Cupcakes have been made since the early 1800s. These delicious treats are individual cakes typically decorated with icing and frosting. They are fairly easy to make and appeal to people of all ages looking for a tasty treat in a small size. Cupcakes are served at parties, birthdays, other events and in the home as a sweet snack.
The word "cupcake" dates back to 1828 when it was mentioned in E. Leslie's "Receipts." The name comes from the fact that these cakes were baked in cups, such as teacups. This made making cupcakes easier, due to the simple measurement of "cups," as opposed to teaspoons, tablespoons and other measurements. While large cakes took awhile to bake in hearth ovens, cupcakes were much faster, as they were cooked in gem pans and muffin tins.
Flour, sugar, butter and an egg are the basic ingredients of cupcakes. These items are mixed together in a mixing bowl and then placed into a cupcake pan. Each cupcake hole is filled, at the most, two-thirds full. Cupcake makers get most creative when deciding how to decorate the top of the cupcake. The typical choice is frosting or icing, but this can be done in a number of ways and styles to give a desired taste or look. Other items can be placed on top of the frosting or icing, such as small pieces of candy.
There are numerous companies that make cupcakes. Several have stores, while others sell them through grocery stores and other food and baked goods stores. One of the biggest names in cupcakes is Hostess, which began production of cupcakes in 1919, right after World War I. In 1947, Hostess released its most popular cupcake, which featured white icing in its now signature curlicue style.
Cupcakes continue to be popular treat, whether made at home or purchased at a store. Their small size makes them appealing to people who want to eat some cake, but don't want to purchase an entire cake. Cupcakes have evolved over the years, as well, with specialty gourmet stores popping up that make cupcakes in a variety of styles and looks, increasing the possibilities for taste and presentation of these small, delicious treats.