Friday, June 20, 2008

Susie Cakes and the Importance of a Cupcake Partner

I have a lot of quirks. Quirks about the type of silverware I use. Quirks involving the preparation of my oatmeal. And quirks about the proper ingestion of the cupcake, the uber-trendy treat that I hate to love, but can't seem to stop eating for reasons that completely perplex my inner health nut and independent spirit.

First and foremost on my list of cupcake regulations is the requirement that any cupcake I consume must be consumed in the presence of another consumer. Just like watching an episode of "The Office" is not nearly as funny as it is when there is someone next to me on the couch to laugh with, eating a cupcake alone is not nearly as fun or tasty when done solo. While I have eaten the occasional cupcake without the visual assistance of another person, I always feel a bit pathetic. Like I'm the comic strip character "Cathy," or a gluttonous closet-eater with no sense of self-control. It's nearly impossible to enjoy the experience when I am busy visualizing my butt expanding with each lick of the tangy cream cheese frosting. It makes me feel like I am barrelling down the pathway toward a lifetime of Hawaiian mumu's and a Ben & Jerry's pint-a-night ice cream habit.

With cupcake bakeries popping up across Los Angeles like Starbucks, it is of the utmost importance to acquire a cupcake partner who will be by my side when my blood sugar drops too low or my PMS levels surge too high. While it is fairly easy to find someone eager to abandon their diet in the name of overpriced baked goods, it's not so easy to find someone who meets the following list of requirements for an optimal cupcake partner.

1. Thou shalt not use the phrase, "I feel so fat" after the consumption of the cupcake.
2. Thou must not roll thine eyes at me if I wish to be dainty and use a fork, or turn away in disgust should I wish to be animalistic and swallow the cupcake hole.
3. Thou must encourage me when I express the desire to go back for another free sample, post-cupcake. (Particularly applicable at Susie Cakes)
4. Thou must be desirous for a hot or cold tea beverage to accompany the cupcake.
5. Thou must make occasional, but not excessive "yummy" noises whilst consuming the cupcake.
6. Thou must not distract me with perplexing life questions during vital chewing and savoring moments.
7. Thou must not suggest we split a cupcake. Cupcakes DO NOT split.
8. Thou must always finish thine cupcake.
9. Thou shalt not judgeth me for licking the crumbs off my plate and/or cupcake wrapper.
10. Thou must be a good friend and not detract from the experience with an undesirable personality and poor aura.

While I didn't tear this list up and throw it in the chimney a la Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins, I was still able to find my ideal cupcake partner -- Miss. Lauren M., a fellow Yelper and appreciator of sweet treats and tea. With that crucial matter settled, I can now report on Susie Cakes so as to maintain the integrity of my post title.

Over the course of our two cupcake outings to the Susie Cakes in Calabasas and the newly-opened Susie Cakes in Newport Beach, Lauren and I have come to the conclusion that red velvet cupcakes are good. Especially when moist, covered in ample cream cheese frosting and filled with a tiny dollop of extra frosting in the center. As for comparisons to other red velvet cupcakes from Sprinkles, Sweet Lady Jane, Crumbs, and Doughboys, I can say with complete authority that I don't really care to bust out the excel documents and in-depth analysis of the texture, frosting to cake ratio, size, and moisture index. As long as I have my cupcake partner with me, the cupcake will most likely be pretty darn good. Unless the frosting runs out on the Doughboys' monstrosity. That cake is horridly dry when eaten without adequate proportions of the lard-o-licious icing.

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