Ready-to-eat cookie dough is so five years ago. It’s all about frosting now.
Growing up in the ’90s, everyone knew that sneaking a piece of raw cookie dough from the Pillsbury chocolate chip log was one of life’s great joys—mostly because it wasn’t allowed. The adults in your life had forbidden you from participating in this act of dessert deviousness because you would get salmonella and die, making it all the more appealing. Cut to the summer of 2017. Boutique cookie dough shops popped up all over New York City and Los Angeles selling “safe to eat” uncooked cookie dough, cookie dough that contained no raw eggs or unpasteurized flour.
Buzzy shops treated cookie dough exactly like ice cream, serving it in many flavors and portion sizes, in cones and cups, and under piles of toppings. People waited in line for hours for scoops.
Eventually, the once-coastal cookie dough craze became ubiquitous throughout the U.S., a standard part of American life. Brands like Nestlé, EatPastry, and The Cookie Dough Cafe started to sell cartons of mom-approved raw dough in grocery stores. Flash forward to 2022. Edible cookie dough has had its time in the limelight. We still love it, but the thrill is gone. You can get it at any Publix, Ralphs, or Meijer.
We need a new scoopable treat to get excited about. We need something that is familiar but served in a way that makes it seem fancy. It should be decadent, but easy. Last but not least, it needs to feel a little naughty. A little risky. Something mom wouldn’t encourage you to eat. Mark my words: The future of dessert is frosting.
Some of us (me) are already ahead of the curve and have been eating frosting like this for years. Nothing feels as joyful as licking the frosting off a spatula that your mom just used to frost a cake.
Edible cookie dough and frosting are both obviously sensationally delicious. They also both come in a variety of flavors (even some that don’t exist in the cookie dough world, like cream cheese) and are great with or without toppings. And much like raw cookie dough, frosting is definitely something you would be chastised for eating so it checks the dessert delinquent box.
Straight from the pantry, frosting is soft like marshmallow fluff. Stick it in the freezer for a few hours and its consistency resembles fudge. It’s easy to eat, cheap to make, and beloved by everyone–minus a few weird anti-frosting buzzkills I want nothing to do with.
All brands like Duncan Hines and Simple Mills would need to do to create this product and get it on the market would be to change up their packaging. “Frosting” gets relabeled as “eating frosting” or “dessert frosting” or “serving frosting.” They’d remove the picture of a frosted cake from the front of the package and replace it with a picture of a silver spoon holding a hefty swirl of creamy frosting. The label could even include a cute little quote: “Who needs cake when you have frosting?”
I understand that frosting might not have been designed to be consumed in this manner, but this is a necessary evolution. Cookie dough went from a secretive snack to an official dessert in its own right within just a couple of months. Frosting could easily follow in cookie dough’s footsteps.
Give it a try and discover the wonder that is straight frosting. Remove the iconic red lid and pull back the circular piece of foil on a container of Betty Crocker milk chocolate frosting to reveal a treat tastier than any dessert at a fine dining establishment. Then get ready to start seeing frosting for eating in stores near you.