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Cake or Pie?

Do you prefer cake or pie in general?

I'll keep my choice to myself for now.

A group of my friends have been having this debate for the past year or so. It broke down exactly 50-50 in our group and we have each introduced it into our workplaces or schools and it always seems to break down 50-50. There also don't seem to be too many fence sitters -- while almost everyone will agree they like both, there is always a preference and usually a really strong one.

We have tried various phrasings of the question:

Which do you like enough to eat a bad version of it?

For example, I'd turn my nose up at store-bought versions of one and have had slices of it I could not finish, but have never left a slice of the other on a plate no matter how bad.

The only rephrasing of the question that got people to change their answer was which is better: the best pie or the best cake?

That got a couple people who were pie supporters to say that cake could be better, it just never was.

So I open the floor to all you Chowhounders. Maybe an American dominated board will increase the percentage of pie supporters as compared to my friends in Toronto? We'll see.

Oh, and this will lead to other debates like is Cheesecake really a pie? And if it is called Gateau in French, does that make it a cake (i.e. Gateau St. Honore)?

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  1. Pie. I just can't get too excited about most cakes, and really only eat cake if there's ice cream, too. Pies, on the other hand, are completely different. Give me a fork and get out of my way!

    1. Pie, but only good pie. I don't object to cake but don't get too excited about it. And they usually look better than they taste. I don't like either enough to eat it if it's bad.

      1. absolutely definitely cake.

        1. Pie, preferably little tart's.

          1. Hello.. Great topic. I will always prefer pie to cake. I cannot easily recall a slice of pie that I've rejected, even when it's merely mediocre. Whereas, a mediocre slice of cake I will handily turn down after a few bites or even just a presumptive glance... I even like the generic individually wrapped 3-for-a-dollar 'pies' sold in the grocery store next to the single serving ho-hos and twinkies. The fillings on those single-serving pie/turnovers, especially the coconut or chocolate, are like pudding. How can you beat sweet dough-encased pudding for 33 cents a serving! Also, if I eat cake, especially layer cake, I must 'topple over' my slice on the plate; then I proceed to take the fork and tease each layer of cake/frosting free from their compressed original form and eat the cake/frosting layers separately. That way, say, with a single tri-layer cake slice, I feel like I'm eating three separate slices of the cake. Dividing the cake up in this manner makes me feel less sad as the cake disappears as I polish it off. Eaten in sections like that, I can better portion off my diminishing larder of goodness, then gird my loins for the inevitable moment when it's all gone :-).

            1. Pie, definitely! Of all kinds. And I'm Cdn too, so there, TO!

              1. Pie.

                1. Pie! I never eat cake.

                  1. I've never heard it put quite that way, but it hits the nail right on the head for me. Cake, definitely. I clean my plate even when it's bad.

                    1. Pie, pie, pie, a thousand times pie.

                      1. cake, cake, cake!

                        1. Cake!

                          Although, I think a previous post on Chowhound argued that men prefer pie and women prefer cake. I don't think the results were conclusive.

                          Cake cake cake. I can't even think of a class of cakes that I generally dislike, but there are only a couple styles of pie that I really enjoy (pumpkin, pecan, Boston cream). Basically, I dislike that warm, sweet, tart, goopy quality that berry or fruit pies have. Fruit should be cold and fresh, not warm and cooked. But that's just me.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Pei

                            Nope, not just you. I agree. I like apple pie because fresh apples are rarely jaw-droppingly transcendent, but most fruit pies ruin good fruit. Bad fruit, on the other, hand, ok, you can salvage it in a pie.

                            I'm forced to make pies, though, because the hubby likes 'em so much. Birthday pie, feh, but you take the good w/ the bad, yeah?

                            Cake is the winner. There is nothing more incredible than a well-made cake: it's too beautiful to eat, it's too delicious not to eat. Cake! And even a poorly made ugly cake at a kid's birthday party or the subpar supermarket shortening-frosted cake w/ neon superheroes galavanting equals "we're celebrating here" whereas a bad pie....it's inedible, it's ugly, it's....sad.

