What’s the deal with the cupcake trend, that it refuses to relinquish its fad status quietly?
That’s the question a lot of food critics and customers alike have been asking lately, especially around Boston. As one cupcake-only bakery in California looks to diversify its offerings as the demand for cupcakes begins to wane, more cupcakeries plan to open branches in Boston.
According to an article in Tuesday’s Boston Globe, Isabelle’s Curly Cakes, a Todd English creation and the city’s latest cupcakery, which opened last December, there could soon be three more cupcake outlets around the city. Kickass Cupcakes, Boston’s (well, technically, Somerville’s) first cupcakery, will roll a cupcake truck onto the streets of Boston this spring.
The article also claims that California-based Sprinkles Cupcakes is looking for real estate on Newbury Street to open a shop in the fall. Magnolia Bakery, the bakery that arguably started the trend when mentioned on an episdoe of “Sex and the City,” confirmed that they’re trying to open up a Boston location some time next year.
Will the trend last that long? Joanne Chang, owner of Boston’s Flour Bakery, said she thinks there’s a chance it will, at least in Boston. She told the Globe:
I think Boston is late to the trend…It’s only been here a couple of years, and it takes a while for it to cycle through and phase out.
Yet not everything is coming up roses for the Boston cupcake scene. Michael Pahre, a blogger at Brighton Centered, points out that at least one cupcakery has failed. Cherry Bomb Bakery, which used to be at 379 Washington St. in Brighton, closed after being in business for less than one year.
Perhaps the key to success in the business of trendy desserts is innovation. Treat Cupcake Bar in Needham, which is about a 25 minute drive from Boston, has been open for less than a year but seems to be doing very well. Their key? In addition to pre-made cupcakes, customers can create their own cupcake by choosing the cake, the frosting and even candy that they want to be added in. It’s basically ColdStone Creamery for cupcakes, and it puts a new twist on a fading trend.
The pie trend, which is increasing in popularity in New York City and the West Coast, seems to be almost completely based around innovating the old standby dessert. Bite-sized mini pies and lolli-pies in Seattle, wacky flavors in NYC, and pie delivery along with ice cream in Los Angeles.
It doesn’t seem certain when or if the excitement over cupcakes is going to die down, and when the pie trend is going to officially make its way to Boston, but one thing is clear: Specialized bakeries must constantly be looking for new things do do with their desserts if they want to stay relevant.