Saturday, 21 August 2010

The Problem With Cupcakes

A few months ago, Squidoo started up some 'clubs' - you find the homepage (headquarters) and make a lens using their template, and are included in that category. One of the most successful, apparently, is the Cupcake club, which ran a competition for the best cupcake lens, in a drive to get some attention.

Now, cupcakes scare me. Admittedly, when I think 'cupcake' what I'm thinking about are the little fairy cakes, so when I see some of the monster cakes that are basically muffins with icing, creeping over from the US, it worries me in a nervous, primeval, 'I'm about to be eaten by a giant lump of icing' way.

The problem with cupcakes is... you can make a lot of different decorations, add sweets and sculpt icing and sprinkle sugar and tint artistically or garishly at will. But what you end up with is a little tasteless cake covered in sugar. At least muffins are allowed to be carrot or raisin or date or ginger or chocolate!
Cupcakes are not. If they deviate from the rule of sugar and appearance in favour of taste or health, then they are shunned from tea parties! Expurged from recipe books! And worst of all, thrown in the oven, with a little ceremonial witch's hat. Such is the fate of those who dare too much with baked goods.

(This does remind me of the little lemon and chocolate vodka cupcakes my brother made. Not a good combination at all.)

No. Cupcakes enforce a strict code of conformity. You can deviate in appearance as much as you wish - in fact, it appears to be encouraged- as long as you do not commit the henious crime of adding substance or altering the soul of the cupcake. There is a drive towards purity - sugar, air, lightness!

It seems that the perfect cupcakes are the soulless, the substanceless - pure illusions. In fact, the best cupcakes of all are probably invisible cupcakes.

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