I’ve always loved things in miniature, so what could be better than a tiny little cake! Today’s doodlewash is an American cupcake, but British versions of this amazing treat are called fairy cakes. The tops of fairy cakes are often cut and put back on top to look like little wings. According to an interview in The Guardian with Mich Turner, of the Little Venice Cake Company, a key difference between the two is that American cupcakes have “great wodges of lurid buttercream, rather than the traditional non-fat glace stuff.” Well, apologies to fairies everywhere, but I have to admit that buttercream is insanely delicious.
Though cupcakes were first mentioned as far back as 1796, they really hit their stride at the turn of this century when the idea of expensive gourmet cupcakes hit it big. Magnolia Bakery in New York City opened their doors in 1996, but it would be four years later before the magic happened. In 2000, Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, would be seen eating a Magnolia cupcake and a national craze for pricey tiny cakes would begin. The first gourmet cupcake shop here in Kansas City didn’t open until 2006 and it’s called BabyCakes. It’s my favorite cupcake shop around, but even with all their cool flavor options, the Vanilla Cake will always be my favorite.
Next came a sea of gourmet cupcake shops, a reality TV show called Cupcake Wars in 2010, and then the most amazing invention ever in 2012 – The Cupcake ATM. That’s right, if you simply can’t wait to get your cupcake fix, Sprinkles Cupcakes has the problem solved. They have a 24 hour cupcake terminal in a handful of cities that’s filled with fresh baked goodness day and night. Sadly, the cupcake bubble burst a couple years ago when Crumbs, the country’s largest cupcake chain, filed for bankruptcy sending a signal that times were changing. Gone are the days of cupcake mania, lost under a mountain of “lurid buttercream.” And somewhere, far across the pond, little fairies are laughing and saying I told you so.
You’re all invited to a Doodlewash Dinner Party during the month of May! Just tag your food or drink image #doodlewashdinner and I’ll feature you and your culinary creations in a delicious Doodlewash Gallery at the end of the month!
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham watercolors: Pyrrol Red, Azo Orange, Quinacridone Gold, Gamboge, Doixazine Purple, Permanent Green Pale, and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal
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Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!