Sometimes, you just want a cupcake. You're not dressed nicely, you don't want to get dressed nicely to go out to one of the fancy bakeries just to buy some towering buttercream priapus for $3.50, not when you can make your own at home.
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So, faced with the prospect of spending hours making, you know, cake and frosting, you use a cake mix and a tub of prepared frosting. We've all done it (yes, you have too, we know the truth). You mix the powder with the egg and the oil and put it in the muffin tins and bake it off, then spread it with InstInfarct™ Artificially-Flavored Lard Sludge.
But that's apparently still too much work. Now, in addition to buying preservative-laden cake mix and frosting that contains neither butter nor cream, Select Brands Incorporated would like you to buy a thirty dollar piece of equipment that takes up space in your kitchen and has exactly one function: making cupcakes.
Unless you live in a bachelor apartment or a hotel room with no oven, there is no excuse for owning this poor cousin of a waffle iron; buy a mini-muffin pan for $7 at your local restaurant supply store and learn to love your oven, idiosyncratic though it may be.
Take back the cupcake. Watch Alton Brown's "Good Eats" episode on cupcakery. Relegate this schlock to its rightful homes, the unloved orphanages of small electrics: the home-goods racks at Marshalls and the SkyMall catalogue.