Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fight of the Week RESULTS: Donut VS. Cupcake


The Bullet Points

- Associations. Though I mentioned that this fight should be solely about the particular baked goods anthropomorphized and at war with one another, people still managed to work in the habitual eaters of the tasty treats as evidence of their attitude. Of course, everyone stereotypically associates donuts with cops (and Homer Simpson) giving them a tough-ish edge (depending on what kind of cops you picture eating said donuts). Cupcakes, on the other hand, are largely associated with grade schoolers and old ladies at church bake sales (again, stereotypically). This shouldn’t have been a factor, but I guess toughness-by-association can be a powerful tool in hypothesizing a victor.

- Size matters. Cupcakes, traditionally, are small. The largest cupcake (without becoming a full-blown cake, which doesn’t count here) is probably going to be about three- to four-inches wide at the top and no taller than three inches in height (not counting girth of icing). When you get to the point that you have to cut slices of it in order to serve it, it ceases to be a cupcake. Donuts, on the other hand, have no size restrictions. A donut which is, say, 24 inches in diameter is still a donut. There is no rule governing that donuts have to be small. Cupcakes are relegated by their size, donuts are not. A large enough donut on the battlefield could crush a cupcake, hell, even multiple cupcakes. Watch out for the big ones.

- Grouping up. The donut has, traditionally, travelled by the dozen. There are half-dozens and individuals, but you usually see no more than a dozen donuts in one container. I would be willing to say that the dozen would be the standard unit size for the Donut Army. They are usually loosely organized, too, sometimes all of them different from one another in flavor, color, or even filling. Some donuts are ostracized, too, as very few people like them. Some donuts are probably cocky because they’re well-received by the public. A dozen of donuts can function as a unit, but they’re usually in disarray.
Cupcakes, well, cupcakes are another story entirely. There is no limit to the amount of their units can hold. They can function as independent operatives or as large groups. They are usually all the same within their batch (which could be well over 20 or 25 cupcakes, depending), giving them common ground. They can even employ a phalanx technique. With the recent trends of cupcake-cakes – larger bodies of cake made up of individual cupcakes and iced solid over top – the cupcakes can defend as one large unit and split off individually to attack. The cupcakes are Spartans in this department. Now, to get 300 of them…

- Variety. There is quite a selection of flavors for both types of baked good, however, I think donuts gain the leg up here. See, while cupcakes are made by the batch and may all be the same which could lead to better teamwork, the “by the batch” mentality could limit them in job performance. I mean, if you bake a batch of “soldier” cupcakes, they’ll function wonderfully as soldiers, but they won’t have any other skill sets. You’d have to bake a batch of medic cupcakes or engineer cupcakes just to pair one up with a unit and, even then, those are different cupcakes. I don’t know how well the batch is going to take to one strange outsider muscling its way in, pretending to be a part of something it’s not.
The very thing that could keep donuts from working well together may be their saving grace. They have tons of varieties and, even when you make them at home, can be specifically picked and chosen to form elite commando units. Within the aforementioned dozen, you could have a few soldiers, a medic, a superspy, or even a Boston Cream. All of them are different (depending on how you build your unit) and all of them can have their own job. They may not like it, but they’ll probably work together as a dozen. Would that variety be able to overcome the overwhelming phalanx of the cupcakes? Possibly. Were this not confined to North American style donuts, there would be an INSANE variety of different donuts. I mean, there are probably Israeli donuts. Imagine those boys in a fight. Cupcakes don’t have such an international following. I mean, there are petit-fours, which are labeled as relatives to the cupcake, but I’d rather trust any other country’s donut over a French cupcake. Especially in a fighting situation.

- Commerciality. Cupcakes for mass consumption are really only manufactured by a few companies (Hostess and Tastykake, notably). The only other places you can usually buy a pre-prepped cupcake are at bakeries, trendy cupcake shops, or bake sales. Donuts have two large and popular national chains, not to mention countless companies making mini-donuts for national distribution. Including the national brands, donuts surely come out ahead.

- Structural integrity. Cupcakes wear helms of icing and armor of wax-paper cups over top of soft, moist cake. Donuts wear a slather of icing armor and are (mostly) deep fried to give them a slightly harder natural shell than the cupcake. Piercing the wax paper is probably going to be harder for the donuts, since they sometimes even ride into battle naked (see Dunkin’s Old Fashioned. A tasty damn donut, BTW).

The battlefields are littered with carnage. In the end, only one baked good has survived the war. Much like any other world conflict, we could go on for hours debating the different talking points of this conflict. A winner must be declared, however…

Debate Winner – Donuts

Vote Winner – Donuts

Overall Winner – Donuts

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