Mary Birdsong



Cupcake Oprah Bakes Some Self-Respect Into The Terminally-Baking Sprinkle Sisters

And it was on that day… that very special, cake-changing day in Pastry Case Land, that the Sprinkle Sisters- Angel & Marzi- were sitting around in their cozy studio loft gossiping.  They lived on the middle rack of 2369 PoppySeed Lane’s oven- it was electric!  An oven of the future!  And they were proud of that.  As they exchanged gossip in the comfortable 375 degree heat, they grew anxious about their latest romantic escapades— stories of woe, in which they justified the abhorrent behavior of “bad boy” banana bread, and shrugged off the awful apathy of apple-sauce muffins.  They picked apart the male species of baked goods for so long that they worried they might actually get burnt on their bottoms.

So to lighten the mood, they decided to watch a little tv.  They’d finally gone out & purchased a HUGE, fancy new flatscreen tv like the other gals in their 9 X 12 stainless steel baking pan had done months ago.  It was nearly 3 inches across, and 2 inches high!  And what luck, they thought, when the very first tv show they happened upon was… Oprah.  Ahhhhh, Oprah.  Oprah was their favorite.  Oprah was the perfect program to christen their new tv.  They were giddy with delight.

But 10 minutes into the show, they realized they weren’t emotionally prepared for this particular episode. Not at all.  It was a double episode on—


Underbaked.  Beaten and battered.  They related on such a deep level, and realized that Cupcake Oprah had hit upon a term that, for the first time ever, put words to how they’d felt for so long:


Both single, both over 40 calories, and still baking, Angel & Marzi looked at each other and wept vanilla frosting tears.  And at the end of the show, they held sprinkles & drew up a contract in which they vowed to each other:


1) Never again shall we let our cakey insides be thought of as little more than half-baked, goopy batter.

2) Never again shall we chase unavailable crullers or mean-spirited muffins,

3) Never again shall we strive to gain the approval of disdainful, domineering donuts by heaping more & more multi-colored sprinkles on our cupcake tops.

4) Never again shall we shed our little paper soufflé-cup dresses to bear our fluffy bodies at the slightest cupcake-come-hither glance from a cocky slice of key lime pie.

5) Never again shall we support some Cinnabon a-hole hanging out at the mall, still living with his ex-wife “until he’s finished writing his screenplay.”

Thank you, Cupcake Oprah! For giving us our dignity back, and topping it with delicious, self-respecting, cream-cheese frosting.  And from that day forward in Pastry Case Land , there was no more baking at 375 degrees for the Sprinkle Sisters.  No more sitting on that hot, un-greased, stainless steel baking sheet in their little metal jacuzzis, waiting for an oven mitt to come rescue them, deus ex machina style!

“We’re done baking,” they cried.  ”We’re cooked!  Do you HEAR that, you controlling old kitchen timer?  We’re done inside, you tick-tocking old schoolmarm!  We’re really done! So go on— Put a toothpick in us & pull it out! We dare you!  We don’t care WHO pokes us! Our cakey centers won’t get stuck to those toothpicks when they come out.  No matter how many times that oven mitt from hell stabs us with tiny wooden daggers, we will be delicious!

And they really were.  They were done.  Inside and out.   And they were ready for life to eat them all up- crumbs and all.

Thanks be to Cupcake Oprah.

*Cupcakes pictured above, courtesy the 17th Street Café pastry case, Santa Monica, CA.

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