Considering that my last two posts were about cupcakes, I’m mildly embarrassed that this one’s also about cupcakes. I swear I’m not a fanatic—these portable sweet treats just happen to be everywhere.
It so happened that I had a soon-to-expire Groupon for a dozen mini cupcakes from an online cupcake baker that now has a storefront in Oakland. I redeemed it the other day for multiples of six different flavors: red velvet, peppermint patty, sea salt caramel, mocha, vegan sweet potato, and bananarama.
I ate all six in one sitting and realized that peppermint patty, sea salt caramel, mocha, and bananarama all had the same chocolate cupcake base with a topping (thick, slightly grainy, easily removed) that reflected their respective flavors. The cake was light, airy, and slightly oily, with a moderate dose of chocolateyness. But since I’m one of those freaks who scrapes off the creamy center of an Oreo cookie, I was a bit disappointed. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by all the amazing cupcakes in the Bay Area, but I like a cake that’s imbued with different flavors. So my ideal mint chocolate cupcake would be just that—a cupcake that retained its minty chocolateyness even if I plucked off the frosting. A lemon cupcake would have lemon cake, not just vanilla cake with lemony frosting.
Despite the sameness of the chocolate-based cupcakes, sea salt caramel and bananarama managed to stand out. The woman who helped me drizzled on the salted caramel and sprinkled on sea salt right before she put the cupcakes in the box. I ended up eating most of the sweet/salty sensation. Bananarama didn’t really have frosting, just a dollop of milk chocolate buttercream, a banana slice, and a splash of caramel. These flavors melded wonderfully in each of my three bites.
As for the other two: Red velvet was indeed red, but wasn’t as chocolatey as I prefer; the cream cheese frosting lacked a tangy kick. Sweet potato could’ve been spicier, but it was so moist I didn’t realize it was vegan until later, when I checked the company’s website to confirm the flavors.
I somehow ended up eating the rest of the dozen (sans 90% of the frosting) in the course of two hours. Afterward, I truly believed cupcakes were out of my system, at least for while. We’ll see how long it lasts.