Friday, June 5, 2009

Angel's Food: Cupcake

I feel like professing my love for sweets is a little like claiming to admire oxygen. It usually just sort of goes without saying. However, I will say it (am currently saying, as a matter of fact): I love sweets. Specifically, I love cake, and sub-specifically, I love cupcakes.

When I was a kid, I had this person - maybe a teacher, the details are fuzzy - who would correct people who said they loved something. If I were to state, "I love oranges," which is true, by the way, she would snark over and butt in with, "No, you like oranges. Love should be reserved for people who truly deserve it." It was all so smug and self-satisfied, which is obviously loathsome and annoying to the max. However, to this day, I still feel self-conscious when I proclaim my love for things. Well, I usually feel awkward when I profess my love for people, too. 

Anyway, enough of that sidebar. I do really like cupcakes. In all forms. Perhaps you like yours covered in Nintendo imagery? Done. Some people would claim that the best cupcakes in the history of the universe come from Magnolia, but I suspect those people are subtly trying to let you know that they have an inside track in New York City by name-dropping a bakery. (For the record: wack.) I propose that my mom makes the best cupcakes in history, and so does yours.

There's just something about tiny bite-sized cakes with a mountain of frosting. My family has always been a pie family: we eat rhubarb, pumpkin, lemon meringue, and they're all done on a homemade crust. My mom bakes a mean chocolate cake (secret ingredient: mayonnaise) (quit making barfing noises, because it's delicious), but cupcakes seem to have fallen by the wayside as we've grown up. No loot bags, no cupcakes, no sprinklers, no fun. Man. Cupcakes are child-food. Actually, they're child-birthday-party-food, like cut-up hotdogs, Kool-Aid and Sunchip crumbs. As our palates have become more refined (allegedly), cupcakes have given way to things like flourless chocolate cake. Which, by the way, is obviously designed to appease the women who came late in life to gluten-free - you know, the same peri-menopausal ladies who have suddenly developed lactose intolerance, but who eat yogurt "for the bacteria."

I have more to say about the fetishization of food allergies and intolerances, but I'll save it for a moment when I don't have to work. Instead, I'll leave you with this: is the world's largest cupcake still a cupcake? Or is just a really big...cake? Discuss


  1. Yessss. I love all of this, feel suddenly very hungry for a cupcake, and I'm excited to read your take on "the fetishization" (if ONE MORE PERSON says "we're all lactose intolerant, you know - let's save the milk for the baby cows" in my proximity, I'm going to growl and hop around very near their body and snap my teeth). Also, I just love reading your writing! It's always funny and fun and good!!!! <3 suzanne

  2. Aw, thank you! You're awesome. Let's have a cupcake date sometime.

  3. First off - flourless chocolate cake is DELICIOUS - but only when kind of oddly served in a style very similar to a cupcake.
    And second off - I say it's a large cupcake due to its domed roof. Ie it is not flat on top making it just a cake. It remains a cupcake.

    Your sister