                          2. Pie all the way. Key lime, preferably.

                            1. PIE. I don't like cake unless it's really good cake. Never really liked it that much, not even as a kid.

                              1. PIE! No question. I could go on for days about a really luscious filling married to a tender, flaky crust. I am rarely moved by cake, even when it's chocolate. Mostly because cakes are usually pretty but the flavor rarely matches the looks.

                                It probably doesn't help this discussion to mention that I've gotten marriage proposals from strangers after they've had my apple pie. :)

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Kishari

                                  Share your proposal-winning apple pie recipe, Kishari -- apple pie season is almost upon us!

                                  1. re: WineWidow

                                    Here ya go! My secret weapon is my 1965 Farm Journal Pie cookbook. Who knows pies better than farmer's wives?

                                    Old Fashioned Apple Pie
                                    From the Farm Journal’s Complete Pie Cookbook
                                    Makes one 9” pie

                                    Flaky pastry for 2-crust pie
                                    3⁄4- 1 c. sugar (based on the tartness of the apples)
                                    2 TB flour
                                    1 tsp ground cinnamon
                                    1/8 tsp ground nutmeg (freshly grated if you can...it makes a difference)
                                    1⁄4 tsp salt (kosher)
                                    6-7 c. (2- 2 1⁄2 lbs) peeled apples, sliced 1⁄4 thick. (I only use Granny Smith...they’re tart, not too sweet, and keep their texture when baked)
                                    2 TB unsalted butter, cold and cubed

                                    *******
                                    Flaky pastry for 2-crust pie (traditional method)
                                    2 c. sifted flour (King Arthur if you can)
                                    1 tsp. salt (kosher)
                                    3⁄4 c. vegetable shortening (Spectrum Organic, or Crisco), if you’re using lard it’s 2/3c.
                                    4-5 TB ice water

                                    1. Combine flour and salt in mixing bowl. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until mixture is the consistency of course cornmeal or tiny peas.
                                    2. Sprinkle on ice water, 1 TB at a time, tossing mixture lightly and stirring with a fork. Add water each time to the driest part of the mixture. Add only enough to be just moist enough to hold together, but not be sticky. (The weather/humidity will affect this every time you make pastry, you may need to adjust each time.) Shape dough into smooth ball with your hands.
                                    3. Split into two pieces, and roll out the top and bottom crusts. Make sure the bottom crust is a little bigger to cover the pan and provide room for crimping. Here’s my trick to make rolling out fast and easy...rather than rolling the dough out onto a floured cutting board, I roll my pie crusts onto floured waxed paper which I weight down in one corner. This way if there is sticking, it’s easy to flip, control and maneuver. Sprinkle only enough flour to keep it from sticking to the waxed paper– too much flour will toughen the crust and throw off the fat/flour ratio.
                                    4. Here’s the other secret to flaky crust....be SURE to refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes before baking. You can consult Harold McGee on this, but it has something to do with the fat further separating from the gluten in the flour. I’ve made dozens of pies, my crusts aren’t as flaky if I don’t do this first. Refrigerate the pastry after one goes in the pan, the other stays moist in the waxed paper, then both go into the fridge while I make the apple filling. Then let them warm up to room temperature to assemble before putting them in the oven.

                                    Pie filling
                                    1. Preheat oven to 425F.
                                    2. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix lightly through apples. Heap in pastry-lined 9” pie pan, you may need to maneuver some of the apples to fill up the holes and get as many apples in as you can. Evenly distribute cold butter cubes on top of apples.
                                    3. After rewarming pastry to room temperature, cover apples with top crust, crimp and flute the edges. Be sure to cut vents in the top crust to let out steam.
                                    4. Put a cookie sheet on the rack below the pie because it tends to bubble over with juice. Bake in hot oven 425F 50-60 minutes, or until crust is browned and apples are tender. I use an egg wash when there are 10 minutes left to go, just to get a richer color to the crust.

                                    Enjoy. Don’t accept marriage proposals from strangers unless they’re really cute. PS. I'm a girl, and I vote pie!

                                    1. re: Kishari

                                      Thanks! I just bought some russets this weekend so I'm definitely moving into pie mode!

