A small, individual-sized fluffy cake that is baked in a cupcake or muffin pan. The cupcake mold can be lined with a crimped paper or foil cup, or greased and then the cupcake removed from the mold. It is then frosted and, if desired, decorated. Before eating, the paper or foil is simply peeled off. A cupcake canbe served on a plate and eaten with a fork, but most of the time the best way to savor a cupcake is to just break it apart and pop it in your mouth.
The term "cupcake" is first mentioned in E. Leslies Receipts of 1828. Breaked with the tradition at this time of weighing ingredients, the ingredients began to be measured in cups. According to "Baking in America" by Greg Patent, this was revolutionary because of the tremendous time it saved in the kitchen. "The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America" explains that the cup name had a double meaning because of the practice of baking in small containers, including teacups.
Cups were convenient because hearth ovens took a long time to bake large cakes. Gem pans, early muffin tins, were common in households around the turn of the 20th century and cupcakes were baked in these.
Throughout the 1900s, cupcakes became popular kids' treats partly because of their ease in baking. In the early 1900s, Hostess introduced the snack cupcake, but it didn't become the Hostess Cupcake we know today until the 1950s.
Many people associate cupcakes with the popularity of homemaking of the 1950s and 1960s, but this is a myth. Cupcakes were no more popular during that time period than they are today. Most likely is that adults associate cupcakes with memories from their childhood. What is different today is that cupcakes have gone crazy! Traditionally, t hey were made for children in basic flavors. Today the cupcake has gone groumet, and is playful, hip, and glamorous. Over the past few years cupcake bakeries have opened around the country, with people waiting late at night in lines out the door. The craze is here to stay