What happens when you get a couple of geeks together debating which of the two foremost cupcake shops in Calgary has the best cupcakes? The idea for a cupcake challenge is born. And what better time to have said cupcake challenge but during the culmination of the Canadian Football League – during the Grey Cup Game! (That’s right folks – if the NFL is too good for Canada we’ll just start our own league…) So here we go – the Great Grey Cup-Cake Off…
Sunday’s game was in Toronto – the Saskatchewan Roughriders versus the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The real game was at my brother and sister-in-law’s place where we were pitching Crave Cupcakes versus Buttercream Bake Shoppe cupcakes. Crave was coming into this with a handicap already. When I called on Tuesday to place an order for pick up on Sunday the ovens at Crave were already booked for all weekend….and they were closed on Sunday. My only chance was to arrive at their store early on Saturday morning to purchase directly. I had no problems placing my order for Buttercream and they would be ready on Sunday. Hmm, day old versus fresh…
D&T put on quite the game spread for us – nachos, hot dogs (these really good smokies stuffed with cheese – whoever thought to stuff a smokie with cheese was a genius) and the most delicious beer margaritas I have ever tasted (well, actually the only beer margaritas I have ever tasted). In the second half of the game it was time for the challenge to begin and we needed some guidelines for scoring these cupcakes. So we came up with some criteria – overall appearance, cake texture, cake flavour, icing texture, icing flavour and overall impressions.
And since really this was mostly a big debate between Neil and I it needed to be a blind taste testing – no cheating and no picking favourites! By the way – my brother has wicked taste in ties.
We had half a dozen cupcakes from each, but we wanted to compare apples with apples, so three main flavours were tested – vanilla cake with vanilla icing, chocolate cake with blue vanilla icing and candy cane. Neil and I picked a bonus cupcake as a wildcard as well – Crave’s Princess (chocolate cake with pink vanilla icing) versus Buttercream’s Elvis Lives (chocolate and banana cake with chocolate and banana icing).
At the end of the day it was pretty well a deadlocked tie with each cake shop having strong flavours. The Elvis Lives cupcake may have swung the vote slightly in Buttercream’s favour, along with the ability to place a pre-order (and the ability to talk to a person instead of leaving a message when placing an order). We all agreed that there is so much icing on them that the cake becomes secondary. But really, in a cupcake challenge can there be any losers?
And oh yeah…there was a football game on but it wasn’t very exciting. The most interesting part of the game came courtesy of Lenny Kravitz – the half time act. Thanks to Lenny for making sure that there is a little something for everyone at this football game as he showed us what kind of underwear he does (or doesn’t) wear.