April 28, 2009

The Cupcake Dilemma Flowchart

So... you can hear the siren call of the cupcakes calling your name. What do you do?

What would Pinocchio do?

Seriously? You're hesitating over this decision? Then let me take this opportunity to salute you. You're good.

We have provided a handy flowchart that might help you resolve this dilemma. (Warning: do not give the flowchart a half-truth. It gets cranky when you do that.)

Should you eat that cupcake? Click on the flowchart to determine the answer:

Obligatory disclaimers:

There are 181 calories in the average Hostess cupcake.

An adult who weighs 150 pounds with an average metabolism would need to exercise for half an hour jumping rope, kick boxing, or cross country skiing, to burn off two average cupcakes.

More serious disclaimer stuff:

The flowchart is directed toward people who, like St. Augustine, want to be good --- but not just yet . It does not apply to people with serious eating disorders, who might find one of the following sites a lot more helpful:

A couple of great blogs:

The Great Fitness Experiment

Scale Junkie

And some professional organizations:

NEDA (National Eating Disorders Assn)

ANAD (Assoc. of Anorexia Nervosa and other Asssociated Disorders)

Something Fishy: a great resource for everything ED. Forums, treatment finder, etc.

USF Hope House for Eating Disorders

(Thanks to Charlotte and Diana for their link recommendations.)


  1. I would give anything for a Sprinkles cupcake right now...why would they say on their website they are 'coming soon' to London for over a year!? without any updates...that's just cruel!

    cute flowchart!

  2. Haha! I love the flow chart!

    I've never had a hostess cupcake. They must be a lot like swiss rolls, though, so that will be my analogue.

  3. youre so creative.

    please to commence making the chart poster size & selling!!

  4. I'm a flow chart nerd...and a cupcake-a-holic.

  5. Sadly, I think a Hostess cupcake is at the Itty Bitty end of the cupcake calorie continuum. The kind that frequently call to me are much more generously proportioned, with a big fluffy head of frosting, not that flat peelable plasticky stuff that hostess slaps on the top of theirs.

    But heck, whether it's "saving up" treats or doing extra exercise, sometimes it's just worth it.

    I LOVE this flow chart!

  6. Flow chart is excellent. I agree with Crabby that the packaged goods from mega bakery doesn't really cut it for what a real cupcake should be. A moist cake with a fluffy icing top that is master by hand is much more my idea that the mass produced stuff that expires in 37 years.

  7. GREAT flow chart!

    I could easily pass up a Hostess cupcake, but give me a beautifully decorated bakery cupcake and IT'S ON!

  8. i found this blog yesterday and thought of you, Cranky. i'm not sure that looking at these pretty cupcakes are as good as eating them, but i think it's pretty close. cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.com and

  9. How many cupcakes can I eat because tonight is bootcamp class, we do about 100 pushups, burpees, jumping jacks, squats, lunges, running, suicides and then we box....can I have more than one?? LOL

    Hostess Orange cupcakes=YUM!

  10. I'm with the Crab...the itty ones are not the ones I'm usually jonesing for.
    I've lately been discovering how evil those darn little baked goods are. I will definately be using your flow chart from now on!

  11. No one, and I mean no one does flow charts as great as you do, Crabby!!

  12. That's my new favorite flow chart! I love the "did your nose just grow?" diamond! Strangely, cupcakes are not very tempting to me though so I'll just substitute jelly beans;)

  13. That flowchart is exactly what goes on in my poor crazy head!! And its the exact reason I started to blog!

  14. So Crabby, Tom ... how many calories are there in a 'good' cupcake? Should I update the flowchart?

  15. mmmm...cupcakes...mmmm.

    I'm ashamed to admit what I'd do for a big fluffy cupcake...

  16. Hi Merry,

    I printed out a cop of the chart and would you believe the printed page ends at "Bad Reader! No cupcake never tell a half truth!"

    And I don't need the rest of that paragraph, now do I?

    Thanks. This is great.


  17. This flowchart is a crafty and evil tool.

    But screw Hostess. I'm going to interval bike for 90 minutes. I have evil plans. Evil.


    Good call on the ED links.

  18. They just put out the cupcakes downstairs in the cafeteria. I'm getting one.

    YAY! Cupcake Time!

    Now, if I could just figure out what a 'burpee' is...

  19. Loving the flow chart! Now, if they only had one for Famous Amos Cookies.......

  20. it's true... all paths lead to cupcakes :)

    I need to get into my running program full force to allow for more cupcake action...

  21. Seriously, Merry, I LOVE your flow charts. In fact, I love ALL the flow charts at Cranky Fitness (I don't know if you did them all or not, but they're hilarious).

    I'm with Miz: if you ever wanted to have posters made (cafepress, anyone?) I would TOTALLY buy them.

    I'm just saying.

  22. Dr. J: Merry does all our flowcharts!!! I've been meaning to learn, but she is our graphic genius.

    And re bakery cupcake calorie counts: bad news, I found a link. Check out this NPR story. Looks like Magnolia Bakery cupcakes (reasonably sized but bigger than hostess, and these are my FAVORITE cupcakes in the world, so far) are almost 400 calories; the Big-Ass type cupcake some bakeries sell is more like 800. They have a picture of these two with a ruler so you can measure your own favorite indulgence and estimate accordingly!

  23. Audrey, thanks for that link. Those "Where the Wild Things Are" cupcakes are adorable!

    Hostess cupcakes are so NOT worth eating. They LOOK like they should taste good, but they don't live up to expectations. Try eating one blindfolded and concentrate on what it really tastes like. I detect sugar, but other than that, it just doesn't register in my brain as "food".

  24. hilarious... i think i'll saddle up for a twinkie

  25. OMG, that flow chart is too funny!! I love it & laughed so hard! Me, I might move to YES for a big ole bakery cookie... those are my fav "cheat treats"! And I mean BIG! Like the ones you see at Borders Cafe or Pain du Monde Bakery (these are the best for me!)

  26. The cupcakes that catch my eye and evoke yearning are from Crumbs. If I sampled what I wanted from that bakery, forget burpees and jumping jacks -- I'd need to power walk back from NYC to Northern California. It might be worth it.

  27. Your flowchart made me giggle. I do have a big nose. However, I kept looking for the box that said, "I'm just going to lick off the frosting; can I skip the burpees?"

  28. tfh, I think that box falls into the flowchart on Rationalizations. Right next to "The broken cookie doesn't have as many calories."

  29. Thank God I don't seem to have a cupcake obsession. Chardonnay, now...

    And I have recently discovered that walking on the treadmill goes better with old Glenn Miller stuff. "Kalamazoo!" It rocks. So I'm comforted.

  30. I loved the flowchart but it would not keep me from eating a cupcake. If it was a Hostess cupcake, I wouldn't eat it. I would eat a cupcake I made though.

  31. There's a cafe near me that makes these cute little tiny mini-cupcakes. They're the richest tiny little things. Did I mention they're tiny? I still don't eat them very often, I like that sugar rush less and less. But sometimes (pms), it's the most perfect yumminess ever. I think they're a good 2 little bites worth, $0.99.

  32. This flow chart is so creative. Lucky for me cupcakes are one sweet I don't like...but I like a lot of others. lol

  33. I love the flowchart! I second MizFit's comment, please make poster's or maybe a wallet card? :)

  34. Substitute homemade cupcakes and that flowchart would work for me. "Just give me the cupcake." (You'd have to pay me to eat a Hostess cupcake--I tasted one once, back in elementary school. Of course, they may have improved them in nearly fifty years.)

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

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