THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods

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FUN GIFT: Entry Level Cake & Cupcake Kits From Damask Cakes

If you know someone who has professed an interest in learning how to bake, or how to cook in general—but hasn’t gotten around to it yet—this yummy and handsomely-packaged cake kit from Damask Cakes should be a welcome gift.

Just pick a cake mix and a frosting mix, and you’ll provide a delicious adventure for a lucky novice baker.

There are regular and gluten-free kits for:

  • Cakes
  • Cupcakes
  • Cake Pops
  • Frosting
    The line is all-natural and non-GMO.

    There are also cake decorations, specialty candles, and baking tools, so you can also add cake pans and other items to the order.

    There are no gift cards as yet, so it’s up to you to select a cake and frosting pairing. We made a lovely Chai Tea Cake with cream cheese frosting.
    The Cakes

  • Chai Tea Cake
  • Chocolate Cake
  • Cinnamon Sugar Cake
  • Espresso Cake
  • Peanut Butter Cup Cake
  • Red Velvet Cake
  • Vanilla Cake
    Most of these are available in gluten-free options, along with a gluten-free Confetti Cake.
    The Frostings

  • Cinnamon Frosting
  • Chocolate-Espresso Frosting
  • Confetti Frosting
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Dark Chocolate Frosting
  • Peanut Butter Frosting
    Head to to place your order.

    Several years ago, Denisse Horan and her two young children set out to bake dad a chocolate cake for Father’s Day. But Denisse wasn’t an experienced cake baker and had no idea what chaos would ensue. Everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong that day.

    Son Tristan accidentally whisked in the sugar before the milk-and-butter mixture reached room temperature. Daughter Arianne added too much flour into the mixing bowl. Denisse tried to “fold” a batter mixture that was rapidly beginning to resemble concrete.

    Despite it all, dad Chris absolutely loved that cake, but Denisse knew there had to be a better way.

    Of course, a better way can be found in any grocery store. Many of us have bought cake mixes and added an egg and oil to the dry ingredients.

    But Denisse thought there should be something better than a supermarket mix cake. She partnered with a team of pastry chefs to create high-end pre-measured baking kits.

    So give the gift of baking to a cake enthusiast. She or he will create something delicious and also foolproof.

    And hopefully, and some point there will be a slice in it for you.
    > The history of cake.
    > The history of cake pans.
    > The different types of cakes: a photo glossary.


    An iced Chai Tea Layer Cake.
    [1] Chai Tea Cake with cream cheese frosting (all photos © Damask Cakes).

    Damask Cakes Kit
    [2] The packages have all the ingredients you need.

    Damask Cakes chocolate cake.
    [3] The most popular flavor—no surprise—chocolate.

    Peanut Butter Cup Cake
    [4] Peanut Butter Cup Cake includes Justin’s peanut butter and peanut butter cups.

    Red Velvet Cake on a cake stand.
    [5] Red velvet cake crumbs are included to garnish the frosting.






    Stocking Stuffer: Mochi Gummies, Natural, Vegan, Delicious

    Mochi Gummies Vegan Gummy Candy
    [1] Pillowy, chewy nuggets of strawberry Mochi Gummies (all photos © Issei Mochi Gummies).

    Mochi Gummies Vegan Gummy Candy
    [2] Each package is 1.76 ounces (50 grams).

    Mochi Gummies Garnish On A Cupcake
    [3] Use mochi gummies to decorate cakes, cupcakes, and ice cream.

    Mochi Gummies garnish an ice cream cone.
    [4] Mochi Gummies garnish an ice cream cone.


    Mika Shino, creator of Mochi Gummies (pronounced MOE-chee), explains why she made her all-natural, chewy gummy candies, that are vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, gelatin-free, nut-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, and certified kosher by KOF-K.

    Her kids love gummy candies: gummy bears, gummy worms, sour gummies.

    But Mika was frustrated by the junk ingredients: “Chemical and artificial laden candies made with animal-derived gelatin did not make me feel good as a parent,” she says.

    “I thought there had to be a better way for my children to have something they loved—a chewy candy without all the bad stuff.”

    So she made her own!

