In the defense of cupcakes…

Lately there has been much talk about how the cupcake is passé. That they are on their way out and pie will be in. Personally, cake beats pie in my book any day. Do I think they are on their way out? Well, maybe the $4 ones from cutesy boutique cupcake shops yes, but not from your own home. Does anything say love more than a homemade baked good? And a portable one at that?

Think back to your childhood memories, many of mine are tied to delicious meals my mother made and more importantly her baked goods. Nothing was more exciting to me than the first day of snow for each winter. My mother had a tradition where she would bake all day. I knew I would be getting off the school bus, running through the snow and bursting into a house filled with smells of freshly baked goods. A house filled with smells of love. My favorite were the orange rolls, as she only made them twice a year: the first snow and Christmas. Anyone can buy you something, but baking something for someone or getting something baked for you really shows love. It shows you took the time to think about what to make them. The time to make them. And of course, hopefully the time to share that baked good with them. :) And of course have them properly thank you in return. ;)

When my blog crush posted a couple days ago One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes for Two, I thought what a great idea! Number one portion control, which this gal needs after those fritters. And number two, what fun would it be to make a quick two cupcakes to share with your loved one…even if you are just having a grilled cheese that night for dinner; a cupcake at the end of the meal makes it better. Makes you feel more loved.

I of course could not make the exact kind of cupcake that How Sweet It Is did but loved me the concept so I altered the recipe a little, using self-rising flour as well as adding some orange and less vanilla and using buttermilk instead. These are especially great for the fact that you don’t have to use a mixer…though if you want to make frosting (which of course I did) you do have to turn on the mixer. This recipe makes exactly two cupcakes. Two is definitely portion control, especially when you share the other one. So no need to waste hours at the gym working it off. Now if you tend to have more than one person you want to share your cupcakes with, my guess is that these make about six minis.

So I ladies and gentleman I say that the cupcake is more than here to stay and will be around for a long, long time. And a homemade cupcake is even better. The next time you got to buy something for someone, stop yourself and make something for them instead (it says so much more). Unless you really do suck at it. Like I personally would so not knit anyone a sweater…that would just be mean, and ugly, and misshapen, and….you get the point.

So what say you blog readers…is the cupcake on its way out?

Orange Cupcakes for Two

1 egg white
3 TBSP granulated sugar
2 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup self- rising flour
1/2 TBSP buttermilk
1 TBSP orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 2 liners.

In a bowl, add egg white and sugar and whisk until combined.

Add in vanilla and melted butter and stir until mixed.

Add flour and stir until smooth.

Stir in buttermilk and orange juice and mix until smooth.

Divide batter equally between the 2 cupcake liners.

Bake at 350 for 13-16 minutes, or until cake is set. Let cool completely, then frost as desired (who doesn’t desire this?) *The original recipe said 10-12 minutes but mine were nowhere near close to done, so just watch them.

Cupcakes inspired by How Sweet It Is

Orange Buttercream
4 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
3 TBSP orange juice (you might need more to thin)
On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat ingredients until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency.


  1. I say cupcakes are still in – they taste great, so what’s not to love?

  2. No, no, cupcakes are not passe!! I love ‘em. All kinds.

  3. Cupcakes will always be in to me!

  4. I hate trends and never follow them. In my opinion, cupcakes just like anything else that is scrumptious will never be passé…

    Your cupcakes look terrific!



  5. I have a fairly large dislike for pie…so cupcakes all the way!

  6. Cupcakes trends will come and go but the reason they gained so much popularity in the begining will always stay. Cupcakes are the perfect tasty treat

  7. How perfect! I’ve been looking for recipes for two because, as much as I would love to eat a dozen cupcakes in one sitting, I can’t spend all that time at the gym trying to work them off!

  8. I still like cupcakes, but I do think they are a little overdone. There are a few too many cupcake-focused bakeries these days.

  9. Nah, I think cupcakes are here to stay, at least in the kitchen. Because what will the 2 year olds eat on their birthday? A big honking cake will kill them :( But that’s just an example. However, like you said, the $4 cupcakes sold in those cupcake only stores will probably fade away sometime in the future.

  10. great article from baked’s matt lewis on why the cupcake will never be replaced:

  11. NOT on their way out. I don’t get how people can’t like cupcakes, especially homemade. So I’m with you, they’re very in. These ones look delicious too, might be attempting soon :) Keep an eye out on my blog!

  12. Cupcakes are here to stay! I love cupcakes, and how exciting to see a recipe that makes two instead of twenty-four :)
    One of my favorite desserts is a simple yellow cupcake with chocolate icing…can’t beat a classic!
    p.s. I don’t think that those $4 cupcake stores will be around for the long haul…we’ll see.

  13. I have never seen gifted cupcakes fail to make a person smile – and how can that ever be passé?! I also love the tiny recipe. I rarely make cupcakes because my recipe makes 12 even when halved right down to one egg, and living alone… with 12 cupcakes… not good.

    I also completely agree about making gifts rather than buying them when you can. I knit (not sweaters, it would take me ages and I would get bored) hats, gloves, scarves for friends and family gifts. Not many people do this anymore – and I kind of like spreading my dorkiness. :D

  14. I’m not a big juice drinker and a friend left a carton of orange juice at my house this weekend, so this looks like the perfect way to start to use it! The cupcakes look delicious :-)

  15. yeah, no… I’ve heard this too… and agree that perhaps the HUGE amount of cupcakeries is indeed becoming so yesterday, cupcakes in general will never be on the outs.

