Who made cupcakes cool?

Artwork and Print by Natalie Perkins I was reading this blog post " Battle of The Cupcakes &q...

Artwork and Print by Natalie Perkins

I was reading this blog post "Battle of The Cupcakes" and it got me thinking about how cupcakes are everywhere now! And I'm not complaining about the popularity of cupcakes, I love them as much as the next girl! But I'm just so curious as to how they shot to fame/popularity. I remember the days when I had them packed in my school lunches and you could get those stick on decorations of Disney characters (do you remember those?).

So once again Ive been having a little twitter discussion about it and some thoughts on the topic were...Sex And The City? perhaps Martha Stewart, or was it the craft/handmade revival?

So what are your thoughts on it, did you love cupcakes before they were cool?

EDIT: From the comments I'm getting, It seems like cupcakes have always been big. Perhaps its only in Australia that I'm noticing such a massive surge in popularity!

EDIT 2: Wow, in Spain cupcakes aren't popular or really know at all.

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63 comments

  1. my mums a bit of a baker so cupcakes were always in the house when i was growing up. i remember the little edible paper things, and jam and cream butterfly cupcakes, they were pretty big at fairy parties.

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  2. @amy ~ same with my mum. I loved eating the raw mix when she was baking!!

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  3. thanx for ur comments in my blog, lily... i really appreciate it.. well, today is my Birthday and in a same time i feel like eating cupcake than birthday cake...huhuh

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  4. Yum. Cupcakes. They do seem to be turning into a trend kinda thing. But they are de-licious!

    ~vivian

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  5. It was Sex & the City all the way! I you've been to Magnolia Bakery in NYC you will witness for yourself why the cupcake craze went worldwide! They are orgasmiccc.

    Also, I'm not sure what it's like in Australia but in American primary schools, the birthday boy/girl always used to bring cupcakes for their entire class. So my cupcake obsession started at, oh, I don't know, the age of 4? They've always been pretty big in my homeland :)

    Sigh. Now I want one. With chocolate icing. And cupcake-shaped sprinkles.

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  6. I still don't. I prefer muffins. Cupcakes are too colorfully decorated for me to feel comfortable with. :)

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  7. Hi! the wastern cupcakes becomes more popular in Indonesia and Singapore (the new SoHo cupcakes has been launched in the nearest mall) although traditionally we also have sort of different cupcakes...
    Sometimes when I look at cupcakes I will feel guilty for it is decorated so beautiful! Isn't it part of artistic passion? And since most of the decor are constructed from sugar icing, it makes me feel guilty even more...

    I think I would like cupcakes before they were cool..but if it is still hot we cudn't decorate them, right?

    By the way, I have just named my cousin's rabbit doll petite Lily and wrote poem for her..



    Have a nice day, Lily!
    xoxo

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  8. ahhh cupcakes, yes, sex and the city has definitly played a part in that, in my town they made a tribute magnolia bakery in a department store where you can now buy overpriced cupcakes.

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  9. Hey love!

    I think for me, when I first became vegan, I thought it was the end for sweet treats and baked goods, but then the insanely popular book, "vegan cupcakes take over the world" (which has a forward written by Sara Quinn - how cool is that?) was released and it made every vegan out there obsess over cupcakes. I like to think that this obsession then leaked out into mainstream society and now everyone loves them.

    So, to answer your question, Vegans made cupcakes cool!!! well, that's my theory and i'm sticking to it! ha!

    Hope you are having a lovely day lissy!

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  10. I TOTALLY LOVED CUPCAKES BEFORE THEY WERE COOL! (Yes, that did require all caps.) I had lots of cupcakes instead of one big cake for the 21st birthday party, shortly before the trend took off. So sometimes I suspect it was me who made them cool all of a sudden :p

    --xo.

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  11. God, I've always loved cupcakes. They are my favorite. My first poem was called "An Ode to Cupcakes." Now, I have 4 cupcake stores next to my flat. Red velvet with cream cheese frosting are my favorite. I fear the pounds I will put on now! :)

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  12. Thanks for commenting on my cupcake post and for elaborating the topic! Will be interesting to see where this cupcake obsession/your discussion goes!
    Have a wonderful day x

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  13. YES!
    But I must admit, I didn't always love them.
    I use to hate them, I didn't see the point. But then, after eating them
    on a regular basis, I realized that most cup cakes have more frosting than cake. And then, I also realized that they're a little bit more portable than cakes, and individual size.

    From then, I began baking my own cup cakes, and I love them!
    My favorite are funfetti with funfetti icing and sprinkles!!

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  14. i dont really think someone made them cool.. i guess suddenly bakery improved as everything does, and so cupcakes ended up being really good looking and visually appealing.. so we all started taking pictures of them !

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  15. Good post! Hehe...well you already know how much i love them. I'm planning on baking some choc-mint ones next (with pale blue-green icing).

