Food & Drink: A frugal Friday at The Cupcake Station
Mary Bilyeu, Contributor
It's Frugal Floozie Friday again, and this is Part 2 of my adventures with my BFF Wendy and her daughter Alison. Last week's episode featured a lovely dinner at Jerusalem Garden; this week, we'll continue our saga with dessert at The Cupcake Station.
Our original intent had been to take advantage of the Friday special: 25-cent frosting shots. For just $1, the three of us could get quite a good sugar rush going! We were giddy — and likely quite annoying, for which I'll publicly apologize — as we happily bounced like pinballs from one end of the counter to the other trying to pick our flavors.
By the time we were done, we had confused the situation sufficiently that we found ourselves with five shots rather than four... oh, woe is me!
But our plan didn't last very long, because who could resist cupcakes when they look so pretty, so inviting, so seductive?
And then, as we waited for the rest of our order to be ready, Alison decided that a chocolate-nut-oat bar also looked enticing... so we added it to the pile: three cupcakes, one dessert bar and five frosting shots. This is what the scene looked like before we delved in, in the midst of dividing the portions:
Now, first of all, I have to say that I can't even remember the last time I ingested this much sugar! And this isn't the sort of activity to engage in on a regular basis, but it was a lot of fun for a girls' night out. And yes, between the three of us, we polished off virtually everything except for the last crumbs and the last schmears of frosting. To quote a good friend: "Urf."
But I digress... this is Frugal Floozie Friday, and I need to tell you about the frosting shots! These are a tremendous value — well within the mandatory budget of $5 or less per person — and the portions are very generous. And it's just fun to eat frosting; cake is really just a vehicle for the sugar fix, after all.
Customers can choose any flavor from the entire repertoire which, of course, really makes things much more difficult — it causes brain paralysis! But here's what we finally settled on (left to right, top to bottom ... arranged, as Alison pointed out, "like the Olympics, but better!"):
I could happily have eaten an entire cake's worth of the vanilla latte frosting, as it was smoother than butter and tasted very much like coffee ice cream — subtle flavoring, rather than strong and insistent. The chocolate was very rich, with a hint of the intensity of dark chocolate. The marshmallow frosting was very light, and was good despite being more reminiscent of vanilla than of Fluff.
The peanut butter flavoring wasn't overpowering, either; in fact, in the chaos of our table we lost track of which flavors we were trying among the tan/white varieties, and kept wondering why the vanilla frosting had a hint of nut flavoring... and then we realized it was the cream-colored peanut butter one. It, too was quite good — it would be perfect with a chocolate cupcake.
The only flavor that we had left over was the cherry, which was a gorgeous color and intensely flavored, but simply couldn't compete with my favorites.
With cupcakes costing only $2.75 and even jumbo cupcakes costing $5, The Cupcake Station clearly offers a multitude of Frugal Floozie Friday options even if you expand beyond the frosting shots.
The only thing missing from our feast was a cold glass of milk.
The Cupcake Station
116 E. Liberty St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
has won or placed in more than 60 cooking contests and writes about her adventures in the kitchen. She was thrilled to have her post about Scottish Oatmeal Shortbread named as one of the daily "Best of the Blogs" by the prestigious Food News Journal.
Go visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — on which she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related. Her newest feature is Frugal Floozie Friday, seeking fun and food for $5 or less ... really! Feel free to email her with questions or comments or suggestions: email@example.com.
The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers as they cook along with her ... may you always be happy here.