Nowadays cupcakes are more than just a cake in a paper cup topped with frosting. In fact lately they have become so trendy that they have actually become a matter of fashion.
For instance the designer Betsy Johnson is known for her fascination with cup cakes and even uses them as a print on her dresses. She now has a line of her own cupcakes that look a lot like her clothing. They are topped with miniature reproductions of candy cherries, roses, candy corn, hearts and small bananas and come in pink and yellow icing varieties.
Chanel has also gotten into the cupcake game offering cupcakes frosted with black icing and decorated with tiny white rosettes and large edible pearls. They would look perfect in the hands of the woman wearing the classic Chanel black dress and pearls.
Retro cupcakes are very much in style. A classic look is the vanilla cupcake topped with pink, green or blue icing that is then topped with merry little multi-colored sprinkles. Another classic is the “snowball” which is another white cupcake topped with a vanilla or lemon icing that is rolled in coconut so the confection has a furry appearance.
Another version of a “snowball” is a chocolate cake that is topped with cream cheese icing that is rolled in large coconut flakes. Cupcakes rolled in crumbled chocolate bar bits such as Skor or Mars bars are popular as are cupcakes topped with a butter cream icing that has been mashed up with crushed Smarties or Oreo Cookies.
Exotic flavors of buttercream icing are also very much in vogue. Mango buttercream icing, which is not something we would have even conceived of a few years ago, has made it’s debut on the trendy cupcake scene. You also see buttercream icing flavors like almond pistachio cream (which creates a bright green icing), mocha expresso buttercream which is a light beige color and pomegranate (which creates a baby pink colored icing.)
Some of the more exotic and newer flavors of cupcakes and icing to come along in the past few years are rum, pumpkin, green tea, browned butter, apple, salted caramel, salted chocolate, sweet ricotta, buttermilk, dulce de leche, ginger and maple sugar.
The other trend is to top the cupcakes with little marzipan or fondant items. For instance, a specialty cake of the famous Brooklyn bakery features a little shell and pearl floating on top of a sea of blue icing rosettes.
The trend that will not die is the one towards red velvet cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting. This is actually the cupcake trend that seemed to start it all. It all began with a craze for vintage red cake wedding recipes and the trend has since mutated into a desire for cupcakes.
There are probably more recipes for red velvet cake then there are grandmothers in the world and usually the red velvet cake recipe offered in each cupcake store is unique from the next.