Sunday, April 20, 2008

The First Annual Cleveland Cupcake Project

When I was pregnant, I knew how long it took from work to my favorite bakery. All the way there, I was focused on the thick chocolate frosting. I would purchase just one chocolate-frosted yellow cupcake. When I would get back to the car, I would open up the bag, flatten in out to create a makeshift plate, and place my lovely cupcake down. I never had the patience to admire my cupcake. I would take a bite and start the engine. Sitting here now, I remember the sheer pleasure of the creamy chocolate frosting and the crumbly-moist cake. The best part, in my memory, was licking the little sugary bits that would get stuck in the corner of my mouth.

Many of us are cupcake lovers. Magnolia and Sprinkles are well-known phenonmena. Cupcake wedding cakes are becoming fairly common. There seems to be an infinite number of cupcake blogs. But, what is the best cupcake in Cleveland?

Today I announce and begin the Great Cleveland Cupcake Project.

The task I offer to all is to tell me about your favorite store-bought cupcake in Cleveland. While I have heard, there are wonderful cupcakes to be purchased outside Cleveland (unlikely as it is), this challenge is about Cleveland. In addition, I know that many of you make a mean cupcake. But, homemade cupcakes are another challenge all together. This challenge is about plugging your favorite cupcake and your favorite local bakery.

This contest will be two-fold:
First, on or around June 15, I will post a round-up of all of the images and blurbs about the bakeries. If one bakery gets many votes, I will post all of them. The bakery with the most votes will win. What do they win? Well, bragging rites assumably, because I am afraid I am not an award-granting organization.

Second, for the bloggers, this is also about writing. Tell us in vivid detail about why that is the best cupcake, what the bakery is like, and what the neighborhood is like. Make the non-Clevelander dream about coming here on a cupcake pilgrimmage. This doesn't have to be long, just evocative. For the best writing, there will be an award--as yet unnamed, but wonderful.

1. Choose your all-time, ultimate, most favorite cupcake in town. Multiple votes are not allowed. If you feel very strongly about a bakery, get your friends to vote.

2. Write about your favorite cupcake on your blog. You do not have to write a food blog, but it can't be an adult content blog. Link back to this announcement.

3. If you are not a blogger, you can enter too—send the same details listed in item 4, plus your writing entry, in an email.

4. Email to
your name
the name of the bakery and its street address
a photograph of your favorite cupcake (250 by 250 pixels wide) take by you
1 sentence about why this is the best cupcake in Cleveland.

Rules and Regulations:
  1. The Cleveland I speak of is in North-East Ohio. If you are from a Cleveland in another state, I suggest you start a similar challenge about your community.

  2. All cupcakes must be purchased from a Cleveland-owned and run establishment (i.e. Heinen’s would qualify but Giant Eagle would not. I have heard good things about some of those big box store cupcakes, but this challenge is about the local baker.)

  3. For the sake of this challenge, I will be calling Cleveland: Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, and Summit Counties. If you feel like you live in Cleveland, but you are not in those counties, email me, and we will try to work it out. Frankly, Cleveland has such a bad rep, I would hate to turn away anyone who lives in Northeast Ohio and who feels like a Clevelander.

  4. If you are the owner or employee of a bakery, please sit this one out. This is a great chance to hear from your customers.

Project ends June 1. Round-up and results will be posted by June 15.