A cupcake is a small individual portion cake, typically baked in paper cases. Like larger cakes, they can come in a variety of different flavours and can be decorated with frosting and other cake decorations. Almost any type of large cake can be made into a small cupcake.
There are two main reasons why they are called "cupcakes". One reason is because they are baked in paper cases. The other reason is their ingredients are measured in mass, as opposed to in weight like pound cakes are.
Cupcakes cook more quickly than full sized cakes. They can provide portion control. When you serve cupcakes, it's not as obvious if someone has one early as with a cake. Also, you can serve a mix of different flavors or colors more easily.
Cupcakes are popular for children's parties. Decorating their own cupcakes with things like small candies or sprinkles can also provide entertainment.
Small, boutique cupcake shops have become popular in the U.S.A. recently.
- All About Cupcakes, a project on The Interactive Media Lab at the University of Florida
- Cupcakes Take The Cake
- Sprinkles Cupcakes
- The Cupcake Station
- Georgetown Cupcake
- Rockin' Cupcakes, Cupcake Shop, Rochester Hills, MI (They even have "chicken-flavored pupcakes for your dog".)