A short history in America’s little sweetheartThe Cupcake By: Brianna Davis
What is your fondest memory of a birthday party? Birthday Party
Just how popular are cupcakes? According to the #1 cupcake blog (Yes they have their own blog) the “Cupcakery” in Georgetown DC sold 275,000 cupcakes last year Half a billion Hostess cupcakes are consumed every year in America
Cupcakeries have hit the nation by storm Cake Fetish Cupcakes Magnolia Bakery Charm City Cupcakes Love at First Bite Georgetown Cupcake “That’s right, The Washington Post’s Cupcake Wars pitted Hello Cupcake against Georgetown Cupcake”
How did cupcakes even come to be? “Cooking Resources” stated that the first appearance of cupcakes arrived between 1790 and 1800 In these times resources were too scarce to waste so any left over batter was used to create small portion cakes The first recipe referring to a “cupcake” was published in 1826 in an American cookbook Hostess Cupcakes emerged on the scene in 1919 once muffin tins had been invented They quickly became a school time favorite for kids of all ages
So why are they called cupcakes? The left over batter was put into small muffin or ramekin cups in order to bake in hearth ovens Cakes baked in regular pans took hours to cook in the hearth kitchens Dividing the batter into small cups and baking several at a time decreased the cooking time Cupcakes referred to the measuring system used in order to make the batter The measuring system for baking changed over from weighing ingredients to using the metric system in the 19th century Common cupcake recipes called for things such as “1 cup flour, 1 cup milk, 2 cups sugar, 1 cup butter”
So how did this little treat become so popular? Sex and the City Magnolia Bakery in Greenwich Village is credited with spurring on the cupcake craze of 1990 when it was featured in a 30 second clip on an episode of “Sex and The City”. Within a week this small bakery exploded and became nationally renowned.
Reason 1: Cupcakes have an amazing nostalgic quality that reminds consumers of their childhood Brings back the memories of icing, the sweet smell of the fresh baked treats, and the colorful sprinkles Reason 2: People in today’s society love anything mini Take for instance the “Mini cooper” or “mini oreo bites” The size makes cupcakes much more portable for a society on the go
Reason 3: Cupcakes fit into today’s schema of calorie conscious and economically mindful individuals Calorie wise, cupcakes constitute as a single serving and allow people to feel they are partaking in the perfect indulgence An average cupcake ranges between $0.95 and $2.50, cheaper than a morning cup of joe
Just how far has this fad gone? Not only have cupcakeries become increasing popular but now there are cupcake bars, and brides are replacing traditional cakes for towers of cupcakes Cupcakes have made a huge comeback and continue to be a growing trend. In combination to the small place they have held in our heart, cupcakes have leapt in popularity as a trendy treat that got a facelift
Bibliography Alipio, Amy. “Sweet! 25 Cupcakeries We Love.” National Geographic Traveler. February 2009. <http://traveler.nationalgeographic.com/valentines-day/cupcakes-text>.
Bussel, Rachel Kramer. Stephens, Nichelle. “The Cupcake Bar- Cary, NC.” Cupcakestake the cake. < http://cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.com/2008/11/austins-cupcake-bar.html>. Martin, Katherine “Customers go cuckoo for cupcakes.” Modern Baking. June 19, 2006. < http://modern-baking.com/bakery_management/mb_imp_13256/>.
Moderndomestic Associated Press. “Washington Post Cupcake Wars: Epic Georgetown Cupcake vs. Hello Cupcake Battle.” ModerndomesticOctober 13, 2008.<http://www.moderndomestic.com/ 2008/10/washington-post-cupcake-wars-epic-georgetown-cupcake-vs-hello-cupcake-battle/?replytocom=202>. Montalto, Katherine. “A Brief History of The Humble Cupcake.” Suite101. Sept. 23, 2009. <http://cookingresources.suite101.com/article.cfm/a_brief_history_of_the_humble_cupcake>.