Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Cupcake Phenomenon

After hanging out with Diane I did a few errands and then decided to succumb to the "new" cupcake trend that seems to be going on. I realize this isn't that new, since they have had cupcake shops in Vancouver and Calgary (and who knows where else) for a number of years now. In fact, a few years ago Leah bought make a cupcake birthday cake (it was just a CAKE though, so I didn't really understand what they were trying to pull with that)! Now it seems to be exploding a bit and cupcakes are everywhere! Have you seen all of the complicated cupcake cookbooks you can buy now? Of course, no one can forget the awesome hamburger cupcakes that I made last month.

There are two cupcake shops in Edmonton within a few blocks of each other: Fuss Cupcakes and Flirt Cupcakes. Is this really sustainable? Are cupcakes here to stay or will one (or both?) of these businesses be collapsing in the next while? Is a cupcake really worth $3.10? Why are cupcakes so popular these days?

I decided to find out and went to Fuss Cupcakes and tried their Soul Mate concoction. The Soul Mate has chocolate cake infused with vanilla butter cream frosting and then is dipped in chocolate ganache. The cake itself was nothing special- dry actually, but the presentation is really fun and whimsical. The whole shop is quite the novelty and that's my opinion of all these cupcake shops. We're in a recession and $3.10 seems pretty inexpensive for something fun even though it is actually quite expensive for the product itself. I am sure that all of the cupcakes are tasty but it's a silly expense when you could just bake your own at home.

Maybe cupcakes are for the weight conscious? It makes sense- you just have one and put the rest away. Cupcakes are adorable and as a result, their size makes you think that you're not really indulging. The problem with baking them yourself is that rarely does anyone just eat one cupcake and give the rest away. When you bake you end up eating a lot of the batter, icing and then a number of your creations (or is this only me and my zero willpower?). Really you would be better off making a cake since it is less time consuming and you'll probably only eat a piece of it. Or have a cupcake party with a bunch of people so that the decorating work and the eating is more evenly distributed.

What do you think? Have you noticed the increased cupcake popularity? Are they worth the hype? I just keep thinking about how ridiculously popular they would be in Korea (are there cupcake shops there now? I miss Korea!!).


Carter said...

Are you sure they would be popular there? Red bean cupcakes!!!!!!

I love your new blog style. Would it be called editorial? Love it!!!!
I feel like I'm reading a magazine. Perhaps I'm just thrilled that you blogged again. ^-^

I think my friend from my program is working at that place!!

Carter said...

Also, I really love cupcakes but $3.10 is way too expensive for me.
But I am broke and cheap.

Cupcakes are the new thing at weddings now instead of cakes.

Your hamburger cupcakes are the prettiest cupcakes I've ever seen. I would pay $3.10 for those. The store ones look just regular!

ambearo said...

I am pretty sure they would be popular there. They are small, cute and would be seen as trendy. All the things that Koreans love! Plus Koreans have enough willpower to eat one cupcake!!!

I don't know if my style has changed, I am inspired by my friend Simone's new blog and also my blog has been getting boring since I'm not traveling. Just trying something new out to spice things up!

Also, my friend Karla had cupcakes at her wedding before they were popular and everyone thought she was a bit crazy. She was just ahead of the pack though!

Thanks for the compliments about my hamburger cupcakes!

Bryn said...

flirt cupcakes are waaay better. Just saying.

Stephie said...

So pretty looking...

Anonymous said...

I have not seen cupcakes everywhere and I don't think the cupcake shops are worth the hype.

Here is some info on cupcakes in Korea:

Simone said...

I often wonder how this whole craze started too! Designer cupcake stores have been popular here for a few years now. These kinds of cupcakes seem to be a trend for weddings as well., with people choosing to serve fancy cupcakes instead of a wedding cake. I don't really get it. I think it must be because cupcakes are just really cute.

skinnydip said...

PS. That's so cool I've inspired you!! :D