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A Brief History of the Cupcake

Ever wondered how that palm-sized, frosting loaded sweet treat your customers love came from?  Amazing that someone simply realised that it would be a great idea to create a portable cake, taking sweet snack-desserts to a whole new level.

Sweet Memories

The idea behind making tiny cakes was elaborated in ‘American Cookery’ a 1976 cookbook by Amelia Simmons.  However, the word ‘cupcake’ itself did not come about until 1828, when celebrated author and cooking expert Eliza Leslie published her book ‘Receipts’, which included the recipe for the first cupcake.

Though Leslie can be credited for cementing the first cupcake recipe, there is no single inventor of this sweet treat.  Most of the time ‘cupcake’ was simply a name for a measurement, much like ‘pound’ cake. 

While the history of the cupcake is somewhat vague it’s popularity seems to be increasing!

Cupcakes were originally prepared in little pottery bowls called ramekins before there were muffin tins or cupcake pans. Also utilised were teacups and other ceramic mugs. Bakers quickly developed standard volume measurement systems (cups) for their recipes. 1234 cakes, sometimes known as quarter cakes, were popular after the four key ingredients used in cake recipes which are, 1 cup of butter, 2 cups of sugar, 3 cups of flour, and 4 eggs.

Some of the cupcake records are that the world's largest cupcake, according to Guinness World Records, weighed 1,176.6 kg (2,594 lb) and was baked by Georgetown Cupcake in Sterling, Virginia, on November 2, 2011. The oven and pan were custom-made for this endeavour, and the pan was simply disassembled to show that the cupcake was thoroughly cooked and stood alone without any support structures. The cupcake had a diameter of 56 inches and a height of 36 inches. The pan was 305.9 kg in weight.

The world's most expensive cupcake was a $42,000 fondant-topped cupcake adorned with nine.75 carat round diamonds and ended with one 3-carat round-cut diamond. Areen Movsessian of Classic Bakery in Gaithersburg, Maryland, made this gem of a cupcake on April 15, 2009.

Cupcake Here, Cupcake Everywhere

Once the concept was popularised, cupcakes became a favourite amongst both home and commercial bakers.  Did you know that commercial shop bought cupcakes were first introduced in 1919 by ‘Hostess’, an American bakery company that introduced it as a ‘snack cake’.

The dainty appearance, small size, and balanced shaped for decoration purposes made it an economical baked good for both bakers and consumers.  Plus, the fact that cupcakes are loved by children and can be shared and gifted, made it a handy sweet treats in birthday parties and other celebrations.

Today, cupcakes come in a variety of flavours and styles.  From buttercream-frosted cupcake bouquets to fondant-designed themed cupcakes, this dessert is loved by everyone.  Bridal showers, baby showed, national and traditional holidays, and more, there is no occasion for which a cupcake can’t be baked.

Advanced technology has allowed this treat to be infused with jams, chocolates and creams without compromising the shape or quality of the cake crumbs.  Artist bakers emerge craft and creativity to turn cupcakes in edible wonders.

Ready, Set, Cake

All cupcakes require the best ingredients but presentation matters to showcase your fantastic creations.   Looking for a range of cupcake boxes then view our selection.

If you are after cupcake boxes contact us.

You may also be interested in reading about The History of the Hot Cross Bun or The History of the Wedding Cake. | 0800 237 422 |

About the author

Veronica Aris

Veronica Aris

Veronica has more than 20 years in senior management roles, leading marketing and sales strategies that include primary care consumables, pharmaceuticals, natural health care supplements, consumer and safety products within B2B and B2C.

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