Good morning, readers. The sun is out, the birds are silent, and the Sheriff’s Secret Police are off rounding up the last of the “morning people” so the rest of us can get some coffee.
Welcome to Night Vale.
This week, our cakes are from Night Vale’s finest, vanilla cupcakes from the annual PTA bake sale. After they were dropped off, a portal ripped through the station to the great beyond and, well, eldritch monsters appear to have eaten half of them. At least they were polite enough to leave us some of theirs as an apology.
Just in case nothing I’ve said so far is making sense, Welcome to Night Vale is a podcast series that’s kind of like NPR’s Prairie Home Companion set in an alternate reality. Sure, Garrison Keller doesn’t fawn over a male scientist with “perfect hair,” and there aren’t floating cats in the men’s bathroom. It just means Night Vale is that much more awesome. Also, there are glow clouds, the Sheriff’s Secret Police, and the occasional pteranodon. It’s been a welcome distraction from the giant amount of reading I’m doing this quarter.
Since it’s Halloween week and I have a midterm on that most wonderful of nights, I decided that I could drown my sorrows in cake for the holiday, and got inspired to make WTNV cupcakes while listening to the podcast.
After a hunt for Lovecraftian monster cupcakes, I found most only had a lone, sad tentacle, or just happened to be green. Spooky.
But then I found these, and realized I could do no better.
Since I don’t normally like using food dyes, I used a vanilla cake, white icing, and opted to fill in the mouth with seedless plum jam. I tried out variations, from carving out the sides of cakes to adding extra layers of teeth, and found they weren’t structurally sound (read: things fell apart). Instead I made cakes like I imagined an eldritch horror would force their spawn to decorate.
The only tricky part was the eyes, which are made of royal icing. Next time I might make them from scratch, but for the sake of time I bought them online. In case you’d like to try making them yourself, this tutorial seemed the most awesome.
The regular cakes are covered in sprinkles, because that’s how I remember the bake sale cakes of my childhood.
They are completely edible, rather tasty, and something that can be made as horrible as you desire. And that’s all we can really expect from our cupcakes. Or life most days, though hopefully you don’t need huge offset spatulas to fix everything. Or do you?
I’ll leave you to figure that one out on your own. Good Halloween, dear readers, and good morning.