Disappointing cupcakes.

@hvedra (1623)
November 8, 2011 7:49am CST
Cupcakes have been the in thing for a while but I rarely buy them because I like to do my own baking. Recently a friend brought us some from a department store where she works. I know they aren't cheap (even with a staff discount) and they did look very tempting but it turned out they weren't very nice. The sponge was quite dry and heavy and the whole cakes just tasted quite bland. Very sugary but no other flavours in there even though they were supposed to be different kinds, everyone said they couldn't really pick out what they were eating it was just "cake with sugary topping". There are probably some bakeries out there selling really good cupcakes but a lot of it seems to be a feast only for the eyes and not for the tastebuds! Have you tried some of these fancy cupcakes and been disappointed or were you really happy with them?
2 people like this
15 responses
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
9 Nov 11
I haven't tasted any but in watching the cupcake baking shows...they put so much stuff into them it is like....where's the cupcake? I mean all kinds of ingredients and odd things...so much going on that it seems to be it'd be hard to distinguish the flavors. They look great, but I have no ambition to try one! My GD got her mom to buy one that had bacon on/in it. She said it tasted terrible! And for $3.25....
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@hvedra (1623)
21 Nov 11
The price doesn't help when you think you could bake or buy a decent cake for what one of those sugary monstrosities costs! I also found it difficult to physically eat. There was so much topping that you couldn't take a bite without it going everywhere!
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@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
23 Nov 11
I know. I have seen them all around, and all that topping that you have to eat through to get to the cake...and it is difficult to eat it! You want icing WITH the cake...not first icing, then cake! I prefer to bake my own and enjoy them.
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@peavey (16856)
• United States
8 Nov 11
I don't remember if I've ever bought cupcakes, so I'm not much help there, but I bought a cake and was disappointed in it. It looked so pretty, but the taste was bland. Only the frosting had any flavor, and like you said, the flavor was sugar. I usually bake my own, but don't eat either cake or cupcakes very often.
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@hvedra (1623)
21 Nov 11
I don't buy them myself because I like to do my own baking and I tend to like things like fruit cake, muffins or cookies rather than cupcakes when I do have cake. I mean, if I'm going to blow the diet I want to do it with something that is really enjoyable, not just sugary and bland!
@peavey (16856)
• United States
21 Nov 11
Agreed!
• Jacksonville, Florida
8 Nov 11
I have also found the same to be true. I got some for my son's birthday party because I thought they looked like they would be really good. Unfortunately, they weren't and neither was the cake matter of fact. It was way too sugary and not too good. Of course all of the kids liked them but the adults were not too pleased with any of it. =( Lesson learned and from now on, I will be baking things like this myself...
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@hvedra (1623)
21 Nov 11
I think what is most disappointing is that they have become a "special treat" but don't taste like one. Like I said to Peavy, if I'm going to blow my diet I'd like it to be for something really enjoyable. I'll stick to home baking now and then I know the flavour will be good even if the cakes look a little bit "plain".
@ravinskye (8242)
• United States
8 Nov 11
I don't usually buy any fancy cupcakes. If I buy cupcakes at all it's at the supermarket. Walmart's cupcakes aren't too bad. I've thought about trying to decorate my own to save money. I bought some icing things with different tips to decorate cakes and cupcakes. I am excited to try them out but we don't eat cake or cupcakes very often.
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@hvedra (1623)
21 Nov 11
I think if you find a good but not too expensive cupcake and decorate it yourself then that is way better than those disappointing overpriced ones that are the in thing right now.
@Rosa26 (2620)
• United States
8 Nov 11
For me to eat cupcakes have to be made recently,because my mother in law always give cupcakes but for me to eat have to be soft I don't like to feel them hard,sometimes what I do I put it in Microwave to make them soft,and on the other side I think they have too much calories and I don't want to earn more pounds.
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@hvedra (1623)
21 Nov 11
A good fresh cake is a real treat. The cupcake I had wasn't soft or, I suspect, all that fresh!
@GardenGerty (101691)
• United States
8 Nov 11
I have not tried them, as I would be one to bake my own. I would like to try the kind my son's girlfriend bakes because she is an excellent baker. I actually prefer muffins to cupcakes as they usually have something more substantial in them. I guess I could frost my muffins. I do not generally like baked goods from department stores or mass marketers for just the reasons you mention.
