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If cupcakes purely had an aesthetic function and were not designed for eating, I’d perhaps have less of a problem with them. After all, they do look so pretty. All those lovely pinks and powdery blues, and twinkly sprinkles and pure indulgent frothiness. As the girl whose ex-colleague one day turned round out of the blue, after I’d come in wearing yet another floral frock, and said to me, ‘If you were a shop, you’d be Cath Kidston’ (I was mortified and kinda pleased in equal measure), it would be churlish not to confess to a certain affinity for all things comforting and nostalgic and lovely and girlie and escapist. After years in jeans, these days I only do dresses. I do spend an unhealthy amount of time fantasising about tea cups and teapots. Afternoon tea is my favourite meal of the day. And, yes, I count it as a meal. A day without tea and cake at some point in the day is a sad one indeed. I have watched the Great British Bake-Off unironically.

But tastewise I’m just not keen. For cupcakes patently taste awful. . They reek of awful cloying overwhelming sweetness, the kind that sets teeth on edge, with the icing-to-sponge ratio far too generous in the former and lacking in the latter. Give me a good old-fashioned fairy cake with a blob of icing and a decent buttery base any day of the week.

But more than the mere taste, it’s what cupcakes have come to represent that I can’t bear. Their  representation of a certain kind of awful Sex and the City-spawned female indulgence. They are sickly in every sense of the word. I know I’m clearly not alone in this, as the anti-cupcake movement/cupcake backlash has been going for quite some time now.

It’s also as if there’s a truth universally acknowledged that every women’s latent cupcake gene springs into action once she becomes a mother. That while you might have previously been the kind of woman who subsisted on KFC buckets and Gregg’s sandwiches, or liked to read The Economist, and only had the vaguest acquaintance with lighting the oven, the minute you have a baby you’ll find yourself flouncing into the kitchen in a floral pinnie to rustle up some some butter icing, clearing the cake decoration aisle in Waitrose and spending £300 on a KitchenAid (a contraption that basically does what people have been doing for centuries with a whisk, wooden spoon and a basin bowl, only without the ensuing tendonitis afterwards).

How many new mothers start doomed cupcake-making businesses? How many flyers for cake stalls, and children’s birthday cake makers are there in your local coffee shop? How many times have you bought a cupcake (and some them cost £3.50-plus each), then felt distinctly queasy before you’re halfway done?

I have a confession, however: though I hate cooking, I do like to make cakes. I like to make them, even though I’m totally rubbish at it. I like the fact that you have to follow a recipe to the letter, as I find going off piste from any recipe at all unnecessarily stressful and unsettling.

Even so, despite the following-to-a letter, my cakes still generally burn, collapse, crumble, are raw in the middle and singed at the edges, or have a distinct teeth-cracking, rock-like consistency. I never EVER remember what time I put them in the oven. If they’re initially undercooked I inevitably put them back in and then end up leaving them too long so they burn anyway. They taste of disappointment. They are the embodiment of failed ambition, of slovenly domesic ungoddessness,

They never look remotely like the picture and often they’re not taste sweet enough, because I’ll get to the cupboard and realise that I don’t have one of the ingredients and as I’m too lazy to go the supermarket, I’ll substitute with the wrong kind of sugar (which might work with a curry, but not with a cake, which is all about the science of proportions or so I am led to believe).

I have woefully inaccurate scales and basically just none of the right equipment or Nigella-friendly accoutrements – Bundt tins, icing bags, spatulas, proper vanilla essence, those funny little gold and silver balls. I don’t even have a cooling rack. And I can’t decorate to save my life – I just find myself getting insanely bored and impatient while I’m doing it, making even basic icing sugar, which as we all know any 3-year-old can manage (my icing is always without fail way too runny and thin, like a very cheap paper glue, or mortar-like like an unpleasant yeast infection). I even manage to fuck up those supermarket fairy cake kits where all you need to do is chuck in an egg and stir, while you give your child the fleeting illusion that yes, mummy can cook actually. (A Halloween kit for bat-shaped biscuits by Dr Oetker last year moved both me and my son to tears as the pastry refused time and time again to stick together and roll out. God, I felt like a failure.)

Recently, I had a crazy thought. I saw an ad for a cupcaking decorating class. For a split second, I seriously considered going along, overcoming my phobia of using palette knives, and getting creative with some lovely pastel combinations of sprinkles and buttercream.

Then fortunately my sanity returned. I thought about the cupcakes stands you now get in corporate environments like Westfield Stratford. And I realised I’d rather stab myself in the eye with a silver-plated pastry fork. I’m afraid to say I still can’t endorse cupcakes in any shape or form

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This blog is currently dedicated to stuff new mummies like. As opposed to stuff mummies of teenagers like. That's because we don't have teenagers yet. Give us a few years though. We're told it goes pretty quickly...

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