    I'm not a sex and the city fan so I have no idea where the craze took off. There's a Babycakes boutique in the suburb I used to live in - which got me hooked (hello?! nutella baby cupcakes!!). And people started using them for wedding cakes some time ago too. All I know is I'm LOVING all the twee cupcake cafes popping up around town!

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  16. I have loved cupcakes since I was knee high to a grass hopper. They were cool when I was a kid and they are cool now. I'm not sure if there was ever really a "before they were cool." I think that they were just cool from creation. Cool.

    I had red velvet cupcakes at my wedding. Yum.

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  17. Cupcakes were never cool to me. They were just nostalgic. They reminded me of elementary school birthdays when kids would bring them in for their special day. The homemade kind is always the best.

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  18. Hasn't everyone always loved cupcakes? I'm just saying...Theres nothing to not like about a small cake with gobs of frosting on top. And possibly sprinkles. =)

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  19. you could substitute the word "cupcakes" with "balloons" and it would work too... ha!

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  20. For me, it was Magnolia Bakery!

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  21. This is adorable.. and yes you can substitute many things in there and it would be equally perfect!

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  22. I figured it was the craft/handmade revival of cupcakes I think...around 3 yrs. ago when I was in middle school/starting high school and it has sort of progress smoothly from there. I've always had a certain fascination with cupcakes, dainty sprinkles, lightly smoothed frosting. Yum!

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  23. I don't really get the appeal? They're nice, but I am in no way obsessed, and I have been known to decline the offer of a cupcake on several occasions. Does this make me less of a woman?

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  24. good question! I don't know how it started either. I used to make cupcake-shaped necklaces from clay (perhaps you remember?) a couple of years back, and that was because I saw them popping up in Etsy.

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  25. I've defintely noticed the surge in popularity in California; I think it started back in 2005/2006? Whenever it was that Oprah mentioned she liked Sprinkles cupcakes -- I feel like that is what triggered it in LA. I love your blog -- it's so beautifully laid out and all your posts are so inspirational!

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  26. I was wondering about the same thing a few days a go! It's weird how food suddenly can be cool.

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  27. No, I agree with you, they have definitely been growing in popularity! At least online, I can't remember seeing thousands of cupcake pictures before! (?) And at least here in norway, cupcakes used to be a lot smaller and with less topping, and they were not decorated like wedding cakes... just plain and simple..

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  28. Cupcakes have also make a kind of invasion in France and it is a new (and hype) phenomenon... but the competition is still rude : macarons, chocolate eclairs, pies and lots of delicious cakes!

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  29. Marie Antoinette (film) maybe?

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  30. sex and the city?are you crazy? Hell no!! photography DID! flickr,tumblr,weheartit, it's the aesthetic aspect of cupcakes that interest peaple

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  31. @Sophie Takes Pictures ~ hahahaha it wasn't my suggestion :-P I wanted to think it was blogs and all our image sharing!!

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  32. They seem to be getting bigger by the day here in Manchester, Uk also! x

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  33. I agree with the sudden rise in popularity. I'm actually in the process of compiling thoughts of this nature for a blog - the "blogging cliche" if you will, of blogging what you wore, loving tea and kittens and cupcakes and alice in wonderland, having a bright pink and turquoise colour scheme - and why it's all fabulous! (It's not meant to be an attack at all). Thanks for adding some fuel to my blogging fire and reminding me my idea has merit! :)

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  34. Lol it's true .....cupcakes or fairy cakes were something that our Ma's made all the time and then all of a sudden they became really cool and 'trendy' or whatever!!!

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  35. haha...i love reading all of the responses...they made me feel soooo nostalgic! what a great post..and I agree...when did they become so trendy? I was in NYC last week and walked by Magnolia for the first time...craziness...and the prices!

    anyway...here's to all of us old-skool-cupcake=lovers!

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  36. i'm over cupcakes.

    sure, I still eat them (they're still CAKE for goodness's sake!), but I've never enjoyed the frosting-on-your-nose bit. Let's face it, they're not all that easy to eat.

    that being said there's a cakelove cupcake waiting for me in the fridge. What? It was free for my birthday! Don't judge.

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  37. that is so funny! they have actually become *uncool* in new york now. people are into cookies now! :)

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  38. definitely satc! girl heaven!

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  39. well we don't have cupcakes in Spain, it don't even know how to tell people who doesn't know about them what they are, I haven't even tried them myself but I certainly will on my visit to London in two weeks

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  40. I have lived my entire life desiring any sort of cake. The first time I heard of a cupcake shop I think was on the show "What I Like About You" when Jennie Garth's character opened one. Um...now I want a cupcake as I just forgot the point of my reply...sorry!

