Cupcakes are great, wonderful, delicious bitesized pieces of heaven, right?
That’s what I thought, anyways (I have since come to learn that not everyone thinks so).
I used to dream about opening a cupcake shop, with the perfect from-scratch, fluffy and moist cupcakes with melt in your mouth buttercream perfectly piped on the top. As with any dream, you gotta work towards it to make it a reality, so I went through a period in my life of constantly finding cupcakes recipes on Pinterest and on baking blogs so I could try my hand at my future trade.
I’d always see unique, awesome recipes: dark chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting topped with a Reese’s, Starbucks inspired cupcakes, tiramisu cupcakes. I wanted to try them all.
And I did try quite a few of them. Sadly, all of my renditions fell short- except one here and there. They came out not as fluffy as I liked them. Not moist enough. Didn’t taste true to the flavor I was trying to mimic. Don’t even get me started on my terrible piping technique.
I didn’t give up though. I had the image in my head of being this cute girl who bakes cute cupcakes that everyone loves and no one can believe they’re not from a box mix- because of course, box mix was always a sin to me. I signed up for a Wilton cake decorating class, just hoping having ‘professional’ instruction would somehow teach me the physics of getting that perfect swirly top on a cupcake. It didn’t.
What’s worse is every time I made cupcakes, I almost always had to go out and buy some new weird ingredient to make the unique flavors I was going for, and then the dozen or so cupcakes would just sit around the house for days. Yup, not even my family would eat them. They weren’t that terrible, but they weren’t anything special either.
I checked out of the cupcakes making biz for a while, faced with rotten disillusionment about the baking world.
However, about two weeks ago, I got back in the game- in the form of cookies, this time. A pretty special person in my life mentioned in passing once that he loved oatmeal raisin cookies, so I whipped some up for his birthday. He loved them, and so did my family!! The cookies actually got finished off- something that my poor cupcakes never experienced. When I asked him how he would have felt about cupcakes, he said they were okay, but he preferred cookies. This was beyond strange to me. He continued to say that cupcakes were just messy and hard to eat. What?!?
So it finally dawned on me- for the past three years, I dedicated myself to perfecting something that I actually sucked at, and just lacked that special touch, when all along I was awesome at making cookies, and people actually preferred cookies more often than not! Yet another instance of my inner nagging perfectionist. I just had to let go of that idealized image of myself as a Pinterest-worthy Cupcake Queen.
Besides, box mix cupcakes are freaking delicious and fool proof.