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It has recently come to my attention that a New York cupcake producer by the name of “Butch Bakery” has “decided it was time to combine a masculine aesthetic with a traditionally cute product—-the cupcake,” and has endeavored to accomplish this feat by “butch[ing] it up.” How exactly does one “butch up” cupcakes?
By adding booze, topping them with “decorative chocolate discs” in “camo” print, and describing them in the voice of an oversexed but sophisticatedly palated baseball announcer. Ex. “This peanut butter cake with banana bavarian cream & crumbled bacon is more fun than getting to third base”; “Get your motor running with this brandy-soaked lemon cake featuring an orange & white chocolate ganache filling”; “Our rum-soaked lime cake with mint white-chocolate ganache is sure to whet your thirst.” Titling one of your cupcakes “Big Papi” doesn’t hurt, either.
Butch Bakery’s “MAN-ifesto” [ugh] inspires more questions than answers. Do men naturally bake manly cupcakes? Do men really own the word “butch” anymore? Is “whetting your thirst” a guy thing? How does one whet one’s thirst with a cupcake, anyway? In order to get to the bottom of this, I decided to consult City Paper‘s resident male cupcake baker, Will Atwood Mitchell:
CP: Since you are a man, do you naturally bake manly cupcakes? WAM: Until today I thought I was just baking personly cupcakes. OOPS, MY MISTAKE.
CP: Please describe the taste of your cupcakes, making sure to employ at least 3 of the 4 following terms: “get your motor running”; “whet your thirst”; “knock your ball out of the park”‘ and “more fun than getting to third base.”
WAM: So I was DMing with a colleague at the Chicago Reader on twitter the other day [@whet] about the things that make life worthwhile: softball, vespas, drinking smoothies. And we totally agreed that there are times in your life when you just really want to enjoy a cupcake. Little cakes! They’re the perfect way to celebrate life’s minor victories.
Say you’re playing coed softball on a sunny afternoon, and you get that perfect pitch, and just about knock your ball out of the park. Cupcake time! Way more fun than getting to third base. Or maybe you’re running late for work on a rainy day, and your vespa decides to conk out. Bummer! But when you finally get your motor running? Have a cupcake. My colleague was saying that occasionally he prefers to celebrate with a fruity beverage, especially on hot days. I said, “Whet, your thirst for smoothies is totally cool, but I’ll go with a cupcake any day.” Wresting alligators, MMA.
CP: Have you ever heard from men who wanted to consume a cupcake, but were afraid it might infringe upon their masculinity?
WAM: No joke? Yes. On DCist, two years ago. [A man reportedly said this while passing in front of the line outside of Georgetown Cupcake: “If I’m gonna stand in line for a cupcake, it better make my dick hard”].
CP: As a baker, describe how one might “butch up” a cupcake.
WAM: Instead of standard cupcake liners, use a flat top grill. Follow your cupcake recipe as usual, but replace all the ingredients with five whole pounds of sizzling ground beef and twenty slices of American Cheese. Consume it in front of a cheering crowd in an Atlanta diner while saying things like “This is one serious cupcake!” The secret to this technique is that men only eat meat, while women are vegetarians or vegans. They won’t teach you that in baking school.