                                      1. re: WineWidow

                                        You're welcome. Let us know how it goes. :)

                                2. Cake for me, pie for my husband.A lthough we can never finish either one in the house, we always make sure we give it away. Although a good cherry pie does trump most cakes I've had and/or made in my life...

                                  1. I'm a cake fan!

                                    1. Pie.

                                      1. PIE! Pie-ku for you:

                                        golden flaky crust
                                        crumbles humbly ‘neath your fork
                                        revealing treasure

                                        1. Cake, but I love good pie dough!

                                          1. General rules of thumb (to which there are exceptions) :

                                            1. Guys prefer pies. I happen to, too.
                                            2. Gals prefer cakes.

                                            Update:

                                            I forgot to add the memorable thread on the best way to a man's heart, cake or pie (answer was dominated by pie):

                                            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: Karl S

                                              i think that is true!

                                              I was going to write:

                                              CAKE! All these votes for PIE is just crazy talk, I tell ya! Crazy!

                                              1. re: Karl S

                                                let's more chowhounds reveal their gender with their cake vs. pie prefs. obviously as the lizardqueen I'm a woman, and I've always been a pie person - give me my key lime, sour cherry, peanut butter, pecan, boysenberry and tarte tatin. I would even eat a pre-packaged hostess pie, but would never stoop to pepperidge farm cake! for the record, I can think of quite a few female friends who would vote pie right there with me. Liz

                                                1. re: Karl S

                                                  fascinating -- in my experience men prefer cake and women prefer pie.

                                                  1. re: WineWidow

                                                    The generalization doesn't work for us either. I prefer pie (female) and the SO (male) prefers cake.

                                                    1. re: fickle

                                                      In our household I'm the pie-lover and my husband is an equal opportunity dessert eater.

                                                2. Pie. That is all.

                                                  1. Pie, any day. I'm not adverse to cake, mind you, but if there is a pie (fruit, pumpkin, sweet potato, custard) and a cake, I'll take the pie. I'll make a pie before I'll make a cake. I think I'll go make a pie right now, because I have to make a cake for a party on Sunday...

                                                    1. BTW, I'm a pie-lovin' woman. Married to a cake-lovin' man...but he has other qualities that more than make up for that.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Elizzie

                                                        pie - and my husband agrees. One of my early sayings (my parents tell me) was that "Ive never met a pie I didnt like". Well, little did I know 'cause Mom was a champion pie baker. These days its rare I meet a pie I do like, but I still believe that the contrast of buttery/flaky crust and filling in a well executed pie can be soulful perfection. Cake can be very good too, but one can rarely find real american style butter cakes any more. All of the ingredient shortcuts and mixes have really wrecked the cake, and the euro-style cakes just dont have it.

                                                      2. Btw, since this is a general discussion of cakes and pies, any of you out there ever hear of Aunt Chick (Mrs. Samuel Pendleton (Nellie) McBirney)?

                                                        http://www.grammascutters.com/chick_s...

                                                        http://www.grammascutters.com/chick_p...

                                                        My mom just gave me her 1953 edition of "Aunt Chick's Pies", the pamphlet that turned my mother from a horrible pie baker (my maternal grandmother was a fabulous bread baker, but she apparently treated her pastry like her bread....) to the talk of the neighborhood. My brother tried making some of the recipes from an earlier edition from the 1930s, and found them to be superlative. Aunt Chick had an unusual method with pie crust (wasn't fussy about temps, and the crust was folded a bit, taking a hint from puff pastry) was also famous for her cookie cutters and for popularizing pastry cloths at a time when they were rarely used. The thing that has disappeared from the scene are her "crispy pie pans" that had wire mesh bottoms that let the heat directly bake the bottom crust and prevent shells from shrinking. My mom still has the cookie cutters and the "spatulator" that is a superlative thin, bevelled/angled metal spatula, highly flexible. We still use it all the time.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Karl S

                                                          OMG
                                                          My mom had this book too and I still have a bunch of the wire mesh bottom pie pans. My mom made the absolute best pies and I never saw her use a food processor or really cold butter. She always bought fresh fruit and made 6-12 at a time, then froze them for baking later or in the winter when we couldn't get the fruit.

