Since 2008, the cupcake phenomenon, in the UK, has grown like a well risen sponge, taking over most confectionery and baked treats as the most fashionable and sort after edible fancy. With the likes of Magnolia bakery in New York launching in 1996, it took a while for UK market to catch up, but in recent years the cupcake has gone beyond all cup-cases of the imagination, with flavours, toppings and edible art.
Cupcakes, in my opinion, have become so popular due to the selfish streak in society, not wanting to share the deliciousness of cake. In all elements of cookery, customers thoroughly enjoy portioned parcels and the cupcake is no exception. There is something convenient and cute about a cupcake, with it being well-contained, easy to transport and suitably portioned.
Once a simple treat for kids, cupcakes have now become a sophisticated, yet fun alternative to the traditional slice of cake. The rise in demand supported the birth of businesses, all over the UK, selling these easy, crafted treats and for the cake artists among us, the boundaries of the simple cupcake were being stretched. Challenging new flavours replicating sweets, such as rhubarb and custard, tantilised children and adults tastebuds alike and with artistic detail, beautiful bouquets, wedding towers and edible art collections were created. With a history of larger cakes being the best canvas for edible art, the cupcake was able to offer a miniaturised version of these grand works of artistry; a singular portion of cake offering all the excitement, design and flair of a whole cake, but in a tiny format.
The cupcake has become an easy versatile tool to fit all occasions. A whole market has been established to cater for the demand, with Perspex towers, cupcake cases, sprinkles and for the more creative, cupcake parties have been born. People, such as Ming Makes Cupcakes have even dedicated blogs to the desirable delicacy. National Cupcake Week, from 16th – 22nd September, is a celebration of the last five years of incredible cupcake creations, from the simple and tasty to the most artistic, but debate has opened about what the new and upcoming craze will be.
Many speculative comments have been made; regarding the future of the cupcake, yet there is belief that due to its adaptability, the cupcake will survive. One opposing argument suggested that the cake pop will eventually take over the mass market, yet due to being smaller, more expensive and complicated to make, I doubt any success will overlook the cupcake’s reign. The Great British Bake Off is further supporting the baking boom in Britain and supermarkets, bakers and chefs alike are releasing specialist books on cupcakes and decorations. Locally, bakers are trialing new combinations, such as crownies, brownies and cake, and others are experimenting with pastry, following BBC Good Food’s prediction that miniature choux buns, were the next best treat to tickle our fancy.
One thing for sure, however, is that this week plenty of cupcakes WILL be eaten. I for one will be indulging in a carefully crafted cupcake or two and even through talk of new trends, the cupcake is still a highly popular, deliciously delectable treat. So what flavour will you choose?
Keep up to date with Jessica Aleisha Dodds and her blog, Red Velvet Baking by visiting www.redvelvetbaking.blogspot.com. You can also follow Red Velvet Baking on Twitter @RedVelvetBaking, Facebook and Instagram.