Short of wearing a wig and a heavy veil, I have been clandestinely and methodically staking out local bakeries to see what's out there, how much it costs and how good it is.
There are some great bakers out there making a living and doing a great job of marketing themselves. My goal is to figure out if there's room for me and if I can really compete with the stuff that people are already buying en masse.
So, I recently traveled to a nearby metropolitan hub to continue my research, and by way of two local cakeries, purchased a total of 21 cupcakes.
For those who are perhaps not paying attention - that is a LOT of cupcake.
It's much MORE cupcake when the cupcake you're eating is not all that great...sadly, the sugar rush that ensued after what I'm calling the Cupcake Episode, was not worth it.
My research partners and I (that's my two sisters-in-law) took our armfuls cake to a local coffee shop, sat our selves down with a couple pencils and girded our palates for the onslaught of crumb and cream.
What I learned:
First: Red Velvet Cake is just as disgusting as I remember it, and putting a boatload of cream cheese icing on it will not make it taste any better. WHY do people like this cake???? I will be working on recipes to make this inexplicably popular cake palatable, as opposed to chemical, which is what we got from these cupcakes.
Second: CAKE is NEVER an every day food - - even when it's small - - so it should NEVER be an everyday experience.
One dozen of the DRYEST cupcakes I've ever put in my mouth, cost me over TWENTY dollars and who knows how many empty calories! Look...I'll pay you 5 bucks for a cupcake that is (big!) and truly delicious. But a dry, crumbly, tiny cupcake with a splooge of icing on top is not worth a whole 2 bucks. It just isn't.
Make it good. Make it worth my calories. Make it affordable.
Third: Icing has to be worthy of the cake it goes on and vice versa. Every cupcake we tried had overpowering icing on it. It was even a little grainy at times, and I know that I know that I know that some of the icings didn't have real butter in them.
So the cupcakes were ok. They were not remarkable. But I applaud the bakers who are making a marketable product and keeping the lights on.
The bottom line for me here is simple. I am competition, there is definitely room for me, and I can never, ever eat this many cupcakes at one time again. Ever.