at 10:48 AM on April 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

I was puzzled by all the people who are meh about cake until I thought about all the meh cake I've had in my life - probably 90% of cake I didn't make myself has been meh at best. When I think "cake" I think of my homemade chocolate cake, which is moist and delicious and does not have too much overly sweet frosting because I make the frosting myself and I can control how much sugar I put in and I can control how thickly I spread it. The difference between that cake and a piece of cake from an office birthday party is like the difference between a tree ripened peach and canned peaches.

But I understand from pie lovers in my life that pie from grocery stores and restaurants is equally likely to be bad, so I'm not sure that explains the people who think pie is better. I wonder if more people have had good homemade pie than good homemade cake. You wouldn't think so, because pie is much harder to make.
posted by Redstart at 11:39 AM on April 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

My favorite kind of cake is Boston Cream Pie. [*ducks]
posted by sexyrobot at 3:23 PM on April 10, 2020

Jessamyn: I would have a meat pie but would not have a meat cake.

The Barbie doll cake in Miss Artificial Spring (slyt, short promo) is made of meat loaf (and frosted with dyed-blue mashed potatoes and decorated with canned niblet vegetables.)
posted by sexyrobot at 3:29 PM on April 10, 2020

I don't think I can pick, it's a situational thing. But in situations of uncertainty, especially when I can't see the pie first and do not know the reputation of the pie, I'll often default to cake or ice cream or some kind of thing, because mediocre cake is usually edible and probably has one redeeming feature, but mediocre pie is often a textural if not flavor...al horrorshow. I'm not much of a fruit pie person (cobbler is my game), but am a big fan of cream/custard pies. And pecan.

But when All This is over, I'm going to have to hit the Brite Spot for a piece of salted honey pie.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:56 PM on April 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

I’m very late to this party, but pie! And things adjacent to pie, including cheesecake, lemon bars, other fruit bars, crisps, crumbles, cobblers, turnovers, pasties, samosas, calzones - I like stuff with a crusty part on, under, or around it, basically. I certainly won’t fight you if you offer me cake, but I prefer pie. Upside down cake is the bridge between cake and fruit pie, I think, and if you give me one of those with rhubarb and nutmeg, I’ll talk positively about you forever.

Now I’m hungry, and it’s the middle of the night, so I can’t go make a pie.
posted by centrifugal at 12:55 AM on April 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

Pie, especially a steak and kidney pie, or a chicken and mushroom pie.
posted by quacks like a duck at 2:39 AM on April 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

I may have told this story here before, but when I first moved to the US I was invited to a potluck thanksgiving dinner. I made an absolutely beautiful steak pie from scratch - pastry and all. You can probably see where this is going, but suffice to say steak pie and ice cream is an odd - but very satisfying - dessert.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 6:12 AM on April 11, 2020 [11 favorites]

Right now I'm on team chocolate raspberry mousse cake.
posted by yohko at 2:40 PM on April 11, 2020

I am disappointed there is no mention of cake pie yet in this thread.
posted by invokeuse at 7:23 PM on April 11, 2020

First reaction was "wat, cake." But my husband started baking and omg. I didn't know, pie; I'm so sorry I judged you.
posted by moira at 8:03 PM on April 11, 2020 [4 favorites]

Bad crust is bad. No amount of good filling can undo a bad crust. That being said, I'm Team Pecan Pie, preferably with my MIL's homemade crust recipe.
Also, Team German Chocolate Cake with homemade Coconut Pecan Frosting.
Or anything chocolate, which I just had. Funny how I anticipated this thread.
Chocolate pie is just pudding with whipped cream on top, usually on a bad crust. Nope that right out.
posted by TrishaU at 10:31 AM on April 12, 2020

I am team chocolate tartelette. Part cake part pie. Best of both.

Princi (a high end starbucks thing) here in Chicago had an outstanding torte and now has pretty solid tartelettes. And now I am checking if they deliver...
posted by srboisvert at 10:40 AM on April 12, 2020

Pie edges out cake by a crust. Berry, apple, pecan, key lime...

