When I was a little girl, I hated cupcakes. I despised them. The overly-sweet, greasy, frosting…. The cornbread-esque cake…. It tasted like a headache enduring dessert for me. I had no idea what the world of confectionaries had in store for me. All I knew of them was a plate of mushed sugar that was doomed to put my stomach in a not-so-good feeling. I mean, back when I was in elementary school, cupcake boutiques were taking the world by storm yet. My Mom never bought me cupcakes, and the only chance at the miniature sized cake I got was during class birthday parties. And in those parties? Parents usually bought the first dozen they could find at the grocery store, fit with a cute themed ring on top to match the birthday party. Grocery store cupcakes are the worst of all. And my first impression of cupcakes was not a very pleasant one. I didn’t eat any more of them up until middle school.
But then, I was in 8th grade. I had my first taste of gourmet cupcakes at the iconic Sprinkle’s Cupcakes in Newport Beach.
Heaven, let me tell you that. I had baked before, but I never really knew what standards to compare myself to. Sprinkles set that bar very high. (Although their frosting is too way to sweet) Their cake was perfectly risen to a nice dome, the insides perfectly fluffy like a cloud and the crumbs melting on my tongue. In 8th grade, I learned to appreciate cupcakes. I learned to appreciate the slightly sweet cake base, the smooth, airy frosting that tops a perfect portioned dessert. I learned how hard it was to attain cupcake perfection. I learned to hail the cupcake gods whenever my cake turned out right.
How did this appreciation start? Because I was introduced to them of course. If I didn’t know that delicious cupcakes existed, I would’ve continued on hating them till I grew old, instead of starting a fanatical obsession. Just like classical music, you have to be introduced to the lovely, soothing notes in order to fully understand the composer’s message and lyrics that are sung through light piano notes, or whistles of a violin.
My English teacher showed us this TED Talk video on Friday. As a piano player of 11 years, my appreciation for classical music did not sprout until maybe 3 years ago, when I learned to love piano. In this video, Benjamin Zander states that many people in the world are not aware of the beauty of classical music. They aren’t familiar with such music, only maybe mainstream pop that seems to come out the radio these days. I didn’t know that great cupcakes existed until I actually tasted one. Heck, my family still refers with cupcakes as the disgusting grocery store ones, even after tasting mine.
But cupcakes are great. They’re the best invention ever, I believe. A perfectly portioned cake that’s catered to fit anyone’s combination of sweets. From Maple Bacon, Chocolate Caramel, Mango Key Lime, the combinations are endless. People just how to figure out that these types of cupcakes exist, first, of course.