Cupcakes, I Can't Quit You Baby
Yes, I know I have a serious and perhaps life-threatening addiction to cupcakes--I've actually noted Sprinkles' upcoming Brown Sugar Praline flavor in my diary--but I'm clearly not the only one. Just as there's an unstoppable number of cupcakes stores opening all over the country, there are also dozens of dedicated blogs. Among my favorites is St Louis-based food writer Stefani Pollack, who has turned baking cupcakes into an obsession, charting the results on her website, the Cupcake Project. The site is packed with recipes, photos and feedback from fellow cupcake junkies, and there's a scroll-down menu for searching by flavor (the list is endless, from absinthe to yellow cake... What, no zucchini?).
Of the OC-based websites, Once Upon A Cupcake goes one step further: blogger Kelly C'De Baca makes the cakes for you, then you pick up from her address in Mission Viejo. She covers all the basic flavors (strawberry, red velvet, devil's food, etc), as well as seasonal varieties such as pumpkin spice (sadly, we have to wait till September for those). But her real forte is the decoration--she's had requests for every kind of theme, from poker and volleyball to Harry Potter and High School Musical, and even made cupcakes with a realistic-looking meatballs and spaghetti topping for a boy's birthday party.
I'm still trying to find ways of kicking my obsession, by the way, but that's not going to happen soon. In fact, I'm on a mission to find the OC's best cupcake. In the meantime, when the craving hits, I can satisfy it with a 100-calorie 'popper' from Mrs Beasley's, which, like their full-size cupcakes, come with a big wodge of whipped frosting on top. And, truthfully, they're not pretty generous for 100 calories. The problem? Just like anything that's bad for us, one is never enough.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Orange County dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.