    “I started to experiment with the time-honored tradition of [Japanee] mochi cakes at home, baking them longer, adding different ingredients, drawing from my own Japanese heritage, and relying on the chewy texture of rice flour,” she relates.

    She then brought in professional food scientists.

    “We did hundreds of trials to carefully create our Issei Mochi Gummies with the best and cleanest ingredients so that you can feel good treating yourself and your family with a snack.”

    Kids or no kids, these gummies are addictive. As a fan of all the gelatin-based gummies—worms, bears, sharks, anything—we are happy to switch to Mochi Gummies.

    They were a huge hit with her kids and their friends, and Issei Mochi Gummies was born.

    As an adult and a foodie, we appreciate the softer, craveable chew and the natural flavors: Mango, Strawberry, and Vanilla.

    The company name, Issei, refers to the first generation of Japanese immigrants to come to the U.S.

    “I hope these little morsels will bring joy to you and to your family,” says Mika.

    They do!!

    They’re packaged in single-serving sizes, perfectly portioned, great for stocking stuffers, party favors, and snacks on the go.

    The packages are elegant, and fit into a pocket.

    Head to the company website or to Amazon.
    > National Snack Day is March 4th.

    > National Mochi Day is August 8th.

    > National Candy Day is November 4th.






    Fun Gift: Ready To Cook Delallo Gnocchi & Gnocchi Recipes

    Here’s a fun gift for a foodie friend: a gnocchi kit. Just boil water and get ready to feast (or choose a more involved recipe).

    A box of DeLallo gnocchi is a nice stocking stuffer or a party gift for just $4.50.

    > Check out the gnocchi recipes below.

    > The history of gnocchi.

    > Gnocchi Day in Argentina—the 29th of every month.

    Potato gnocchi (pronounced N’YAW-kee, singular gnocco) are light and airy with a savory potato flavor.

    Made in Italy with 85% potato, these pillowy potato dumplings bring the rich tradition of Northern Italy to your plate.

    In that cooler climate potatoes and soft wheat grew abundantly.

    Gnocchi is a versatile pasta that cooks up in minutes. It can be dressed simply in butter with fresh pepper and herbs, tossed with basil pesto, or partnered with hearty meat sauces.

    They can be turned into Gnocchi Alfredo, or paired with hearty ragùs, a classic tomato sauce, baked with cheese sauce, turned into skillet pasta, and added to soups.

    Gnocchi vary in size and shape, depending on the maker. Most are small and bean-shaped with ridges for capturing sauces.

    Beyond plain potato gnocchi, gnocchi made with basil, pumpkin, ricotta cheese, and spinach mixed in are just some of the varieties.

    They can be purchased fresh and refrigerated, frozen, or shelf-stable, as these from DeLallo.

    For those with gluten sensitivities, gluten-free gnocchi are also an option. They substitute rice flour or chickpea flour for the traditional semolina flour.

    Traditionally, potato gnocchi are made with simply potatoes, semolina (wheat flour), egg, water, and salt.

  • The potatoes are cooked and then riced with a potato ricer.
  • The riced potato is combined with semolina flour and water to create the dough.

    Truth to tell, gnocchi are considered a traditional Italian pasta, because while they use potatoes as the main ingredient, they also contain semolina. And they are cooked like pasta.

    But technically, they are a dumpling, because they are primarily potato dough—and potato dough cannot be used to make any traditional pasta shape.

    For those who want to debate the issue, here are the differences between them.

    First, the similarities:

  • Dumplings and gnocchi are both dough-based dishes.
  • Both can be served with various sauces and toppings, as a first course or a main dish.
    The Main Differences Between Gnocchi & Dumplings


  • Gnocchi are made from potatoes and sometimes semolina, flour, eggs, and mix-ins like ricotta ricotta, and flour. The result is small, soft dumplings.
  • Dumplings is a broad term and can refer to a variety of dishes from around the world. They are typically made from flour, and water, often bound with eggs and fat. The dough can be filled or unfilled. The filling can include meat, vegetables, or a combination of both.
    Cooking Method

  • Gnocchi are typically boiled and then often sautéed in butter or sauce after boiling. They can also be baked.
  • Dumplings are variously prepared by steaming, boiling, frying, or baking.

