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2005: Year of the Cupcake

Cupcakes from the Teacake Bake ShopFood and Wine magazine declared that 2005 was the “year of the cocktail,” but I have to disagree. For many people I know (myself included), 2005 was the year of dessert. If I have to get more specific, I would say it was the year of the cupcake. No one knows this better than the girls at the popular website Cupcakes Take the Cake. They have managed to post a years worth of news and pictures on cupcakes alone! Cupcake shops have also turned up in almost every major city in America, and I meet people all of the time that are interested in starting a cupcake business. Lines at Magnolia Bakery are still wrapped around the block, and I see no signs of the craze slowing down anytime soon. One thing I have noticed while working at Polka Dot Cake Studio is that cupcakes seem to be more popular in the summer than winter, so if you’re one of those still interested in opening a cupcake shop, Summer 2006 could be a great season for you.

Nostalgic adults and more sophisticated designs have helped cupcakes become an adult dessert. Cupcakes are now found at more adult parties than children’s, and have even become an acceptable alternative to wedding cakes! Just frost cupcakes in pastel colors, stack them on a circular rack, and ta-da, it’s a unique cake that doesn’t require a fork and knife to consume. Flavors like chai latte and ginger lemon have also helped raise the cupcake’s reputation, making it a dessert that can satisfy a range of palettes.

The cupcake trend has been building since long before 2005, but I believe it really hit the mainstream this year. Just take a look at a sampling of cupcake shops that have received a large amount of attention this year:

Billy’s Bakery
184 9th Avenue
NYC, 10011
(212) 647-9956

Buttercup Bakeshop
973 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10022
(212) 350-4144

Citizen Cupcake
2 Stockton Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 399-1565

Cupcake Cafe
522 9th Avenue (at 39th Street)
New York, NY 10018
(212) 465-1530

Magnolia Bakery
401 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 462-2572

Sprinkles Cupcakes
9635 Little Santa Monica Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 274-8765

Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery
126 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 995-1960

Teacake Bakeshop
5615 Bay Street
Emeryville, CA 94608
(510) 655-0865

My prediction for 2006 is that America will embrace the more intense and creamy alternative to ice cream, gelato. Gelato makers are producing impressive new flavors at an incredible rate, and showing America that there is an alternative to the hard packed, chunky ice cream we’ve grown up with. I also believe America will need something to help cut all the sugar we’ve been consuming in 2005. Tea products, including iced tea, hot tea and baked tea goods will all grow in popularity, and we’ll start to see tea in a whole new light.

Thanks for helping make 2005 a great year for Lovescool. Best wishes for a safe and happy 2006!


Julie says on December 31st, 2005 at 4:44 pm:

We can’t forget our local fav, Cupcake Royale in Seattle, WA.

Debbie says on December 31st, 2005 at 6:08 pm:

Or my local favorite, from Bea’s (of course). Vanilla cake swirled with lucious chocolate buttercream frosting. Is it my birthday yet!

Jessica says on January 3rd, 2006 at 12:33 am:

Hi Kelli, I hope gelato becomes more popular too. Unfortunately, many places sell “gelato” that really isn’t. :-( I bought some Fairway brand hazelnut gelato this weekend. It was good, but it resembled light Haagen Daz ice cream. That reminds me: when it gets warm again, I’m going to post a review of the city’s gelato places.

Kate Skolsky says on January 5th, 2006 at 12:25 am:

I started my dessert business two years ago. We make our own icecream, gelato, fine chocolates, gourmet apples, baked cookies, cakes, cupcakes and more. Our customers love our products but many are not aware of all the products we make and sell. From our first time customers we hear “we thouught you were just an icecream shop”.

Your thoughts on how we can turn this around?


Kelli says on January 5th, 2006 at 1:18 am:

Hi Kate — Can you tell us a little more about your business? What does your store look like? Maybe you can display the various types of products you offer in the window. Do you have a website? That may also help clear up your offerings. I’m guessing from your email that the name of your business is “Sweet Kate’s Ice Cream”. If this is correct, people may assume you are just an ice cream shop by your name. Something like “Sweet Kate’s Ice Cream and Confections” may more accurately describe your offerings. Good luck and let us know if we can help more.

Toni Kerman says on February 9th, 2006 at 10:22 pm:

Hi Kelli! Thanks for all the great info & ideas. I too am seriously thinking about a cupcake biz. I wonder if lil old Medford, OR. is ready for the craze?

Diana says on July 9th, 2006 at 5:34 am:

There is this great little french bistro in my neighborhood that is for sale for a reasonable price. It’s 600 sq feet and comes with a stove displaycase and refrig. unit.The location cannot be beat. It’s right near park and across the street from a middle school, down the block from an elementery school and around the corner from a small fry school.
I can’t get the cupcake shop bee out of my brain and I’m seriously thinking about going for it.
Can you tell me what the basics that I’d need to get started are and what the hell I might be getting myself into?

Barry Hanscam says on July 10th, 2006 at 12:58 am:

Yeah,Toni Kerman I really think you should get into the cupcake business and if it gets big, maybe you can start one in Klamath Falls and sell them to Black Bear diner. It sounds like a good idea to me. Your friend, Barry

Emily says on July 17th, 2006 at 1:48 pm:

Hey all,

Help me find the most expensive cupcake in NYC.

Sharon says on July 28th, 2006 at 8:07 pm:

The Cupcake Cafe is probably the most expensive. I think it was $2.50 when I was there a few years ago. The shop was rather grungy, but the website says they’ve moved a little north on 9th Ave.
The flowers on their cakes and cupcakes are an amazing work of art!!!

cheryl says on January 14th, 2008 at 12:48 am:

I want to start a cupcake business…any help out there??

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Lovescool is the documentation of a journey to discover what sweet things are out there, why people love them so much, and perhaps what it takes to start something new.

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An interest, that turned into a blog, that turned into a career. Kelli Bernard is now the owner and baker of Amai Tea & Bake House.

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