Where Are Cupcakes Originally From? | CoachSweetTooth

Cupcakes are a great treat but have you ever wondered where are cupcakes originally from. Let’s find out.

A cupcake is a small individual portioned cake baked in the shape of a small cup. That’s just about everything most people know about cupcakes. If you love cupcakes, then, like many others, you must be wondering where cupcakes come from before you take a bite from that cupcake.

The first cupcake was baked in 1796 in the United States by Amelia Simmons, who is also considered to be the “Mother of all Cupcakes.” The recipe was shared for the first time by Simmons in the first-ever cookbook known as “American Cookery.”

Today, you can find various types of cupcakes if you have a sweet tooth; however, knowing the origins of the cupcake is necessary if you are a cupcake enthusiast or someone who loves to bake cupcakes.

As someone who loves to sink their teeth into a scrumptious cupcake, we can help you get the answer to your question of where cupcakes are originally from.

Table of contents


History of the Cupcake

A cupcake is a little portioned cake cooked in a cup-shaped container and frequently iced and adorned. Cupcakes have become a huge sensation and a successful industry in recent years. According to Google, the most popular recipe search is "cupcake recipes."

However, cakes have existed in some form since antiquity. Today's popular round cakes with icing date from the 17th century, thanks to advancements in culinary technology such as improved ovens, metal cake molds and pans, and sugar refining. While it is hard to identify who invented the first cupcake, there are various firsts associated with these delicious, baked treats.

While cake has been around in some shape or another since ancient times, cupcakes were invented in America. The first mention of 'a cake to be cooked in little cups' instead of cakes is likely to have been in Amelia Simmons' 'American Cookery' in 1796. The word 'cupcake' is thought to have originally appeared in a cookbook called 'Receipts' by a 19th-century author, Eliza Leslie.

It's conceivable that 'cupcakes' was also a reference to measuring procedures, with some cakes, such as pound cakes, being distinguished by their dimensions to make them simple to recall by volume. The sponge sizes and frosting would distinguish the cakes. Cupcakes are larger than fairy cakes and smaller than muffins in terms of sponge size.

Cupcakes and fairy cakes usually have some type of topping, whereas muffins come with or without glazes. Buttercream, Custard frosting, as well as cream cheese are commonly used liberally on classic American cupcakes, but fairy cakes may simply have a little jam or icing glaze on top.

It was a cheap baked food for both bakers and customers because of its dainty look, tiny size, and balanced form for decorating. Cupcakes are also great for parties and festivals since they are enjoyed by youngsters and can be shared and gifted.

Cupcakes are now available in a wide range of flavors and forms. This dish is appreciated by everybody, from buttercream-frosted cupcake bouquets to fondant-designed themed cupcakes. There's no shortage of occasions: bridal showers, baby showers, traditional festivals, and so on.

Origins of the Name ‘Cupcake’

The word "cupcake" was first officially used in an 1828 reference in Eliza Leslie's Receipts cookbook. Eliza Leslie was an American author and housewife in the nineteenth century who published numerous successful recipes and various etiquette manuals. In case you want to make Miss Leslie's cupcakes, we've provided a copy of her recipe at the bottom of this page.

Small cakes existed before 1828, but they weren't named cupcakes. Queen cakes, for example, were quite popular in the 18th century and were individually portioned pound cakes. Amelia Simmons included a recipe for "a cake to be prepared in miniature cups" in her book American Cookery in 1796. At the bottom of the page, you'll find Amelia's recipe.

In the United States, the cupcake first appeared in 1796. But we can't talk about this day without discussing Amelia Simmons, the mother of all cupcakes.

This intriguing woman was the author of the first American cookbook, American Cookery. The recipe for "light cakes made in little cups" was found in this interesting cookbook. Cupcakes were initially prepared in little ceramic cups, so she named them after that.

Original Cupcake Recipe

As a result, a unique differentiation between little, separate cake-like pastries emerges. What's the difference between muffins and cupcakes if they seem similar?

Although there is some wiggle room here, cupcakes are traditionally sweet treats, whereas muffins are savory. Cupcakes are frequently frosted and have a lighter consistency than muffins, which are two noticeable differences. One of the issues with identifying culinary distinctions between comparable items is the muffin vs. cupcake debate. Cupcakes and muffins may both be baked in the same tin and use the same basic ingredients.

Consider the small cupcake the next time you're planning a buffet or bringing something to a workplace potluck. It's an example of not-so-modern creativity at its finest. It may have declared how to manufacture itself at one point, and once wrapped in a paper wrapper and topped with a frosted top; it's as tasty as it is cute.

Cupcakes appear to be well adapted to our contemporary tastes. They're portion-controlled, portable, quick to prepare in batches, versatile in terms of decoration, tasty, and can be made on a budget. However, before delving into the complex origins of the cupcake, it's crucial to separate it from cup cakes (the space is important). It raises the question of whether a cake full of cups (of ingredients) or a cup full of cake came first.

Flour, eggs, sugar, and butter were used in the first cupcake that was ever made. We may guess that this cupcake had a fluffy texture and a rich buttery and sweet flavor. Cupcakes were frequently topped with a sugary frosting like that of a donut, which added to the sweetness of the baked dessert.

"Light cakes cooked in little cups" were a sensation and progressively grew in popularity, although the name "cupcake" did not appear until 1828. Another talented baker, Eliza Leslie, published her own cookbook at this time, which featured the cupcake recipe. For many years, homesteaders have been enjoying cupcakes. Cupcakes, on the other hand, were not professionally manufactured and marketed until 1919, when the Hostess brand.

Cupcakes, of course, have a long and intriguing history in the United States. With all due credit to  Amelia Simmons, every December 15th, we can all enjoy delightful bite-sized treats and celebrate National Cupcake Day.


Lori Gilmore

Lori Gilmore

Lori has been a Culinary Arts instructor for twenty years. She has taught in the public school setting, at the collegiate level and through adult continuing education as well as running several cooking and baking camps for children. She has participated in several cooking, cake & chocolate contests and has been well recognized. She has raised thousands of dollars for charities using the byline “Saving the World one Cupcake at a Time”. Additionally, she has had several articles regarding food published in various magazines.

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