  • Gnocchi are typically soft, light, and pillowy, with a delicate texture, regardless of the cooking method.
  • Dumplings vary in texture— soft, chewy, or crispy—depending on the type of dough used and the cooking method.
    Geographic Origin

  • Gnocchi are Italian, with variations found in different regions of Italy. They are a staple of Italian cuisine.
  • Dumplings are found in many cuisines around the world. Examples include Chinese jiaozi, German Knödel, Japanese gyoza, and Polish piercing, among others.

  • Gnocchi Day is celebrated on the 29th of every month in Argentina. The tradition of eating gnocchi on the 29th of each month began as a day attributed to the Italian Catholic Saint Pantaleon, who is believed to have granted many miracles. Here’s more about it.
  • National Dumpling Day is celebrated on September 26th every year.

  • Acorn Squash Soup With Sauteed Gnocchi
  • Baked Eggs With Gnocchi & Pesto
  • Gnocchi Antipasto
  • Gnocchi Clam Chowder With Pancetta
  • Pumpkin Gnocchi With Sage Sauce
  • Pumpkin Soup With Bacon, Sage & Gnocchi
  • 15 More Gnocchi Recipes

    4-Cheese Gnocchi With Marinara Sauce & Fresh Basil
    [1] Four-cheese gnocchi with marinara sauce and fresh basil (all photos © DeLallo).

    A Box Of Delallo Gnocchi
    [2] A box of DeLallo gnocchi, a nice stocking stuffer or party gift for just $4.50.

    A Box Of Delallo Gnocchi, Ready To Cook & Eat
    [3] The gnocchi are ready to cook and eat.

    Gnocchi Mac & Cheese In A Skillet
    [4] Gnocchi mac and cheese.

    Breakfast Gnocchi
    [5] Breakfast gnocchi, topped with a fried egg.

    [6] Pumpkin soup with gnocchi. They can be added to any soup or broth.






    Lebkuchen Christmas Spice Cookies & The History Of Lebkuchen

    A platter of German Lebkuchen spice cookies from LeckerLee
    [1] Nuremberg-style lebkuchen, baked fresh in Colorado (all photos © Leckerlee).

    A Golden Tray With Lebkucken, German Spice Cookies
    [2] Serve them on a beautiful tray….

    Chocolate Covered Lebkucken, German Spice Cookies
    [3] …or with coffee…

    Lebkuchen Tin From Leckerlee With Toy Horse & Ornament
    [4] One of the collectible tins (several lovely designs are available).

    A Platter Of Lebkuchen Holiday Spice Cookies
    [5] Snack time.

    Chocolate-covered Lebkuchen from Leckerlee
    [6] Chocolate-covered lebkuchen with a cup of coffee.

    A Platter Of Lebkuchen Christmas Spice Cookies
    [7] Regular size and minis.

    Lebkuchen Spice Cookie & A Pot Of Tea
    [8] Regular lebkuchen with a cup of tea.

    Lebuchen Spice Cookies In A Gift Tin
    [9] Regular and chocolate-covered lebkuchen in the Silent Night tin: a dark violet sky, a frosted field, and snow-capped trees, a quaint village.

    Strings Of Heart Shape Lebkuchen Hanging At The Nurenburg Christmas Market
    [10] Strings Of heart-shape lebkuchen hanging at the Nurenburg Christmas Market.

    Rectangular Lebkuchen At The Nurenburg Christmas Market
    [11] Stacks of rectangular lebkuchen in Nurenberg.


    Lebkuchen is a classic German Christmas cookie, not well-known in the U.S. But there is an artisan cookie maker in Texas who bakes them every year. They’re a treat for your own table and as gifts, in beautiful gift tins.

    They are not the same as gingerbread, as you’ll see below.

    Lebkuchen (pronounced LEYB-koo-chun, with the “ch” the German guttural as in ach or echh) is a centuries-old German spiced treat traditionally baked during the winter holiday season.

    One American, experiencing them in Germany, decided to start her own lebkuchen bakery in the U.S., and named it Leckerle.

    The company’s name is a play on the German words for delicious/treat and Sandy’s surname.

    Sandy lived in Berlin from 2009 to 2011, and it was at the annual Christmas Market there that she first encountered lebkuchen.

