The Psychology of Cupcakes: Why Everyone Loves Cupcakes

The Psychology of Cupcakes: Why Everyone Loves Cupcakes

From that creamy, sweet frosting to that delicious moist cake, it's hard to be unhappy with a cupcake! And with well over 770 million cupcakes devoured each year, we think it's safe to say that we're not the only ones who think so. But what exactly is it about these tasty treats that we love so much?
And why are cupcakes more popular than, say, a traditional piece of cake? We aim to answer these curious questions and more!
Join us as we explore our love for our favorite dessert and examine the psychology of cupcakes.
Top Reasons People Love Cupcakes:
  1. There is a cupcake for every occasion
  2. They are shareable
  3. Built-in portion control
  4. Nostalgia; they remind us of a simpler time
  5. They make great gifts

The History of Cupcakes

Though it's hard to imagine a time before cupcakes, they're actually a recent phenomenon.
So how exactly did cupcakes become the global phenomenon they are today?
It all started in 1828 when an ingenious young woman, Eliza Leslie, published a cookbook titled Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats. If you're curious to see what an 1828-style cupcake entailed, check out the recipe below. Though some of the measurements are different (measuring cups weren't readily available) we would think Eliza's recipe would hold up pretty well today!
  • Five eggs
  • Two large teacupfuls of molasses
  • Two teacupfuls of brown sugar
  • One cup of milk
  • Five cups of sifted flour
  • Half a cup of allspice and clove
  • Half a cup of ginger
With butter and milk heated, gently stir in the molasses and sugar. Next, beat and stir the eggs, combining both in the mixture alternately. Then, combine the ginger, allspice, and clove, and mix well.
Leslie then says to bake the mixture in a 'moderate oven' so let it bake at about 325° F for about 15 minutes. If you're curious about trying the recipe yourself, keep in mind that a teacupful is four to six ounces. If you do decide to give the recipe a shot, let us know how it turns out.
Most modern recipes don't call for ginger, but we would guess it'd add a nice kick.

There's a Cupcake For Every Occasion

While bakers around the world owe a great deal to Ms. Leslie, cupcakes have come a long way since 1828. Now, there's a cupcake for every occasion! Sure, it's hard to beat classic vanilla cupcakes or chocolate cupcakes, but it's possible to do so much more with pastries. Craving something light in the summertime? A delicious, airy lemon meringue or lemonade cupcake is the perfect camping companion. Celebrating a birthday? Nothing quite beats a classic birthday cake-inspired cupcake! In fact, cupcakes are so versatile that chefs have even come up with recipes for savory cupcakes. From meatloaf and mashed potatoes to Frito pie to lasagna, a cupcake is a great idea for any meal.

They're Shareable

Bring in a batch of freshly-baked cupcakes and count the number of seconds before people's eyes light up. Due to their small, easy to transport nature, cupcakes have long been a great way to cheer people up or brighten any occasion. You won't even need to choose between flavors, anymore. While choosing the right cake to make can be a chore, most cupcake shops will let you mix and match. You can get a great selection of all sorts of flavors so everyone can try a little bit of everything. Of course, if you decide that sharing isn't quite your style at the moment, we're not here to judge.

Built-In Portion Control

If you're watching your waistline or trying to cut back on sugar, spotting a massive slice of cake can be the siren's call that ends your diet. This is yet another reason why a cupcake is our favorite dessert. There's no need to feel guilty! Each cupcake comes individually wrapped, eliminating the temptation to cut yourself a bigger slice of cake or pie. You can even split the cupcake in half or pick up a mini cupcake for a treat that maximizes flavor while minimizing calories. Make no mistake, these choices do add up. The average slice of chocolate cake contains 237 calories or a little over 10% of the daily recommended caloric intake. In comparison, a single cupcake often contains about 2/3 the number of calories. When push comes to shove, cupcakes are the perfect no-guilt dessert. You get to indulge but you won't have to feel guilty after.

They Remind us of A Simpler Time

Before you move onto the next paragraph, take a minute to close your eyes and think about your favorite memories. Let the memories of all of those wonderful celebrations or treasured memories of baking with your parents wash over you. We're willing to bet cupcakes were a part of at least some of those happy times. That's because cupcakes are so much more than a tasty treat. Sure, they're delicious. But they're also a wonderful representation of our happier moments. It's all too easy to get wrapped up in the stressors of modern day life. There's work to complete, kids to pick up, meals to prepare, and relationships to foster. But a cupcake acts as a delectable time machine, transporting you away from those stressful memories and back to a simpler time. So next time you bite into a cupcake, take a minute and remember all of those great times.

They Make Great Gifts

It can be tough to find the perfect gift for someone you love. The right gift is something that shows you put thought into it. It should be something that the person can use and enjoy without taking up too much space. Once again, cupcakes swoop in to save the day! A box of cupcakes makes the perfect gift for anyone in your life -- even if you're shipping them. A jar of cupcakes travels surprisingly well and comes in orders of two, four, or six. It's a sweet gift with an even sweeter thought behind it.

It's Easy to See Why Everyone Loves Cupcakes

At the end of the day, it's no wonder why everyone loves cupcakes so much. They have an amazing history, are easy to customize and even easier to share, make great gifts, and they hold wonderful memories. Of course, it also doesn't hurt that they're delicious! If you're ready for a cupcake, stop into Sunflour Baking Company today or get in touch to order your cupcakes today.
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