I Guess That Makes Me A Cupcake
What's a masculine baked good? Brioche? Nah, anything French is immediately effete, n'est ce pas? Maybe a Ding Dong!
As Ms. Kramer Bussel, who organizes monthly cupcake meet-ups in New York City, said, “If you bring cupcakes to a party, you are so popular.”
Until the late 1990s, the cupcake often shared the mental dessertpantry with canned peaches and ambrosia; it was nostalgia food, mom-in-an-apron
food, happy food.
But then cupcakes took a very chic turn. Trend-setting bakeries like Magnolia, the Greenwich Village cupcake empire, arrived on the scene; by 2005, a parody music video on “Saturday Night Live,” which was later viewed more than five million times on YouTube, included the lyrics, “Let’s hit up Magnolia and mack on some cupcakes.”
And now the new cupcake, having drifted so far from Betty Crocker, is facing fierce competition from the retro cupcake, which is the new, new cupcake that is really the old cupcake.
Americans still find time to whip up some batter and slide a tray in the oven. It’s easy, and the appeal is multifaceted. Cupcakes are portable, cute and relatively inexpensive. They are also “feminine and girlie,” Ms. Kramer Bussel said, so the majority of cupcake bakers and fans are women.
Cupcake is a term of endearment, but it can also be a rather mean-spirited word.“Cupcake teams” in sports are said to be soft and easily crushed. Asfood, though, cupcakes are democratic; everyone gets one. And theyare libertarian; individual and independent compared withcommunal cakes, which may not have enough slices for everyone.
Although as the ultimate libertarian food, perhaps I should be baking them more often for TC. But, I think I'd rather go with mini bundts or tartelettes, to add a dash of sexual politics to this gender construct.