Now, I do expect backlash for this one, but I’m just going to put it out there and say, I am not a fan of cupcakes.
There! I’ve said it! Release the wolves, burn me to the stake, insert form of torture here – but I have to be honest and say cupcakes are annoying.
Since the rising popularity of shows such as The Great British Bake Off and Mary Berry one step away from appearing on our postage stamps, cupcakes have become a sign of being inherently British.
But, they’re not. Cupcakes are distinctly American. They’re laden in fat that give you a quick sugar rush instead of a generous cuddle that a classic sticky toffee pudding will give you. English cakes have regal names like Victoria sponge or Eccles cake or a Bakewell Tart. Cupcakes lack that refined quality that British cakes have. As decadent as a classic Victoria gets is a sprinkling of caster sugar or perhaps some fresh British strawberries, real cakes don’t need the adornment of edible sparkles or to be in the shape of the (American) cookie monster to be tasty. The only real embellishment you’ll find with a classic cake is perhaps a dollop of fresh cream of oodles of custard.
Yes. They’re pretty and dusted with glitter and rainbows and probably the food of unicorns, but a good British cake is dense, filling and goes well with a cup of Earl grey. Cupcakes are 50% butter icing and 50% diabetes rebranded as hearkening back to a bygone afternoon tea era but nothing about them are remotely British!
Lancaster students seem to be obsessed with cupcakes provided by The Yummy Cupcake Company who provide the cutest cakes topped with a myriad of flavoured butter icings complete in cutesy cardboard carrier. But frankly, I find the cake to be dry and lacking and the icing to be sickly after a couple of bites.
I’m not against the idea of cupcakes per se, but why they have to be transformed into air fresheners, candles, splashed over pencil cases etc as well as infiltrating the cake aisle in the local shops is beyond me. As English as a cupcake can be is a fairy cake if we’re being honest!