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the inevitable cupcake post

August 11, 2010

Ever since Sprinkles opened its doors on Little Santa Monica about five years ago, we have been in the middle of a veritable cupcake explosion here in LA.  There is now a boutique cupcakery on what feels like every corner, each with sleek architectural shelves and distinctive packaging, most of them run by women who look like they have never let refined sugar pass their lips.

It took me a while to adjust to this.  As far as I know, cupcakes are the smeary and delightfully lowbrow desserts my mom brought to my second-grade classroom for my eighth birthday, not haute cuisine.  Now all of a sudden they come in flavors like chai latte and ginger lemon, with not a flake of Funfetti in sight, and they keep appearing in beribboned towers at weddings, benefits, graduations, you name it.  I’m unclear on whether this is endemic to LA or happening nationwide, but either way, cupcakes are suddenly cool.

hotcakes bakes, originally uploaded by maitaimai99.

Me personally, I’m more likely to crave salts than sweets.  Given the choice between Andrew’s and Sprinkles, I’d take Andrew’s any day.  And — full confession — I’m not a huge Sprinkles fan, because I think the cake/icing ratio is off and the icing is too sweet, anyway.  (Hordes of Sprinkles fangirls are on my way to burn down my house as I type this, I’m sure.)  But even with those caveats, you get sucked into the madness sooner or later.

Which brings us to an email chain from a Thursday afternoon, a couple of months ago:

Roommate #1:  Sooo, coincidentally there was a lone mini cupcake stranded in my work area this morning, just begging for me to eat it for breakfast.  Being a humanitarian, I had to oblige.  It reminded me that there is a bakery that I ALWAYS pass on Centinela & Culver called Hotcakes… and it is delicious.  AND they have a Tres Leches Spicy Mango cupcake that was the 2009 Food Network Ultimate Cupcake winner.  Shall we try it??

How did I write that much about cupcakes?  I’m clearly a heifer.

Me: Tres Leches Spicy Mango cupcake?  Um.  Clearly I need to eat half a dozen of those.  Let’s make a cupcake run this weekend!

❤ Fellow Heifer

Roommate #2: Fatty McFat Fat reporting in from downtown LA.  Just had 2 Mrs. Fields cookies because of you whores and your sweet talk.

So when I got home from work on Friday, it was not at all surprising that there was already a tray of mini cupcakes sitting on the kitchen table.   The three of us had plans to go to hear Dave Barry lecture at Bergamot Station, so we had to leave the cupcakes long enough to listen to him discuss dogs, colonoscopies and other miscellany with Jane Smiley, while we sipped wine and generally attempted to look like grownups.

Then, of course, we came home and abandoned all pretense by putting on pajamas and sitting solemnly around the kitchen table, a  glass of water at each of our elbows.   We took turns selecting a tiny cupcake from the tray, and split each one into exact thirds, then tasted and passed judgement.  Then gossiped for a little while, to clear our palates.  Then repeated.  (Verdict:  Spicy mango and chocolate peanut butter are to die for.  Icing on all of them is like a tiny little cloud of heaven.)  Did I mention these cupcakes are created and sold on a daily basis, five minutes from our house?

Which explains why I received the following emails three days later, after a zesty 3.8 temblor that jolted everyone out of their Monday afternoon stupor.

Roommate #1: Please make the house stop shaking.

Roommate #2:  It’s the after-effects of Cupcake Week.  Stop walking around.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 14, 2010 11:30 pm

    Oh bless you and your roommates for the hilarity of this post. I don’t know about nationwide, but the cupcake frenzy is certainly alive and well in the Bay. I’m guessing it’s national thoguh, because there’s a show on Food Network called Cupcake Wars. Yes. It is that bad. Or good.

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