                                                        2. I wonder if some of the people who prefer cake to pie have ever had a first-rate pie, which is something of an endangered species.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                            This may be the case, but I have a feeling it may be a fruit vs chocolate thing in many cases...god knows I love chocolate, but I always prefer fruity desserts,...esp cherry pie!!! And by the way, I am a pie-woman.

                                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                              Good point. Even when cake is bad, it's still pretty good. Can't say the same about pie - gummy fruit fillings or greasy crust.

                                                            2. I find a really great cake easier to make, if perhaps a bit more time consuming. (I mean for a frosted layer cake, which is my fave.) So, my vote is for cake.

                                                              Of course, I should probably mention I'm biased because I'm allergic to Crisco. I find that all butter pie crusts, while plenty tasty, don't have that fabulous flaky texture that 1/2 butter 1/2 shortening crusts do. I think the fact I'm missing out on the best crust affects my opinion. I've heard of palm oil shortening, but not tried it, so continue to be biased towards cake.<grin> I will admit that certain pies do make for a close second, though--molasses pecan and cherry come immediately to mind.

                                                              ETA: I should also mention that I'm talking about HOMEMADE cake. Most of what's available commercially is dreadful, as butter is so expensive. If you go with almost any recipe in Rose Levy Beranbaum's cookbooks, and use her method, it's hard to mess up a good butter cake. The texure is divine, so long as you take the time to bring the ingredients to room temperature, sift or whisk the dry ingredients until light, and let the layers cool throroughly before frosting. Oh, and do a crumb coat before frosting, letting it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes (but not much longer) before the final coat goes on. We eat with our eyes first! For God's sake, eat it fresh baked and do not refrigerate it. Invite your friends or neighbors over if your family can't finish it off, or refrigerate it overnight but bring it out before going to work so it can come to room temp before dessert time. Cold cake is so sad, even great cold cake.

                                                              9 Replies
                                                              1. re: amyzan

                                                                Before there was Crisco, there was lard, and if you get the old-fashioned natural product it makes a wonderfully flaky crust.

                                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                  I've been waiting for good lard to make it into more national distribution; despite obvious demand being created from below and above (food writers), there is resistence on the supply side, it seems.

                                                                  1. re: Karl S

                                                                    Put diced pig fat in a pan on a slow fire. Come back after a while and there's your lard. And some nice cracklings.

                                                                  2. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                    Yeah, but I'm also allergic to pork. Boo hoo.

                                                                  3. re: amyzan

                                                                    That's probably the reason I don't do cake. It really only works for a gathering where it's going to be eaten at once. Pies are more forgiving, especially in cooler weather when I can keep them in my cold (cool) pantry.

                                                                    1. re: amyzan

                                                                      Whoa - this is the first I've heard of anyone ever refrigerating cake? Why would you do this? Why, why, why? Even if the family didn't finish it that night, why would you even consider putting cake in the refrigerator?

                                                                      1. re: Marsha

                                                                        Because buttercream frosting and dairy fillings may spoil under certain conditions, especially in the summer in many parts of the US.

                                                                        1. re: Karl S

                                                                          ...or attacked by critters.

                                                                          1. re: SunnysideUp

                                                                            Karl S, SunnysideUp, I hadn't thought of either. I seem to remember leaving out cakes with buttercream frosting for days with no bad repercussions (I live in a moderate temperature section of California, and as I recall, these cakes were Christmas-related), but I get your point if whipped cream is involved. And the critters I've traditionally had to outsmart (my own dogs and cats) haven't yet figured out how to get into the oven, which is where I have always stored cakes until they were gone.

                                                                    2. I'm on the fence. I don't like fruit pies, except for lemon or key lime. I'll eat lemon anything. And lemon cake? To D-I-E for. (this goes back to the "do you get chocolate?" thread)

                                                                      But I love a good chocolate cake with a nice cold glass of milk or a good carrot cake. Our wedding cake was carrot cake, because it was the only thing that made perfect sense.

                                                                      :)

                                                                      1. Cake, always cake, and any kind, I'm not picky. Cheesecake, pound cake, victoria sponge, swiss roll, wedding cake, Christmas cake, coconut cake (as for favorite recipe), etc.

