It’s been a big year for food trends. From food trucks to foraging, dessert dinners to burgers and boutique brews, we’ve tried it all. Some have been grand, others downright gaudy, and while the popularity of most has made sense given some social context, there’s one that’s left me especially irritable.
Originally cupcakes were simply any cake baked in a small cup—quite humble, homely affairs. Now, the cupcake has come to represent the epitome of our desire for sweet indulgences—and boy, aren’t they popular. Brightly-coloured flights of fancy, they push the boundary between glamour and garish. While the application of a sugary coating has become a defining necessity, for me it is also where everything starts to go wrong.
First and foremost, the idea behind these sweet treats is that they make the perfect mouthful, finished—for an added sense of frivolity—with a jaunty swirl of icing. But today, if you purchase yourself one of these little luxuries, you’ll find it to be anything but. Personally, when I order cake that’s precisely what I want—cake, not a huge pile of frosting with a few crumbs as an undercarriage. Of course, I would normally just turn a blind eye to this complete disregard for baking ratios and leave cupcake lovers to indulge in their private attempts at socially acceptable bowl-licking, but there is one matter for which I must take their makers to task. So, bakers, if you please—exactly whose idea was it to start topping perfectly sweet little cakes with enormous pastel-coloured turds?
Now don’t go trying to convince me that it’s anything different. We’ve all been kids. We’ve all had those show bags with the fake plastic variety. You know exactly what I’m talking about. The modern cupcake is a small cake smothered by a giant frosting turd. These are no longer dainty fondant fancies, rather smoothly piped poop that smacks of mass-produced plasticity. The textures are bad, the appearance repulsive, and should you survive the ensuing hyperglycaemic coma if you brave their consumption you’ll probably wonder why you didn’t just eat a cup of sugar and be done with it.
Their café menu dominance must be stopped. Bakers, please, don’t do it! While you may have just created the greatest-tasting baked treat in existence, if you’re going to finish it off with a colourful turd then I don’t want to know about it. And if you want to disagree with me, fine. You can just take your cupcake kitsch and place it in a flaming paper bag on my doorstep.
E HART, MELBOURNE
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