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The New Instagram Food Trend You Should Skip

Spoiler: There is no cake in “Raindrop Cake”

Ringer illustration
Ringer illustration

I’m here to talk about “raindrop cake.” Raindrop cake is a very pretty photo food trend right now — it’s starting to reach the heights of edible Instagram fare, right up there with filtered photos of rainbow bagels, cronuts, acai bowls, and names spelled incorrectly on Starbucks cups.

I understand why: Raindrop cake makes for a pretty picture. It glistens in the sun! It shines bright like a diamond when the light hits it! It wobbles around next to an artfully presented display of matcha powder and green tea syrup!

That’s because raindrop cake is basically an edible (and I imagine more fragile) breast implant. It looks like a cataract. And it tastes like (I imagine) placenta. And it is awful.

Some background on raindrop cake: It’s inspired by a Japanese dish that, according to www.raindropcake.com, is intended to be a “delicate and refreshing raindrop made for your mouth.” Sometimes, when actual raindrops fall into your mouth, they are indeed delicate and refreshing. They aren’t gelatinous and blobby and coated in what seems like baking powder.

But don’t blame Darren Wong, the CEO of Raindrop Cake. This is (A) Instagram’s fault and (B) my fault. Because raindrop cake (Raindrop Cake™?) is so painstakingly cool and photogenic, there are too many favorable photos documenting it. “I found this super refreshing,” they said. “#delicious,” they hashtagged. One cake costs $8, so when some friends and I recently passed a stand selling Raindrop Cake™, we assumed it was worth sharing. We just wanted to try it! (And take a picture of it. This is the part where it’s my fault.)

It went like this: We waited in line for about 10 minutes. We then asked whether the green tea or black sugar cane version was better (green tea, we were told). We waited about three minutes for the “cake” to be constructed. Once acquired, we took about five steps away, photographed it for posterity, and then took a bite.

That’s when I realized the horror show that surrounded us: blobs of spit-out raindrop cake were splattered all over the ground — it looked like a jellyfish genocide. There’s a reason for this: Raindrop cake does not taste good, and it is certainly not cake. At best, it’s bad, flavorless, chalk-coated flan. At worst, you might forget what you’re eating and panic that an unknown cyst has burst in your mouth.

This has been an unsolicited review of raindrop cake.