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What's Up With Cupcake Cakes?

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I'm trying to keep up with all the baked goods trends and I've been noticing a lot more photos on blogs and such of cupcake cakes. I've never encountered one in real life and I'm wondering if anyone has and how they work:

I assume that the point of the cupcake cake is that it's easy to serve - no knife needed, just grab and serve!- but how messy is that? Do they look really ugly when you pull them apart?

How do you frost the thing without the frosting falling between the cupcakes? Or am I missing something here? The edges look like cupcakes in cupcake liners, but is that an illusion? Are they really baked together?

This has been bugging me. I simultaneously can't see the point of the cupcake cake and am intrigued by it. Maybe it would make serving the birthday cake at a frantic kids' party easier...

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  1. Cupcakes have become a craze here (No CA) as well as many other places. There are shops that sell nothing else. Like you, I thought this was a little strange, too. When I was going to do something for my grandkids I started checking websites thinking I would find a recipe that would be better when cooked in small quantities... I thought it might be moister than simply using normal cake recipe.
    Imagine my surprise when I found cake mix seemed to be the universal recipe.
    My conclusion... and I am sure someone is going to correct this.. is that the whole idea is to see how much frosting/icing one can pile on a small cake, but attractively.

    1 Reply
    1. re: The Old Gal

      But you could just make your usual cake recipe (or cupcake recipe), right? But, yeah, I see you point about the frosting. I guess one is piling frosting onto the negative spaces between the cupcakes, too and, hence, more frosting per gram of cake!

      Here's a ton of the things:

      http://www.simplesweetness.com/cupcak...

    2. I am not exactly sure what you mean about it looking like a cake, but cupcakes seem to have become immensely popular. In fact, my boyfriend's sister served cupcakes (displayed in a tiered effect) at her wedding over the summer. They were from a cupcake shop in Portland, OR and they chose three flavors. The large cupcakes were filled and they also had mini cupcakes of each flavor. It was great. Then again, I love cake in any form.....

      1. I think some people aren't understanding what you mean when you say "cupcake cakes" and so I share one of my favorite links:

        http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/2008/0...

        Cupcake Cakes are always a hot mess, as the kids say. I can't imagine anyone is saving time by trying to apply icing where there is no cake in an effort to make one surface. And the inevitable scalloped edge... blech!

        3 Replies
          1. re: tashistation

            Thanks for clarifying for me. I have no problem whatsoever with cupcakes taking over the world. You can never have too many cupcakes, I feel. I just don't get the cupcake cakes. And I'd like to know if there is some point in combining cupcakes together into a "cake".

            Great link!

            1. re: tashistation

              I go to the Cakewrecks blog frequently and until I saw the cupcake cakes there, I had never heard of them. With the amount of frosting, it looks like they would be even messier than serving cake. Not that it's really a concern for me. I don't really like cupcakes. I make my cakes multi-levelled and full of mousse or gooey stuff. And there are so many better individual serving desserts, like tarts and mini-cheesecakes.