Hang onto your hats, y'all, because I'm about to make a very serious announcement:

I don't care if I never see another cupcake.*

*This is probably only about 5% true.

Why the sudden, monumental shift in attitude, you ask? Because I have spent literally all day messing around with cupcakes. And I'm tired of it.

See, it all started when our new neighbors invited us over for dinner. I was really excited because, hello, we could totally become BFF's. We are sorely lacking in friends whose lives are at the same point as ours (i.e., boring married couples with young kids). So when they asked us over for tacos, it was like being asked on a first date: thrilling and nerve-wracking all at the same time.

For a week I've agonized over what kind of dessert to bring. Finally, I opted for chocolate cupcakes: generally a universally pleasing option. But seeing as this is a first-date-with-the-neighbors situation, these couldn't be just any old cupcakes. Oh no. They had to be the best cupcakes evah.

So I used this recipe ... which is called The Best Chocolate Cake Ever. And it seriously is. Just as I knew they would, the cupcakes came out brilliantly: light, fluffy and moist but still deep, rich and chocolatey.

And of course when you have such awesome cupcakes, they simply must be topped with equally awesome frosting - Ina Garten's chocolate buttercream, because forty positive reviews on Food Network.com can't be wrong, y'all.

So I bought the best quality (read: most effin' painfully expensive) chocolate that Hy-Vee had to offer. I carefully followed the directions. It isn't necessarily a difficult recipe, but because I'd never made it before, I floundered a few times.*

*Such as when I decided to save time by adding the vanilla directly to the melted chocolate chips without realizing that they would turn into a solid un-meltable mess that would take a bunch of hot water and stirring until my arm fell off to remedy.  

Finally, though, the chocolate buttercream frosting was finished. And it was a masterpiece. A vision of deliciousness: glossy ripples of chocolate, whipped to silken perfection. Time to sample! I got myself a heaping little spoon and gleefully dug in. And ohhhhhh boy, did it taste ...

... salty?

Dismayed, I racked my brain. WHY did this deceptively gorgeous chocolate buttercream taste like a salt lick? I mean, there was salt in the recipe, but hardly enough to make it taste like that. And then it hit me.

I'd used salted butter. The recipe called for unsalted butter.


So there it went, my beautiful buttercream, into the trash can. And there I went, rushing back to the store, where I spent another small fortune on the necessary frosting supplies for my perfect, new-neighbor-impressing cupcakes.

This time, the process went much more smoothly. I knew what to expect. And when it was finished, it tasted just as it should have: not salty.
So what do you do when you've got delicious cupcakes and perfect frosting and are trying to make a positive impression on your new-neighbors-slash-potential-BFFs? You can't just slather on the frosting with a regular old butter knife. Oh no. You've got to do something fancy.

Unfortunately, I don't own one of those little bags that pipes the frosting onto the cupcake into a neat little swirl. So I improvised: I cut the corner off a Ziploc bag and made my own makeshift frosting-piper-doohickey. And I happily frosted the cupcakes until I realized ... ohmigosh. These look like they're topped with little piles of poop.

Yeah. The brown, the swirl, the whipped consistency, they all conspired to make my cupcakes look unfortunately fecal, like something you'd see on Cake Wrecks (seriously, look at the last picture on that link, and then look at mine):

Mmmmm, feeeeee-ceeeees.

"My cupcakes look like shit!" I wailed to Curtis. "Literally!"

He laughed and agreed that, yeah, they did look a little like piles of poo. And because you can't present your new neighbors with poo-topped cupcakes, I got out the butter knife that I'd refused to use in the first place.

And so my cupcakes ended up looking like this:


Yeah. Because smeary brown haystacks are so much more appetizing.

To add insult to injury, I didn't even get to go to the taco dinner at the new neighbors' because Cameron developed a hacking cough and runny nose, and I didn't want him to give the ick to their little girl. Just as well, though, because at least Curtis could take the cupcakes over when he went - and I wouldn't have to witness the neighbors' reaction.
But let's look on the bright side ...

One batch of chocolate cupcakes: $25.
Having something to blog about: priceless.

... You're welcome.


  1. Look shmook. They were delicious, right?

  2. chocolate with chocolate frosting? I don't care what they look like, I would eat them!

  3. What an ordeal. SHEESH! However, I give you TOTAL props for even attempting an Ina Garten recipe. When I looked up peanut butter frosting there was a recipe of hers. 25 ingredients LATER I was like, hells to the no. I will NOT be attempting anything that requires THAT much work. So, you rock. I'm sure they tasted delish, in spite of their poo poo look.

    And, for the record....if you lived next door to me, we could totes be BFF's.

  4. I would've left the icing all poop style! That was hilarious.

  5. LOL!! I would totally eat those shit looking cupcakes. Just sayin;)

    And thanks for the link to that cake recipe. Sour cream. Pudding. Chocolate. Yeah...what else do you need?!

  6. Poop looking or not, I totally would have eaten one and loved it.

  7. Present them as intentionally humorous cupcakes and you're all set. :)

  8. Oh my gosh, you kill me! I love reading your blog and laughing!!!

  9. I thought the "poop-cakes" were pretty! I definitely would have eaten one....or three. ;o) Chocolate-on-chocolate CANNOT be a bad thing, no matter what it looks like.

  10. i think ur cupcakes looked perfectly fine mommy reet i case u didnt notice..this is caitlyn

  11. Poop-cakes! Those are perfect for a boy's birthday party...and instead of dixie cups with knock knock jokes, you could get ones that have fart and burp jokes on them. ;D

  12. Poo or not, I would have eaten them! But I had to laugh because this is so something that would have happened to me!

  13. LOL! Thanks for the laughs! After 7 or 8 dozen cupcakes in the last 2 weeks (um, baked by me NOT eaten by me, just thought I'd throw that in) I will be happy to not do cupcakes again for oh, about 6 months until the next munchkins birthday.


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