I’m feeling like a fluffy little lemony cupcake today.
The Kitchn’s recipe for yogurt cake immediately made me think of cupcakes. While cupcakes don’t have the hypnotic effect on me that they do on the average hipster–and I haven’t moved to Brooklyn yet, either–they are handier than full-sized cakes for a person living alone.
Since yogurt’s a convention-bending ingredient, the natural match seemed to be gender-bender model and singer Jeffree Star (listen), who is at this very moment touring, make-up case in well-manicured hand. Somehow, he is too sophisticated for Phoenix but just right for… Bakersfield?
Preheat a 350-degree oven. In a bowl, mix:
1-1/2 cups yogurt, full-fat preferred
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1-1/4 cup white sugar
2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
juice of 1 lemon
Star falls into the Pet Shop Boys tradition of danceable, electronics-heavy glam-pop, but with a grimy, bitter edge, for an effect like cutting a pink birthday cake with a bloodstained butcher knife. While on many songs, the darker side reminds me of metal, on “Lollipop Luxury,” it’s distinctly a hip-hop influence. And here’s what I consider one of the distinguishing features of glam-pop. While Eminem’s rap Stan or Nine Inch Nails’ grunge Every Day is Exactly the Same wrap themselves around the darker side of celebrity, “Lollipop Luxury” embraces the celebrity mythos even as it mocks it. Glam wallows in illusion for the sake of illusion; grunge despises it. Hip-hop isn’t sure it’s an illusion at all.
And I have too much batter. Did I mention that these turned into lemony cupcakes because I realized after most ingredients were in the bowl that I was almost out of baking powder? Baking soda substitutes if one adds an acid to the mix. Had I realized I was going to match Star to this recipe, I would have used the white wine vinegar. Next time I might.
Try cupcakes in the oven for 15 minutes and then add time if they’re not golden.
Celebrity is an recurring theme in Star’s music–”Eyelash Curlers and Butcher Knives” even has a Perez Hilton reference–to the point that “look how many eyes are on me” starts to feel like the glam equivalent of “I busta rhyme better than you, fool.”
Star also has his own take on familiar glam themes, including love as crime (see, e.g., “Bad Romance” from the irrepressible Lady Gaga). “Prisoner” has a sufficiently driving beat that it’s pretty clear what the worst intentions are (despite the mild stalker theme, I don’t think it’s dismemberment in a basement).
The cupcakes? As advertised, they are fluffy, sweet, and adorable. They also microwave nicely after being frozen. First spread the frozen cupcake with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon–too yummy.
Speaking of too yummy, let’s wrap up with one more brag song that reminds us women can learn a lot about femininity from gay men: the aptly named “Cupcakes Taste Like Violence.”