Whilst hard to believe it was only a few years ago that the bakery industry and consumers delighted at the huge comeback of the cupcake. Some attributed it to the economy downfall, providing small guilty pleasures to boost morale, others have cited the scene in Sex and the City where Carrie munches on a cupcake from the Magnolia bakery with fellow character Miranda as the true cause of the resurgence. Whichever reason it is I, along with thousands of others, have been indulging, enjoying and obsessing ever since. Wedding cakes made from towers of cupcakes, parties and hen do’s themed around making and decorating them, bakeries and shops coming up with innovative new ways to market them in every style, theme, colour and flavour imaginable, not to mention the memorabilia that has flooded the shops in the last few years are evidence of its popularity. So could the cupcake bubble be on the verge of bursting…have people had enough of cupcakes? Well the introduction of a new cake in town, the whoopie pie, certainly seems to be threatening the cupcake’s market share of the treat and cake industry.
Sneaking onto the market just 18 months ago, first through luxury London boutiques and then filtering down to high-end food retailers the whoopie pie is now being described as the new “IT” indulgence. Originating in Amish communities in America and thought to be made from leftover cake batter by wives for their farmer husbands lunch boxes the whoopie pie (two wedges of sticky cake sandwiched together with frosting or buttercream) has started showing up in food markets and on bakery shelves in places where cupcakes used to be causing me to wonder whether our love for the simple cake topped with icing is diminishing? I personally hope not. Whilst I have sampled and (eventually) liked whoopie pies (not without a few dodgy ones along the way which were just far too sickly) there is a simplicity to cupcakes which I far rather enjoy. Maybe it because it reminds me of the fairy cakes I had a child at kids parties, maybe it’s because they are far more versatile in both flavour and appearance, and easier to make (in my opinion), or maybe it’s because they somehow seem more elegant (when done properly and served on a fancy cake stand). But whilst I will rarely turn down a bit of whoopie (!), I can’t deny that I’m just a cupcake gal at heart 🙂