In booze-happy Midwest, alcoholic cupcake frosting is too much

The Upper Midwest is ground zero for binge drinking, it’s considered acceptable to tail-gate at a football game until you’re falling-down drunk, and economic development in the region means another tap room.

Just don’t put a little alcohol in a cupcake.

In Sioux Falls, S.D., Holly Boltjes’ new business might be in trouble even though she checked to be sure that her business, Intoxibakes, was legal.

She flavors the cupcakes with alcohol. Both the city and the South Dakota Department of Revenue gave her the go-ahead before she opened last November but now there’s a change of heart, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader says. A city official says she’s breaking the law.

While the business is cleared under the state’s liquor laws, it fails under the state’s food-preparation laws, which prohibits “any vinous, malt or spirituous liquor or drug.”

Under that interpretation, that even includes vanilla extract, which is 35 percent alcohol, even though nobody would charge a baker with a misdemeanor for using vanilla flavoring.

In her cupcakes’ frosting, Boltjes uses about two teaspoons of hootch for every dozen cupcakes.

“There are certainly way more important things for the FDA to concern themselves with than whether or not there’s a little bit of alcohol in a brownie or a cupcake,” a food-safety lawywer told the paper.

“Obviously, we’re a little upset. We want to continue with the business,” Boltjes said.

She’s shut down the website through which her product is sold.