A Simple Hack for Eating Large Cupcakes

You’ll never eat a cupcake the same way again…

The idea of creating miniature cakes as a dessert is thought to have originated in 1796, when Amelia Simmons wrote about them in American Cookery. The idea came to fruition in 1828 when Eliza Leslie published the first recipe for a tiny cake one could bake in a tea cup. With a thin layer of sweet frosting or jam on top the tiny cake, the new dessert could be enjoyed in a few bites with little mess. Cupcakes rapidly became a sensation.

Image by Blandine JOANNIC from Pixabay

Today, that thin layer of icing has grown exponentially into mountainous swirls atop the surface of the cupcake. While extra frosting is always welcome, these mile-high cupcakes are nearly impossible to eat because their height exceeds the girth of the average mouth. In addition, the frosting-to-cake ratio is often inconsistent from bite to bite, decreasing the pleasure of the overall experience. There have also been alarming reports of accidental frosting loss as the consumer’s nose is liable to push it off the cupcake surface. This creates a precarious situation in which the frosting is likely to succumb to the forces of gravity and fall to the ground.

To remedy these issues, I have experimented with a variety of cupcake eating techniques and settled on a simple two-step method that maximizes the dessert experience.

Step 1: Separate the head and body of the cupcake. They usually pull apart easily, but a knife can be used to make a more aesthetically pleasing cut.

Step 2: Redistribute the excess frosting from the head of the cupcake to the body, essentially making two smaller cupcakes that will easily fit into the average-sized mouth. The significantly increased tastiness of the body compensates for the minuscule reduction in tastiness of the head of the cupcake.

Redistribution of the frosting is best achieved with a knife; however, the index finger serves as a handy frosting redistribution device, and is easily cleaned with the mouth.


Bill Sullivan is the author of “Pleased to Meet Me: Genes, Germs, and the Curious Forces That Make Us Who We Are” (National Geographic Books).

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