12. April 2013 · 10 comments · Categories: Humor · Tags:

Ugly Food Deserves To Be Loved Too . . . Or Does It?

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This is the question I asked myself on Wednesday, March 20 at 10:01 a.m as I spotted these lovely cupcakes at the local chain grocery store.

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My first thought was of the blog Cake Wrecks . . . where professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong.  If you haven’t checked out Cake Wrecks before, it’s a fun place to shake your sillies out.  The premise is simple.  Folks like me and you spy an ugly cake.  We laugh.  We whip out our camera phones.  We snap a bad picture.  We e-mail it to Cake Wrecks.   The Cake Wrecks team turns the bad pictures into a hilarious blog post.  We read.  We shake our sillies out.

It’s awesomesauce.  Or awesomefrosting in this case.

So naturally when I spied the above cupcakes I whipped out my camera phone and snapped a bad picture and at that moment decided to start my Cake Wrecks submitter career.  I’ve always secretly wanted to be a Cake Wrecks submitter, traveling the city in search of the ugliest cakes imaginable and discretely capturing their affront to cakeries for all of internet eternity.  I could be famous.  A famous Cake Wrecks submitter.

It was settled.  I would do it.

With three hideously bad pictures of three hideously ugly cupcakes stored safely in my cell phone, I purchased my groceries and headed home with The Pete in tow.  Like I always do when examining the prospect of a new project, my brain immediately went into Complication Mode.  Complication Mode is where I take the simplest concept and extend it into so many directions that I ultimately lose sight of the original goal.

For example, hypothetically speaking of course, needing to wrap a birthday present might somehow turn into decorating my own wrapping paper which might somehow turn into making my own paper which might somehow turn into saving all paper scraps from the shredder which might somehow turn into bags of paper shreds stored in the basement which might somehow turn into the purchase of a new blender to reserve the old blender for making paper pulp which might somehow turn into my shoving the original gift into a gift bag and avoiding the whole wrapping paper fiasco altogether.

Like I said, hypothetically speaking of course.

While driving home I passed by the gas station and quickly determined The Husband would not be pleased with me quadrupling the gasoline budget so I scrapped the prospect of actually traveling the city in search of ugly cake.  I mean, I have the time these days but let’s be honest, it’s just not practical.

Still in Complication Mode, I decided quality was better than quantity.  Yes, so far I had only seen this one batch of ugly cupcakes, but what if they were awesomefrosting ugly cupcakes?  What if I didn’t just take their pictures in the crappily flourescently lit store behind the glare of the plastic container?  What if I actually bought the cupcakes and brought them home and took them on a proper photo shoot.

Put them up a tree like my Foodie Pen Pals Peanut Butter Cookies.

Or on the wood pile like the pretty, pretty carrots.

Or poised in a shrub like my Chocolate Coconut Nests.

Ugly food deserves love too after all.  Right?  Besides, how impressed would the Cake Wrecks team be with me for sending in properly exposed photos taken with care and consideration for ISO, shutter speed and aperature.  I could still be a famous Cake Wrecks submitter.  Would that be enough to secure my infamy?

No.  I had to really sell it.

A tree and a wood pile and a shrub just wouldn’t do for ugly cupcakes.  Ugly cupcakes needed an ugly setting too.  Like the pile of compost The Husband had dumped in our driveway.

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Or the giant hole the Husband has been digging for garden beds.

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Those were appropriate settings for ugly cupcakes.  I had decided.  I was going back to the store Thursday to purchase the ugly cupcakes.  I ran all this by The Husband over dinner Wednesday night.  Mike eyed me suspiciously, but he’s learned to wait till I’ve come out of Complication Mode before expressing an opinion that differs from my own.  It’s safer for him that way.

Thursday rolled around and The Pete and I headed back to the grocery.  There were at least a dozen ugly cupcakes the day before and I was 100% confident they would still be there.  They were exceedingly ugly.  Other than fame seekers like myself and my friend Stefanie who often buys dented cans because she feels bad for them, I couldn’t fathom of a single person who would spend their hard earned money on those cupcakes.  They would, of course, still be there.

There are moments in your life when you realize acutely what your life is about.  Where you are.  What matters most.  I had such a moment when I walked into the bakery department and was confronted with this.

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A not-so-ugly cupcake.

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I cannot describe to you the disappointment I felt at that instance or the sadness in the realization that the ugly cupcakes I was pining for had clearly been thrown away.  There’s no way somebody bought them.  A dozen or more?  In one day?  No way.  They had been chucked.  Chucked I say.

I cannot describe to you the shame I then had when I realized just how disappointed I was the ugly cupcakes were missing.

My life, ladies and gentlemen, my life.

