For every birthday party, as far back as we can remember, there was always a special, sweet treat that put a smile on everyone’s faces. The cupcake is a staple for any occasion that calls for celebration. This small and simple treat has always been able to draw a crowd around a dessert table and has the power to spark excitement in any situation.
The cupcake trend has sprung up in recent years and stores that celebrate this tiny treat can be found all throughout the area. From Gigi’s Cupcakes to CuppyCakes Bakery and Confections to Dulce Desserts – and fancy ones are at Whole Foods, too – the cupcake is here.
Not only is the cupcake trend popular in Nashville, but lines form at doors and stretch around blocks at such places like Sprinkles in Los Angeles and Magnolia Bakery in New York City. Folks looking to satisfy that sweet tooth will wait for up to an hour in order to delight in the elegant and delicious dessert that is the cupcake.
But why the fascination with this tiny treat? The young and the old find so much joy when given the chance to consume cupcakes and friends often make afternoon events out of traveling to the local cupcake shop together to enjoy them.
“I believe there is such a growing fascination with cupcakes because they have such a nostalgic appeal to them,” said senior classical voice Madeline McCollum. “When I eat cupcakes, I always remember back to when I was a little girl and my mom and I would bake them together. She would always let me ice them and douse them with sprinkles!”
Since discovering Gigi’s Cupcakes on Broadway, McCollum has frequented the spot with numerous friends.
“Calling up my friends and asking them to grab cupcakes with me is something that I always look forward to,” McCollum said. “They’re a cheap way to spend an afternoon talking and catching up with people that mean a lot to me, and they always put a smile on our faces and set a happy mood.”
In recent years, cupcakes have even found their place right alongside the wedding cake on many dessert tables at wedding receptions. It is not uncommon to browse the dessert table and run right into a tier full of these tiny treats.
“We did a dessert reception for our wedding because we love sweets,” said senior English major Abby Barnhart. “We ordered cupcakes as a substitute for the ‘groom’s cake’ tradition.”
Barnhart wanted something to contrast the white wedding cake, so she and her husband chose to top their cupcakes with chocolate icing which made them a unique aspect of their wedding day.
“That was the perfect touch,” she said.
At her wedding, Barnhart displayed the cupcakes right beside the actual wedding cake, on a cupcake tree.
“The cupcakes gave the table a kind of quirky feel and I loved it.”
The couple chose to have the cupcake decorators write a ‘B’ in a cursive script on each one to make them their own.
“Our guests loved all the desserts at our wedding, and the cupcakes were a hit,” she said. “Cupcakes do make people think of their childhood and you don’t need silverware to eat them, so that’s even better and they are a delicious and inexpensive dessert to serve at any wedding.”
Cupcakes are a dessert that allows any person to have whatever type they want. Gigi’s Cupcakes has flavors ranging from “Birthday Surprise,” a simple white cake with fluffy pink butter cream frosting and colorful sprinkles, to “Hunka Chunka Banana Love,” a delicious pairing of banana nut cake with dark chocolate chips topped with chocolate ganache frosting.
At Cuppycakes Bakery and Confections you can enjoy an “18 carat” treat – carrot cake with cream cheese frosting finished with edible gold dust, or “Cupid’s Cuppy,” dark chocolate cake with black cherry frosting and shaved chocolate.
Cupcake bakeries offer a variety of cupcakes, and once you’ve had just one flavor, you’ve got to try them all.
“Cupcakes are the perfect dessert,” said freshman French major Jordan Boyd.
“They’re small enough that you don’t feel guilty indulging in them, and they’re delicious enough to satisfy any sweet craving that you may have.”
The cupcake trend lives on because of the nostalgic and comfortable appeal that the treat allows the person who enjoys it to feel. The cupcake is elegant, yet delicious; small, yet satisfying. They are a fuss-free treat because there are no forks, knives or plates to clean after eating them. People are drawn to them because of their charm, and for the amount of flavor packed into one simple sweet.