    She quickly became obsessed with learning how to make them, and toured around Germany, visiting Christmas markets and esteemed Nuremberg lebkuchen purveyors to sample their wares.

    Once she had perfected her recipe, she moved back to the U.S. to start Leckerlee.

    Since 2011, Sandy Lee has been baking authentic Nuremberg-style* lebkuchen using the highest-quality ingredients and time-honored techniques. Sandy’s lebkuchen are baked by hand in Colorado, and only during the traditional winter season.

    Leckerlee is the only U.S.-based lebkuchen producer specializing in authentic Nuremberg-style lebkuchen.

    If you find yourself in the Boulder, Colorado area, you’re invited to visit the Leckerlee baking facility in Longmont.

    The cookies are 40% almonds and hazelnuts (the first listed ingredient is nuts, not sugar), use cold-ground spices (to preserve their aroma and flavor), and are all natural (no artificial preservatives, flavors, or additives).

    Head to

    You’ll find classic, gluten-free, mini, and chocolate-covered options.

    They solve the problem of what special gifts to give, and what special sweets to serve inn your own home.

    Leckerlee lebkuchen are baked in small batches and arrive fresh, no matter when you order it. You can also freeze them† to enjoy them throughout the year.

    The signature Nuremberg lebkuchen are packaged in 1-pound boxes of 5 lebkuchen cookies.

    Lebkuchen has a naturally long shelf life, and Leckerlee uses no artificial preservatives.

    But Leckerlee recommends that you eat the lebkuchen within a few weeks for optimal texture and taste. As long as you store your lebkuchen in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, they’ll remain fresh for more than 3 months.

    Should the lebkuchen lose some of its moisture, try the old trick of adding a piece of sliced apple to the container for one to two days and then remove it.

    Lebkuchen is a traditional German Christmas cookie, as is gingerbread. The difference between the two is below.

    The origins of lebkuchen can be traced to Franconian monasteries in 13th-Germany Bavaria. The monks were skilled in the art of baking and often used honey, spices, and nuts in their recipes.

    (An aside: Earlier, around 610 C.E., monks in Southern France or Northern Italy invented pretzels. Here’s the history of pretzels.)

    The original lebkuchen was likely a variation of the honey cakes that were baked in ancient Egypt as gifts to the gods. The cakes later spread throughout Europe.

    In fact, lebkuchen is also known as honey cake (Honigkuchen*) and pepper cake (Pfefferkuchen*).


    The name is derived from the German words “leb,” meaning life, and “kuchen,” meaning cake.

    “Leben” is a derivative of “leibspeise,” which means favorite food, or possibly has something to do with the Germanic term “lebbe” meaning very sweet.
    Nurenburg-Style Lebkuchen

    In the 14th century, Nuremberg, Germany became known as a center for lebkuchen production. Its reputation for quality became famous throughout Europe.

    Nuremberg thrived as the center for lebkuchen production for two reasons.

  • The dense forests around the city were a vast source of honey, a key ingredient in lebkuchen.
  • Nuremberg was located at the crossroads of ancient spice trade routes, giving it access to the then-exotic spices found in lebkuchen.
    The city established strict rules and regulations for making lebkuchen, and only bakers who were members of the local gingerbread guild were allowed to produce and sell them.

    As their popularity spread, lebkuchen recipes became varied by region and were closely guarded secrets. However, the ingredients commonly included honey, spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, as well as nuts like almonds and hazelnuts.

    The dough was often enriched with candied citrus peel. Some recipes also included anise, cardamom, and other aromatic spices.

    Nuremberg-style lebkuchen, known as Nürnberger Lebkuchen or Elisenlebkuchen in Germany, are the crème de la crème of lebkuchen, having the highest nut content—typically almonds and hazelnuts, but also walnuts and cashews.

    By definition, Nürnberger Lebkuchen must contain a minimum of 25% nuts and less than 10% wheat flour.

    The finest artisanal lebkuchen bakeries in Nuremberg boast close to 40% nut content. Leckerlee has a 40% nut content!

    Due to its higher nut content, quality, and packaging, Nuremberg lebkuchen commands a premium price.

