[one_half]Sweetness, sweetness I was only joking
When I said I’d like to
Smash every tooth in your head
[I]’ll admit it. I actually feel sorry for the little bastards. It seems like just yesterday—Halloween, in fact—that cupcakes still held their suffocating grasp on the hearts of America. They were on top of the world, dominating blog conversation, appearing spread-eagled on glossy magazines nationwide, having what used to be an exclusive feature on the internet’s top food property… It seemed that the Cupcake Empire was well on its way to reaching Starbucksian proportions.
They began to feel some pushback in ’09 in the form of well-publicized pot shots from food cognoscenti David Chang and Jason Sheehan, in each case weathering them with aplomb. After all, who cares if the Class Nerds have issues with an It girl’s lengthy tenure? But by then end of 2010, everyone, from NPR to The New York Times, had gotten in on the action. Observe:
The New Cupcake: Macaroons vs. Whoopie Pies
Pie to Cupcake: Time’s Up
Cupcakes are Over Make Room For Pie
Move Over, Cupcake: Make Way For The Macaroon Etc.
Meanwhile, we saw what can now clearly be interpreted as a cry for help: Cupcakes, unveiling a curvier-than-usual look, sporting shockingly tight-fitting liners emblazoned with jolly rogers, and going seriously downmarket with a sprinkle of candied, lo-sodium Spam.
Oh, cupcake. What are we going to do with you? So suddenly out in the frigid cold, along with fallen starlets of years past: truffle oil, sun-dried tomatoes, Snapple…
I’ll confess to having had a little bit of fun at the expense of the cupcake. Perhaps I was a bit too harsh. It’s important to remember that cupcakes, despite their gaudy hubris, have problems just like the rest of us. And I’ll let you in on a little secret: I don’t actually hate cupcakes. I derive no particular pleasure in seeing them so publicly and unceremoniously dumped by legions of fickle trend chasers. Now I’m well aware that people who know me, and particularly those who follow me on Twitter, may have a hard time believing this. So in the interest of full disclosure, I present you with an interview of yours truly, pulled together from footage we shot back in October.
I hope this puts to rest any doubts about my sincerity. [/one_half]
42 replies on “For the love of cupcakes”
I’m late to the cupcake craze (just like with everything else). I’ve made them once or twice before and I have to say that I’m just now seeing the possibilities (I’ll never be called a pioneer, for sure). Still not in love but I do like some. When done right, they can be quite good! Love the cupcake montage in the end. I think you proved your point. Regards to the Baby Chili family. 🙂
Coconuts with ranch dressing was definitely a bold culinary move, Jean. I will venture to say that you are seeing possibilities the rest of us don’t see. 🙂
You convinced me! You don’t hate cupcakes.
Personally, I’m a bit tired of them. And macarons. And Whoopie Pies.
I want a perfect chocolate chip cookie! 🙂
I think I’ve learned my lesson. I will not speak ill of those flavorless macarons or whoopie pies.
That was awesome. And completely sincere I can tell. I’m so glad you tackled your cupcake issues head on. Not that you have cupcake issues. But if you did have cupcake issues, they would probably be all cleared up now. Just saying.
It’s always better to confront them directly, isn’t it?
The twee-ness of cupcakes (and for that matter, macarons and whoopie pies) is what drove me crazy when it came to their popularity, and then thanks to chains like Crumbs, they grew to gargantuan size and got increasingly less fun to eat, because you’d end up dividing them into quarters to not feel like a total glutton (which basically makes them like regular cake).
If you ask me, the enormous cupcake silicone molds that were advertised via infomercial-like ads signaled the death knell for the cupcake. And if you asked me under duress, I’d readily admit that the box-mix cupcake still holds a special place in my heart.
Team Cheesecake FTW.
For chrissake, just make a damn cake!
yay! I’m glad you’re back to posting. I hope this video gets you back into the hang of it, we (I) miss your posts. But, on the subject of cupcakes, did you read this past year that the Crumbs cupcake chain was bought for 66million?! wtf, dude. next, it’s all macarons. Open a macaron shop. The PE guys are way behind the trend. They’ll buy you in two years.
I’ve always wanted to run a garlic and onion store. Do you think that will ever be trendy?
there is a mushroom store in the Ferry Terminal…I think a garlic and onion store would do just fine.
Brilliant! I’m doing a happy dance, sort of, in my chair, after seeing the video and the more-than-cute photos of your little one! :-p So glad to see you back, Ben!
Thank you! Glad to be back!
