Birthday Cake Is the New 'It' Flavor (Bye-Bye, Bacon)

(Photo by: Getty Images)Everybody likes to feel special, and the one day a year when that's practically guaranteed is your birthday. Now that special feeling is the basis of the trendiest new flavor for sweets. Yes, getting older can be hard and many of us have experienced an "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to" moment, but step into a kitchen where a simple yellow cake is baking and you may just feel like a wide-eyed kid excited to blow out a bunch of candles. "Birthday cake is a time machine to a happy place," New York City's current cupcake queen, Allison Robicelli, who co-authored the new book "Robicelli's: A Love Story, With Cupcakes" with her husband, Matt, tells Yahoo Shine. And that's what manufacturers are betting on with the huge range of birthday-cake flavored items on the market today.

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There is birthday-cake-flavored yogurt, popcorn, candy, iced blended tea, and more. M&Ms recently announced that it would be releasing a birthday-cake version of its iconic candy in May 2014. If you want your actual birthday cake to taste even more like, umm .. .birthday cake, you can add an artificial extract that bills itself as so authentic, "you will smell the wax of the burning candles."

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The products generally fall into three categories based on how well they incorporate vanilla, butter, sugar, and eggs — the fundamental flavorings in basic homemade birthday cake — into their formulas. One of the tastiest items is ice cream because it can be studded with chunks of real cake or flavored with natural ingredients. The middle range includes confections and candies such as Oreos and jellybeans whose appeal relies on sugar and artificial extract. Those items will satisfy your sweet tooth just as well as any other lab-produced flavor like cotton candy or cookies-and-cream plus sugar, if you like that sort of thing. Then there's what we'll refer to as the "Call poison control" category: protein powder, alcoholic beverages, and Vanilla Cupcake Goldfish.

Food trends come and go, but thanks to birthday cake's strong emotional resonance and traditional vanilla-based flavor, the new wave of birthday cake products may have more staying power than some. Chili chocolate, green tea, and anything bacon are trendy tastes, but they're not for everyone. "You have one day a year devoted to you," points out Robicelli. "Of all the desserts, you can pick pie, cookies, doughnuts, anything — but you have cake." As for birthday-cake-flavored vodka, she says she'll pass. But based on all those bottles hitting store shelves, it looks like there are plenty of consumers who want to have their cake and drink it too.

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