    But industrial manufacturers tend to meet the bare minimum threshold of 25%. You get what you pay for.

    Nuremberg lebkuchen usually contain marzipan or almond paste (which has twice the amount of almonds), candied citron, and orange peel.

    They always have an edible wafer (collectively known as Oblaten or Back Oblaten) on the bottom. They are rather large in size, most often rounded (~4” in diameter), but sometimes rectangular (~8” long x 4.75” wide).

    Over time, lebkuchen (along with gingerbread) became associated with Christmas and other festive occasions, because the expensive spices made the cost of the cookies an indulgence.

    The cookies were (and still are) often elaborately decorated with icing and sugar glazes, and the wealthy could enjoy lebkuchen with added gold leaf (well, there’s less gold leaf around these days).
    Other Types Of Lebkuchen

    Feine Oblaten Lebkuchen

    The next level down from Nuremberg lebkuchen, in terms of quality and price, is Oblaten Lebkuchen. The name translates to oblate, from Latin oblatus, “one offered up,” in Roman Catholicism.

    That’s because there’s an edible, paper-thin communion wafer on the bottom of each cookie.

    The wafers are made from wheat flour, starch, and water. Franconian monks used communion wafers to prevent the lebkuchen dough from sticking to the baking sheets. This use of communion wafers remains quite common in German baking today.

    Please don’t peel them off! The Oblaten are an integral part of the lebkuchen-eating experience.

    There are two categories of oblaten lebkuchen:

  • Feine (fine) oblaten lebkuchen, which must have at least 14% nut content.
  • Standard oblaten lebkuchen, without the “feine” distinction, which need to have only 7% nut content.
    Oblaten Lebkuchen is industrially produced in mass quantities. Some common brands available in the U.S. include Lebkuchen Schmidt and Wicklein.

    Braune Lebkuchen

    This category has no wafers and usually no nuts. The dough is comprised primarily of wheat flour and honey.

    The big, decoratively frosted lebkuchen hearts (Lebkuchenherzen—photo #10) sold during the Oktoberfest festivities fall into this category. So do the bags of lebkuchen pieces in the shapes of hearts, stars, and pretzels, and any lebkuchen pieces that have a fruit filling.

    These types of lebkuchen are fundamentally different from Nuremberg lebkuchen, and even though they are all referred to as lebkuchen, they are not directly comparable.

    Some common brands available in the U.S. include Bahlsen, Weiss, and Lambertz.
    Modern Lebkuchen

    During the 19th century, lebkuchen spread beyond Germany, and variations emerged in different European countries.

    Each region added its own twist to the traditional recipe, incorporating local ingredients and flavors.

    Today, lebkuchen is enjoyed not only in Germany but also in many other countries, especially during the Christmas season.

    Commercially produced lebkuchen is widely available, but there are still many bakers who adhere to traditional recipes, keeping the rich history of this festive treat alive.



  • Lebkuchen: Lebkuchen typically contains honey, various spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, and nuts such as almonds or hazelnuts. They may also include candied citrus peel.
  • Gingerbread: Traditional gingerbread recipes often include molasses or treacle, brown sugar, and a significant amount of ginger. While ginger is a common spice in lebkuchen as well, it tends to be a more dominant flavor in traditional gingerbread.
    Spice Blend

  • Lebkuchen: The spice blend in lebkuchen can vary, but it often includes a combination of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and sometimes cardamom and anise.
  • Gingerbread: Ginger is the primary spice in traditional gingerbread, giving it a distinct and robust flavor (similar to gingersnaps). Additional spices like cinnamon and cloves are also common.
    Geographical Origin

  • Lebkuchen: Originating in Germany, lebkuchen has strong ties to Nuremberg, where it became particularly famous. Different regions in Germany may have variations on the recipe.
  • Gingerbread: While gingerbread has roots in various European countries, it is associated with different traditions and recipes in each region. In the U.S., gingerbread cookies and gingerbread houses are popular during the Christmas season.
    Texture and Form

  • Lebkuchen: Lebkuchen are made in various forms, including rounds, hearts, and rectangles. The texture can range from soft and cake-like to firm and chewy, depending on the recipe.
  • Gingerbread: Traditional gingerbread cookies are often cut into similar shapes, in addition to gingerbread people and animals. The texture can vary from soft and chewy to crisp and crunchy.

