Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cupcake Extravaganza

Has anyone ever heard of Camp Cupcake? I discovered an article about this sweet craze in a local paper this week and found that the phenomenon was coming to a nearby city! Being a former baker, I had to check it out.

The premise is this: Several bakeries in the area put on the event. The purpose is to give away free cupcakes. Amateur bakers may bring entries as well. There is no charge, no catch, just lots of cupcake eating (and of course, publicity for the bakeries).

So, I went!

And I stood in the cold for an hour and a half awaiting entry into the house of free cupcakes.

A kind of camaraderie formed within the epic line as we waited. One stranger joked that she hadn’t even had a cupcake in a year, that she didn’t really like cupcakes, but they were free and who could pass on that?
But when we finally entered the room full of treats, the culinary creations blew away my expectations. Most of the cupcakes were too big to even fit into your mouth for a bite. They towered high, piled with buttery cream frosting and various edible ornamentations. Many were sprinkled with shimmering sugar or glazed with smooth creamy chocolate. A personal favorite was the carrot cupcakes and their decadent cream cheese frosting. The sweet and savory combination was perfect. It was the only cupcake that didn’t make my teeth hurt from the overabundance of sugar.

And here is what I took away from the night of sweets:
(We were not allowed to take any cupcakes home that night, all baked goods had to be eaten then and there which only added to the frenzy. So the following are theoretical treats...)

1. Americans are greedy. I am so eager to do everything all at once. Despite my best intentions I do not pace myself or take only what I need. As awful as it is to admit, I am a greedy American, grabbing for another cupcake before I finished my first (to the utter amusement of my friends.) If I could learn to gain pleasure from being rather than having or consuming, I would be MUCH better off.

2. Laughter is sweeter than sugar. The two friends that I went with are the wonderful sort of women who make everything a bit brighter. Waiting in the cold for over an hour is a dreary pastime but somehow they turned it into a memorable night of people watching, story telling and game playing. Half of the wait, I was doubled over in laughter at the ridiculous nature of our outing and my friends’ clever remarks.

3. Sometimes the classics are best. With all the pomp and circumstance of unusual and innovative cupcake creations, the biggest hits were the usual suspects, vanilla and chocolate. Simple and sweet. Sometimes adding too much can take away from the experience.

All in all (as my students would sum up any paper), it was a fantastic night.

What random and enjoyable adventures have you embarked upon this week? Have you done anything out of the ordinary that made you smile?


  1. Um, I can't help saying this Kate, but your experience takes the cake!! Nothing I've done comes even close. This was fun to read about - a good story to tell my daughter, who loves the cupcake shop in her home town.

    PS I'm with you about the carrot/cream cheese combo. It's unbeatable.

  2. Love this often I check out the flyers at the grocery store or at the library but I never actually go. Hurray for you...this is what makes for good writing...adventure (Jamie) adventure!

  3. This makes me want to look up some delicious cupcake recipes right now or maybe just go to my favorite cupcake shop in denver and skip the whole baking process.

    I miss our adventures and think of them often :)

  4. hahahahahaha......i can just see you like a kid with your glasses and creamcheese frosting all over and three cupcakes balanced on your arm. I'm jealous that is so fun. Things like that are the bes! Free, good friends, lots of laughing and it brings together an unusual group of peolple. All in all it sounds like it was a great time. :) miss you

  5. Ps. I know Americans are greedy perhaps more than the average person but I do think it is human the Isrealites with the manna and quail. Just imagine if God rained down cupcakes yummmmmmmmmm