Cupcakes may seem like a modern trend, but these tasty treats have actually been popular for centuries. The first cupcakes were made during the late 18th century and were baked in stone cups, giving the pastries their current name. The first known published recipe for cupcakes dates back to 1796 and appeared in the book “American Cookery,” which was sold in the United States.
During the 19th century, cupcakes began to make appearance across the pond in England, where they were called fairy cakes because of their small size. A common treat for tea parties, cupcakes were considered much daintier than full sized cakes and were considered high fashion. Cupcakes were typically made in cups or ramekins during this time period.
With the industrial boom of the 20th century, muffin pans became widely available throughout the U.S. and abroad, and it suddenly was much easier to make cupcakes. The cakes became a mainstream dessert and a staple for birthday parties and other casual celebrations.
During the late 1990s, a few high-end bakeries in major metropolitan areas began producing beautiful cupcake designs as alternatives to formal multi-layer cakes. When these fancy cupcakes made an appearance on the television show “Sex in the City,” gourmet cupcakes really began to take off. Now, they are commonly used for weddings and other elegant affairs, and can be complemented by a wide variety of beautiful cupcake stands.
The next time you enjoy a delicious cupcake, take a moment and remember the long history of these treats. You just may find that every bite you take is a little more special.