Good morning and welcome to another blog post dedicated to one of our favorite things of all time: food. While I am a parents blog generally, and a single parenting blog more specifically, I think food resonates in everyone’s life at some point or another. And if I can give you some great ideas for food specialties through recipes or local establishments that have some of my favorite foods, I think I have made a parent’s job just that much easier. So the Guide is dedicated to showing you the best in fake food holidays designed to tickle those tricky taste buds and make them sing. This week the Guide will celebrate one of our favorite types of food holidays as we celebrate the Chocolate Cupcake. Because October 18 is National Chocolate Cupcake Day.
While I do not usually take requests when it comes to food holidays, someone asked me last week about what food holiday was on her birthday, October 18. So I did a search on it so I could get back to her. As her birthday coincided with the chocolate cupcake, I relayed that back to her. And then I thought and pondered a while about what I would be celebrating for the next week’s food holiday blog posts. But my mouth was salivating too much over the thought of chocolate cupcakes I couldn’t think straight. And after feeling beaten into submission by this thought, I gave up all hope about doing anything else and decided I must celebrate the chocolate cupcake.
This takes me to my experience with cupcakes in particular. My love of cupcakes in general, and the chocolate cupcake in particular, goes back to my youth. Or for those of you in Brooklyn, my yute. Really it goes back to me being a kid in church and it seemed like every year we would have a cupcake decorating contest. This meant my mother would go to her stash of little candies and sugars, whip up a large batch of various different colors and flavors of frosting, and allow us kids to go to town on cupcakes.
There were those of us who craved different flavors of frosting. And others who had to have a particular type of candy on top of our delectable dessert. Of course when it came to decorating, each child had their own “theory.” There were those who had to make things nice and neat. They had a specific design in mind (often depending on the recent holiday), and they meticulously crafted their sugar treats on top of the colored frosting for the design. And then there were those of us who wanted maximum candy and sugar carnage. We were going to pile candy on top of our cupcake so high that it resembled a candy coated Christmas tree with a cupcake base. We had to have our sugar.
Sure the people who won the contest were always the ones who crafted theirs a little more neatly. But they never got a ribbon or a reward for their efforts. They just got a little praise from whomever it was who ran the contest and maybe a few oohs and awes to go with it. We sugar lovers didn’t care. We had way more sugar than we possibly knew what to do with. Who cares if we crashed from our sugar high later that Sunday afternoon? We were happy even if our parents stared in subtle (or maybe not so subtle) disdain at the person or persons who ran the contest. Sugar was its own reward.
On that note, the Guide, always aware of your desire for better fake knowledge, knew that it needed to go to the far reaches of the universe to make sure we brought you the best of fake food histories. Whether we scour the vast reaches of the undernet (think the internet’s Wonderland for all of you Lewis Carroll fans out there), or use the WayBack machine to go back in time to meet the people who created our salivation inducing savories, we believe in bringing to you all that is fake about the history of food.
After the breakdown of the WayBack machine, we were hesitant to take it out for a spin. But we knew the history of the chocolate cupcake was way too important to leave to chance. So we hopped in the machine and pressed the go button to find out all we could about this delicious cupcake. The following represents what we may have found, or made up.
The Fake History Of The Chocolate Cupake –
Once upon a time, in a land called Indigenous People’s Land, or the U.S.A., or maybe the 13 British Colonies back then, there was a gentleman by the name of Benjamin Franklin. He was a portly old man who was destined to discover electricity, or something like that. Regardless, Benjamin was the tenth and last son of Josiah and Abiah Franklin. This makes them a very strange rhyming family indeed. He had lived a good long life and was very close to his family. At the ripe old age of 71 or 70 depending upon fake math or fake birth documents, the rebel Americans tasked Benjamin with putting together a document with some guy named Thomas.
