Are cupcakes dead?

Cupcakes

"The cupcake is dead." So says the tweet from Russ Parsons, food writer with the L.A. Times, with a link to an article that announces five foods that "could be the next cupcake." The post was in response to the news that Crumbs, a publicly-traded chain of cupcake shops, was closing all of its stores.  Other tweets echo the sentiment: "RIP cupcakes" laments Bread & Butter, and The Guardian US wondered if "the cupcake economy is crumbling." For those who hadn't heard of Crumbs, it was a bakeshop that helped create the cupcake craze at the beginning of the 2000s and grew to be one of the largest cupcake chains in the U.S. It went public three years ago, but with the cupcake craze waning, and with a lot more competition entering the fray, the company endured losses in each of the past three years. The death knell came on July 1, when the Nasdaq stock market suspended trading of its shares.

But all of the laments aside, does this really mean the end of cupcake shops? It does seem like the refrain of "cupcakes are dead" has gone on before. Back in 2011, a writer for NPR claimed that cupcakes were dead. (She thought pie would be the next cupcake.) Other cupcake shops seem to be holding on, at least for now. Some reports theorize that the reasons Crumbs went under were more or less the same reasons other businesses fail: expanding too fast and taking on too much debt, not because the cupcake trend has breathed its last breath.

Even if cupcakes couldn't support a publicly-traded national company doesn't mean the snack-size cakes are in danger of disappearing from bakeries. Portable cakes are just too convenient to go away. Plus, the last Crumbs cupcake is up to $250 on eBay - not too shabby for being dead.

Do you believe the cupcake trend is played out? What do you think will be "the next cupcake?"

3 Comments

  • Cubangirl  on  7/9/2014 at 1:00 AM

    I've never gone to a cupcake bakery, and can't remember the last time I purchased one. However, I don't think folks will stop buying them for the convenience as Darcie said. I think the next trend might be "hand pies". I've been noticing more recipes for them. I've always been a huge fan, pastelitos de carne or de guayaba are among my favorite things to eat. I also love empanadas, which happens to be the only pie crust I can make perfectly. Of course I prefer my meat ones deep fried, though will bake guayaba and cheese ones.

  • Cubangirl  on  7/9/2014 at 1:02 AM

    BTW, I do eat cupcakes, just prefer to make all my cake goods. Love mini cupcakes and mini-muffins.

  • FunkyViriditas  on  7/9/2014 at 12:34 PM

    Crumbs cupcakes were horrid. Really dense. Magnolia cupcakes are much better. Light and fluffy. (I have no affiliation with Magnolia). Doughnuts are much more popular than cupcakes; at least in NYC.

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