  • Lebkuchen: Decorations on lebkuchen often include glazes, icing, and sometimes even gold leaf. The decorations can be intricate and elaborate.
  • Gingerbread: Gingerbread cookies and houses are often decorated with icing, candies, and other edible embellishments. The decoration style may vary widely, from simple to highly detailed.
    In sum, while both lebkuchen and gingerbread have their unique characteristics, they have their distinctive ones as well.

    And both are beloved holiday treats that are enjoyed in various forms around the world.


    Several cookies from different cultures share similarities with lebkuchen in terms of flavors, spices, and festive associations.

    These cookies may not be identical to lebkuchen, but they share some common elements. They’re enjoyable alternatives or additions to your holiday cookie repertoire.

  • Basler Läckerli (Switzerland): Basler Läckerli is a Swiss gingerbread-like cookie made with honey, almonds, candied peel, and Kirsch (cherry brandy). It has a similar spiced and sweet flavor profile.
  • Pepparkakor (Sweden): Pepparkakor are Swedish gingersnaps, and they share some similarities with lebkuchen. They are spiced with ginger, cinnamon, and cloves and are often cut into thin, crisp shapes. In Sweden, these cookies are a traditional part of the Christmas celebration.
  • Pfeffernüsse (Germany): Pfeffernüsse, which translates to “pepper nuts,” contain similar spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. They are often coated in powdered sugar.
  • Pierniki (Poland): Pierniki are Polish gingerbread cookies that share common ground with lebkuchen. They often contain honey, spices, and sometimes cocoa. Pierniki can be shaped into various forms and are popular during holidays.
  • Speculoos (Belgium/Netherlands): Speculoos, or speculaas, are spiced shortcrust cookies popular in Belgium and the Netherlands. They often feature a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and cardamom, and are enjoyed year-round. Speculoos are sometimes shaped with imprints or molds. The popular flavor profile has also been turned into cookie butter.
    *In German, nouns have capital letters. In English, that convention is not observed.

    †For best results, carefully wrap each lebkuchen individually in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container in the freezer. If possible, thaw lebkuchen in the refrigerator before bringing them to room temperature. Defrosting the lebkuchen slowly helps preserve the texture. For chocolate-covered lebkuchen in particular, this phased defrosting also prevents drastic changes in temperature that may affect the chocolate’s appearance and texture.





    Parfait History & A Key Lime Yogurt Parfait For National Parfait Day

    A Strawberry Parfait built in a milkshake glass and topped with cookies.
    [1] A strawberry parfait built in a milkshake glass (photo © Fortnum & Mason).

    A Chocolate Parfait With Oreos
    [2] An over-the-top chocolate Oreo sundae with chocolate and vanilla ice cream, crushed Oreos, fudge sauce, and whipped cream, served in a jumbo brandy snifter (photo © Emile Mbunzama | Unsplash).

    A Parfait With Vanilla Ice Cream & Lemon Curd
    [3] Vanilla ice cream with lemon curd, raspberries, and chocolate sprinkles, served in a standard stemmed dessert dish (photo © Max Griss | Unsplash).

    A vanilla ice cream parfait with Lindor chocolate truffles.
    [4] A “Lindor” parfait with cookie crumbs, raspberries, pomegranate arils, and brandied cherries, topped with a Lindor chocolate truffle (photo © Lindt | Facebook).

    Key Lime Yogurt Parfait Topped With Blueberries & A Bottom Layer Of Graham Crackers
    [5] Key lime yogurt parfait in a glass jar: broken graham crackers topped with Key lime yogurt, vanilla yogurt, and blueberries. Another use for Mason jars! The recipe is within this article (photo © Pampered Chef).

    A parfait of vanilla ice cream and & Mandarin orange segments served in Champagne flutes.
    [6] Need a parfait dish? Pull out your Champagne flutes (photos © Davio’s | Boston).

    A vanilla parfait with layered chocolate-covered nuts, made in a classic glass sundae dish.
    [7] A layered parfait built in a classic sundae dish (photo © Fisher Nuts | P&G).

