The Seduction of the Cupcake Cult
If a newcomer to New York City thinks about cupcakes, she probably has sweet memories of third grade birthday parties where the whole class would get the little cakes heavy with frosting. But in NYC, the cupcakes are all grown up and their bakers are out to convert you.
The sugary siren song started out subtle for me. I saw cupcakes at corner stores, then diners, and then at specialty-gourmet grocery stores. Then the cupcake and pastry shops caught my eye. And always, the seductive Red Velvet cakes were front and center in each and every window. Still, I resisted, “Why cupcakes? They can’t be that special…” I so naively thought.
A missionary from the cult finally identified me as a prime candidate for conversion. “Let’s go to my favorite cupcake place.” She whispered, as if taking the first taste was not a big commitment. The baptism occured at Sweet Revenge, the cupcake of choice, that lead culprit, Red Velvet. There was no going back after that fateful brunch. Every supposedly simple aspect of a cupcake became a big deal: big cupcake or mini cake, soft and fluffy or thick and moist, sprinkled frosting or smooth cream cheese?
Being a part of the cult is fun and harmless, I promise…. I even have a favorite place of my own, Pinisi (with two locations in the Lower East Side – these photos are their cupcakes). They have at least three different versions of Red Velvet, and a salty-sweet pistachio cup cake too. So, don’t fight the conversion, join us!