At Perfectly Frank’s in downtown Summerville, Trinity Martinez’s cake pops are quickly developing a cult following.
Cake pops, a novel amalgamation of the cupcake and the lollipop, have sprung up around the country — in cookbooks, on blogs, and on the Today show. But Martinez’s bakery, Summerville Sweets, home of Charleston’s novel cake pop, has only been in business for two months.
It used to be that Martinez was the woman you’d call — the mom, the friend, the employee — for baked goods during the holidays.
“I was baking all the time anyway,” Martinez says. “So I figured I might as well try my hand out at business, and see how it works.”
Her cake pops come in four different flavors: chocolate, vanilla, lemon, and coconut. They cost $2.25 a pop, because they take such a long time to make.
“It’s a tedious process,” Martinez says. “But they’re just really cute when they’re done.”
As of now, Summerville Sweets is run out of Perfectly Frank’s during non-operating hours. When the hot dog emporium isn’t pounding out orders of gourmet franks topped with ingredients like grilled shrimp or mac and cheese, Martinez is in the kitchen rolling cake pops and baking other treats.
The base of a cake pop is made with crumbled cake mixed with frosting, resulting in a gooey texture. Martinez makes four different types of frosting: plain or chocolate buttercream, cream cheese, and sweet cream, all of which can top her pops or full-sized cakes.
After the cake is rolled into a ball, Martinez puts it on a stick.
Then the cake is dipped into hand-tempered chocolate, vanilla, or colored icing. It’s decorated with chopped almonds, shredded coconut, or handmade mini marshmallows. Martinez’s latest creation is a prototype for an Elvis Pop, which will feature a peanut butter cake dipped in chocolate frosting and topped with banana chips.
The day we visited Perfectly Frank’s, we tasted a cake pop decorated to look like a mini cupcake topped with sprinkles and a single pink candy heart.
The ball of fluffy baked batter was coated with a fine layer of chocolate icing, with pink icing on top. According to Martinez, her cake pops take three bites to finish, but in our experience, it took just one.
“I have a cake pop every day,” says Blaine Jones, who works the front register at Perfectly Frank’s. “If I didn’t have to pay for them, they’d all be gone.”
Currently, Summerville Sweets sells its cake pops exclusively to Perfectly Frank’s. Trinity has plans to expand individual retail distribution of the product to Park Circle. But until then, cake pop connoisseurs must make the trek to 118 N. Main St. Martinez also caters parties and weddings. She uses cake pops for table settings, place cards, and gifts.