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By Samantha Aguilar

Tired of the bar scene, expensive drinks and heavy socializing? Ditch the cocktail and get buzzed off a cake pop instead.

The Birth of Drunken Cake Pops

Owners Sara Aleman and Zoila Navales came up with the idea in 2013 during a business meeting in Portland, Oregon. With no background in baking, some understanding in business, $300 to their name and determination, Drunken Cake Pops was born.

“We told ourselves that if we can work this hard for someone else, then why can’t we do it for us? So we did, and here we are,” Aleman said.

Their main location in Rancho Cucamonga features 10 different cake pop flavors inspired by popular cocktail drinks. The cake pops can be purchased individually or in bundles. Some of their more popular flavors include German chocolate whiskey, lemon drop martini, birthday cake shot, red wine velvet and Monique’s pink champagne.

The Science Behind the Dessert

Developing these flavors wasn’t easy, Aleman explained.

“There were a lot of mess-ups,” Aleman said, “We started with like 20 flavors and tried a base recipe. Once we nailed that, we had to figure out which alcohol to use, flavored or straight, batter or frosting, it was crazy.”

Aleman explained that a solid cake batter base is all it takes to turn any flavor into a great tasting, alcohol-infused cake pop. But, like every great recipe, there is a secret behind ensuring a balanced flavor and the presence of alcohol. “That’s the million-dollar super-secret question that is asked often but never answered,” she said.

Baking with alcohol is a science that depends on a few factors–– the temperature the pastry is being cooked at and the surface area of the cooking pan. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a batter with alcohol not stirred into the mixture can retain 45% alcohol if baked for 25 minutes. Mixing alcohol into the batter, however, then decreases the retention. When alcohol is stirred into a mixture and baked for 30 minutes, it will only retain 35% of the alcohol and reduce the longer it’s baked.

The cake pops retain so much alcohol that customers must be at least 21 years old to purchase them. “There should not be enough to get you drunk, but the flavor is definitely pronounced. Some say it gets them going, I think it might be the excitement,” Navales said.

Beyond the Drunken Cake Pops

Don’t worry if you’re under 21; they’ve got something for you too! Their virgin selection is just as unique, including flavors such as mudslide, Shirley Temple and red velvet.

Additionally, they offer a selection of other items that collaborate between them and other small local businesses. Their coffee beans come from Amend and Revise, a local roastery in Redlands that creates a custom coffee blend for their shop. Their ice cream also comes from Scoops on Tap, and their cookie shots come from Dirty Cookie.

For those looking for keto-friendly, vegan and diabetic-friendly options, they’ve got you covered!

“We try to put as much effort in our keto stuff as our regular items,” Navales said. “We want to still offer fun and innovative things for our keto or vegan friends.”

Just when you thought that it couldn’t get any better, their drunken cake pops are only about a third of the price of a drink you’d pay for at the bar. Starting at $32 for a box of six cake pops, their vast, unique cake pop-menu includes something for everyone!

Aleman and Navales are working on expanding their shops and their menu to eventually have an adult dessert bar offering more alcoholic desserts, like milkshakes, rootbeer floats and more!

You can find Drunken Cake Pops located at 12385 S. Main Street Suite 1040, Rancho Cucamonga, or at various events and festivals throughout Southern California.

If you’re not in the area, don’t worry, you can still enjoy these desserts! Drunken Cake Pops ships nationally. You can order straight from their website

Let’s have some fun with cake pops!