Cupcakes of Today Are Disgusting and Depraved: An Unscientific Numerical Study

A blog about politics, sports, media, stuff
April 19 2011 12:35 PM

Cupcakes of Today Are Disgusting and Depraved: An Unscientific Numerical Study

I love cupcakes. Cupcakes are wonderful. Sometimes I eat cupcakes for breakfast. But cupcakes have gone badly astray.

Here is a banana cupcake from a popular New York bakery specializing in cupcakes. I stood in line to buy it:

And here is the cupcake sliced in half.

This thing being sold as a cupcake stands 2 1/4 inches tall. Of that, at least 3/4 inch is a giant wad of frosting. In the middle of the cupcake, where the cake part is dented in to make room for even more frosting, the frosting is more than an inch deep—half the height of the cupcake.

This is not even unusually thick for a trendy cupcake. There were other varieties at the bakery with even higher mounds of frosting on them.

And it is revolting. You can barely taste the cake when you eat it, lost as it is in a slick of sugared fat. The difference between eating a normal cupcake and eating one of these things is the difference between licking the spoon after making cookies and squeezing premade raw cookie dough into your mouth from the tube.

Except the cookie dough at least would fit through your jaws. Why is the cupcake piled so high with frosting that you can't even bite into the whole thing?

It's symbolic. It doesn't fit into a person's mouth because it is eating-disorder food. It is food for people whose ideas of pleasure and vice are so twisted up that they can't imagine a sweet treat of normal proportions, something a person might eat two or three of (for breakfast, maybe) without feeling nauseated.

It is a cupcake for people who hate cupcakes. I scraped the frosting off this one and weighed it. The original cupcake was 87 grams. The frosting weighed in at 27 grams—allowing for the frosting that didn't make it onto the scale, that means one-third of the total cupcake weight was frosting.

Then, because I was hungry, I spread some of the frosting back on the cupcake, enough to make a smooth, appetizing layer. There were still 19 grams left over. More than 20 percent of the cupcake's weight was pure excess.

I started eating the modified cupcake. It was delicious. Someone should open a bakery selling cupcakes like that. Alongside them, it could sell frosting alone, in paper cups with spoons, for the people who insist on eating that way.

At the end, for the sake of empiricism and fairness, I added more of the leftover frosting, to taste this particular cupcake the way the bakery intended it to be tasted. The last bite was gross.

Tom Scocca is the managing editor of Deadspin and the author of Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future.



The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

The GOP Senate Candidate in Iowa Doesn’t Want Voters to Know Just How Conservative She Really Is

Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

The Supreme Court, Throughout Its History, Has Been a Massive Disappointment

Why Indians in America Are Mad for India’s New Prime Minister

Damned Spot

Now Stare. Don’t Stop.

The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD

The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
Sept. 30 2014 12:04 PM John Hodgman on Why He Wore a Blue Dress to Impersonate Ayn Rand
  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 2:36 PM This Court Erred The Supreme Court has almost always sided with the wealthy, the privileged, and the powerful.
Building a Better Workplace
Sept. 30 2014 1:16 PM You Deserve a Pre-cation The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.
Sept. 30 2014 1:48 PM Thrashed Florida State’s new president is underqualified and mistrusted. But here’s how he can turn it around.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 3:59 PM The Trailer for Taken 3 Is Here, and Guess Who’s on His Phone Again
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 2:38 PM Scientists Use Electrical Impulses to Help Paralyzed Rats Walk Again
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath the Methane Lakes of Titan?
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.