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23rd Apr 2014

Food for Thought: A Short History of Cupcakes

Una Kavanagh

We need food and drink to survive, to nourish us and to keep us in tip-top shape. But did you ever wonder about the history behind certain foods and drinks?

This week we’re bringing you the history behind cupcakes!

Though the actual origin is a bit murky, the first mention of a type of cupcake is traced to as far back as 1796, when it was described as “a cake to be baked in small cups” in Amerlia Simmons’ American Cookery.

The actual word “cupcake” was in 1828 in Eliza Leslie’s Receipts cookbook and there were other mentions of “cup cake” and “cupcake” in the early 19th century.

Before cupcake and muffin tins were widely available, the mini cakes were baked in individual ramekins and moulds.

The first actual cup cake is said to be so-called because it was measured using cup measurements which made it easier to remember the weights.

These days cupcakes are more of a playful and glamorous treat rather than a humble food and it looks like the craze is here to stay.

Previously: Beef BourguignonBloody MaryBrowniesBubble TeaCaeser SaladCarpaccioChicken à la KingCorn FlakesCrème BrûléeDigestive BiscuitEggs BenedictGranny Smiths, GuacamoleGummy BearsKaleKitKatMargherita PizzaMarzipanMelba ToastMeringuesNachosPancakesPiña ColadaPopcornProseccoRed Velvet CakeSmartiesWafflesWaterford Blaa