So this week, two friends had birthdays, so I surprised them each with a box of cupcakes. I love giving folks unsuspected baked goods – it warms my heart and soul, and always brings a smile to the face of the cupcake receiver. Good stuff.
So the cupcakes I gave this week were cookies and cream, with yellow buttercream icing. Not lemon, just yellow. The cupcakes looked good – clean, symmetrical and rounded. The taste passed my taste-test as well. These puppies got the stamp of approval to leave my kitchen.
Pretty nice looking, eh? But if someone were to give you these cupcakes, and not tell you the flavor, what would you think? This was a question posed to me in my class the other night. Of course I know that people “eat first with their eyes.” So although these cupcakes get a 6.0 for the technical program, they get a “WTF” for creative, because if someone handed these to me without telling me the flavor, I’d assume they were….lemon.
Don’t get me wrong, I would not complain – nor did any of the recipients of these yellow-but-not-lemon treats. It’s a bit different to get them as a gift. But if you entered a bakeshop, and saw these cupcakes under the glass, you’d get one if you had a hankering for lemon – and then be disappointed that you paid for a cupcake that, although good, was not what you had expected, therefore negating the goodness of the cake entirely.
The moral of the story: you can give people free cupcakes decorated however you want and it won’t matter. But when someone’s money is on the line, they better get what they expect. And when someone sees yellow, they think lemon, and when life gives you lemons, make cupcakes.