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@hvedra (1623)
8 Nov 11
It's good to have a baker in the family, homemade cakes, cookies and muffins remind us that food should taste good and doesn't necessarily have to look perfect. I bake a pretty good banana muffin myself and, like you say, they have more to them than just sugar. I also prefer things like brownies and cookies because they can be really good even when they are quite simple.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
8 Nov 11
When I taste certain cake,pastry, and sweets that are just bland or flat sweetness and no other flavor contrast I kinda felt bad for the baker or the person who made them. Sometimes baker make the outer appearance look appetizing and tempting for the costumers to be entice and buy the sweets. I have totally experienced this situation,I bought this carrot cupcake i was so tempted with the look and i don't care about the price (P35)so after i bought i hurriedly eat it outside but i was shocked it was kinda flat and i cant taste the nuts they become soggy and the raisins where burnt I was totally sad and disappointed. That pastry shop is having less and less customer and it makes me sad, last month a pastry shop closed because of this reason.Though there is this one pastry shop that is always full of people every morning and afternoon i would stop there and buy, look around all the people laughing and enjoying their pastries and sweets. have a great day =)!
@hvedra (1623)
8 Nov 11
First rule of looking for a good place to eat - look for a big queue of people. Some time ago we were in a tourist town with a bunch of friends and we decided to have fish and chips. Our friend's teenage daughter couldn't understand why we went to the place with a queue out of the door when there was another place with nobody even inside. Flavour is everything with food. Presentation is not so important but especially if you don't get the taste right.
1 person likes this
@babykeka80 (2003)
• United States
8 Nov 11
I had this problem on my daughters birthday. I bought her cupcakes for her class. She brought them home after school and of course I tried one. They looked really pretty both chocolate and vanilla. However, when I bit into it there was no taste except for the extremely sweet frosting. I was very disappointed because they were not cheap. I guess you just have to learn which bakeries to use and which not to bother with. I usually use Publix bakery which is a local grocery store. They have always had good products when I have bought from them. I do not think we even have a local private bakery anymore.
2 people like this
@hvedra (1623)
8 Nov 11
I guess we end up paying for the time it takes to decorate rather than for the actual food content! I think I'll stick to baking my own goodies. I might not have much artistic flair but I've never had anyone complain about how things taste.
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 Nov 11
My two daughters went on a weekend trip last summer and they came home with a gift for me... it was a single, "special" cupcake from a very popular bakery where they had visited. They were so happy to bring it to me because it was a coffee/mocha type thing which is one of my favorite flavors. It was all wrapped up, even in a nice box! I know they spent quite a bit of money to get it for me. Plus, they both sat with me while I ate it Anyway, it was honestly really disappointing. There wasn't really that much cake -- it was more a huge, heavy layer of frosting. I'm not a big fan of sweets and when I do have chocolate, for example, I buy very dark chocolate (70-80%) so it's not sugary. The cupcake was, at best, mediocre which was disappointing because I really wanted to like it. I told my daughters, though, that it was delicious and really thanked them for the thoughtful gift. There was no point in telling them it wasn't very good because it's not like they can go back there to get more any time soon... and it was really nice of them to bring it for me. I think you hit the nail on the head, though, when you said cupcakes have been "the in thing for a while"... I find that, when something is really trendy, everyone and their uncle will try to make and sell it for profit... but not everyone does a good job at it
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Nov 11
Having been in the hospitality business for more years than I care to mention, I can attest to the fact that you are absolutely right in your assessment. When something (i.e. cupcakes, chocolate tables, fondant cakes, edible art) is "in" customers are willing to pay more for it. Unfortunately, this means that people will sell less than quality goods. When I did wedding planning, there were a limited number of suppliers I would work with for this very reason.
2 people like this
• Canada
11 Nov 11
It's funny how the "in things" are so visible, too. I know in restaurants, for example, creme brulee and molten chocolate (or lava) cakes have become a staple. Everyone seems to have them, no matter what type of restaurant it is or what kinds of food they serve! Worst part is that few of them do anything of quality so, even if you do order those desserts, they're really disappointing -- especially given the cost!
