Simone enjoys fashion and fashion accessories. She also finds garments to be more about strategy than stereotypes.
Maybe it's your birthday. Maybe you just graduated from college. Or perhaps it's an anniversary and you and your hubby want to celebrate. Perhaps you've just had a crappy day and need a pick-me-up. At any rate, you're getting a f#$%^@# cupcake.
You go that cute, overpriced shop around the corner, pick the best confectionary treat in the house, and emerge, triumphant with your prize. And then you stop. How the heck are you going to eat that thing without getting icing and crumbs all over the place? The dang sugar bomb is too big to eat in one swallow, and taking a normal bite would leave your nose covered in icing. You are, as it were, stuck.
Not to worry. There are methods, my sweet-toothed friend. Methods. In the guide that follows, I will show you how to eat a cupcake without making a mess. I will also show what different cupcake eating tactics reveal about the people who employ them.
There are three important factors to consider when choosing a cupcake plan of attack:
- Icing-to-cupcake distribution
Aesthetics may also be considered an important factor, but as the looks of a cupcake degrade pretty significantly once consumption begins- no matter the means of consumption- it is ultimately of little importance.
The Cupcake Sandwich
The means of cupcake consumption that maximizes neatness, practicality, AND cake-to-icing cupcake ratios is most commonly referred to as the cupcake sandwich.
Also referred to as whoopeepiezation, this method may be utilized by:
- Removing the cupcake paper
- Separating the bottom of the cupcake using your fingertips
- Placing the cupcake bottom on top of the icing
- Consuming the cupcake like a sandwich
This method is employed by a smart and expedient sort- someone who is enough of a foodie to care about icing-to-cake ratios but enough of a go-getter to figure out how to maximize them without fussing. A cupcake sandwicher is a good friend to have. S/he knows how to live well while still being spontaneous.
Slicing and Dicing
My personal favorite method of consuming cupcakes involves careful dissection and can take as long as ten minutes. This method is best left to only the most militant of foodies and reserved for only high quality cupcakes.
The steps involve either slicing the cupcake into small, bite sized wedges that include the perfect distribution of icing, top, middle, and bottom, or separating the cake into bottom, middle, and top sections, then redistributing the icing onto those three portions and eating them like iced cookies.
This method requires both a knife and a plate and maybe a fork, hence it is not ideal for casual situations, and as it is something of a process, it is best enjoyed in the privacy of one's own home. That said, this method maximizes the gustatory experience of eating a cupcake and enables one to enjoy its distinct and unique parts while not making a mess.
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People who opt for this method are typically difficult snobs that get caught up in the details of life, but one cannot ever excuse them of apathy or a lack of appreciation for the little pleasures in life.
Oh, Fork It
If you want to enjoy a relatively high degree of control over your cupcake as you devour it, plan to share it, and/or want to maintain a favorable and uniform icing-to-cake ratio while also maintaining sense of dignity, forking it is the way to go.
Simply place the cupcake on a flat surface (be it a table, fence, plate, or friend's head) and dig into the center with a fork, pulling outward to release a cross section of the cake that includes a part of each section of the cupcake.
If one is sharing a cupcake with one or more individuals without any verbal contract to "split it down the middle" this method is the most practical and sanitary course of action. This tactic is also appropriate to those who are averse to eating with their hands but do not want to appear so uptight as one would come across should a full fork and knife approach be adopted. The downside to this tactic is that repeated forking quickly compromises the structural integrity of the cupcake, making the latter remains more crumbly and difficult to eat, so this approach is not ideal should one want to enjoy every bit of the cupcake as much as possible.
People who fork it are democratic in nature without being excessively dogmatic about structure and equality. They are neat and fastidious, but only to a point. They are, however, better at beginning projects than following them through, and do not always think plans through to the end before forging ahead.
The Kissme Cupcake Method
As cupcakes are often enjoyed spontaneously and are consumed by those in an ambulatory or semi-ambulatory state, it is not always possible to employ the use of forks, knives, plates, or even runcible spoons. Indeed, there are many situations in which cupcake recipients have no choice but to consume it with their hands.
While The Cupcake Sandwich (see above) is the best method to use in such instances when it comes to enjoyment of the confectionary treat, one might not always find it appropriate. If, for example, one's hands are dirty, one would not wish to directly handle the delicate cake. Alternately, one may wish to keep one's fingers free of crumbs.
In such instances, the Kissme Cupcake Method is ideal. This method involves a direct assault of the dessert executed with a tilted head. The head tilt is key, as it spares one's nose from being dipped in icing. This method simply involves diagonal consumption of the cupcake, and while the icing-to-cake ratio is not perfect using this tactic, it is still relatively favorable.
People who employ the Kissme Cupcake Method are dainty and dexterous, as it takes quite a bit of finesse to pull this move off successfully. Kissme Cupcakers are also, not surprisingly, good kissers, as they have successfully mastered Nose Logistics.
The Icing First Approach
Some cupcakes are so large and come with so much icing on top of them that even the Kissme Cupcake Method is not capable of shielding one from a face full of frosting.
In such dire situations, one may turn to the Icing First Approach, in which one first licks all of the icing off of the cupcake's top and subsequently consumes the cake portion of the cupcake as though it were a muffin.
This is the least ideal means by which one may consume a cupcake, and should only be employed in situations in which:
- Hands are too dirty / must be kept too clean for the Cupcake Sandwich
- The ground is too unstable for using the Cupcake Sandwich or Kissme Cupcake method (e.g. one is in a raft or on a crashing helicopter)
- The cupcake is too large for Kissme Cupcake consumption
Alas, this method offers the worst icing-to-cake ratio, first blasting one with rich icing, leaving one practically drowning in fat and sugar, and then ripping one to a harsh desert of fluffy cake without creamy relief.
People who utilize the Icing First Approach have little foresight and are not known for savoring the moment. Do not mix with such folk. They are to be avoided.
One may, of course, utilize alternate implements at one's disposal to make cupcake consumption easier. These supplementary tools include:
- Pocket knives
- (Clean) credit or ID cards
- Anything else with a flat, 2-4 inch face
Utilization of such implements will be messy at best and disgusting at worse, and is likely to merit strange glances.
People who utilize alternative implements for cupcake consumption are quirky and fun to watch and be around, but are not ideal leaders in conventional situations. Should one run out of ideas, however, AI folk make for excellent resources.
The Just Eat the @#$%^&* Thing Approach
Finally, one may simply throw convention out the window and eat a cupcake much like Ralphie eats spaghetti in A Christmas Story (which is to say: like a piggy).
What is the worst thing that could happen? You'll look adorable, your friends will photograph you, and the resulting picture will be posted on Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, Twitter, and wherever else the public at large may see it. Not so bad. Besides, someone fetching might sidle up to you and start licking the icing off your face. It could be worse, right?
So don't worry too much about cupcake consumption. Just enjoy yourself. And share your favorite way of eating these delicious treats in the comments below.