    Three French-style parfaits. They are blended frozen desserts, not layered ice cream.
    [8] A French parfait: not layered ice cream, but a blended frozen dessert served in a curvy glass (photo © Diego Romero | Pixels).

    A classic parfait glass, used to hold a milkshake.
    [9] A classic parfait glass, shown here filled with a milkshake (photo © Momenti).


    November 25th is National Parfait Day, which celebrates a delicious ice cream treat a bit more sophisticated than the sundae.

    (The ice cream sundae was also invented in the U.S. National Chocolate Parfait Day is May 1st.)

    The history of the parfait is below.

    We also have a recipe for a Key lime yogurt parfait below, which exchanges the ice cream for Greek yogurt.

    The difference between butterscotch and caramel—both sauces that can be layered in parfaits, and often used interchangeably—but they’re quite different.

    But first:

    The Parfait

  • Layered Presentation: A parfait is typically a layered dessert. It is often served in a tall, narrow glass to showcase the layers of ingredients (photo #8).
  • Components: A classic parfait consists of layers of ice cream, whipped cream, sauces (butterscotch, caramel (below“>the difference), chocolate, fruit), and other components such as nuts, fruits, crumbled cookies, and granola.
  • French Origin: The term “parfait” is French for “perfect.” But it is not a layered ice cream dessert. In its original French context, parfait refers to a blended-consistency frozen dessert made with a base of sugar syrup, egg, and cream, which is churned as it freezes.
    The Sundae

  • Presentation: While there is an iconic sundae dish (photo #7), a sundae is often served in a standard bowl.
  • Components: The components are often arranged more casually compared to the structured layers of a parfait. A classic ice cream sundae includes scoops of ice cream topped with sauces (such as hot fudge or caramel), whipped cream, nuts, and a cherry on top. Other popular toppings are sprinkles and crushed or whole cookies. But everything is a garnish on top, not a layer.
  • American Origin: The ice cream sundae has American origins and is said to have originated in the late 19th or early 20th century. It was initially created as an alternative to the soda fountain sundae, which was served with flavored syrups.

    Create all the flavors of a Key lime pie in a yogurt parfait! Thanks to Pampered Chef for the recipe.

    If you’re avoiding sugar, you can make your own Key lime yogurt and use a powdered sugar substitute (Recipe #2).

    Enjoy this for breakfast or dessert.
    Ingredients Per Serving

  • 3 graham cracker squares, crushed (substitute granola)
  • 5.3 oz or 100 g Key lime yogurt, preferably Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) blueberries
  • Garnish: whipped cream, whipped topping, vanilla yogurt, or sour cream

    1. PLACE the graham crackers on the bottom of a stemmed glass or other glass container.

    (Note: You can use any kind of glass to make a layered parfait, as you can see in the photos. But if you don’t have any appropriate glasses or glass dishes, just use any dish. It won’t have the parfait eye appeal, but it will taste just as good.)

    2. LAYER with the yogurt, blueberries, and whipped topping.

    If you can’t find ready-made key lime yogurt, it’s easy to make your own.

  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Lime zest
  • Lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey, agave, or sweetener of choice*

    1. ZEST the lime, then juice it.

    2. COMBINE all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to blend.

    3. TASTE the yogurt and adjust the sweetener, as desired.
    *If using artificial sweetener, add two teaspoons’ worth, taste, and adjust the sweetness as desired.

    The term “parfait“ is of French origin and translates to “perfect.” The history of the parfait is a bit complex, as the term has been used to describe various dishes throughout different times and places.

    However, when people refer to an ice cream parfait, they are generally talking about a layered dessert made with ice cream, toppings, and sometimes other ingredients like fruits and nuts—as you can see in these photos.

    Here’s a brief overview of the history of the term “parfait” and how it became associated with the layered ice cream dessert:

    In France, the term “parfait” traditionally refers to a frozen dessert made from a base of sugar syrup, egg, and cream. This French parfait is similar to ice cream but is made by churning the ingredients as they freeze, and does not include layers of syrups, sauces, fruits, etc. In the U.S., it would be called a “frozen soufflé.”

