First of all, I'd like to lead with saying that it was I who was the generous colleague who provided the Stop & Shop bakery morsels. Additionally, I would like to add that I never got a friggin' Whoopie Pie! They looked perfect -- the 3 days of sweating in the plastic container was just enough to counter the Saharan consistency of the chocolaty discs.
On (another) side note, I'd like to add that I'm generally not a fan of the grocery bakery. My mom was a fantastic baker who spoiled me for life. It should be noted that the cupcakes and whoopie pies were purchased (rather than baked) for a family gathering to meet the Kosher dietary needs of the group -- our kitchen may as well be a porcine slaughterhouse.
Now on to the debate.
First, I have to concede that I wholeheartedly agree with the first 90% of Dawn's approach. Cupcakes suffer from the same fatal flaw as their appropriate-for-breakfast cousins, the muffin. The bottom of both cupcakes and muffins is just too big. Ideal bites consist of a little bit of the bottom and a little bit of the top, but this is physically impossible.
Like Dawn, I like to split the bottom part of the cupcake in half, but then our approaches diverge. I will pop the bottom, non-frosted circle of cake in my mouth, to make way for the true enjoyment that's about to follow. With a shorted bottom, I am now able to eat the cupcake as it was intended, one bite at a time -- a little cake, a little frosting.
Believe it or not, the essence of this discrepancy boils down to the same argument with the pizza (see entries on April 26th) -- it's about how the food enters your mouth. For me, the crux of the enjoyment of eating cupcakes comes from the sweetness of the frosting (sugar and butter -- two of nature's tastiest evils working together). With Dawn's approach, the sweet sensors in your tongue miss out on the initial stimulation when the cupcake enters your mouth. This is a big no-no.
Additionally, while I appreciate the cleanliness of Dawn's approach, she has, IMO, violated a fundamental law -- never let the fear of messiness interfere with the enjoyment of eating.