| Sweets |

Deliciously Macabre Desserts at the Gothic Beauty Pageant

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It became apparent as soon as I took my place in the line outside the venue that - in jeans, a green sweater, and ankle boots - I was not properly outfitted for the occasion.

In line ahead of me: a woman costumed in top hat and braids a la Boy George (oh, the irony), two guys in spike-laden gas masks, a classically coifed chestnut beauty in a black satin evening gown (tattoos covering the majority of her bare arms), and a gentleman wearing four-inch platform boots and a corset that would have made Dr. Frank-N-Furter proud.

The melody of The Cure's "Lullaby" became increasingly audible through the open door, luring the creatures of the night to celebrate goth fashion, music, and culture at the 12th Annual Gothic Beauty Pageant, held this past weekend at Numbers. (Click here for a slideshow.)

A leather-clad gentleman waiting beside me at the bar bought me a drink and broke my secret little Bauhaus-loving black heart, saying, "You look like you don't belong here, darlin'." But I wasn't there for the people-watching. I was there for the cupcakes. Dark, moody, Gothcakes, to be specific.

I located the blood-spattered cupcakes and their maker, Lynda Rouner of Blue Rose Desserts, for whom baking is more a creative outlet than a business at present (she finds it meditative and soothing), in the aptly named Vampire Lounge, a dimly lit upstairs room overlooking the dark masses writhing to Depeche Mode on the dance floor below.

Rounder said she jumped at the opportunity to marry her love of baking with goth culture for the event. And her creations were relatively easy to make. She explained that the "blood" atop her moist red velvet cupcakes was little more than artfully applied AmeriColor red gel drizzled over cream cheese icing - effective and much simpler than the laundry list of ingredients and hardware used to achieve a similar effect in Lily Vanilli's Dracula's Bite Cupcakes.

Aside from being delicious, the desserts proved to be entertaining as well. We couldn't help but to smile as we watched a guy dressed in head-to-toe latex unzip his mouth hole to eat a cupcake.

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