Slice of Life's Bliss

Coconut Cupcake

by Sydney Bender

Coconut Cupcake

Elizabeth Cecil

Before muffin tins and non-stick pans, bakers used coffee mugs to bake individual cakes.  

Cupcakes evoke childhood: birthday parties, celebrations, graduations, the first day of summer. No matter the occasion, peeling away the thin baking paper off any cupcake has always been an act of love, a two- second moment to treasure—it’s that quick instant that is followed by the first bite: a mouthful of a perfect cake-to-icing ratio. I call this “cupcake bliss.”

The Coconut Cupcakes sold at Slice of Life in Oak Bluffs will usher you to cupcake bliss. The dessert is a heavenly treat, with a coconut angel food cake base, lightly golden around the edges. Once you bite through the thin, sweet brink, the cupcake is fluffy in the center and you taste the sweet coconut. Like new best friends on the first day of school, cupcakes give us a piggyback ride to all things silly: imaginary friends, snowball fights, licking the batter bowl when nobody’s looking.

Cupcake creation theories are as opaque as the batter itself. Some credit the name “cupcake” from the cups the batter was cooked in, resulting in the handheld cakes. Others deem it came from measuring ingredients by volume: one cup butter, two cups sugar…

It’s no wonder that Head Chef Peter Smyth, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Jennifer, takes some heat for selling out of their beloved cupcakes. “If I don’t have it in the case, I hear about it,” he says.

At Slice, cupcakes are neighbored by petite wine glasses filled with mousses and butterscotch pudding, espresso cakes, and cookies of all sorts.

Perhaps the Coconut Cupcakes stand out because of their angelic appearance. Maybe it’s because cupcakes remind us of celebrations. I think it’s because of that perfect cake-to-icing ratio. It’s something you can rely on with this cupcake—no matter how old you are or what you decide to celebrate, it is a one-way ticket to a place where everyone should go: cupcake bliss.

Coconut Cupcake, $2.25 each. Slice of Life, 50 Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs,, (508) 693-3838.