Thursday, July 22, 2010

"We're known for our Red Velvet cupcakes!"

Are you?  Really?

No fewer than half of the cupcake bakeries I have been to in LA have told me some variation of that sentence.  Now, the thing is, if they're all known for Red Velvet, aren't they all sort of not known for it?

What I mean is, if every bakery has spectacular Red Velvet, they what would bring a customer to one over another?  Nothing but loyalty or curiosity I suppose.  The thing is, as a newcomer to any given bakery, sometimes they fool me into thinking they really do have the best ones.  And then I try them and am inevitably disappointed.

The fact is, Red Velvet cupcakes just aren't all that good (with the exception being the ones at Famous Cupcakes in Beverly Hills, where I got a free sample of one and it really was that good).  They're extremely popular right now, but besides being freakishly red, they're not special.  I think what people like is the cream-cheese frosting (which, I might point out, could be put on any cupcake) and the fact that the things are called "Red Velvet."  Velvet sounds luxurious and sophisticated somehow.  But you know what, it's a cupcake, not fabric.  It is still loaded with [deliciously sweet] sugar and enough calories to count as dinner.  

Don't get me wrong, I've tried to make them a few times, but they always seem not to come out quite right.  Why do I bother?  So come on, cupcake bakeries of LA.  Put your efforts into another flavor, and PLEASE stop telling me you make the best Red Velvet cupcakes because you probably don't.  


  1. This is actually really funny because the other day I was watching Cupcake Wars on the Food Network (I dunno if you've seen it, but if you get the Food Network, definitely look for it. It's pretty great), and the contestants had to make three cupcakes each during this one challenge. One of the contestants decided to go with really 'classic' (read: basic) flavors and rest on the fact that her Red Velvet is award-winning, instead of actually putting a lot of thought into an interesting flavor combination or idea, and the judges totally tore her apart. So I agree. Red Velvet, though it can be delicious, is really not that special. Though the Cheesecake Factory does have a really good Red Velvet Cheesecake, and they manage to get it really, really red, too.

  2. Surprisingly, I've never seen Cupcake Wars. I'll have to look for it online if I want to, because I have no money and therefore no cable. Erg.

    And that cheesecake thing sounds good, but really that just takes the red velvet obsession further. There's a frozen yogurt place here that has red velvet yogurt. Uhhh. It's just weak chocolate (which makes me wonder why I have gotten it twice. I annoy myself sometimes).