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  41. Haha..what a great picture.
    I'm not sure when they became so popular, but I remember that a lot of people at our school liked them last year.
    Buts that the trouble, once something is really popular, I tend to go off it a bit. Like music for example- I like unique bands that not many other people have heard of, but the minute they become really popular I doon't listen to their music as much.

    http://clothescamerasandcoffee.blogspot.com/

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  42. I don't think SATC hurt the cupcake craze. I mean, put a product on that show and BAM! It's automatically popular. But I'm not sure how they shot to fame, that's a good question! I can tell you that they're just as massive here in LA, if not more so.

    Yum.

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  43. I ALWAYS loved cupcakes! I would ask for a bunch of cupcakes instead of birthday cakes for parties...
    and i also loved paisley before it was cool...
    (but i kinda like that the people are discovering my simple joys)

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  44. Here in Barcelona, Spain nobody knew what cupcakes and muffins were 1 year ago: that's why I started this:

    www.ilovemuffins.es and www.ilovemuffins.es/blog

    now I am getting more and more positive feedback, but people are still a bit skeptic here, strange isn't it?

    lots of love
    Jenny*

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  45. Yes! Mickey and Minnie and Donald. I'd totally forgotten about them - thanks for the reminder. Guess they were called fairy cakes before they got cool. In the UK at least!

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  46. I wouldn't have said they've ever been unpopular but I've not really thought of them as popular either..maybe its down to a surge in tv chefs that have made them popular or that all this financial doom and gloom has made us want to regress and be little kids running around and having fun eating stuff like cupcakes?! Who knows.

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  47. What gorgeous artwork. I adore the paisley frosting...awesome.

    Hmm, I love cupcakes as a kid, but you're right, they're very popular now. I'm thinking it's a combination of all three things that make them the It dessert right now.

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  48. I always remember my American neighbour baking them for me when I was little. They were sickly sweet and would rot your teeth after two! So they have strong n American association for me. I do think Sex and the City had a lot to do with the massive resurgence in popularity though. xxx

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  49. No way, In New Zealand they have become super popular as well. Loads of cupcake cafe's have popped up and you can now order every type of cupcake online and have it delivered to your door.

    Cupcakes have definatly become popular recently!

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  50. I blame SATC! I always had cupcakes as a child and now they certainly are 'cool', as is bizarrely, cups of tea!

    oh and i've got an award for you on my page lovely xxx

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  51. Wow, these cupcakes are so cute! Now you've made me in the mood for one...I'm trying not to eat yummy pastry goods, though.

    xoxo,
    Micaela

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  52. Yeah, it's gotta come from Sex and the City. :)

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  53. i wonder this all the time too!!! ive always liked them, but then suddenly i LOVED them and NEEDED cupcake themed things in my kitchen! wasn't sex & the city for me thou...

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  54. I agree with you! They seem to be super trendy all of a sudden! Glad I wasn't the only one to notice :)

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  55. cupcakes have became a trend :D in anyway we can imagine. and i love them!! adn you :) you are so lovely every time....

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  56. I love cupcakes, check out my georgous cakes at my wedding: www.plumpbitch.blogspot.com

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  57. i remember a time during elementary school when everyone would take turns bringing cupcakes to school on their birthdays and all the kids from the other classes would jealously ask for leftovers during recess. i lived for those days :)

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  58. lol, i wanted to comment on this but i forgot ::

    i LOVE cupcakes. and i personally think they've really EXPLODED in popularity - I mean, there never used to be cupcake shops and they have them everywhere that sell ONLY cupcakes now.

    its like, gourmet cupcakes, $5 for a cupcake? even on etsy, $8 for a cupcake and $10 (TEN!) dollars to ship a cupcake?! it's madness!

    But I do love them. and I am guilty of spending $60 on etsy for cupcakes! ;) they weren't that good. lol, so i'm a little over it now..

    But great post :)

    If you ever come to California, I will show you around and we'll go eat at the best cupcake places together, hehe....

    xo.
    danni

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  59. i like cupcakes..but i'm only interested in chocolate cupcakes..nowdays cupcakes have came out in so many kind of colourful decorations..but,does it taste good?i've never eat it..

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  60. You must go to NY city and Magnolia Bakery...it was featured in 'Sex & the City' - absolutely delicious cupcakes!! Better than cake!

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  61. I've always loved cupcakes - and i've recently become a fan of the mini ones... as my metabolism slows down LOL. Though to satisfy my cravings, I blog about them. Maybe this will rekindle your love of cupcakes and their modern day popularity

    http://www.cupcakinitup.blogspot.com/

    After all, they are ADORABLE!

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  62. No you are definitely right, there has been a massive insurgence on the cup cake front. I blame the advent of the Hummingbird Cafes in London. But, in case word hadnt gotten around yet, cup cakes are on their way out. Introducing the future in sponge based confectionary to you:

    http://www.dailycandy.com/london/article/82725/Pop-Bakery-Launches-Cake-Pops

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  63. What an interesting old post Liss. Cupcakes are going to kill the diabetics. It's so sweet but they are good photography models esp. if it's well designed.

    I prefer brownies. I love <333 brownies with peanuts! I want to bake a dozen soon.

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