                                                                        Pie, on the other hand is only good sometimes. Pecan, pumpkin, and that's about it. I'll have the occasional pasty, but those aren't really pies.

                                                                        TT

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: TexasToast

                                                                          Wait, cheesecake doesn't count. Just because there is "cake" in the name, doesn't make it a true cake...otherwise we may as well factor in crab cakes, and that just doesn't sound right...

                                                                          1. re: prunefeet

                                                                            Cheesecake and Gateaux count as cakes. At least they do until OP says that they don't.

                                                                            TT

                                                                        2. In this country, PIE, hands down! I always asked my aunt to make me strawberry rhubarb pie for my birthday. but let's put it this way: bad pie is way better than bad cake. what is bad cake but flour and sugar? pie has that plus the natural goodness of fruit :)
                                                                          i am a big fan of fruit and chocolate tortes though, like the pear and chocolate tarte combination..mmm. and chocolate flourless cake.
                                                                          how about the best pies or cakes or those in between the two categories? key lime pie is sort of like a cake, cheesecake, custard tartes with fruit, rasperry and chocolate cakes...mmm.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: fara

                                                                            key lime, like pumpkin, is a PIE, while cheesecake . . . well the name says it!

                                                                            TT

                                                                          2. I am also on the fence.

                                                                            At first I thought I would have to vote for pie - apple, lemon meringue, key lime, really good home made cherry pie, Candy's pear mincemeat pie - ah, what could be better?

                                                                            And then I thought about the nine-layer caramel cake I made last fall, tender, moist lemon cake, the wonderful (and pretty much irreproducible)hickory nut torte my husband made years ago and I realized that while pies have a more immediate flavor impact, cakes have so much more range and so many more possibilities that I will just take both, thank you.

                                                                            Makes me want to get into the kitchen and start baking something right now.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: jillp

                                                                              Pies have a wide range too.

                                                                              http://www.wchstv.com/gmarecipes/shak...
                                                                              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...
                                                                              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...
                                                                              http://www.dragonwagon.com/11browned_...

                                                                              1. re: jillp

                                                                                Oh, I have got to get some of that put up soon and aging. Shall I make you a jar too? I don't know how Turkey day is going to shake out this year.

                                                                              2. Neither.

                                                                                I'd rather have a quickbread or a tart - denser, sturdier desserts. Usually less sweet, too.

                                                                                But if I HAD to choose... Cake. I wouldn't eat a whole slice of bad cake or pie, but I'd at least pick at the cake.

                                                                                1. Pie always pie. If I am forced I will make cake for other people but don't eat it except for the chocolate pound cake I have posted about. There is a moist rich densness to it that goes so amazingly with port or coffee that is wonderful. It has no frosting either.

                                                                                  1. Honestly, I'm an equal opportunity dessert eater. I don't really care if it's cake or pie but if I had to eat it prepackaged, then I'll take the cake but not really eat it too (more like nibbling).

                                                                                    1. pie...forever. i'd much rather eat (and sometimes do) a hostess pocket pie (aka a homerun pie) than some kinda hostess cake

                                                                                      as far as the good stuff goes i generally like a good fresh fruit pie-although i can be overwhelmed by an urge for pecan or lemon meringue

                                                                                      1. Definitely cake, but I think part of that comes from a preference for baking them as opposed to pie. But yeah, cake. I'm thrilled with the resurgence of old fashioned layer cakes, but I'm not picky.

                                                                                        1. CAKE!

                                                                                          but what about tarts? i prefer pate sucree and fillings over regular american style pies....are tarts considered pies too? ;)

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: junglekitte

                                                                                            I second the tart preference. I don't like American-style pies, as you called them, but a nice, sturdy tart...mmmmm

                                                                                          2. If I think back about the BEST pie I have eaten and the Best cake I have eaten I would have to say that the cake would win out if I only had one.

                                                                                            So cake is the answer for me.

                                                                                            1. I'm just going to have to say Yes. Really...it always depends entirely on what KIND of either one is being offered. If the choice is between apple pie and pineapple upside-down cake, I'll get the cake, but if it's between apple pie and angel food the pie is my choice. I have had transcendental examples of both: lilikoi pie on Kauai, a stunningly good chocolate pie in an Alaskan hotel, my own apricot tart; our astounding wedding cake, one or two very fine Black Forest cakes, my own various fruit upside-down inventions. If faced with any choice of any two, I'd simply have to take both!

