In their weekly podcast on human nature and happiness, hosts (and sisters) Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft frequently present “Know Yourself Better” questions. Always one for some solid introspection, I look forward to hearing these questions and pondering my own answers.
One of their recent questions prompted serious contemplation and jumpstarted a few intriguing conversations with family and friends, and I wanted to bring the discussion to this space, too.
Here is the question: If you were a cake, what kind of cake would you be?
This questions isn’t asking your favorite cake or what kind of cake you would like to be, but what type or flavor of cake do you feel represents you best?
Before deciding on my own answer, I had some fun considering which cakes might align with different personalities or types of people. These are some of the pairings I came up with:
Birthday Funfetti Cake—This person is flashy and fun, the life of the party, always up for a good time. Think Enneagram 7.
Ice Cream Cake—This person comes across as cold and aloof, but is a pure joy once you get to know them.
Pineapple Upside-down Cake—Quirky and creative, these are our outside-the-box thinkers, eccentric artists, and casually confident types.
Tiramisu—Sophisticated and not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea, but beloved by those who know them best.
Cheesecake—Simple and classy, this person always says and does just the right thing.
Angel Food Cake—That friend who is very sweet, but not exactly substantive. Easy to get along with, but not one for deep conversations or emotional support.
Layered Wedding Cake—Attractive and put-together, but fussy and not especially easy to get along with. We love these folks from a distance but don’t need them in our lives.
Fruit Cake—The black sheep of the family. Always present, but always the butt of every joke.
Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake—These are our people-pleasers, excelling at hospitality and nurturing. There’s always enough of them to go around.
Pound Cake—Loyal, dependable, not especially fun but entirely reliable and ultimately loved by all. Content with serving a supportive role so that others can shine.
Coffee Cake—The workaholic, who brings a semblance of seriousness and diligence to every situation.
Strawberry Short Cake—Cute, fun, great with kids.
Flourless Chocolate Cake—Austere, no-nonsense, can be intense. This type is intimidating but hard not to love.
Dirt Cake—Rugged but playful. Everyone comes away from time with them feeling pretty good about life. But because they leave a mess in their wake, they are best appreciated in small doses.
Red Velvet Cake—Intensely great to be around, but wildly misunderstood.
Cake Pops—Let’s not forget the kids! We all start out as cake pops, just waiting to see what we will one day become.
And now for my own answer: the cake I would say best represents me is a carrot cake. Which is interesting, because I don’t particularly care for carrot cake (I have too much of a sweet tooth, and I don’t like nuts). But the more I think about this representation, the more I feel it fits. Like carrot cake, I’m pretty no-frills, though I do love to accessorize (see: fancy frosting carrots). On the surface I’m sweet and quite likable, just like that simple but lovable cream cheese frosting. Inside, much of the sweetness slips away. Behind that cheery, vanilla exterior you’re met with some complexity and depth, as well as a fair amount of nuttiness. I offer substance, just as those carrots lend some nutritional value to their dessert, and I can be a little spicy and pretty intense. I’m not for everyone, but am much loved by those who claim me as a favorite. (Really, have you ever met a carrot cake fan who doesn’t LOVE their carrot cake?!)
Now it’s your turn, and I’d love to hear your answers: what cake are YOU?! It seems like a silly question on the outset, but like all great questions it has the potential for revealing so much more. Try bringing it up at your next dinner party; it’s sure to spark some memorable discussions!