An emerging trend is beverage-inspired flavor profiles. Although beer and hard liquor flavors have made news recently, attention and innovation are also being paid to non-alcoholic drinks.

“Bakers are exploring Earl Grey, green tea and even Thai tea flavor fusions,” said Megan Trent, marketing, Gold Coast Ingredients, Commerce, CA. “We have seen these flavors mostly in cake and cookie applications.” Examples include green tea-flavored cookies with chocolate chips or green tea mint cake, Earl Grey lavender donuts and Thai tea cupcakes topped with condensed milk frosting.

“Coffee concentrates can add an authentic coffee or espresso flavor to a muffin base,” said Peggy Dantuma, director of bakery applications, Kerry. “Mix it up with the addition of caramel notes for a caramel macchiato profile. You can take it one step further and add a liquor flavor such as whiskey or rum.”

Roni Eckert, food scientist, Wixon Inc., St. Francis, WI, offered a number of beverage-flavored concepts, including matcha green tea with peppermint cookies, chai biscotti and peach bourbon snack cakes.