                                                                                              1. Cake me, baby! I've never chosen pie over cake in my life. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing WRONG with pie...except that it's not cake! There some yummy pies out there, sweet potato, cherry, pecan, peach, but I still prefer a nice piece of cake.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: writergirl

                                                                                                  Hahahahahaha - I'm with you.

                                                                                                2. Pie, historically, is food, and therefore essential.

                                                                                                  Cake, historically, is dessert, and therefore superfluous. Never mind frivolous.

                                                                                                  No brainer.

                                                                                                  Favorite: Mama Johnson's sweet potato pie, made with sweet potatoes grown right outside the back door by Papa Johnson. No better food ever known by any human.

                                                                                                  Your pie-eatin' pal,
                                                                                                  Jimmy

                                                                                                  1. There's a jewish apple cake in my oven smelling up my house but good right now, but if you force me to choose, i choose PIE! PIE! PIE!. I have never eaten an entire cake in one sitting, but I have eaten an entire pie.

                                                                                                    I grew up with a master pie crust maker for a grandma, and family gatherings always meant pie. Mostly lemon. I have had far more mediocre cakes and made a few transcendant pies in my life...cranberry apple, sweet potato, blueberry, apple, peach, mincemeat...oh I wish that were a pie in my oven!

                                                                                                    My husband didn't hesitate...he's a cake guy.

                                                                                                    1. Pie is to dogs as Cake is to cats.

                                                                                                      As for me: Woof Woof!

                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Dave Feldman

                                                                                                        no way! it's the opposite!

                                                                                                        (everyone loves dogs and cake....a select few favor pies and cats. :)

                                                                                                        1. re: fara

                                                                                                          I am definitely a dog person who has 3 Standard Poodles. I am firmly a pie person

                                                                                                          1. re: Candy

                                                                                                            Five Cats - CAKE!!!!

                                                                                                          2. re: fara

                                                                                                            Conclusive proof resides below, fara. The poodles tell the tale.

                                                                                                            1. re: fara

                                                                                                              Well I'm definitely a cat person - 3 currently - and prefer pie. DH, the equal opportunity person, likes all animals and all desserts. But even he says bad pie is better than bad cake.

                                                                                                            2. re: Dave Feldman

                                                                                                              it is the opposite, indeed. DH and I are both cat people and we're both pie people. Grandmama always made the best crusts (all butter) that my sister used to sneak into the kitchen as a kid and de-crust the pie whilst it was cooling. Ticked off grandmama no end. Sis always said it was worth it. I too like to make a bunch of pies while the fruit is in season and then freeze for later. Just got a bunch of peaches to make dessert for the weekend. Oh, no wait. That's for cobbler, a whole other thread!

                                                                                                              PIE PIE PIE

                                                                                                            3. Pie! without question! Nothing beats a farm stand peach pie in peak season.. but I'd even suffer through a Sarah Lee version because pie is just that good!

                                                                                                              Cake is good too, and acake made well is a thing of beauty. but there are so many bad cakes out there...

                                                                                                              1. I guess I'm going to h*ll for being a fence sitter, but I really like them both. It just depends on my mood. I'll eat bad pie if I'm in the mood for something fruity, and bad cake (Yodels,included) if I have a desparate craving. However, I'd have a hard time turning down peach cobbler at any time. Does that make me a pie lover?

                                                                                                                1. Really, I'm just amazed that so many people can choose one or the other. Call me a fence sitter. Or call me the Dessert Queen, which is what my friends do.

                                                                                                                  1. Pie, the kind you only find sitting on the bakery doorsteps in Julian, California!

                                                                                                                    Bad pie is no better than dry cake, but I'll fork a slice of pie over even the best mocha six layer anyday...as long as its made the trip from Julian.

                                                                                                                    1. I too like both. And find that my fondness for pie has gotten stronger as I've gotten older. However, bad pie is just bad, I can't eat it. Most store-bought pies fall into this category. Fruit pies in particular, they must be homemade or from a high-quality bakery.