Thomas felt depressed with the document he originated, and with a lot of trepidation, he took the first draft to Benjamin to figure it all out. After countless nights, Benjamin scoured over the document to try to correct it. There was something about life, liberty, and the pursuit of partying that just did not sound right not him. And Thomas, who had a fascination with strange beings from other worlds, made mention of being endowed by Aliens from the planet Vulcan with their unhuminable rights. He spent hours trying to convince Tom that there really needed to be something else put there in its place.
After two weeks of discussions and nearly coming to a fist a cuffs match (boxing for those who haven’t studied the history of the sport) with each other (one which Ben knew he was destined to lose given his age), Ben’s younger sister Jane stopped by with a cake for the two of them to keep their strength up. Jane made the most delicious cakes, a fact that Benjamin’s stomach knew all too well. He wasn’t happy that Jane brought in something that would increase his ever bulging girth.
Tom was not particularly enthused by the presence of Jane, but he did love the smell of the cake she brought in. After Jane left, and after giving Ben the silent treatment for the better part of two hours, he decided to cut into the delicious chocolate cake that Jane made. Ben was having none of this. He stepped over and he shoved his sister’s cake onto the floor, destroying the pan that it sat in. Secretly he was happy knowing he destroyed the chocolate cake that his sister built. And he had the added bonus of making Thomas angry.
“Jeff!” Ben shouted, knowing this would make Tom even more angry using a derivative of his last name. “You can’t get caught up on chocolate cake.”
Tom furiously slammed the door on his way out of the room. He could not stand the sight of Ben any longer. He needed to get out and get his head screwed on straight. Jane, catching Tom on his way out the door as she had forgotten something, grabbed him before he took off.
“What’s wrong Thomas,” Jane queried.
“I just cannot get Ben to believe in Aliens, Jane. Why doesn’t he understand that I have proof of them?”
Jane paused for a second. “Is there anything else wrong Thomas?”
“Well . . . he destroyed your chocolate cake.”
Jane exlaimed, “How dare he?!?! And now I have no cake pans left. Don’t worry Thomas. I will come back with some cakes tomorrow.”
“Ok, Jane. Good evening to you.”
Jane stood there for a few seconds and thought about what she was going to do, aside from pulling Benjamin out by his hear and give him a good scolding. She didn’t know what to do so she figured she may as well give Ben his scolding first.
“How dare you destroy my cake pan you lout! What am I going to do to make my cakes? What are you going to give me? You better think of something.”
Benjamin knew he better do something. So he brought out his set of new tea cups he had for the long nights working on the paper with Tom. Jane was mollified a little bit, although she wondered how they would do without their tea. Jane laughed to herself as she headed back home to make more cakes.
When Jane did get to the kitchen, she discovered that she did not have any more cake pans or other pans that she could use. She stared for a while at the tea cups she received from Ben and finally decided she would just go with it.
So the next night as Tom and Ben attacked each other viciously, Jane brought in the cakes made from tea cups. Tom stared incredulously at them but came over to take a smell anyway. They still smelled just as delicious.
“What do you call them?” Tom inquired. “Are those cakes in cups???”
Jane thought for a second and said, “Then you have named them Thomas. They are cupcakes.”
Of course, what no one really knows is that between the lack of Tea and those cupcakes they would finally finish that Declaration of Independence. And Thomas Jefferson still got to keep that word alien in the final draft of the Declaration. Of course, not exactly as he had wanted.
The cupcake would take off after that. First there was Amelia Simons in her book American Cookery who referred to baking a cake in small cups. And then in the cookbook Receipts by Eliza Leslie, she referred to the term cupcake specifically. Of course no one had thought to use icing on cakes up until that point. They were just plain cakes that were the size of cups.
But in 1919 some soda jerk who was used to serving ice cream and cake together was embarassed to find out that he hadn’t ordered ice cream for his pharmacy. Frustrated he had some ingredients to make frosting that he could find in the shop. As he was baking chocolate cupcakes that day he decided to go with a chocolate frosting on top of the cup cakes. He was surprised at the hit he had on his hands. So excited he left the company to go work for the Hostess Company who was considering mass producing a chocolate cupcake. The rest as they say, is fake food history.
