The cupcake craze has reached Beijing, big time! In fact, it’s happening so fast they have a café dedicated to just cupcakes and coffee in the heart of Sanlitun, and they’re turning heads.
Reminiscent of something one might find in London, this bright and airy café is tastefully chic and ideally located in the Village North. There’s free Wi-Fi and, complementing the colorful spread of cupcakes is a selection of simple sandwiches, salads and soups.
HOWEVER, despite how much I love their concept, especially the fact that they whizz around their cupcakes in a bright red Smartcar, I found their cupcakes somewhat... weird. Being the world’s last cupcake fan it was not until I had this conversation with my friend C on GChat and did some research on Google that I realized what was wrong with the cupcakes at Colibri: -
(C was looking for a cake for her husband’s birthday in Beijing)
C: There’s this other place that sells the tiniest cupcakes for 30kuai
they are good
but thats ridiculous
C: THATS NOT A CUPCAKE
thats a freakin muffin
i am so annoyed that they tout themselves as selling cupcakes
not annoyed, angry!
that’s such a farce I tell you, a farce!
But I actually ended up getting those for my bday because i had a coupon for a dozen
it was TERRIBLE
Its so funny you’re so annoyed about this
C: cupcakes are precious to me
anyone who makes a cupcake that is sub par
is making a mockery out of the cupcake
Ah…. muffins dressed as cupcakes. Not that I have any problem with that since I prefer muffins to cupcakes any day, but here’s a guide to helping you distinguish the cupcake posers from the muffin posers (extracted from curiousfoodie.wordpress.com) : -
• A cupcake is essentially the same as a whole cake. It is simply baked and served in a portion to serve one individual.
• It is usually frosted (like those in the photos above) and decorated. It is common to see it at birthday parties and weddings.
• It is sweet and hence eaten mostly as a dessert or a sweet treat.
• An un-frosted cupcakes does not equate to a muffin.
• Butter is usually used in a cupcake recipe.
• Conclusion: A cupcake is a cake.
• A muffin is one of the easiest things to bake. It is simply mixing the wet and dry ingredients together and some recipes do not even require the use of an electronic beater or whisk.
• It can be frosted or not frosted. For fruit muffins, I like to use a crumble on top (recipe in the next post).
• It can be sweet or savoury and is mostly eaten during breakfast or tea.
• A frosted muffin does not equate a to cupcake.
• Oil is usually used in a muffin recipe.
• Conclusion: A muffin is a type of bread (quick bread).
In essence, I think a muffin is fluffier and offer more textural surprises than the cupcake, whose appeal relies on external support (like the woman with heavy make-up), but that’s just me.
Colirbi is at The Village North, Level LG 51, 11 Sanlitun Road, Beijing