Defending the Honor of the Cupcake
With the news this week of Crumbs Bake Shop’s uncertain future, people have declared the cupcake dead. It’s an absurd claim.
These naysayers aren’t even waiting for the cupcakes to cool — calling the pastry “prissy” and fuel for “basic” women. As a dessert advocate, and resident “Cupcake Girl,” that’s all I care to quote. But the backlash against a confection we have all known and loved since that first fateful September pre-k birthday party is under ridiculous scrutiny. We’re talking about the best dessert known to mankind, here.
First and foremost, let’s remember that cupcakes are simply individually-sized delicious cakes. Does bread go out of style? Does beer? Cupcakes, at the heart of the issue, simply taste good. Let’s now address calling women who like cupcakes basic.
A Slate article discusses the cupcake hate and states that people are attacking the type of woman who enjoys cupcakes. I’m sorry, there are people who don’t like cupcakes? This targeted group of women watches Sex and the City and Instagrams nail art. The piece praises the cupcake for its sweet merit and takes note of the fact that foods like bacon and whiskey — also delicious — are rarely under the same scrutiny because the Internet loves to belittle all things stereotypically feminine — IE cupcakes.
Yes, I love to bake, wear red lipstick and dote on my fluffy 10-pound dog. But I am not a static, fictional character. No woman is — sometimes I pair a good cupcake with Bourbon and I have a penchant for cigars. It doesn’t matter if you are a girly girl, girly with grit or a girl who isn’t girly at all — in my book, you all rock! And you know what really rocks? The cupcake! Let’s also note that perhaps it wasn’t the cupcake but the business model that led Crumbs to crumble.
A Washington Post piece poses that maybe the business expanded too quickly? Maybe it caught a trend too late? I mean, I lived in DC for a year and the Georgetown Cupcake line was always around the block. And Sprinkles has even expanded to cupcake ATMs. (Yes, that’s a thing!)
Lest we forget what the cupcake has done for pop culture. Where would we be without Hannah Horvath’s bathtub cupcake? The Bridesmaids scene with the single, lonely cupcake? Or Lazy Sunday? These are media milestones that made the dessert a symbol of independence, rebellion even. Would a macaron really have the same effect?
I mean, I do see a lot of promise in the macaron craze. . . But people will always enjoy cupcakes. Playground birthdays will still have cupcakes, so will office kitchens and mom and pop bake shops. Hell, wherever there is fun, there will either be a classic cake or cupcakes. Or else, we’re just having a meeting, guys.