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@hvedra (1623)
21 Nov 11
It's annoying that these cakes have become a kind of trendy thing as a gift or to signify special treatment of some kind when they are often so disappointing. Your poor kids, they were so lovely and it's not their fault the bakery couldn't deliver any flavour! Perhaps the problem is that when we homebake or some good bakers make a cake they don't forget the flavour even when it looks spectacular. Someone in the media raves about the cupcake they had and other bakers and food factories think "aha, everyone loves those" and start making something that looks the same but because their only consideration is profit, they don't even THINK about how it tastes. I also know what you mean about restaurants all going for the same trendy desserts instead of what would traditionally go with a meal or what would really compliment it. I love Indian food and after an Indian meal I don't want banoffee pie, I want kulfi (Indian Ice cream) or Gulub Jaman (a sort of sponge in syrup).
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@celticeagle (119147)
• Boise, Idaho
9 Nov 11
The ones I don't care for are the ones that have so much icing them. And it tastes like lard and sugar. No flavoring of any kind. Good ingredients are hard to come by and do cost money. My mother used to just take a cake mix and make cupcakes. They were light and delicious.
@hvedra (1623)
21 Nov 11
Lard and sugar! Yeah, I have to say the frosting wasn't like any I'd had before. I think you may have discovered what they were using.
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@celticeagle (119147)
• Boise, Idaho
23 Nov 11
Yep. And alittle flavoring and some coloring and I think I have it.
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@Fishmomma (11467)
• United States
19 Nov 11
I agree many of the store cupcakes aren't very good. Its hard to believe how high they are now. Homemade are better and I enjoy making them.
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@hvedra (1623)
21 Nov 11
I'm not much of a decorator and wouldn't want to tackle someone's special occasion cake but I can make a better flavoured cake than most of those overpriced things a lot of places sell.
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
14 Nov 11
I don't know, I make my own and they're quite tastey. But I have bought some disappointing baked goods in the past that had no taste. That's why I like the little test bites that the stoes sometimes let you sample on weekends. Then you know if you'll like them or not.
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@hvedra (1623)
21 Nov 11
I think some places would be afraid to put samples out, they'd have no sales at all.
@ANTIQUELADY (36488)
• United States
13 Nov 11
To be honest i very seldom by store things like that. i usually make my own. They always look good but don't thnik they ever taste good.
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@hvedra (1623)
21 Nov 11
Perhaps we should make the bakers sample their own wares blindfold and see if they can identify what they are supposed to be selling.
@tessah (6621)
• United States
10 Nov 11
ive never once not been disapointed by store bought cakes/cupcakes. yer right.. the only "flavor" in any of them is sugar. i can make them look just as pretty myself and it costs a severe fraction of what itd cost pre-made (specially if you buy the ingredients on sale!) if the item looks like its meant to be chocolate, it should TASTE like.. omg CHOCOLATE! what a concept...
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@hvedra (1623)
21 Nov 11
Mmmm, chocolate... The one I had was supposed to be chocolate but I couldn't taste any. Of course, I'm on the 85% cocoa solids when I do have chocolate so my palette is kinda fussy about it...
@jazel_juan (15767)
• Philippines
9 Nov 11
cake - this was the cake i ordered, the cake inside is actually delicious but the icing is a bit off..too sweet its not really good for the tastebud, even i who have a sweet tooth dislike it.
I know what you mean, I am a looker.. when i pass by a bakery sh0p or a pastry shop i really look at the display and often times i go and look for cupcakes and cakes and most of the time the designs are really really tempting.. but then if you taste them, it is not up to your taste buds! I guess commercially made are like that..the quality is gone. Like for one, during my daughter's birthday, i really prepared for the money for her cake. I ordered from a known cake store here, they really really make great design on cakes! From different designs from flowers to butterflies to cartoons..so i booked there and purchased one, Tinkerbell design.. When we got it, it looked amazing, one you do not want to eat at all lol but when i sliced it and the kids ate it, they only ate a bite!! I tried it and well the cake itself is delicious, it is moist chocolate cake but the icing. there is something off with the icing, i guess there is too much sugar in it, too much confectionaire so it is too sweet they dislike it which is a bit dissapointing..but still my daughter love the design!
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@hvedra (1623)
21 Nov 11
That cake is very pretty. I think kids will always eat with their eyes rather than their mouths! At least the cake was good even if the icing wasn't too great.