    In the context of a frozen dessert made with cream, eggs, sugar, and flavorings, the term “parfait” likely gained popularity in late 19th or early 20th century France. That frozen dessert became part of French cuisine and eventually found its way into international culinary traditions.

    The American Parfait

    In the U.S., the term “parfait” took on a different meaning. American parfaits evolved into layered desserts typically served in tall glasses. These parfaits often involve a combination of ice cream, whipped cream, fruits, nuts, and syrups—layered, not mixed.

    We can’t pinpoint who invented the ice cream parfait and when. There is no documented origin story. But we give thanks to the chef or home cook who first thought to layer conventional toppings with ice cream in a tall glass.

    In the mid-20th century, parfaits gained popularity in the U.S., becoming a popular dessert choice in restaurants and homes. The layered presentation made them visually appealing, and the combination of different textures and flavors contributed to the delightful experience.

    The beauty of the parfait concept lies not only in its appearance but in its versatility.

    As yogurt became popular in the 1970s, yogurt parfaits debuted, layered with fruit and topped with granola. It is now used in overnight oats recipes and more.

    Over time, the term “parfait” expanded to savory foods, used to describe layered dishes in different cuisines.

    There are layered parfaits from caviar with crème fraîche to mashed potatoes with grated cheddar (there are recipes for both below.

    There are also savory yogurt parfaits, layering plain Greek yogurt with diced cucumbers, tomatoes, legumes, feta, chopped vegetables (roasted veggies, beets), grains (quinoa), herbs, nuts, etc.

    Today, the ice cream parfait is a popular dessert enjoyed around the world, and it continues to be a favorite treat due to its combination of flavors and textures, from classic to creative, such as a maple-pecan parfait with maple ice cream, maple-caramelized pecans, maple ice cream, a drizzle of maple syrup, a topping of crunchy maple granola, and maple-infused whipped cream, etc.

  • Mashed Potato Parfait
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Breakfast Parfait
  • Red, White & Blue Breakfast Yogurt Parfait
  • Strawberry Parfait & Template To Make A Custom Parfait.

  • The Different Types Of Frozen Desserts: A Photo Glossary
  • Ice Cream History
  • Ice Cream Cone History
  • Ice Cream Freezer History
  • Ice Cream Pie History
  • Ice Cream Sandwich History
  • Ice Cream Social History
  • Ice Cream Soda History
  • Ice Cream Sundae History

    Butterscotch sauce and caramel sauce are sometimes referred to interchangeably, but they are not the same.

    While someone who likes one is likely to enjoy the other, they are made using different ingredients and techniques, resulting in distinct taste profiles.

    Here are the key differences between butterscotch sauce and caramel sauce:


  • Butterscotch Sauce: The main ingredients in butterscotch sauce are brown sugar, butter, and cream. The combination of these ingredients gives butterscotch its unique flavor, which is often described as rich, buttery, and with a hint of toffee (which is cooked at a higher temperature and has a more robust caramelized sugar flavor and a deeper sweetness).
  • Caramel Sauce: Caramel sauce is made with white granulated sugar, butter, and cream. It has a deeper, more intense flavor compared to butterscotch, with notes of burnt sugar and a slightly bitter undertone.
    Type Of Sugar Used

  • Butterscotch Sauce: Typically made with brown sugar, which contributes to its distinctive color and flavor.
  • Caramel Sauce: Made with white granulated sugar. The sugar is heated until it caramelizes, resulting in a golden to dark brown color and a more complex flavor profile.
    Flavor Profile

  • Butterscotch Sauce: A rich, buttery, and toffee-like flavor with a slightly lighter sweetness compared to caramel.
  • Caramel Sauce: Tends to have a more intense, deep caramelized sugar flavor with a hint of bitterness.

  • Butterscotch Sauce: Typically has a lighter color, ranging from golden to amber.
  • Caramel Sauce: Can range from a light golden brown to a deep, dark brown, depending on how long the sugar is caramelized.
    Cooking Technique

  • Butterscotch Sauce: The sugar is often melted with butter and then combined with cream, allowing for a quicker preparation process.
  • Caramel Sauce: The sugar is heated on its own until it caramelizes, and then butter and cream are added. This process requires careful attention to prevent the sugar from burning.




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