From Angry Birds and cartoon characters to handbags and stilettos… check out the new icing on a cupcake

There's something cheerful about cupcakes. They are fluffy, pretty and colourful. And when you look at the bite-sized treats with their swirly icing-topped heads, there's not much you can do to hold yourself back.

Cupcakes are the new poster girls of the dessert world. Shitija Nahata who started Cupcake Factory in October last year says, “When I started baking few years ago I noticed there weren't any bakeries that were making cupcakes. If you wanted a cupcake, you just had to bake it yourself.” But now, with the cupcake frenzy taking over the city, the bakers around town seem to be making the most of it.

What is it that's brought cupcakes to the limelight? Is it Martha Stewart's delectable recipes or is pop culture responsible for reviving the tradition (in this case Carrie Bradshaw of ‘Sex And The City' who devours her favourites at Magnolia's Bakery) or is it the sheer beauty of this teeny-tiny frosted piece.

“I think people are bored of pastries as they are similar in flavour and taste. But cupcakes are fun and you can do so much with them, get them customised and they are visually appealing too,” says Shitija. “The usual ones such as chocolate, brownie and red velvet are of course hits but even the unusual ones such as lemon cupcake and cheese cupcake are doing well. I am also trying out a Banoffee pie flavour.”

With emphasis on innovation, it has been a constant test of skill and imagination for the bakers to give the city's palate something new. Maaria Kulsum, who recently started The Café @ Adoniya, says, “In a day, we bake at least six to seven flavours. The popular ones are Tiramisu, Dark Lindt Chocolate and Black Forest.” She is currently trying out a Pina colada flavour and is equally excited about the cupcake bouquet which has a bunch of cupcakes in the shape of flowers put together. She bakes 50 to 60 a day and once they reach the café's shelves they are almost instantly gone. “It's popularity could be attributed to its size. One portion is enough to eat by yourself and it's pretty and not expensive,” says Maaria.

For vegetarians who think they'll miss out on all the fun, fret not, there are enough vegetarian options as well, and even a vegan one. Avanthi Visa-Krishnan of Bellaria, who specialises in vegan cupcakes says there is a huge market for it. Talking about the cupcake craze she says, “It's just an extension of the 100 calorie concept that took off in the U.S. You could find 100 calorie versions of everything. With a cupcake you can potion control and with one you've satisfied your craving.”

In fact, the good old birthday cakes are now being replaced with chic cupcakes. “People order for a string of cupcakes with Happy Birthday written on them with each piece holding an alphabet,” says Maaria. Of course there are shapes too that can be worked out — Angry Birds, Ben 10, Barbie, jerseys of sports teams, Teletubbies, animal faces, hand bags, stilettos and even make-up sets.

And it's not just children who stand by the glass showcases drooling over the lovely displays, there are adults too who are just as taken up with these delights. “There is no age group really. Sometimes we even get grandparents walking in with their grandchildren,” says Shitija.

One can't tell if this craze for cupcakes is just a fling or a full-blown love affair but whatever be the case, enjoy it while it lasts.

IN DEMAND…

Hello Kitty

Superman

Hearts

Cricket bats and sports equipments

Channel and other brand symbols

Keywords: cupcakes

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