A Guide to Cupcakes
"It was around the 19th century that cupcakes came into being. The name 'cupcake' was first coined in the United States because the ingredients used to make them were simply weighed out using the American cup method, to save time in the kitchen. "
At that time cupcakes had also been called number cakes, since the ingredients were easy to remember and all ingredients were done in cup sizes, such as 1 cup butter, three cups flour, etc. They could also be baked much faster than traditional cakes and muffins. Since muffins tins were already being used at that time, the cupcakes were created in these tins. Which also leads to the possible name, since the cake was made in a cup. From then to now, cupcakes have come a very long way. There are hundreds of designs and styles of cupcakes that are available, whether made at home or in a bakery. For example, there are now 'cupcake-cakes' that consist of dozens of cupcakes with the frosting on top connecting all the cupcakes together, giving the appearance of one large cake. So there is still the appearance of a sheet cake, but really there are individually cupcakes below, which works perfect for children's birthday parties. Not to mention the vast wrappers available, toppings and flavours available for cupcakes.
The options are endless when it comes to the cupcake flavours and combinations that can be made. Cupcakes can be made similar to regular cakes, layering flavours together, such as raspberry and vanilla or chocolate and orange, as well as being able to add textures or fillings such as a cream centre. Making cupcakes only requires a few pieces of equipment; a cupcake pan or muffin tin, paper wrappers to place in the pan or tin, a mixing bowl, the ingredients, icing and any additional toppers, sprinkles or piping icing that is desired.
So much more than a muffin, the cupcake is really a mini cake and the 'packaging' or wrapper of the cupcake is as much part of the decoration and presentation of the cupcake as the top of the cupcake is. Wrappers are available in a wide variety of styles from plain, solid colours to metallic colours or with laser cut images around the edge such as a floral motif. Plus, there are plenty of presentation box designs when travelling with cupcakes such as clear plastic boxes with indents on the inside to keep the cupcakes in place.
Once the cupcake has been baked all that is needed is to decorate the cupcakes with the buttercream topping is an icing bag and large tip. There are a variety of tips available that come in different shapes and sizes, such as flowers, stars or even swirls, depending on what the desired effect is. Also the buttercream can be coloured with colour paste to match with your chosen theme.
After all the piping of icing is done, there is the option of adding additional toppers to the cupcakes. The variety of products and toppings available to do this is endless These can include sprinkles, small sweets, sugar letters and numbers. There are also lots of non-edible decorations that can be added, such as balloons, stars, flowers or other fun items such as fairies or ghosts for Halloween cupcakes.
Cupcakes offer a range of choices and options for any party or event. They are easy to make and decorate. The options are endless!