Apple Baking Co. introduces Cheerwine cake
By Sarah Nagem
Glenn Hudson is proud to say he tasted one of the first Cheerwine cakes that came out of the oven at Salisbury’s Apple Baking Co.
“I am well-known as being a Cheerwine-aholic, big time,” 40-year-old Hudson said.
If fact, he liked the popular Apple Ugly maker’s new recipe so well, he opted out of a traditional sheet cake for his son’s birthday party earlier this week. Seven-year-old Briggs blew out the candles on a red, frosted, pound cake-looking treat instead.
Then the family passed around slices to the 10 or so kids at the party.
“It had disappeared in less than five minutes,” Hudson said.He had bought an extra one, just in case they’d need it. “That one got gone before the day of the party,” he said.
Glenn Hudson really loves Cheerwine.
That’s why he was excited to hear that his friend, Apple Baking Co. president Matt DeBoer, was working on a recipe that would add Cheerwine to a pastry.
DeBoer said he used Hudson as a guinea pig. His friend rarely makes it through a day without a Cheerwine slush, he said.
“I knew if the baking company was going to move forward with this concept, he was the one to taste test it,” DeBoer said.
Apple Baking Co. started playing around with a Cheerwine cake recipe a couple of months ago.
“It was just an idea. They’re such a great local company,” he said of Cheerwine. “It just kind of came to us one day that we should give it a try.”
So bakers created a recipe using Cheerwine syrup and soda. He presented a cake to Cheerwine representatives, DeBoer said.
After meeting with the local soda folks, DeBoer’s company tweaked the flavor and color of the cake to heed their suggestions.
He hosted a focus group to gauge people’s reactions. The company also passed out samples at the Apple Ugly eating contest in Faith earlier this month.
The cakes were a hit, DeBoer said.
“People have loved it, and the feedback has been tremendous,” he said.
The project is still in the concept phase. But the baking company is selling the cakes at its distribution center off Woodleaf Road.
Half-cakes are $5. Whole cakes are $9.
DeBoer hopes the cakes will be in local grocery stores and convenience marts by the end of the year. He wants the treats to become a staple at backyard barbecues.
Cheerwine representatives could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
“Both companies will be heavily involved in regards to quality,” DeBoer said.
He hopes his company will one day be as big as Cheerwine, which continues to expand its distribution.
A cherry soda-flavored cream cake might be a step in the right direction. Briggs likes it, anyway.
When asked to describe the taste, he had a simple answer: “Kind of like Cheerwine.”
Which is exactly what Apple Baking Co. had hoped.