Top Five Cupcake Places In Southern California –
As with all good food holidays, the Guide finds its duty to to make sure that you not only know about the history of the amazing chocolate cupcake. We also want you to know about something in particular about this amazing dish. With some foods we like to give you recipes for that dessert. But chocolate cupcake recipes aren’t all that different from one another. So we figured that finding some of the best cupcake places in Southern California would suffice. Hence, the Guide brings to you now the top five cupcake places in Southern California.
5) Pure Cupcakes – San Diego
Mary Sarain brought her artistic vision to cupcakes in 2009. Her corporate lifestyle was inhibiting her creativity and she needed an outlet. San Diego is most definitely grateful for her getting into the mix. With super fresh ingredients, Mary and and Nikki Black have turned Pure Cupcakes into one of the biggest go to places for small desserts in San Diego. They use fresh cream, sweet butter, homemade cheese curds, fruits, and spices. While I love their various choices, you should check out their website to know what’s on the menu each day as days within the month change regularly. If you are in San Diego and love cupcakes, you gotta try out Pure.
4) Sprinkles Cupcakes – Located in several places throughout Southern Califronia
Now expanded in 10 different states and territories, Sprinkles Cupcakes founded the original cupcake bakery, located in Beverly Hills. People know them for all of their various flavors and frostings you will find delicious. Even my daughter who isn’t the biggest frosting fan, absolutely loved the Sprinkles magic. And on top of that they have plenty of vegan, gluten free, and sugar free options for their cakes. If you want to go to the original, you need to stop by Sprinkles and take a bite.
3) Patty’s Cakes And Desserts – Fullerton
Patty began this as a labor of love back in 1985, baking for family get togethers and special occasions. It grew into something larger as she engaged with her kids schooling. They became so popular that the 33 Club in Disneyland paid her to make her cupcakes twice a week for Executive Club. Eventually her son came on board and they started a shop in Fullerton making her amazing cupcakes. Between her 32 regular cupcakes and seasonal flavors you will never run out of cupcakes that will be an absolutely delight. Definitely try out the Chocolate Carmel Salty flavor. Mmmmmm.
2) Frosted Cupcakery – Long Beach and Huntington Beach
Frosted Cupcakery has some of the best tasting cupcakes in the Southern California area. Honestly, if they offered more I would have placed this higher on the list. They use the freshest of ingredients and prepare these cupcakes fresh every day. No shortcuts to greatness. I do have to admit that I really love the ice cream cupcakes that they have. They are just so delicious. Be sure to try out the Chocolate Caramel Buttercream Toffee. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
1) The Original Yummy Cupcakes – Burbank
Back in 2004 when there wasn’t much of a market for specialized bakeries, Tiffini Soforenko had a dream. She wanted to begin a cupcake only bakery. She went to her husband and family seeking funding to start the process. At the same time she kept making cupcakes morning, noon, and night until they found some winners. They knew the winners when their son would ask for more of those “yummy cupcakes.” And the name stuck. With over 400 different cupcakes that they have the exclusive rights to, you will never run out of new and interesting flavors to try out from them. Make sure to check out the monthly menu to know what flavors are on the docket. For those who are looking for their chocolate cupcake fix, make sure to try out the Black Out when it’s available. For chocolate heaven here on earth you cannot do better.
Continue The Conversation
So what did you think of the history of the chocolate cupcake? What do you believe about the chocolate cupcake? Do you have a favorite place to get them? Or do you prefer backing your own? I would love to hear from you about all things dessert or cupcake in particular.
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If you liked this food holiday post, please check out some of my other food holiday posts, and make sure to like this post at the end of the post. Plus, don’t forget to subscribe to the Guide. Followers via email get access to the Dad Rules, and they get the biweekly newsletter to find the comings and goings here at the Guide. Thank you for stopping by and go enjoy some cupcakes.
Until next time, this is me signing off.
David Elliott, Single Dad’s Guide to Life