Picture this. You are walking down the streets of Chinatown. New York City. The sun is setting in the distance as you maneuver your way through the crowded city streets, passing stands featuring gorgeous steamed buns, $2 dumplings, and buckets of raw chicken necks. The bright signs illuminate foreign characters, growing brighter as the sun sets lower. Steam rises from the netherworld of the subway below your feet. You arrive at an unmarked glass door, illuminated by the most subtle of pink lights. A large man towers over you and wordlessly extends his hand and grunts. You instinctively reach into your wallet and retrieve your license and quickly hand it over to the imposing figure. His eyes bounce from the license (which is dwarfed by his enormous hand) to your face and back to the license. Without saying a word, he grabs your wrist and stamps your hand as he opens the door glass door with his free hand and grants you entrance. You head down the dark hallway as the pink light grows brighter and you are swallowed by the darkness behind you. You reach an open doorway and take a deep breath, ready for the onslaught that is about to attack you.
Just to give you a little background on the event, Cupcake Camp was an event started by Ariel Waldman, , and CupcakeCamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and eat cupcakes in an open environment. It was a free event that was all peace, love, and cupcakes. There have been Cupcake Camps in Toronto, Ottawa, and San Francisco with events coming up in Ireland, Boston, Chicago (and soon, DC! More on that later).
Hundreds of people packed into Happy Endings, a nondescript bar in Chinatown to sample hundreds (and I do mean hundreds) of cupcakes. I spent 6 hours (yes, 6 hours) making 3 dozen cupcakes: the Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes, Red Velvet Cupcakes, and S'mores Cupcakes (which I was very unhappy with the bland recipe, so I will not be posting it here, but decorated them with Teddy Grahams, and people love Teddy Grahams, so they went quickly) and then hightailed it into Manhattan with my boyfriend, Jack and my friend, Tino in tow.
Think about that. Eight cupcakes in an hour.
The crazy thing is that I don't think he was the only one to accomplish such a feat. People were pushing their way through the event with 2 cupcakes in each hand and going back for seconds and thirds. In all seriousness, frosting was flying everywhere. I kept finding frosting in my hair hours after the event. However, I somehow managed to not eat ANY cupcakes, partially because of my willpower and partially because, after baking cupcakes and tasting and adjusting frosting for six hours, I wanted to vomit six times over. So I had three bites of interesting cupcakes and called it a day.
There were cupcakes from amateurs and professionals alike (Magnolia Bakery, Baked by Melissa, and Billy's Bakery were just some notable New York City bakeries that brought cupcakes to the event.) Some cupcake highlights were Domo Cupcakes (I had no idea what Domo was before this event), Pink Lemonade Cupcakes, Strawberry Mascarpone, and Bacon, Cheddar and Chive Cupcakes.
Jackie of Food Wanderlust and I are organizing Cupcake Camp DC this summer! Our website is still under construction, but follow us on Twitter for the time being and we'll keep you updated with all of the Cupcake Camp DC happenings! It is a month before I move back to NY, and what better way to leave a city than to bombard it with cupcakes!