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Sweet Excess: The Exquisite Pleasure of Eating the Pumpple from Flying Monkey Patisserie, Philadelphia

Pie? Cake? Why decide, when you can eat two kinds of each, plus a 3-inch slab of buttercream frosting, all at once?

That's right: it's time for me to tell you about the exquisite pleasure that was ordering and eating the Pumpple, by far and away the single most calorie-dense offering at Philadelphia's Flying Monkey Patisserie.

But first, a 411. Per this article on MSNBC:

While the turducken, a chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a turkey, once seemed over-the-top, the pumpple cake is even more decadent. One Philadelphia bakery dreamed up this ultimate fall dessert: pumpkin and apple pies baked in chocolate and vanilla cake, fused together and surrounded by buttercream icing.

This oversize creation weighs in at a whopping 15 pounds and measures more than a foot tall. And at 1,800 calories a slice, it's not for the faint of heart.

And when a couple of spies--a buddy and myself--found ourselves wandering around Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market a week or so ago, you'd better believe we made a beeline to Flying Monkey for a slice of this sweet manna.

Now, this cake is not cheap. It's $8 a slice. But the purchase price is practically worth it for the pomp and circumstance of serving a slice all alone. Here's what you can expect if you decide to make the investment:

The first thing you'll notice as you come up to the bakery case is that this cake is huge. It's over a foot tall--just think about that. This means that if you were standing next to it, it would probably come closer to the height of your knee than the height of your ankle. 

The next thing is that it's heavy. This was clear by the way the employee braced herself to hoist the cake up to the counter to cut and serve. Over 15 pounds--that's a lot of cake, friends.

Once sitting at counter level, a big knife-slash-mini machete will be taken out to cut your slice. First, they will score the cake into marked-out slices.

Since the cake is kept cold (they recommend letting it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating), they will run a mini blowtorch over the knife (the kind used for creme brulee) to warm it so that it can cleanly and smoothly cut through the mass of cake.

They will repeat the torching to cut the other side of your wedge, and then they will delicately extract it and place it in a box, if you're taking it to go. This takeaway box is about the size of one that you'd get for an entire Chinese takeaway meal, by the way.

Now, you could wait half an hour to dig in, as they suggest. But when faced with the heady scent of buttercream, our resistance was futile--we grabbed some forks right away for a taste.

Sometimes, when a dessert like this exists, it's more for the shock value, and can disappoint in the taste department. But not this cake.

Every element could have stood on its own--moist, rich, flavorful cakes giving decadent, buttery pies a bear hug, and every last inch of it enveloped in a buttery frosting swaddling. 

After our few initial bites, we hit the road, walking around Philadelphia clutching our takeaway container with the care that one might assign a newborn baby...a newborn baby that you occasionally pause to take bites of, that is.

Furtive forkfuls were eaten at random all around town, and somehow, by the next morning, waking up in our hotel, this is all that was left. Now, this cake was advertised as serving four per slice, so I suppose I'm equal parts ashamed and proud to show you this.

In the morning light, it seemed like it could have been a mistake. But oh, it felt so right the night before.

Want a slice of this pie-and-cake mashup? You can get it at Philadelphia's Flying Monkey Patisserie; find them online here, and check 'em out on Twitter here.

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Reader Comments (16)

THAT LOOKS UNFREAKINGBELIEVABLE. I think it's the "slab-o-buttercream" that seals the deal for me... I've been looking for an excuse to eat a slice of cake composed mainly of frosting for a long, long time :)
WOW! This is one serious cake! All of the flavors sound delicious, I'd love to try a slice!
Wow, what a cake! That's so awesome that a bakery makes and sells that! I would love to try a piece one day. And when I say try, I don't mean eat the whole piece.
January 7 | Unregistered CommenterCupcake Activist
scary, very very scary. yet, i'm intrigued.
January 7 | Unregistered CommenterKelsi
That is the craziest pie/cake I have ever seen! I am glad it tasted as good as it looks.
Hey I just saw this cake on Food Network on the show Outrageous Foods. It is truely outrageous. Have you ever heard of the churpumpull? it is made of three pie cake hybrids instead of two.
January 7 | Unregistered Commenterstarla
I'll have just one slice please! Wow.. my mouth is starting to water. Now thats what I call a cake tower! Love the flavor combinations.
January 7 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Mahanidis
Now that is one SERIOUS cake=)
January 8 | Unregistered CommenterNopea Laihdutus
Wow! That you for posting about this...I live right outside of Philadelphia, I know where I'll be going for "lunch" next time I am at Reading Terminal market!
January 8 | Unregistered CommenterLisaT
Oh my teeth hurt just thinking about that beautiful piece of excess. I'll have to remember the name of that bakery for my next visit to Philly.
January 8 | Unregistered CommenterTeresa
Wow.......I just heard something about this cake the other day! I'ts crazy, but, like most others with an unwavering sweet tooth, I'd try it!
January 8 | Unregistered CommenterPattyM
yet another reason to love the reading terminal market. I have not been there in many many years. in grad school we would make the trip across town for great mexican food at the market. Its probably a good thing that this wasn't there then.
January 9 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
That slab o'buttercream is so intense!
January 10 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
OMG!!! i'm driving distance from Philly...now I finally have a reason to go!!!!!

January 10 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
This looks fabulous! Thanks for showing us how good it can be! What a wonderful world we live in that can create such deliciousness.
You had me at three inch slab of buttercream...
March 23 | Unregistered CommenterBethany
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