Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Cupcake Comeback

Monkey Cupcakes I made for the final week of Weekminds Year 1

Cupcakes have always been a delicious snack, but until recently they were just another dessert consumed primarily by children.

In the past few years, the cupcake craze has exploded. Cupcakeries are succeeding in Los Angeles and New York (the birth of the craze is credited to New York's Magnolia Bakery, immortalized by Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City*), and also in Texas, Arizona, and Washington DC. Their success is based on a product that is simple and affordable. Cupcakes are cute and personal—each person can have their own, and they only cost about 3 dollars**.

Whether or not the cupcake's popularity has staying power depends on who you ask. CNN's Sara Bonisteel says its more than a trend, "the nostalgic cupcake craze is prepared for a long stay". But others disagree, and believe the unsophisticated cupcake has had its moment and will soon be replaced by macarons, which have more aesthetic possibilities.

Regardless—macarons. cupcakes.—I'm ok with any craze that involves the mass marketing of frosting and baked goods.

*"These are just cupcakes"
**The World's Most Expensive Cupcake is $30,003.


  1. Have you seen the Big Top Cupcake maker? It's the infomercial version of the Williams Sonoma one.

  2. As I don't have cable, I haven't seen the infomercial, but the giant cupcake thing is really in, and I think its a splendid concept. Perpetual kids has this PB+J one that's pretty cool too.

    Also, I had a delicious cupcake at Arnie's this afternoon. It was custard filled. Made up for that Long John at Dunkin Donuts last week that was lacking for custard.

  3. macaroons? really? i love them, especially the beautiful golden ones from nantucket, but why macaroons?

  4. Well according to Patrick Neas' article,

    "Macarons are much more posh. Anybody can make a cupcake, but macarons have a ‘je ne sais quoi.’ ”

    The macaron has more aesthetic possibilities: “You can package them so nicely for gifts and weddings... You can create a lot of magic with some macarons and a box and some ribbons."

  5. Interestingly enough, I was just on and the most searched word is currently "cupcakes"!