Sunday, May 22, 2016

All Natural Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Review submitted by: Jane Ong

My friend invited me to a potluck death party yesterday. (Or, do you call it the post-funeral party?)  It was a party to gather all her mother's friends, relatives and everybody who had known her well to celebrate her mother's death.  Wait, this doesn't sound right... I should say, "to commemorate her mother's life on earth".  

I always hate potluck party because: 1) I hate being obligated to bring a dish when I'm not much a social cook or a social baker, 2) the food  that was brought by the attendees was never good 99% of the time regardless of whether the food was grocery-store bought or so-called homemade, and I always left the party feeling hungry.  A potluck party always presents two levels of stress to me, i.e. the stress of  brainstorming on what food to bring, and the stress of acting as if I enjoy the food brought by others to the party when it really sucks.  But yesterday, it was the rare 1% of the chance that I actually enjoyed something at a potluck.  They were the all natural Pink Lemonade Cupcakes that I bought from Trader Joe's. ($ 3.99 for a box of 4 cupcakes).

I am never much a fan of American cupcakes (because they always taste too sweet and loaded with heavy hydrogenated vegetable shortening that I hate, and I grew up with less sweet, lighter, fresher, perishable cakes at Asian bakeries).  These all natural American style Pink Lemonade cupcakes that I bought actually surprised me because they tasted very good.  The cakes were really moist, buttery, and rich in lemon flavor.  The cream cheese icing was light and not overly sweet. Most importantly, the icing didn't have the yucky food coloring taste that I experienced with all the other American store-bought cupcakes; and also the ones proudly home-made by my friends (who drown their cupcakes to death with colors that made them look too scarily colorful to eat).  The icing tasted light but very delicious and the color is a natural coloring from Hisbiscus flower.

I bought 2 dozens of these cakes yesterday and lied to my friend that I made them at home... I have no idea what compelled me to cook up such a lie.  I guess it's because on Instagram, I often see  my friends proudly showing off their signature dishes that I have unconsciously developed a vanity to want to prove that I'm not the barren one who has no signature dish of my own!  So I went to great length to make my store-bought cupcakes look more home-made by topping them with low fat chocolately cat cookies (with no artificial colors or flavors, and no preservatives), which were also bought at Trader Joe's. (16oz tub for $2.99).  

I personally won't top these cupcakes with chocolate cookies again because I don't think chocolate goes well with lemonade...But my thoughtless food pairing yesterday actually made my home-made lie more believable to my friend.  Luckily, the attendees at the party ate the chocolate cat cookies and cupcakes separately, so such an odd combo of flavors didn't ruin the cupcakes. My two dozens cupcakes disappeared at the party very quickly while other attendees' brownies and sheet cakes were sitting on the buffet table, mostly ignored.  May be the attendees at the party were acting as if they liked my cupcakes since I lied that I made them myself.  If you want to find out whether they were faking their reaction on my cupcakes or not, grab a box of this at Trader Joe's and see if you enjoy them.  I do, very much.

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