SusieCakes – While We’re on the Subject of Cupcakes, Why I’ll Never Show Up Empty-Handed

SusieCakes Chocolate Cupcake with Pink Buttercream Frosting

SusieCakes

11708 San Vicente Blvd (in Brentwood)
Los Angeles, CA 90049
310.442.2253
www.susiecakesla.com

It’s no secret that I have a lovehatehatelovehatehate relationship with cupcakes, but at this point, it’s mostly just hate.

I won’t get into the nitty gritty details about why I hate cupcakes. I don’t feel like defending myself against legions of buttercream superheroes armed with semi-automatic pastry bags, and because I am not so good at crafting solid, logical arguments, my head will end up impaled on a perfect peak of meringue frosting. However, I am better with exposition (rather than argumentation), so I will tell a story, even if the story only very tenuously has to do with cupcake and hate.

(God, I love blogging.)

There was a point in my life when I had a fascination with that which we call “cupcakes” – the singular “that which,” and not plural “those which,” because I am talking about cupcakes as a concept (singular).

Fascination may not be the right word. Perhaps it is more accurate to call it curiosity driven by envy. At least, that’s what it is – curious envy – when it starts in kindergarten.

Curious envy is what draws you to the front of the small, tight, three-classmates-deep U that has formed around one of the desks even though you’d be in the front anyway because you’re a short, scrawny Asian in a tall non-Asian’s world. Curious envy is what has you and every other one of your classmates silently sighing at the sight of two flimsy pink cardboard boxes at the front edge of the desk. Curious envy is what you taste when you bite into a tiny cake wrapped in paper pride, smothered with frosting love, and sprinkled with multi-colored birthday fun. Curious envy is what keeps you from reminding your own Mommy about your own birthday because you will die, just dee-eye-ee die, of shame if she shows up at your school on your birthday with candles and an avocado green Tupperware filled with…dduk.

I’m not saying that actually happened to me, but I’m not saying that it didn’t happen either.

Cupcakes were the unattainable object of my elementary school desire. Later, and now, cupcakes have become an abstract concept, not a real memory, of love and celebration during childhood. I see cupcakes as nothing more than a smaller, drier, denser version of a cake with the added nuisance of crimped paper wrapping.

It seems that I might be, no, that I am, the only one for whom that sentiment is true, though. Most other (non-immigrant) American people enjoy and appreciate cupcakes because they derive a powerfully nostalgic pleasure out of eating something that very clearly reminds them of story time, naps, and four square. I would never take that away from anyone. Pride, love and maybe victory, I would take from someone, but childhood nostalgia, not from anyone.

SusieCakes Cupcake
That is why when there is an occasion, I will bring cupcakes.

Even though they were not dead to me, they were never alive to me. Even if I didn’t bake them. Even if they’re priced like professionals but presented like first year home economics. Even if the miserly seven sprinkles can’t cover up the cotton candy pink frosting that gets slightly squashed during transport because they don’t come in a box with cupcake holes. Even if the cupcakes from SusieCakes taste like sawdust sifted with sand.

Even though I never got cupcakes brought to me when I was a little kid. Even though they don’t remind me of anything except feeling slightly jealous, I will bring cupcakes because…you should have seen the look on his little face when he saw what was inside the box.

Who Else is on the Subject of SusieCakes:

~ 17 Citysearchers give SusieCakes 4½ stars
~ 34 Yelpers give SusieCakes 4½ stars
~ MetroMix calls the whoopie pies “insane”
~ TripleCreme liked SusieCakes (Jul 2006)
~ Caroline on Crack liked it both times (Feb/Mar 2007)
~ RestaurantReviewWorld highly suggests SusieCakes (Aug 2007)
~ PaperMag pits SusieCakes against Scoops (Jan 2008)

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  • Anonymous

    wow. getting a bit lazy are we? where are your thoughts? damn it… share!

    hope you’re surviving gainful unemployment. stop cooking and take this time to go out and explore the city.

    cheers.

  • Anonymous

    wow. getting a bit lazy are we? where are your thoughts? damn it… share!

    hope you’re surviving gainful unemployment. stop cooking and take this time to go out and explore the city.

    cheers.

  • assa

    hey anon,

    haven’t you figured out this is sarah’s m.o.? first the visual tease to get you all hot & bothered, and then comes the substance.

  • sarah

    anonymous: lazy? totally. :) i expect to be back on the turbo blogging wagon in no time…

    assa: you’z figgered me out!

  • Anonymous

    Even though it’s a cupcake, it doesn’t look very appetizing all squashed like that.

  • Anonymous

    forget the cupcake thing… i’m still waiting on your review of ikko. well??? haha… over it.

    and about this twitter comment on missing cafe du monde… they actually sell the chicory coffee and beignet mix from cafe du monde. give it a try and send me the bill. then spike it with bourbon and start blogging.

    cheers

  • Anonymous

    forget the cupcake thing… i’m still waiting on your review of ikko. well??? haha… over it.

    and about this twitter comment on missing cafe du monde… they actually sell the chicory coffee and beignet mix from cafe du monde. give it a try and send me the bill. then spike it with bourbon and start blogging.

    cheers

  • sailorpikaangel

    OMG! First you have that luscious fluffy cupcake from Yummy Cupcakes.. then a pic of that sad, crackly cupcake!! I don’t know whether to sad if I’m happy to say that I don’t get the whole cupcake trend that is exploding…. I would rather make my own cupcakes.. but I have to admit to the skills of certain bakeries to have that mile high fluffy cupcake! But speaking of trends… OMG.. I love the tart frozen yogurt trend.. and with mochi balls.. DELISH!

    PS. I received the book yesterday.. Thank you *SO* much!! Unfortunately I am in the midst of exams and assignments and will not have an opportunity to make anything from it for another couple of weeks and besides Kahula and Grey Goose, do not have most of the ingredients… I can’t wait to try some of the drinks and hope you got your Long, Slow Comfortable Screw Up Against A wall!!

  • sarah

    anonymous #2: i know. squashed. ick.

    anonymous #3: oh boy. you’re right. totally have to get back on that one!

    sailorpika: if you make cupcakes, send some my way :) and good luck on your finals!

  • U

    That looks like cupcake roadkill…

  • H. C.

    I’ve had a SusieCake cupcake before– from the way it tasted it might as well looked like the crackly one on your post…

    and this post just reminded me of this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TeDSSvVh9s

  • eatingplum

    Loved your previous post on cupcakes. I used to think they were cute but now the cuteness has died by being way overrated AND way overpriced. Someone give these people some creativity.

    I also appreciate your biting humor. It’s refreshing.

    To the above anon…I’m sorry, but making your own beignets from the mix is NOT the same thing. There’s something unique about having it in NOLA.

  • Tarie

    Sigh, I love cupcakes!

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