In January 2011 I moved to New York City. The cultural, culinary and fashion hub of the United States. Little did I know that I would be walking into the cupcake mecca of the world. Magnolia Bakery. Crumbs. There were even food trucks sitting on Broadway in SoHo that served gourmet miniature cupcakes.
Three years later, I am not so certain that we can say the fad has lived on...
Look back at the last three decades. The 80s had frozen yogurt (although I think this snuck into the 2010s as well). The 90s had donuts (hello Krispe Kreme). And the 2000s gave way to an invasion of fancy gourmet cupcakes. Carrie Bradshaw and her gang of martini-downing women had visited Magnolia Bakery in an episode of Sex and the City in the early 2000s and the rest was history. Bakeries and shops began popping up all over the country.
I have to admit, I did play into the trend. I thought it was good to walk down Bleeker Street with my cousins dog in tow, a cup of coffee in hand, and a fresh Magnolia cupcake in the other. That is what New Yorkers were meant to do, at least the trendy ones.
In December of 2011 I left New York and with it, left behind the absurdity that was the trendy cupcake fad. There were no bakeries in Libertyville, IL that were creating the next big cupcake. It seems like no one really cared about cupcakes like they once used to. And within the last year, interest in this dessert have faded tenfold. Stock prices have plummeted and bakeries have scrambled to explain their loss in business. Crumbs even went so far as to blame Hurricane Sandy for their lack in cupcake sales. In mid-2011, Crumbs stock prices hovered around $13. Two years later, the price fell to only $1.70. This past April, BloombergBusinessweek published what very well may have been the cupcake fad's obituary.
What do you think? Are cupcakes still the trendy dessert? Or is something new going to dethrone these mini delicatessens?