The Rise of the Cupcake

Over the last couple years there has been an explosion of new bakeries around the country.  Each of them, it seems, trying to peddle the best cupcakes in town.  This tsunami of love and interest for the cupcake has been seen on TV with shows like Cupcake Wars , and through the awesomely popular Groupon (and its copy-cats).  It seems like every other week there is a new groupon for a dozen cupcakes from <Insert Girl Name>’s Bakery.  But dont get me wrong, I’m not complaining.

Obviously, those responsible for the dramatic rise in cupcake popularity are the females in our society.  From what I have heard, cupcakes are wonderful because they are cute and smaller than your regular slice of cake.  With our uber-figure-conscience culture, the cupcake’s petite size serves as an optical illusion to all those calorie cutters looking for a quick fix.  I mean, seriously, its not like you eating an entire slice of cake, right?

With all the trickery and deception that shrouds this newly popular confection, I still think the cupcake trend is pretty great.  It’s forcing what would normally be bland bakeries to step out of the comfort zone of chocolate and vanilla.  Going into many of these shops, you will see a wide range of different flavors all decorated to catch your attention.  It’s like you are a large mouth bass swimming in Lake Bakery, and these cupcakes are the shiny plastic worms just begging you to take a bite.  For today’s cupcakes, presentation matters.

Aesthetics will only get you so far though.  In order to get traction you need to bring your A game.  And to set the hook in that delicious bass, your product had better be good.  If you make a crap-ass chocolate cupcake, you are SOL.  Competition is so high right now, and is getting more fierce with every Living Social deal that hits an inbox.  It seems as if the more successful operations do the best job of having high quality product on an extremely consistent basis.  Because there are more and more options for the consumer, and because internet reviews are so powerful, one bad batch could have significant consequences.

Laura and I have done considerable research in this field.  We have sampled cupcakes from Detroit down to Houston, and New York to LA, well there’s pride in…. sorry ’bout that.  I love that song.  And no, we havent gone to Detroit because we have too much respect for ourselves.  But we have tried them in the other cities in the song.  Nationally, there are two brands that stand out above the rest.  Those are Crumbs and Sprinkles.  These two outfits have been able to franchise to several different cities and still maintain their boutique type feel.  But from what we have experienced, both of these joints are best in their natural habitat (New York for Crumbs and L.A. for Sprinkles).

Crumbs New York City

In Atlanta we have determined (to this point) that Kelly Kakes, in downtown Roswell, to be the best in town.  They have a decent variety of flavors, nothing too exotic, but everything is really solid.  Out favorites are (shown below) Strawberry and Chocolate Peanut Butter.  Recently we tried the banana and lemon cupcakes which were both awesome!  If you are in the north Atlanta area, you need to go here!

Strawberry and Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcakes from Kelly Kakes in Roswell, GA


About BaconWrappedRob

Food, Photography, Sports, Pop Culture, and other fun stuff. But mostly food!
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4 Responses to The Rise of the Cupcake

  1. Mmmmm…cupcakes. Thanks for posting the links to Crumbs and Sprinkles. Hopefully I can find one close to me!

  2. Pingback: The Rise of the Cupcake | PolymerClayLand

  3. Just discovered your blog today and I like what I see!

    The cupcake business is getting competitive up here now. In addition to this place in Roswell, we’ve now got Jilly’s in Alpharetta/Milton and a new joint in south Forsyth called La Cupcakerie (set to open in a few weeks). At this point I don’t think the new joints are being as creative as they can be. I suppose it takes practice. But I have high expectations out of these ladies and their creations!

    • Havent had a chance to check out jilly’s yet. They close pretty early so it’s hard to get there after work. I look forward to trying it. You’ve probably been to Alpine Bakery. When they were moving last summer they told us that they would be offering cupcakes in the new location, but we havent seen any yet. Alpine is fantastic without them though!

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