I made a couple dozen cupcakes for Ryan’s birthday. I had guessed that he would want creamcheese frosting (because he loves creamcheese frosting) so I assumed that he would want red velvet cake. I automatically think of red velvet cake when I think of creamcheese frosting. But, no, he wanted a basic yellow cake. And he wanted chocolate creamcheese frosting not regular creamcheese frosting. That’s when the thought hit me. Frosting really is the ultimate accessory. Without frosting, cake in a cupcake liner is really just a sweet muffin. It’s the frosting that sets cake apart from other baked goods. And yes, I know that there are plenty of cakes out there that aren’t typically frosted. But even these generally have some sort of accessory to decorate the top like powdered sugar in delicate lace patterns. (But come on, frosting is far superior to a sprinkling of powdered sugar.)
Thinking of frosting as the ultimate accessory also made me ponder how frosting can change the taste of an entire cake. A plain yellow cake is going to taste very different if it has been covered with a rich dark chocolate frosting than if it has been covered with a light vanilla buttercream.
I feel that there is a cupcake marathon in my near future. Mixing-and-matching cupcakes and frosting flavors? That sounds like a perfect way to spend a Saturday.