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Cronut mania begat an entire genre of franken-desserts. The latest icing-topped monster is a cross between a cake pop and a push-pop: the cake push-pop. Fueled by the popularity of baking experiments on Instagram, Haley Raphael, along with her boyfriend Jesse Mates, launched Pops by Haley in November as a part-time venture. The business has now expanded to a full-time operation working out of Union Kitchen. In addition to catering events, Pops by Haley hosts a number of one-off pop-ups, sells the products online, and will have a presence at Union Kitchen Grocery, opening Monday.
Raphael, who previously worked at the corporate offices of Sweetgreen, was inspired by the Flintstones ice cream push-pops of her youth. “I’m a huge nostalgic ’90s fan,” she says. She touts the fact that, unlike cupcakes, they’re easier to transport and less likely to leave your fingers covered in sprinkles and frosting. “You can eat it with one hand and hold your drink in the other,” she says.
The pops come in flavors chocolate peanut butter, birthday cake, cookies and cream, s’mores, and red velvet. Raphael also has a line of alcohol-infused flavors including a margarita pop with vanilla cake and tequila-lime frosting and another vanilla pop with Champagne buttercream frosting. Just don’t expect to get drunk—each boozy pop contains less than 5 percent alcohol. For events, Raphael will offer custom flavors and labels as well as DIY cake push-pop making stations. The standard flavors cost $39 a dozen, and the alcohol infused ones are $43. At Union Kitchen Grocery, a single pop will go for $5.
Although she’s focusing exclusively on cake push-pops for now, Raphael is looking to add other desserts to her product line.
Photo courtesy Pops by Haley