October 28, 2007

Weekend Frivolities: The Cupcake Winner

SUGAR SWEET SUNSHINE PUMPKIN CUPCAKE

If you were walking by the corner of Rivington and Norfolk yesterday at about 4 p.m. and saw a woman standing on the corner and eating a pumpkin cupcake, that would have been me.

While this cupcake looks humble compared to the others, it won my personal tasting contest because of one particular quality. It was WARM. In fact, the image here is of a second cupcake because I ate the first one. The cupcake tasted like someone cooked it at home. And the fact that the young woman who sold it to me was dancing at the same time she was talking gave the cupcake some extra mojo.

I liked Pinisi's moist red velvet cupcake, too, and the inside color was redder than red. The Dean & Deluca cupcake was elegant in its texture, like a respectable slice of wedding cake. The Whole Foods R.I.P. cupcake tasted too processed. I thought it was ghastly.

I walked a total of five miles to gather cupcakes, and I didn't finish any of them except the pumpkin ones from Sugar Sweet Sunshine. The bakery is the furthest from where I live, but I now know I can buy a delicious cupcake for $1.50, the least expensive of the bunch, and then I can walk it off on my way home.

I found cupcakes harder to find than muffins, tarts, and other individual baked goods. A few of the bakeries I passed were genuine patisseries, with a mâitre patissier who creates great works of art. These beautiful works attract my attention always, but I grew up in a culture that privileged cupcakes as comfort food, and that was what I was after.

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