I’ve been asked more than once whether I’d make a chocolate cupcake for President Obama because he is the first black president. Actually, most people who ask that say African-American president. However, considering that I have a website that explores the way that we use food language to describe women, I wasn’t too keen on using chocolate to interpret a president just because his skin is brown.

But what do you say about a president whose presidency we’re still living through? It’s too early to even summarize it. Making 44 cupcakes, generally, is a challenge. I’ve looked at the presidents through a variety of lenses. Because Barack Obama spent time in Hawaii as a child, I might work that element. However, I’ve tread over Hawaii with the McKinley cupcake. I could use Indonesian flavors because he spent time there, but that’s be almost like Hoover’s cupcake, taking advantage of a place he happened to live for a while. His left-handedness might have made for an interesting interpretation, but many of his predecessors were also lefties. Truman tried to achieve national health care long before Obamacare came along. He’s not even the only president to come to us by way of Illinois.

Barack Obama, though, is a reminder that no president is wholly unique. Each president borrows ideas from the men who came before him. Perhaps the presidency is more cumulative than we think. Perhaps the current president can always be viewed as an amalgamation of the previous residents of the executive mansion.


The cake:

Because I chose the amalgamation element, I wanted to nod toward another treat that is defined by the components that comprise it. That made me think of Neapolitan ice cream.  So, here we have a vanilla and chocolate chip cupcake with strawberry buttercream frosting. Since the presidency is a complex sophisticated job, the cupcake is filled with red-wine flavored whipped cream. At the end, I decided that the cupcake would have a chocolate shell because with some people, the only thing they’ll ever see is that brown exterior.