Cupcake Taste Test with Secret Ingredient

I was contacted earlier this week by We Are Social and asked if I would participate in a cupcake taste test for them. The catch was that the cupcake was made with a secret ingredient.

Wrapped up nicely

All prepared to take notes

I wrote down some criteria to think about while I tasted the cupcake. Things that I think make or break a cupcake. I’m still not 100% sure what the secret ingredient is but I took a good stab at trying to figure it out.
I spent a good 5 minutes giving the cupcake a good sniff. The frosting smells nice and sweet but the cake not so good.  It had a funny aroma that wasn’t cake like at all. The frosting has to be cream cheese.
The cupcake was very neat and nicely decorated. I love a nicely decorated cupcake.-
Cake is heavy and dense and it’s orange in color.
Outside was a little hard. The inside was OK but it wasn’t fluffy. I really like my cupcakes fluffy.
Not sweet, definitely a savory ingredient used. The cake isn’t overly flavorful. I thought it tasted rather plain and that it smelled strongly and had absolutely had an aftertaste that I didn’t like.
Overall Impressions
The taste built up as I took each bite. I ate half of the cake on it’s own so I could have a better idea of what the secret ingredient is. Eaten with the frosting the cake flavor doesn’t come through at all.
This cake isn’t something that I would go out of my way to buy. I didn’t like the way the cake smelled. The texture of the cake isn’t the way I like it. I think the best cupcakes are light and springy. I think as a novelty creation it might be something I would try at a fair or festival. Could possibly be a practical joke!
Secret Ingredient Guesses
This was really hard to determine what the secret ingredient is. I had deduced that it was savory not sweet. I was racking my brain to place the sent. In conjunction with the orange tint my best guesses are
  1. Ketchup
  2. Something tomato based
  3. Some other kind of vegetable (pepper maybe?)

I think that certain savory ingredients lend themselves better to baking than others. Tomatoes are very tart and some tinned tomatoes and spaghetti sauces have a lot of added sugar. I think something like tomato and goats cheese would make a nice muffin but not a cupcake!

Hopefully We Are Social will fill me in and let me know what the secret ingredient is. I hope that my taste buds lead me in the right direction.

*UPDATE* – Click here for the results

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