What a great surprise to swing through here and find (an adorable) new post! The video is another stroke of ironic genius! So happy to see you back. GREG
PS I hate cupcakes (all top 9 of them day after day!), but I love your sense of humor!
Thanks for the kind words, Greg!
Dude, I think I’ve been waiting for this since we met in October … and it was worth the wait! “How do you open this?” … omg, that killed me. That + “every day the editors chose the 9 absolute best cupcake recipes” = me loving you.
True story – I am, in fact, baking cupcakes today. But I’m not going to blog about them. Please don’t hate me.
Ok, I lied, I did write about cupcakes today – but only in the most curmudgeonly way, I promise. 😉
How could you betray me so?
Good to hear your voice again! LOVE the post.
Nice touch…smelling the cupcake before diving in.
I am with you on the FBZ Cupcake Conspiracy…and the Whoopie Pie Craze, as well as the Pops Mania. 🙂
Just once, I would like to see 9 kalbi jjim’s in the T9.
There are moments of sheer brilliance in this video. Specifically the air quotes you used when you tried explain how you “definitely love” your wife’s cupcakes. And the fact that you obviously have science training, as you wafted the cupcake scent to your nose.
Love it. Also bonus points for using Sally Shapiro!
Aww, thanks! I’m sure AJ would appreciate my degree of caution with the sniffing.
And I will never tire of that song, the Piano mix in particular!
I’m giggling with happiness.
I’ll watch your piss on cupcakes, but I’m not giving up on them just yet. There’s still too many top 9s to look at. (Which, by the way, was your best line.)
I think you did prove one thing. It is impossible to eat a cupcake and not look awkward doing it.
Maybe, though, I’ve been making cupcakes because I can pretend it’s about portion control. It’s hard to say how many cupcakes equal a piece of cake.
I don’t even have a cupcake holder; I’m coveting yours.
AND, I totally forgot about Snapple. So thanks for that.
Cupcakes are OVER. These days, it’s all about the muffcake.
If you can get some, that is.
That is pretty funny.
To all except the poor cupcake.
HATER!!! Why is the world full of hate???
Please don’t tell Food Woolf. She’ll make me feel so ashamed. 🙂
Congratulations on eating your first (?) cupcake for the interwebs, absolutely loved the pause at 00:52 and your nervous sniff, that totally gave you away!
Cupcakes will probably come back 5 years from now. In 2011, it’s all about the PIE!
Until I someday run for office, and a notorious “Cupcake tape” emerges, this is the first (and perhaps only) cupcake video.
My God, I am so proud of you. I’m proud of the whole Baby Chili Team.
Guess what I’m bringing you as a thank you present tomorrow? That’s right: a big ol’ box of cupcakes. With so much frosting. I know you’ll love it.
LOVE the look on your face as you ate the cupcake. It can be your new avatar!
When do you think Semifreddo will trend?
The Semifreddo should be careful what it asks for. I think that cupcakes have shown us the peril of flying so close the the sun.
I STILL DON”T GET HOW YOU OPEN IT!
All in the wrist.
All the things I wanted to say has already been said…EXCEPT how come no one mentioned Skipper’s cameo?!? I wonder what she would think of cupcakes….
She’s a natural, that Skipper. Such a chameleon, no one even noticed it was she. As for her eating habits, she can’t be trusted around kimchi, bread, peanut butter, corn, styrofoam…We’re certainly not going to leave Erin’s cupcakes unattended.
I love cupcakes, but I’m not entirely convinced that you do . . . even if you own more cupcake carry cases & muffin tins than anyone else I know. 🙂 But I did find your video highly entertaining. And I have to say your blog is a breath of fresh air in the world of food blogs. It’s well-written with just the right amount of sarcasm, and I love the story-telling incorporated in your posts. I can see why your blog got nominated for IACP Bert Greene award. What an honor. Congrats!
I look forward to reading more (even if you occasionally make fun of the cupcake).
P.S. My son LOVES kalamata olives and frozen peas, too. How about raw peppers or dried anchovies? My son munches on those things like they’re french fries. Something is not right about this, but I’m not complaining.
Ha silly video! Yeah bacon is the new cupcake. And eggs are the new bacon. Anyway I really just think they were popular because they showcase the most delicious part of the cake which is the frosting. I’ve never been much of a fan.
Thanks for the follow on Twitter and good luck with the blog nomination!
yeah for your iconic ironic sarcasm. Love it as much as i hate those little uber-processed over-featured useless pieces of cake called cupcakes