The legend of the cupcake chasers goes back to 2005.
It was my freshman year of college. St. Patrick’s Day always falls around finals week of winter quarter at Cal Poly. On good years, it would be on Thursday or Friday, when most students are done with finals and can celebrate accordingly. On bad years, it falls early in the week and everyone has to make the crucial decision of being responsible or giving into the siren call of Guinness. (Sucks for y’all this year…)
(On one particular bad year, it was on a Monday, I had to turn in a final paper by noon that day and then had finals on, like, Tuesday and Friday morning. So after finishing the paper, I met some friends downtown, had one drink, and spent the rest of the afternoon babysitting/losing and desperately trying to find one friend. I finally found her, dropped her off at another friend’s house, and retreated to the library for the night. Wild and crazy times…)
Anyway, freshman year, St. Pat’s fell on a Thursday. I finished finals that day, and had plans to drive home for spring break Friday. Most of the dorms, by then, had already cleared out (freshmen have far fewer options on such holidays, compared to upperclassmen). One friend (who wound up being my roommate the next year) and I, however, got a ride to another friend’s house. He was over 21, not into the bar scene, but definitely into the drinking scene. He and his roommates had a bunch of Guinness, Jameson, and Bailey’s ready for the night.
At some point, someone also brought by a 12-pack of cupcakes. You know the ones you get in the bakery section of grocery stores? Basic chocolate or white cupcakes, with that buttercream frosting with green sprinkles and, like, plastic shamrocks or leprechaun hats stuck in them? Those babies.
A car bomb or two in, someone — I no longer remember who — finished one and immediately grabbed a cupcake. “Ohh, it’s like a chaser!” said person mumbled around the sugary mouthful.
Needless to say, the rest of the cupcakes went fast.
And cupcake chasers became a thing.
They got resurrected a few more times over my college career — either with those grocery store cupcakes or made from a Better Crocker mix. We’d see the fancy recipes for cupcakes baked with Guinness or Jameson or whatever and say “but it’s so much easier to just buy the cupcakes and drink the Guinness…”
Clearly, crafty food bloggers we are not.
Pro tip: When cupcake chasing, mini-cupcakes work best. Less of a sugar rush.
And if you wake up with the world’s worst hangover, don’t blame me. All that alcohol plus an obscene amount of sugar? What the hell did you expect?
If you want to go beyond traditional cupcake chasers tomorrow, I’ve rounded up some ideas for you, too:
clockwise from top left: irish car bomb cupcakes | shamrock pudding shots | guinness chocolate cheesecake | guinness candied bacon | peanut butter swirled guinness brownies | guinness & bailey’s jello shots | irish cream & guinness brookies | chocolate stout waffle sundae w/stout fudge sauce