RIP Cupcakes?

More
barkhorn_sept4_cupcakes_post.jpg

Photo by ginnerobot/Flickr CC


Bad news for fans of single-serving desserts: Slate ran an article this week predicting the burst of what it calls the "Cupcake Bubble." The piece offers a host of reasons for why the cupcake trend its on its last legs:

    • There are too many stores selling them, and the market is oversaturated;

    • Cupcakes are a relatively inexpensive recession food, and when the economy improves, interest in the desserts will decline;

    • Actually, cupcakes are actually pretty expensive, and consumers will soon wise up and use their $3 on a latte instead of a sugary treat;

    • The industry isn't scalable--if the homey bakeries that currently sell cupcakes cut costs by making their goods at a central location instead of onsite, they'll pay the price in staleness.

But the Slate article misses the most damning piece of evidence that cupcakes are on the way out: the House of Representatives' Capitol Hill cafeteria just added a cupcake bar to its offerings. The Hill saw the news as a death knell for the cupcake business:

The only downside of the new bar may lie in what the cafeteria-izing of cupcakes means for the fancy cupcake industry itself: after all, there was a time when ice cream toppings were an expensive novelty, too.

Still, cupcakes aren't dead yet. Enjoy them while they're still around with the help of Atlantic Food curator Corby Kummer's survey of noteworthy cupcake shops. In it, he offers a compelling reason to keep the trend alive as long as possible: they're a not-so-guilty pleasure:

a Hostess cupcake has 180 calories. A blueberry muffin at a typical Starbucks has 360--the same amount as a lavishly iced Starbucks chocolate cupcake. The un-iced chocolate cream-cheese muffin has 440. Might as well have a breakfast you'll enjoy!
Jump to comments
Presented by

Eleanor Barkhorn is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Sad Desk Lunch: Is This How You Want to Die?

How to avoid working through lunch, and diseases related to social isolation.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

Just In