Can You Have Your Cake And Eat It Too?

Can You Have Your Cake And Eat It Too | Food For Thought

This is a story about cake. You know that feeling that you get, the one where you walk into a café, somewhat knowing that you are wanting to have a bite of something sweet. Then you look at the cake display. A triple layered ganache cake with bitter chocolate shavings that look just too pretty to be eaten. Then that feeling settles in. That feeling of wanting to plunge your fork into its outer most corner of that triangle, the one pointing towards you saying eat me. That feeling where you know you will destroy the delicate beauty that is that chocolate slice. That conundrum. That inner conflict. That feeling of wanting to keep your cake in tact. That feeling of wanting to eat it too.

What I’ve described above should not come as a surprise to you, as life is pretty much a cake shop most of the time. You enter, you have a wide selection of cakes to choose from, and once you make a choice, you’re still stuck. Do you have your cake with a café latte? What if you’re already having is a cappuccino cake, will it go well with a coffee? Or should you order tea to compliment it? Well, in life, you have to make decisions that make you happy.

Does this cake fit your dietary requirements?

Sometimes we may need gluten free but love desserts which are heavier in flour, like cookies.  It all depends on the type of cake. Sometimes what we want doesn’t suit our die-or-try-ry requirements. I believe we should take a bite to see if it causes us an allergic reaction, then we’ll know. In cases as such, its best we shouldn’t try to force it which will leave us with a bad experience.

How much do you really want that cake?

Is that momentary happiness worth the complications and trouble that follow? Will we end up with developing a bad allergy and forever shunning everything that will help us relate to it? What initially sounded like a good idea might not be worth the calories that ensue if it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

What’s the matter with your batter?

Ask yourself why you want that cake in the first place. Is it because of the experience of trying something new or is it because you’re told that that it is really delicious and that you must love it. Everyone is told that chocolate cake is the best, but what if you’re not a fan of chocolate cake? Some people prefer a lemon meringue or a strawberry pavlova. It’s alright to not go with public opinion. You might like chocolates but not fancy chocolate cakes. You get to choose what you like and what you don’t. It shouldn’t be someone else’s choice.

Ideas expire, baked goods expire.

We may think that a certain way of eating a cake is the norm or that everyone should love chocolate brownies. How about vegan brownies? It’s technically healthier for you but some would say they don’t taste the same. Maybe when you were younger you might have preferred a chocolate cake, but as you age, so do your taste buds. Some people graduate to enjoying a tiramisu more, as its less sweet and more delicate. Ideas expire and should be retired when the time comes. Do not feel pressured into conformity. Retire old ideas.

You should never let anyone dictate your happiness. Don’t let people tell you how you should eat your cake, but know this, you should always live with the choices that you’ve made. That’s the most responsible thing you could do for yourself. Remember this, at the end of the day, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Also, this is not a story about cake.

Nicholas Ng

Nicholas Ng is a restaurant critic and drinks writer and is the editor of independent publication Food For Thought. He has been a freelance journalist for the 15 years and has previously worked as a lawyer and in digital marketing. He currently is the Principal Consultant of A Thought Full Consultancy, a food and beverage marketing consultancy.


  1. i am totally a dessert person, and can’t resist any sweet stuff 🙁 which I think it’s kinda bad for health. Perhaps I should start asking myself why I want that cake in the first place.

  2. I am a food lover, definitely no one will ever tell me what to eat and what not, eat now better than regret later.

  3. Reading your post, it is not really about a cake. It’s a deep philosophical piece that forces us to think about our own life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. I think this would be great tips on rationalising ppl from eating cakes. haha. But when the cakes are right in front of me, I wouldn’t even be able to recall all these questions.

  5. This story is all about how you manipulate ur life! Don’t let ppl order how you live in your life, discipline and doing the right thing 😀

  6. Well, I’m not much of a cake person except for that craving once in a blue moon. I’m also not a baking person so.. I figure I’m pretty safe. LOL!

  7. I can never eat more than 1 piece of cake, I get so full even just 1 piece of cake …hmmm

  8. You are such a master of words, how did you weave this piece so beautifully. It’s true that sometimes I wish to have the cake and eat it too, but then I am satisfied even to have it for that short moment before watching it slowly disappear in my own hands. That short moment will forever be edged in my memories hopefully a sweet one rather than a bitter one. Yeah at the make a choice to be happy.

    • Thanks Leona. I think as I age I start to think of sacrifices more and more and really don’t mind missing out on things that are generally fun, or more importantly, things that I’m told is fun. I think its important to choose what makes us happy, but in an unselfish way. As long as other people don’t have to pay for our mistakes, I can live with that.

  9. I agree with you… we should really control ourselves and our desires at time whether it comes to cake or our own life…

  10. it’s a bit challenging not to conform as we live in a society. we live among people. so when you make a choice, not just about yourself, but also how your choice will affect people around you. i think that’s the hardest part of life.

    • That’s the thing with the millennial mindset. The want it all generation but not willing to put in the sacrifice. And when I say sacrifice I mean true sacrifice, not the small things like waking up early and going to work, I mean like grinding a job out for the pay off.

  11. I like this post hahaha At first I thought you are writing about the cake, but is not. I love the way you write up this in depth thought with a cake =D

  12. I am a cake person and I love not too sweet and I can enjoy it with a cup of tea. But nowadays i find some cake are too sweet and too many cream and I become less towards cake.

  13. Love the photo and enjoy baking too. Most of the time it is baking by me and eating by kids.

  14. Yeah! I love cakes as dessert, esp cheese cake and cup cakes 🙂 thanks for your sharing ya 🙂 cheers, SiennyLovesDrawing

  15. Eating right is another form of responsibility to yourself, I know when and how to eat my cake 🙂

  16. Coffee and cake are a perfect combination. As for dietary requirements; once every two weeks doesn’t sound too bad 😉

  17. This piece reminded me of a blog post I keep reading over and over again. It’s by Mark Manson tl;dr some people find the destination as the most fulfilling, but to another it is the process of getting to the destination.

    • I think today we are forced into thinking that we ‘deserve’ everything. That’s why people become so fickle. Don’t hold down jobs, don’t keep to promises and deadlines, as though the world owes it to us, but it really doesn’t. We need to be more responsible, especially towards ourselves. To make decisions maturely.

  18. I really love your website Nicholas. Your reviews are so good and absolutely love your thought section! <3

  19. Happiness is like within everyone and it depends on every individual, how they’re gonna bring it out. As we age i believe we tend to have priorities that we consider in our daily life. This is where people usually come to that situation whether to have it (cherish or admire as it is) or to eat it (self satisfying. More like selfish i guess).
    It’s all like you’re walking in a garden and you see this beautiful flower then you pluck it just because YOU LIKE IT. No second thoughts given. But still achieved some sort of happiness for her/himself. Very beautiful article nick! Very beautifully played with the words and of course the cake! Haha

  20. Hi Naresh,

    Yeah, in life what we want changes all the time. Yes, we should pursue things as we like, but sometimes when something we know is not good for us we should take a step back, look at the bigger picture and only make an informed decision.

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