I think the first time I saw a tray of cupcakes was at my son’s kindergarten class. One of the students’ mom made cupcakes for her son’s birthday. First, I must explain that I didn’t go to kindergarten in the States. My mom didn’t bake and cupcakes were a foreign idea to me. I remember thinking what a marvelous invention they were – mini cakes so you won’t waste time with cutting the cake, dealing with paper plates or making sure the portions are somewhat equal.
Now, we have Cupcake Wars on TV. We see cupcakes at weddings, in food magazines and entire bakeries dedicated to the art of making cupcakes. Cupcakes got themselves to a couture status. How is it that they were able to take off in such wide array of directions and incarnations? How are they different than doughnuts? When doughnuts are expected to come in the few standard flavors, glazes, and fillings, cupcakes comes in a multitude of colors, cups, fillings, flavors and toppings. Doughnuts have not transcended being breakfast treats while cupcakes, so versatile and presentable, get served as desserts, tea time sweets, and seasonal treats.
Being cute is inherent in the concept of cupcakes. What’s cuter than cartoonish animal decorations? We find owls, chickens, bunnies and puppies among the most popular guaranteeing the brightest smile out of even the grumpiest of adults.
Flowers are natural decorations among cupcakes due for wedding celebrations, engagement parties, and valentine sweets.
Cupcakes in disguise are exercises in craftsmanship and imagination.
When presented in a grouping or a stand, cupcakes speak louder in sum given a chance for composition, theme exploration and story telling.
This group of cupcakes reminds me of my classmates. It always amazes me how each of them could be such a unique individual and yet when we gather in one place, the blast of energy generated from our constant chit chat, non stop laugh and banter would prove sprightlier than the sum of our parts.
Simplicity has its strength. Let the flavor speak for itself. You might be surprised at how loudly it tastes.
When all is said and done, the cupcake that steals my heart is the one especially made for me.
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers who have tried their hands at cupcakes and to all those who can’t bake but manage to treat their children with the sweetest of all treats – the knowledge that their children are the cherries in their bowl, the apple of their eyes and the tops of their favorite cupcakes!