Cupcake Craze


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Has the cupcake craze hit your town?

Cupcakes, Chicago's first-ever all-cup-cake shop, opened on the north Side, featuring a rotating weekly lineup of 37 varieties that includes chai latte and whiskey-anointed moonshine. Owners are Sarah King, a physicist and Noakh Antieu.

You may have visited stores devoted to one theme like chocolate in all its astonishing forms. But an all-cupcake shop news to you, too?

"Meal assembly" or "professional chef substitute" is another hot business in the United States. For details, click: meals made easy

I had heard and read about growing cupcake commerce in cities like New York City, Atlanta (Atlanta Cupcake Factory),San Francisco (Citizen Cupcake), Baltimore, Seattle (Cupcake Royale), and Beverly Hills (Sprinkles). (New York City's Sex and the City tour features Magnolia, a shop known for cupcakes.)

"At New York's Buttercup Bakery, they're flying off the shelves at a rate of two to three thousand a day. In Beverly Hills, Sprinkles Cupcakes is selling about 15-hundred a day." KSL Newsradio June 26, 2006

On the alert for single servings or single portions, I liked the idea. When California Cupcake Company announced its grand opening, I was ready to try the real thing.

California Cupcake Company's wares are displayed in a kiosk located in the Westfield Plaza Camino Real in Carlsbad, California. Set off like jewels, each cupcake is nestled in several protective layers cupcake liners and transparent covers.

The selection, per the California Cupcake Company website, includes: Vanilla cupcakes: Butter Cream Frosting, Chocolate Chip, Cinnamon Apple, Lemon Filled, Key Lime, Cappuccino. Chocolate Cupcakes: Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Chip, Chocolate Raspberry, Cherry Filled Center.

(Cupcake decorations like "flowers," "Halloween pumpkins," etc.? None that I noticed.)

However, once I noticed the German Chocolate Cake, frosting swirled high with shards of coconut, considering other possibilities became difficult. Suddenly, another customer appeared, friend in tow. "My very favorite is German Chocolate Cake," she declared with gusto. Clinched the decision for me!

(Cupcake recipes? The owners probably won't divulge them; however, according to co-owner Anthony Paventi, everything is made from scratch.)

I am pleased to report California Cupcake Company's logo "So much to love in a little ruffled cup!" is true. And contrary to a comment from co-owner Sandra Paventi, quoted in Today's Local News, it "did not" remind me of what my mother made. My mother "never" baked cupcakes that delectable!

Granted, my enthusiasm is springs from one experience, but would I indulge again? You can count on it!

(Did I mention that cupcakes come in two sizes? Think "ample" and "super-sized.")

I purchased my cupcake from a young woman who declared herself the owners' daughter. She remarked that California Cupcake Company was baking cupcakes for occasions like birthday parties, holiday celebrations, bridal showers, Sweet 16 parties, bat mitzvahs and fundraisers. She added that "Cupcake Parties," the catalyst for the company, were the company's specialty "parties that provide quality time for both children and parents alike." (Instant pandemonium comes to mind.)

The thought of attending a cupcake wedding, however, is very appealing. Imagine claiming the morsel of your choice from a cupcake holder stand rather than settling for a slice of generic wedding cake!

Ready for your very own home cupcake bakery? Check out Reusable Sili-cups

Just fill the 2-ounce cups and place them on a cookie sheet to bake. After cooling, turn the cups over and your baked goods will pop right out. Made of high-quality, food-grade silicone for easy baking of muffins, cupcakes, tarts or candy. Can also be

Nordic Ware Rose Bundt Cupcake Pan Pastel Sili-cups

Make individual Bundt cupcakes. Cast aluminum pan contains 12 molds, ½ cup each. Nonstick interior for easy release and cleanup; heat-reflective exterior for uniform browning. Hand wash. Oven-safe to 450ºF. Lifetime warranty.

For more media commentary on cupcakes, visit: gourmet.

"Mrs. Beasley's added a line of gourmet cupcakes a year ago . . . Crowned with 3 inches of frosting, varieties such as Lavish Lemon, Decadent Chocolate Ganache and Magnificent Mocha go for $3 apiece and now account for more than 20% of the company's retail locations in L.A. and Orange Counties (soon to be eight).
Seeking out growth opportunities helped boost Mrs. Beasley's sales to $20-million last year.
'There's a demand for quality baked products that don't come in a big package,' said Jim Standish, owner of the Lark Cake Shop in Silver Lake." "Sweet Business Model Takes Off" Los Angeles Times December 25, 2007

"Rebecca Marrs, the director of career services at the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, has seen a noticeable rise in the number of older career-shifters, as opposed to 20-somethings hoping to break in after high school or college. Enrollment in the baking program increased 31 percent last year, she said . . . " "So, Sweetie, I Quit to Bake Cupcakes" The New York Times June 3, 2007

According to Yahoo's The Buzz Log (July 29, 2006), their top 20 "cupcake searches were:

Wedding cupcakes, Cupcake Recipes, Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes, Baby Shower Cupcakes, Cupcake Decorations, Kids Cupcake Cakes, Birthday Cupcakes, Easy Cupcake Recipes, Soccer Cupcakes, Chocolate Cupcakes, Cupcakes for Kids with Cancer, Baseball Cupcakes, Cupcake Toppers, Lowfat Banana Cupcakes, Ladybug Cupcakes, Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes, Vanilla Cupcake Recipe, Cupcakes for Kids, Princess Cupcakes, Clown Cupcakes.

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