                                                                                                                      But bad cake, while not good, is still always edible...unless it's mocha, a flavor I despise.

                                                                                                                      1. I'm with chowmeow and lvecch -- I'm amazed that so many people are so definite about their choice. I love both. I tend to have a lot more cake than pie, mostly because pie seems to be kind of a special occasion dessert to me, much more so than cake. I tend to only make or have pie for either holidays or in the summer when there's a barbeque or something like that. But I have a lemon pound cake cooling in my kitchen right now that I made on the spur of the moment last night. Therefore, pie is a little more exciting to me, since it's a little more out of the ordinary (at least, in my life), and I've had a LOT more bad cake than bad pie (50% of office party cakes and 90% of all children's birthday party cakes). But a great piece of cake vs. a great piece of pie? You're just going to have to give me half a slice of each.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: JasmineG

                                                                                                                          Yes, I have to admit, as a pie-eyed Chowhound, I was thinking of breaking into your refrigerator and stealing your lemon pound cake. But I've never been temped to kidnap a cat.

                                                                                                                        2. Uh, death, please. No, cake! Cake! Cake, sorry. Sorry...

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: Amuse Bouches

                                                                                                                            AAAAAAAaaahahaha - you said DEATH first!!

                                                                                                                          2. Cake. Always cake. Good, bad, ugly: cake.

                                                                                                                            1. PIE!!! The only cake I love is Cheesecake... :)

                                                                                                                              --Dommy!

                                                                                                                              1. To throw in another point of data - PIE! I'm European and female.

                                                                                                                                In America I love pie. Bad pie too.

                                                                                                                                American cake is so boring and plain. Especially the scary birthday variety (wedding cake isn't really any better). I grew up in Vienna, and there I would have said cake. But here, ew. Sooo not worth the calories, with a couple exceptions for really well made stuff.

                                                                                                                                My husband is a birthday pie kind of guy.

                                                                                                                                1. This reminds me of the scene in the movie Diner when the characters are debating Frank Sinatra vs Johnny Mathis and Mickey Rourke says:

                                                                                                                                  "Presley."

                                                                                                                                  So, I'm gonna say:

                                                                                                                                  "Cookies."

                                                                                                                                  1. My first response is

                                                                                                                                    Why would you make me choose????

                                                                                                                                    But if I must

                                                                                                                                    It would be cake.

                                                                                                                                    (my favorite "which" question is ... which would you give up, cake and all cake-related items, or potatoes and all potato-related items?)

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: NeNePie

                                                                                                                                      Easy, I would give up everything for cake, including my cats. See below.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: NeNePie

                                                                                                                                        I'm sorry, with that answer, you'll have to change your handle. Or change it to NePiePas.

                                                                                                                                      2. There is no need to choose, but if I absolutely HAD to, it would be cake (and cats)

                                                                                                                                        1. Why not just ask me which one of my kids I love the most???!?!?! Both are delectable, whether it's a ho-ho or the finest 4-star restaurant apple pie al a'mode!!! (well,sometimes you do get a disgusting dry and tasteless cake from a bakery, so you're better off making a duncan-hines)

                                                                                                                                          1. Woman, dogs, and cake.

                                                                                                                                            I think a mediocre pie is better than a mediocre cake, though. For me it's the fruit fillings -- they just don't do it for me.

                                                                                                                                            1. PIE PIE PIE PIE PIE PIE PIE- Even if it's one of those grocery store specials that is more than a day old is far better than any freshly made cake of any variety. My favs are pecan- my moms apple pie- any type of berry pies- lemon merange- lemon chiffon- pumpkin & pumpkin chiffon- custard- get my drift??? I will eat pie for breakfast, lunch & dinner (an have on more occassions than I care to remember!) I usually turn down cakes of all kinds (except cheesecakes) but would never turn down even the worse looking pies. I am a 50+ woman in case your counting gener/generations and I have both dogs/cats.

                                                                                                                                              1. I too wonder why we must choose; I grew up in a house where the birthday boy/girl got to have the leftover b-day cake for breakfast the next morning, and where my mom always made enough pumpkin pie so we could all have some for breakfast on Friday, a tradition I carry on in my own household.

