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Feast: Hippie Muffins and High Maintenance Cupcakes

October 25, 2010

I know, I’ve been going on and on about the vegan low- fat chocolate muffins at Flour, and I promise this is the last time I’ll write about them*. However today, when I decided to splurge on Flour’s not-vegan full- fat chocolate cupcake, I noticed some distinct differences between the two that I wanted to discuss.

Now, when you buy a vegan low-fat chocolate muffin at Flour, it comes like this:

When you think about it, this makes perfect sense. It’s vegan, right? It’s the hippie treat- it doesn’t even go by the slave name “cupcake,” it prefers “muffin.” It is happy to be dressed in its brown paper bag, and in fact would go naked it if could, but in the name of decency will settle for a simple coat of tissue paper. This is the muffin playing bucket bongos on the corner of Newbury and Mass Ave, longing for the days of Tower Records.

Now, when you buy a Chocolate Cupcake with Crispy Magic Icing, it makes a much different entrance.

Clearly, this is a high maintenance cupcake. She is carefully swathed in her Armani overcoat, and as if that weren’t enough…

…she is snugly nestled inside. It’s like she’s going on a horse-drawn carriage ride through Central Park, but not before two uniformed personal attendants tuck her in with chinchilla fur blankets. This cupcake only flies first class and never pays for her own drinks. She has five pairs of Frye boots, her own line to the make-up counter at Saks, and a sub-zero refrigerator constantly stocked with carrot sticks and Tab.

The Hippie does not have icing- she prefers a light dusting of powdered sugar. Of course- what good hippie wears perfume when there is baby powder on the shelf? A typical morning for the Hippie muffin involves pulling up her Carhartts, sliding on her Birkenstocks, and tying back her dreadlocks with a piece of twine before she goes to work at her non-profit du jour.

But the cupcake, oh no. Every day, Ms. High Maintenance gets up three hours before her volunteer job at the Children’s Hospital (best place to meet rich doctors). Her primary residence is just above the salon where she has her hair blown out after her daily rose-scented bath (post Pilates session with her personal trainer). Upon returning to her bedroom suite, her stylist will have carefully staged her outfit on a hanger in her walk-in closet.

All kidding aside, the Chocolate Cupcakes with Crispy Magic Icing at Flour are just as amazing as the vegan muffins. The cake in Ms. High Maintenance is moist, tender, and smoother than that of the Hippie- there are no chocolate pieces in the cupcake. But the flavor is still incredibly rich and layered. The icing is subtle, buttery, and sweet without being cloying, and contrary to the name “crispy,” it is melt in your mouth soft- the cashmere hat that every good high maintenance cupcake is wearing this season.

* Had my fingers crossed.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. loveandcupcakes permalink
    October 25, 2010 5:46 pm

    Not to hate, but the distinction between cupcakes and muffins isn’t quite as trivial as you insinuate. Cupcakes and muffins are the difference between homogeneous and heterogeneous batter formation methods, resulting in wildly different end products that look the same on the outside. It’s like fish fins and dolphin fins – homology of structure!

    • bestthingslicedbread permalink*
      October 25, 2010 6:22 pm

      you’re a really loveable dork, you know that?


  1. Food: Meatless Monday – Vegan Muffins « The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

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