The Cup Takes the Cake


Jacqueline Glenn, Co-Editor-in-Chief

When I slunk into The Cup on a lazy Monday afternoon, chiding myself for forgoing my calorie-counting, a hypnotic scent — buttercream icing — convinced me that everything was going to be OK.

Platters of perfectly-iced cupcakes, with not so much as a sprinkle out of place, beckoned behind the glass case that enclosed them. A friendly cashier explained that each was offered in two sizes: “homesize” (small) and large.

Mustering my self control, I ordered just two homesize cupcakes — one that I knew I would like and one that would challenge my skittish tastebuds.

Priced at $2.25 each, these gems were worth every penny and more.

The Tuxedo was predictably flawless. Its strong base, a rich dark chocolate cake, didn’t falter like most cupcakes do — it stayed intact in the middle. The cupcake’s moist texture diffused just the right amount of flavor into each bite. And its icing, a smooth vanilla buttercream variety, contrasted the dark chocolate perfectly. A mini Oreo cookie gave the cupcake a crunch that I did not realize I needed.

Although I was hesitant to try my “challenge” cupcake, the Strawberries ‘n’ Cream, which the cashier recommended, I convinced myself to get out of my comfort zone. I normally scorn many fruit-flavored desserts, and strawberry cake is one of them. But maybe I had never had a good one before, because this cupcake changed my mind.

I gingerly peeled back Strawberries ‘n’ Cream’s wrapper, taking a minuscule bite. The cupcake’s mild strawberry flavor was surprisingly delectable. It did not include even a hint of artificiality. The icing, which I expected to be violently strawberry-flavored, tasted only faintly of the actual fruit. A dried strawberry adorned the top. All these layers, when combined into a single bite, satisfied my fickle tastebuds, and I ended up eating the entire cupcake.

Before tasting the utter perfection of The Cup’s cupcakes, I was content with box cake mixes — a Betty Crocker variety would suffice. But no longer will I settle.