                                                                                                                                                But if we must choose, I choose cake. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE pie, and tarts, and crostatas, and so on. Especially good fruit pies, made with fruit not cooked to glue or overy sweetened. A good lemon or lime is wonderful, but hard to come by. Pumpkin pie, mince pie, fudge pie, fresh fruit tarts, mmm. But if we must choose, I choose cake, preferably the kind I grew up on, the kinds my mother made - Good American butter cakes, the denser sort, rich European tortes, full of ground nuts and dark chocolate, marjolaines - and that I had from local bakeries, like carrot cake, Black Forest cake, Toot Sweets's Rum Mocha Savvana...

                                                                                                                                                However, I won't take mediocre cake over mediocre pie, or mediocre pie over mediocre cake. Niether is worth it. I don't want goopy canned fruit pie filling, or gluey, too-sweet lemon meringue, pies covered in canned whipped cream or "whipped topping," or flavorless shortening crusts. Nor do I want supermarket or bakery cakes that are stale, spongey, super-sweet, taste of chemichals, and were obviously made from a mix. Or piles of icing made of shortening and pounds of sugar, carefully decorated by someone who took the Wilton cake decorating course (I was the child who avoided the corned slices of cake with the roses and scraped off the extra frosting from the birthday cake). I don't bother to buy or order if I don't have reason to think it will be well made.

                                                                                                                                                1. Great pie or great cake? That would be tough but I'd still go with the pie, especially if it's warm fruit and has vanilla ice cream on it. Mediocre pie or cake -- then I might go with the cake.

                                                                                                                                                  1. This is gonna be obnox.
                                                                                                                                                    Peach Pie vs Rum Cake: Peach Pie Wins
                                                                                                                                                    Rum Cake vs Any Wedding Cake: Rum Cake Wins
                                                                                                                                                    Wedding Cake vs Chocolate Cream Pie: Any Wedding Cake Wins
                                                                                                                                                    Peach Pi vs Any of My Cup Cakes: Can'r choose, I'll eat 'em all and go to the gym!
                                                                                                                                                    Little Debbie Snack Cake vs Peach Pie: I'll say Peach Pie wins sionce I'll never admit to eating Little Debbie Snack Cakes in Public.
                                                                                                                                                    Peach Pie vs Apple Pie: What do you think...PEACH PIE WINS!
                                                                                                                                                    Yello Cake vs Chocolate Cake vs White Cake: YES! I do not discriminate.
                                                                                                                                                    Pies, Peach pie will always win!!!

                                                                                                                                                    1. Australian female dog owner here.

                                                                                                                                                      PIE PIE PIE all the way. I have never met a pie I didn't like.

                                                                                                                                                      Apple and cinnamon high pie.
                                                                                                                                                      Custard pie with nutmeg
                                                                                                                                                      Apricot pie with jam glaze.

                                                                                                                                                      **insert sound of heavenly choir**

                                                                                                                                                      And I class Cheesecake as a pie, as it has a crust and a filling.

                                                                                                                                                      My dream meal is to, one day, eat a real key lime pie.

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: purple goddess

                                                                                                                                                        Oh, purple goddess,
                                                                                                                                                        a key lime pie..mmm, yes, I had tasted many in my days growing up in LA and having fru fru chefs making "key lime" things..danced on a cruise ship for a while and had a few more key lime "pies" and they were good. THEN I spent 3 months guiding kayak tours in Key Largo and had some pies at some of the "touristy places" and they were even better but only as good as the ones in Miami and Ft Lauderdale...then, a local who had lived in Key Largo made a pie for us after a day of paddling....mmmm...oh golly, so tart yet sweet enough, and good and refreshing...never had anything like it since and it is a great flacor memory...mmm!

                                                                                                                                                      2. The best cake vs. the best pie, and I will go with CAKE. I can easily turn down mediocre versions of either though and it really comes down to the flavors and texture for me.

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                                                                                                                          My wife always makes me a "Birthday Pie" My favorite being Rhubarb and fresh berries. I have one daughter who wiil eat pie and coffee for breakfast with me and another who thinks we are nuts. Hoorray for Pie!!!!