But I do loves me a dense carrot cake and a thick layer of cream cheese frosting.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:36 PM on April 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

Is a Triffle a cake or a pie?
posted by sammyo at 10:43 AM on April 13, 2020

Growing up, every occasion was an occasion for cake. At various times in our lives it has been grocery store cake, fancy patisserie cake, homemade cakes of all sorts and skill levels... flipping through our family photo albums people are always like, "This... is just pictures of cake with some people in the background?" and they're right. I mark the point where my parents were officially retired/empty-nesters as the point where they were like "Shit, now we can have cake anytime we want! No occasion needed!" and now often when I return home I will find the remains of a giant cake in the fridge that they have been working their way through for like, a week. Not a bad way to live.
posted by btfreek at 1:51 PM on April 13, 2020 [4 favorites]

Pies are in pastry crusts...

Graham crackers and oreos would beg to differ.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:00 PM on April 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

You crumb them up and make them damp. It's a sandy paste, but a paste all the same.
posted by clew at 3:20 PM on April 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Live free or pie.
posted by meinvt at 3:26 PM on April 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Is cheesecake both cake and pie and thus the pinnacle of dessert?
posted by Zalzidrax at 3:47 PM on April 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

Said of pie, by an ex and dear friend who is unquestionably Team Pie:
"Cookies are hooking up, but pie is a relationship."

I still bake pie for him.
(Literally. I mean that literally.)
posted by the_blizz at 4:10 PM on April 13, 2020 [3 favorites]

Team Pie!

I would happily accept a slice of pie 90% of the time offered (no thank you to pecan and pumpkin). I'd take a cake maybe 30% of the time and I have a much wider range of rejectable characteristics (no fondant, most supermarket cakes are out although costco is acceptable, must look light and spongey with airy cream and it wouldn't hurt to have some fruits lurking in there).
posted by like_neon at 6:22 AM on April 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Cake, because I like more cake flavors than I do pie flavors.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:25 PM on April 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Remember: A pie chart is just a chart of how much pie you're about to eat.
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:26 AM on April 20, 2020 [3 favorites]

I was sitting on the couch next to my then girlfriend (now wife). I was staring off, and she asked what I was thinking, clearly expecting something along the lines of something deep or at least that I was thinking of her. I responded that I was thinking that "I like pie."

She hit me with a pillow.

So clearly, Team Pie.
posted by neilbert at 11:56 AM on April 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

Cake people are those who want to maximize their chances of eating something good. Cake is reliable. Cake is difficult to ruin. If someone brings cake to your potluck or yoga studio or last lecture of the semester, you can eat it without fear knowing that you will eat a good-tasting thing. Cake won't let you down. Cake is the pizza of desserts - even when it's bad it's good.

Pie people are those who hold out for a small chance at the sublime. Pie, when done well, will make your toes curl and your lips part. Good pie won't stick to the walls of your stomach or sugar-burn your taste buds or ping merely one dimension of taste or texture dutifully, the way cake does. Pie hits you with multiple dimensions of texture, a veritable harmony chorus of tastes, contains an actual beginning and a middle and an end. It's crisp and flaky and creamy and juicy, rich and sweet and tart and light, zingy and boingy, unctuous and delicate, all at once...

... when it's good. Most pie is, sadly, slightly thickened apple juice on cardboard. Do not eat the pie that your coworker brings into the office after Thanksgiving. Stay away from any pie served at any picnic. If you're a pie person, you will learn to eyeball a pie and gauge its promise. Someday, your date will drag you to his favorite coffee shop and you will see it there sitting in the pastry display - five-eighths of it already sold, an uncontrollable sprinkle of crust-flakes spilled all around it, a slight dribble of juice seeping from far too high up the pie down to a golden bottom crust. Your date will order two slices without even asking you if you want pie. You will look into his eyes and see yourself in your own future, your toes curling and your lips parting, growing old with him. You have found The One, rare as it is. Eat up.
posted by MiraK at 8:17 PM on April 20, 2020 [7 favorites]

That just perfectly explained why I am a cake person. Also I have never been blown away by a pie in my life.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:01 AM on April 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

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