I am not a fan of cake or it's stepbrother the brownie. Carrot cake is great, as is cheesecake, but the generic bread-with-some-extra-sugar that passes for cake these days is just not worth the fat and calories. Every time I am at a wedding, I am accosted by a pushy person holding a small plate with a slice of evil. If I politely refuse the abomination, I get a sneer or an eye-roll. I am chubby enough without adding to my thighs with something barely palatable. At the very least, there had better be some good frosting that I can nibble on to make the whole thing worthwhile. I know I will still get dirty looks because of the cake left on my plate, but the sweetness of the frosting will help me cope with the social rejection.
My disdain for cake started with the brownie. A brownie is often just a drier version of cake with less yeast and more chocolate frosting. Sometimes people try to improve brownies, making them "special" with the addition of a controversial ingredient. It adds a whole new dimension to an otherwise boring snack food, but it can upset and confuse people if they are not expecting it. So, be sure to warn people if you decide to take the leap and add nuts to your brownie recipe!
Pudding cakes are an attempt to alleviate some of the dryness inherent in cake, but it doesn't add moisture as much as another weird flavor layer. So, why attempt to improve on something that has outlived its usefulness? I say we push cake aside and let pie take its rightful place on the table at birthday parties, weddings and all other occasions that require dessert. Pie is so much more versatile than cake. You want fruit? How about two crusts? Can you handle three inch thick whipped cream? How about some weird chalky, but yummy egg whites made stiff and added to a citrus goo? Pie will give you all that and more. In fact, pudding belongs in pie, not wasted in a cake.