I began this blog to write about things that make me smile. I love and appreciate things that let us express our unique personalities. Usually this comes in the form of a distinctive, decorative something-or-other. But not always. Today, my world was rocked by cake.
Okay, who am I kidding? I love cake. Any cake. Any flavor. Any form. But in the spirit of true trendiness, I have a particular affinity for cupcakes as of late. An avid fan of "Cupcake Wars," I hold my breath as the seconds tick away and contestants clamor to perch all of their cupcakes nearly on their inventive displays, often as unique as the personalities of each baker. In my imagination, I smell the vivacious vanilla and scintillating chocolate as the cakes bake. I taste each minute morsel as the judges sample each flavor combination. I pick my favorites. (I like the "pretty" ones, and of course I "tisk tisk" anybody who even thinks of using kiwi!) I pass judgement on cupcakes I can't even taste. And I reminisce about waiting in line for 20 minutes to savor a cupcake from Sprinkles "back home" in California...my first true cupcake love.
But today's cupcakes weren't from California. They were from Iowa. Scratch Cupcakery in Cedar Falls, to be exact. And they're awesome. I sampled a delectable half-dozen of these beautiful little devils and still can't pick my favorite. (Okay, I shared them with my very kind and thoughtful husband who, understanding my passion, brought them home for me.) We started with a classic Red Velvet. Wow. We followed-up with a Razzle Dazzle (chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream frosting.) Amazing. We moved on to the very cheeky Monkey Business (banana cake, peanut butter frosting, banana chips.) I think this is the current front runner. A few hours later, we dove into the amazing Mocha cupcake (chocolate cake, mocha buttercream frosting, chocolate-covered coffee bean), which we also shared with our son, a chocoholic-in-training. The three of us then savored the Peppermint Patty (chocolate cake, peppermint buttercream frosting, Junior Mint) and called this a very good day. Yes, you counted correctly. That was only five. Another Red Velvet is going to make a fine weekend"breakfast dessert" tomorrow morning.
In each cupcake, the flavors were spot-on. The mocha was subtle, yet rich. The peppermint was appropriately brisk. The banana danced harmoniously with the peanut butter all along my taste buds. The butter cream icing on the Red Velvet made me sigh with delight. The cake was precisely as moist as it should be. (While I am a lover of Sprinkles, they were often too far on the dry side.) There wasn't a dud in the whole bunch! (And these photos really don't come close to conveying the delicious beauty of these mini masterpieces.) And something else I found to be fabulous was the paper wrapper. Rather than peeling your typical accordion of paper all around the cupcake, this fancy little envelope had four corners and came off in a single peel.
I don't enjoy my husband's heavy travel schedule. But the next time it takes him to Cedar Falls, I just might have to smile in anticipation!