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Sweet taste of cupcakes helps bitter pill of reality to go down

I'll be the first to admit I was never a gorgeous, accomplished 'girly' girl and I probably never will be. But recently I've fallen in love with the cupcake.

The cupcake, by the way, is not one particular cupcake; it is all cupcakes. And cupcakes are the new symbol of femininity.

Cupcakes represent sweetness, softness, tenderness, gentleness, domestic bliss, safety, security and peace.

That's a lot of responsibility to bestow on a few grammes of sugar, butter, flour and eggs; all in a pink paper bun case.

I used to spend my Sundays reading the newspapers from cover to cover, as well as catching up on my personal and office correspondence.

But now I sigh over glossy magazine spreads featuring Cath Kidston tablecloths, cake stands, party bunting from John Lewis, and pastel-hued cups and saucers.

Why? Because I don't think I can bear the real world for much longer.

Just reading the headlines these days is enough to give me an anxiety attack.

And I hate having anxiety attacks; a fully-blown one can leave a girl feeling tired for a week.

So what's the deal with cupcakes? Well, they're just so seductive. I even tried to bake my own last week.

I got on famously with the basic sponge mixture and soon had 40 perfect buns cooling on my kitchen counter.

But when I tried to make the butter icing, disaster struck.

The American recipe I was using called for an entire one kg box of icing sugar and an entire packet of butter, as well as extract of vanilla and pink food colouring. And the result was an icing so hideously sweet it literally took my breath away.

I experimented with other icing recipes, but none of them were quite satisfactory.

The ready-made butter icing I bought in the supermarket was also too sweet. I bought some ready-made cupcakes to compare; the icing on them tasted either too lemony or too chocolate-y.

But no matter. I simply invented my own recipe by greatly reducing the amount of icing sugar and leaving out the vanilla extract and the food colouring. And finally, after about five hours, I was able to proudly display my homemade cupcakes on the supper table.

Of course, I can see that baking cupcakes every day could become just as tedious as doing the ironing. And that eating cupcakes every day could take its toll on my waistline.

But it's the beauty of the little things that appeals to me and to millions of women around the world.

It's the sheer loveliness of the gorgeous little things that gets to me.

In a world seemingly chock full of perverts, rapists, murderers, terrorists, arsonists, thieves, liars and cheats, well, the cupcake rarely lets you down.

According to my magazines, successful women everywhere are giving up the rat race and retreating to their kitchens to bake cakes, sip tea and watch the world go by.

There's been a huge leap in the sale of floral frocks and vintage print fabrics; and I've subscribed to that trend, too.

I've also been decluttering my home, buying embroidered cushions, tidying my cupboards, labelling everything in sight and avoiding TV shows and books featuring violence of any kind. I need a break from all the 'explosive revelations' about paedophile priests.

I need some respite from all the lid-lifting and the exposes. Yes, the exposes are necessary. And hopefully they will make the world a better place.

But some things will never be perfect, no matter how much we rant and rail and complain and protest.

And that brings me back to the cupcake.

Because, you see, some day soon I know I will bake and decorate the perfect cupcake. I know I will stumble across the ultimate icing recipe and learn how to master a piping set.

I will have baby pink cupcakes for birthdays and baby blue ones for picnics.

I will source all manner of sugar flowers and edible glitter to go on the top. I may even start wearing red lipstick.

This world is run by men and I don't like it very much at the moment. In fact, I don't like it one little bit.

So like millions of other disillusioned women, I'll retreat to my spotless, perfect, homely little kitchen and take some time out.

Maybe, as we ladies strive to create the perfect cupcake, one of us will come up with a bunch of brilliant ideas to save the world.

Even one really good idea would be a start. Cup of tea, anyone?