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Cupcake Currency???

Cupcake ATM - image courtesy of Sprinkles Cupcakes

It’s no secret that the U.S. economy continues to struggle.

The country continues to nickel-and-dime its way out of the monetary morass of the past few years, and gold is a favored investment option given the uncertainties surrounding currencies such as the euro, drachma and dollar.

However, a recent story I read struck me as a possible savory solution of sorts.

It seems a high-end bakery called Sprinkles Cupcakes in Los Angeles has invented a cupcake (automated teller machine) ATM  [see photo insert].

The idea is that you walk up to the machine, insert several dollars, choose from eight flavor combinations and out pops a freshly-baked cupcake.

The confection maker is very clear that this is NOT a vending machine but rather an ATM or more specifically an ACM (automated cupcake machine) that makes fresh cupcakes each day.

Any unused product is then donated to local food banks daily – the original story can be found here.

All this talk of food banks and cupcake ATMs got me thinking about cupcakes as currency.

Heck, the U.S. transitioned from the gold standard in the 1970s to the “…full faith and credit of the U.S. Government…” and given the near insolvency of the aforementioned U.S. government – converting to something more stable (i.e. cupcakes) might help improve the economy.

Besides, only communists don’t love cupcakes – right?

At the very least if economic collapse occurs, we could survive as a nation by eating the currency.

Having said that, there would be questions generated by a cupcake-based economy:

  • Would monetary policy for the country default to the editors at Bon Appetit magazine?
  • Would the Federal Reserve Board and Commerce Departments be baked into the Food & Drug Administration?
  • Might the cupcake ATM give change for larger currency such as German Chocolate cake or 7-Layer Tort?
  • Can the cupcake ATM be designed to recognize non-U.S. pastry currencies such as scones, panacotta or baklava?
  • Would the Presidential Cabinet include Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and Padma Lakshmi?

So many questions, but if our nation did convert to a culinary-baked-goods currency at least it would be in good company – following the downward footsteps of the Roman Empire and its legacy of “bread and circuses.”

Heck we’re halfway there with the “circuses” part, since the U.S. government already resembles a three-ring carnival filled with clowns.

Question: What’s your take on a cupcake currency? Is it a half-baked idea or a taste of things to come? 

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  1. Taking inflation (waistline) to a whole new level, I see…

  2. I saw that machine last week. It’s cool! Cupcake currency would work for me!

  3. I saw this I guess people will pay for anything. A cupcake vending machine. We need a soap dispenser or something useful.

  4. Would chocolate be the $100 bill, strawberry $50 and a vanilla $1? I like the theory behind it. lol

  5. AnnMullen says:

    I love it. But for the circus government thingy, I think we need some cotton candy currency, don’t you? Great post, Tor.

  6. Love it! What a great idea. I’d feel more secure knowing my “money” is worth something if the currency collapses. :)

  7. Of course, in the old days, we just called it a vending machine. It’s really just a plot to get rid of their “day old” goodies.

  8. Where does Better Crocker stand in this new confections frontier? Would Martha Stewart be in charge of the Fed? What would my wallet look like? I’m with you Tor but what would this do to the milk industry?

    • Great point Ken, I think “wallets” would resemble Tupperware cake carriers – and I think it would definitely spur a milk shortage and we’ll see lines at the dairy counter with $10 for a gallon….

  9. Sprinkles was my first stop when I arrived in LA a couple of years ago. I love the idea of sugar in a vending machine, especially if it’s fresh.

  10. Kim Constantino says:

    This one kept me laughing, husband!! very yummy–er, I mean very funny!

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