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Jul 18, 2011 09:58 AM

What's with cupcake mania?

Maybe my comment may be perceived as heretical or sacrilegious, but... I fail to understand this recent mania over cupcakes. I see new shoppes opening everywhere, theme focused shows on the Food Network, etc. I just don't get it. What is so special about a cupcake? As desserts go I've always found them mediocre and unimpressive... a miniature cake, sometimes with a filling with a far too sweet frosting on top. Give me a fine french pastry any day of the week over a cupcake. If someone can enlighten me as to what I might be missing here, please do.

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  1. I think it is referred to as "personal preference". Not too much more than that...

    1 Reply
    1. re: justsayn

      It's got to be more than personal preference. It's a trend that has caught on across North America. Cupcake mania is everywhere. On the savoury side, this is the year of chipotle, on the sweet side - cupcakes continue. Just trying to understand why.

    2. You're just noticing this? : )

      I don't know, I figure it is nostalgia, wanting to enjoy those simple things from being a kid again.

      2 Replies
      1. re: babette feasts

        "You're just noticing this?"

        Ha, I agree, the cupcake and chipotle trend were definitely HUGE in my neck of the woods a few years ago, but I think they arte starting to die out. Something else will take their place Im sure.

        1. re: babette feasts

          When I was a kid, I thought cupcakes were fundamentally boring, and was always surprised when I got a good one. Any dessert is better than no dessert, of course (except for custard pie which I despised), but when some kid brought a box of cupcakes to school - you could do that then - my response was typically rather muted. I think the only time I actually bought any was with a group at Auntie Em's in Eagle Rock one Sunday, and Mrs. O wanted some because they were supposed to be so good. We got an assortment and shared them, and Yes, even the dreaded Red Velvet was nice (because of the buttercream icing!). But once was quite enough. So yeah, I don't get it either.

        2. I just had this discussion with my spouse after we shopped at a cupcake shop and bought 2 cupcakes for the price of a normal sized cake. I never understood it before either- but I do now.

          The "big deal" don't have to have the entire cake sitting around, tempting you with more calories than needed -or getting stale. It was really nice that we each had our preferences (red velvet with butter cream vs chocolate with coconut frosting) we were full and had no waste. Nice. I am not a big sweet eater, but sometimes "just a bite or two" is perfect and I can't bear throwing out food. I will certainly go there again.

          1. It was a mixture of the Sex And The City episode focused on Magnolia, the actual Magnolia, childhood nostalgia, and the need for something cute and fun in the face of the national ugliness that has been the 2000's so far.
            BUT, cupcakes are over, not cupcakes in general- cupcakes can't be "over" anymore than say... lunch, but "cupcakes" as a trend has been over for a year or so now. Don't believe me? Open a cupcake shop, I dare you.
            It's all about pie now, and it's on.
            Next up? Who knows... I would guess pound, fruit, or bundt cake, but jello and pudding are due for s revival too. (seriously can you imagine a shop dedicated to any of these? but could you imagine a cupcake shop in 1998?)

            Oh, and I don't want to be mean but I feel like I should say something. The 'year of chipotle' was 1999, it's been all about bacon for quite a while now.

            Sigh, dumbest decade ever; books (thanks Harry Potter!), bacon, and cupcakes, were the hot new things. Maybe this decade we'll "discover" dance, painting, and vegetables.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Mary McChugalug

              The funny thing is...we just had two more cupcake (and bakery shops) open up recently. They are doing really well and have alot of corporate events to bake for. It will be interesting to see if they stick around.

                1. re: Mary McChugalug

                  True enough. Trends come and go. I think the cupcake thing is still lingering though. There are still cupcakes everywhere and not nearly enough pie for my taste.

                  I do think sedimental has a point though about cupcakes being easy to eat in one sitting. They score convenience/portability points . You don't have that ease with a slice of pie.

                  And I'm glad I'm not the only one who hates Harry Potter!

                2. I think we're now at 15:01. And ticking.