I meandered the store, lost in thoughts of cupcakes.  Impulsively grabbed the boy some new toy cars.  Picked up hot dog buns.  The Husband had asked for hot dogs for dinner so at least the trip wouldn’t be a complete waste.  As I pondered the possibility of making my own hot dog buns during nap time, Complication Mode kicked in once again and I made my way back to the bakery.

The not-so-ugly cupcake was coming home with me.

I couldn’t send its picture to Cake Wrecks because it wasn’t ugly, but perhaps I could make it ugly.  Even then I still couldn’t send its picture to Cake Wrecks because it wouldn’t be an authentic ugly.  It would be a manufactured ugly.

Still, I could make a stand.  Show the world that ugly food deserves love too.

When The Husband came home Thursday expecting an ugly cupcake and saw the not-so-ugly cupcake on the counter, the first thing he said was “That’s not ugly.”

Darn you, Husband, darn you.  “Yes, I am acutely aware that cupcake is not ugly,” I exclaimed.  “I’m going to make it ugly.”

“Oh.  So we can’t eat it?” he asked.

“No.  Absolutely not.  Abso-freaking-lutely not.  Not yet anyway.”

The not so ugly cupcake sat around from Thursday till Monday.  While I pondered exactly what to do with it (all the while taunting The Husband with a giant mound of frosting), this happened.

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Snow.  Covering up my pile of compost and muddy garden holes.

Frak.  This was not going as planned.  Not going as planned at all.

As soon as nap time hit Monday and The Pete fell asleep, Complication Mode suddenly switched into Project Mode and I started making a small batch of frosting to uglify my not-so-ugly cupcake.  Even though I know it would have to be photographed with a *gasp* beautiful snowy backdrop, I was committed to this cupcake endeavor.

A half hour later I found myself with this fellow.

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He had a beard.  And a full mane of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night inspired hair.

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And eyes and a mouth and everything.

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Plus candles . . . for horns?  I don’t know.  The original ugly cupcake had candles so it seemed appropriate the not-so-ugly-turned-ugly cupcake should have candles too.

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The interesting thing about the not-so-ugly-turned-ugly cupcake thing is that depending on which angle you viewed him (yes, it was a him because making him a her would just be cruel), he seemed to take on a whole new personality.

Much like the seven dwarfs there were four not-so-ugly-turned-ugly cupcakes.


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There’s an uncanny resemblance to me in that last pic don’t ya think?

De ja vu hit and hit hard on Monday night when The Husband came home, saw the not-so-ugly-turned-ugly cupcake and said “That’s still not ugly.  Can we eat it now?”


This dang cupcake was going to be ugly if it was the last thing this Stay-At-Home-Mom-Who-Clearly-Needs-a-Hobby was ever going to do.

Instead of taking my anger at The Husband’s cold and hurtful remark out on him, I took it out on the not-so-ugly-turned-apparently-not-as-ugly-as-I-thought cupcake.

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Surely this was finally ugly enough.

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The Husband only had one thing to say.  “Now can we eat it?”

Yes, dear.  You can eat it now.

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– Joanna

Question of the Day: Did you make it all the way to the end of this ridiculous post?  If you did I think you deserve a treat.  Perhaps a cupcake.


  1. I made it! Always looking for an excuse to eat a cupcake or a donut these days–thanks!

  2. I made it all the way!! I am still in shock though that those cupcakes were gone. They HAD to be thrown away right? Do you think the person who made them got fired? Hmmmm

    • Based on the smiley face cupcakes I have seen there lately, I’d say the ugly cupcake maker was not fired. I almost bought some smiley face ones the other day but there was not much frosting and darnit, if I am going to buy an ugly cupcake it had best at least have a giant mound of frosting to compensate.

  3. I think you found your new calling in life: opening an etsy store to sell ugly monster cupcakes. Your cupcake is super cute, even though you tried hard to make it look ugly. 🙂 (so yeah, you failed)

    • Failure doesn’t sound quite so bad when the bad news comes from you. I bet a cupcake mailed across the country would look pretty ugly by the time it got to its destination so I think my Etsy store would be a success.

  4. I love what you did to that cupcake. Super awesome with the starry night theme!

  5. I made my first 3D cake last year – my son wanted a penguin party, so I sliced the ears off of a teddy bear cake and voila! Unfortunately the back of the penguin’s head fell off just before the guests arrived. Lobotomy city. Still tasted good though. Bet your cupcake did too! (Although I’m not so sure the grocery store ones did)

    • I would love to see a picture of this cake! My professionally made baby shower cake had so much icing that the back side slid right off. Taste is way more important in a cake. And I bet your penguin tasted good.

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