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Cupcakes are wonderful, even magical and one of the best invovations in all the world, if you ask me.  I mean, there is no possible way you can’t like a cupcake – it’s a mini-personal cake for crying out loud.  There is no down-side, full-stop.
But cupcakes suffer a stigma that has been unjustly thrust upon them.  People seem to think that cupcakes are kid food.  I shudder, and I will make it my business to update the image of the cupcake as a perfectly acceptable compliment to a good meal.  Okay, maybe that last piece is a bit of a stretch, I’m not that committed to the mission of cupcake equality, but I do think they should be embraced by adults. 
I love cupcakes!
What else…cupcakes have extended family – the muffin!  Muffins are like the cupcakes’ slightly more civilized cousin.  They get up early, they go to work.  But really, what are they?  A muffin is an excuse to eat cake for brekkie.  (FYI – breakfast is called brekkie here in Australia).  You might consider muffins more civilized because they don’t have frosting, and it’s not uncommon to see a bona fide adult eating a muffin as a breakfast partner to a cup of fancy coffee at a sidewalk café.  In a word it’s not embarrassing to order a muffin… it seems like an adult thing to do.  Try ordering a single cupcake, people look at you like you’re strange or something, oh well.  Civilized or not, I like muffins, just not as much as I love cupcakes.
I think I may have found a market that agrees with me about the merits of the cupcake – they are not just for kids parties anymore.  Here in Sydney there is not just one cupcake bakery, there are at least two competing cupcake bakeries with multiple locations across the city.  I prefer the Cupcake Bakery, but the Cupcake Factory has a leg up in terms of creativity.  Both places offer an insane variety of cupcakes.  Mini-cakes as far as the eye can see all screaming at me in a language that only has two words “…eat me.”  These sublime bakeries have tiny cupcakes, plain cupcakes, fancy cupcakes and even these supersized cupcakes that are actually the size of an actual cake, but that just plain misses the point (it’s supposed to be a personal cake, duh).  
You want another good thing about the cupcake?  Cupcakes come with their own little paper protector so you can be super sure that no human fingers have touched your cake.  Why is this great?  Where you find cupcakes, you very often find kids.  And, what do kids have on their fingers?  Boogers.  I love kids and all, but you have to agree that their fingers go in places that you don’t want to think about, especially mixed with your food.  Having a little fringed skirt around your mini-personal cake is sounding like a pretty good idea right about now. 
Even though I think I’m probably world’s biggest fan of cupcakes, the state of the art in cupcakes is another area that I find myself a bit behind the times.  It seems they have become fashionable – and moved up from the kids table to the adult realm.  I thought it was my idea, but apparently others have similar plans for the cupcake.  I’ve even heard about some people who have replaced their wedding cake with cupcakes.  Don’t believe me?  How do I know?  Country singer Carrie Underwood tweeted about hers just last month.  (And I thought nothing good could ever come out of following someone on twitter). 
Until next time, I’m off to brekkie, it’ll be a muffin for me!
Here are some pictures of cupcakes from my two favorite Sydney bakeries...
I carry these pictures in my wallet.

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