    I’ve been meaning to try Jessica’s recipe – I attempted a recipe for a small amount of cupcakes / cake once, and while it WORKED, it came out more like pound cake, very dense. Are these cakey fluffy? :D

  16. I think cupcakes are on their way out and whoopie pies are going to be the next big thing.

  17. This is perfect for today! It is my birthday and I didn’t want to make a cake because there would be a lot left over. Now my 4 year old son won’t be sad that I don’t get to blow out candles because I can just make these instead! Besides, they look scrumptios, thank you!

  18. What a cool idea – making just two cupcakes. Perfect for couples. Wouldn’t work well for my clan, though.

    I like to go into the cupcake stores and laugh. $5 for a cupcake? Are they serious??? Then I go home and bake them myself.

  19. I think cupcakes are pretty classic, but I don’t think all of the cupcake stores will last. A homemade cupcake is always a winner!

    Do these taste like orange creamsicles?

  20. There was an article in the Toronto Star about this not too long ago:–the-next-baked-thing-cupcakes-days-numbered
    I’m not the biggest fan of cupcakes, mostly because I’m not a frosting person, but cake > pie (in almost all cases). And it’s ridiculous for “the media” to believe that cupcakes are on their way out. Cupcakes will always be around because of their simplicity or the feeling of that simplicity. It’s the fact that you can see them in stores or in bakeries and think “Hey, I can do that.” Pies or fancier cakes don’t inspire people, they discourage. Most look difficult and some are, especially for the novice.

  21. Cupcakes will always be perfect for parties. No utensils or plates needed! And that recipe sounds so good.

  22. Well I certainly HOPE that the overpriced dry not delicious storebought types of cupcakes are going out of style. But they will never stop being made in my kitchen. I think they are the ideal cake form, actually. Much simpler than layer cakes, more fun to decorate, better flavor combos…sigh. Love.

  23. Brilliant! Because a full batch of cupcakes so defies my ability to resist unless it is relegated to the freezer. And it’s so lonely for them in there…

  24. I don’t think they’re on the way out. Thanks so much for the recipe for 2! That is perfect!

  25. I refuse to give up on cupcakes. I still think their full potential hasn’t been reached – most of them are terrible and I live in NYC! Yours look awesome though.

    Food trends are stupid, but the good thing about being a professional in a city full of people who care too much is that I can say screw the trends and make what I want, and as long as it tastes awesome that’s all I need ;)

  26. Cake beats pie ALWAYS in my book. These look really scrumptious! I just might have to make some soon. :)

  27. I just made a batch of vanilla cupcakes this morning and they are cooling…waiting for me to decide what to put on them. Love the addition of orange!

  28. First, nothing beats a piece of cake. I’ll take it over pie any day. (Unless its peanut butter chocolate mousse pie…) Second, I love this idea because sometimes all I want is just one slice of cake or just one cupcake. I don’t wont to buy or make enough to feed a party. This is brilliant!

  29. I feel there has been more of a cupcake resurgence. More of those cupcake shops are popping up in places outside of big cities now so the popularity has increased.

  30. Oh you evil temptress of all things sugary, sweet….yummmmmmm! I am seriously in need of baking supplies to make these. Sad, not even all the stuff for 2 cupcakes :) but making a list. As always, thank you for wonderful ideas!
    And the cupcake will always rule!

  31. AH! I think we are soulmates. How about your come move next door??

  32. Cupcake boutiques are probably a trend, but kids will still show up to school parties with two dozen cupcakes their mother stayed up til the wee hours of the night to bake.

  33. I say out with the trendy, expensive cupcakes and in with the real, homemade little beauties. :)

  34. I don’t think they’re passe. I still search for cupcake shops when I’m in new cities :) Love the idea of cupcakes for two. I seriously need to begin making desserts for just two people!! These look yummers. Hey, I ran 3.2 miles today… in 32 minutes ;)

  35. I don’t think pie will replace cupcakes, but something has to eventually. I think macarons, because they’re so pretty, have a low overhead once bakers figure them out, endless flavor possibilities, and look fancy!

  36. Homemade cupcakes will always be in style!

  37. What’s not to love about a good cuppie?? They are here to stay! Yours look tasty:)

  38. I’m going to “Cupcake Camp” this weekend, so they’re definitely not passe’ in my world.

  39. Food is always faddy. One day it’s cake pops, the next it’s mini pies on a stick, next it’s foam on top of everything and so on and so on. It’s in the home that matters. There may be a downturn in little cupcake bakery’s but it’s still the best portable cake option. You bring 70 cupcakes and 1 large cake to a party and the cupcakes will go before the cake. People love little food. It’s easier to trick yourself into thinking you are not eating as much….(or is that just me?)

  40. I love the idea of just making a couple of delicious cupcakes instead of a whole batch! It’s nice to have a treat without being tempted to eat a dozen.

  41. Even if they’re on their way out I’m ok with that…they’re still my favorite thing to bake! These remind me of a creamsicle cupcake.

  42. GREAT IDEA! I definitely want to make these soon!

  43. They are here to stay!!! And those look great!

  44. Cupcakes will never go out of favor. Maybe the whole designer cupcake thing, but just like deviled eggs at a potluck – they’re always the first to go! By the way – LOVE a built in portion control recipe for those baked good urges that must be satisfied!

  45. Cupcakes forever!! Can’t see me stopping making cupcakes for a long time.

    These look fab.

  46. Christine says:

    I just finished making these and couldn’t wait to tell you how delicious they were! I am never buying a cake box mix again because these were so easy and so good! I ate the first one without frosting because I’m impatient and couldn’t wait, but the second one was frosted and was even better (yes I was greedy and ate them both). Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

  47. I made these last night and they were GREAT! I may make another two tonight. Recipes for two cupcakes may be my downfall!

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