Cupcake crazy

Everyone, it seems, has fallen for the sugary charms of cupcakes. Well, not quite everyone.


Cupcakes are everywhere, from stands piled high in smart cafes, to fashionable bakeries and even yummy mummies cooking up batches at home. It's a growing industry that seems unstoppable. There are scores of websites dedicated to them, competitions to bake the biggest cupcake and bakeware manufacturers offering supersized tins for those who just can't get enough. In these credit-crunched times, it's all a bit of affordable fun and frivolity.

CupcakesAs a state-registered glutton, cupcakes should be my idea of heaven but somehow the reality never quite lives up to the promise. I'm always seduced by the girly glamour - the muffin-size cake topped with a swirly dome of frosting. A perfect package of indulgence all for me. But halfway through the fluffy sponge and teeth-jangling sweetness of the topping, I'm gasping for a cuppa and a defibrillator.

Call me old-fashioned, but I find I prefer the modest prettiness of a fairy cake. They're lighter, smaller, elegant and very nostalgic. They bring back a host of memories. My first baking session with my mother. Childhood parties and picnics.

Then there's the creativity factor. Once you've piped the frosting on to a cupcake, you don't need any more. Whereas the smooth slick of icing atop a fairy cake is a wonderful blank canvas for any number of decorations - flowers, silver balls, Smarties, chocolate buttons...Decorating a cupcake

But I suspect I'm in the minority and we're all powerless to resist the invasion of this flashy American big boy that has the endorsement of Nigella and those Sex and the City girls, to name but a few. Or maybe not. I'm starting a campaign to Bring Back the Fairy Cake - anyone want to join me?