You know, there really is nothing as wonderful as biting into homemade goodies baked with love and given the same way. I see it every day with my family. My goal is for you to experience it in yours. The gluten free recipes on this website can help make this possible, whether you're gluten free, dairy free, yeast free, or whatever. Check out my Gluten Free Dairy Free Chocolate Cupcakesor my Gluten Free Lime Cupcakestoday!
Below is a brief history of how the cupcake came into its own. I thought you might find it interesting.
Cupcakes: A History of Small Portions
The humble cupcake is also known as “fairy cake” in England and “patty cake” in Australia (remember the children’s rhyme.. patty cake, patty cake bakers man. Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
Cup cakes (words separated) were first mentioned in the cookbook American Cookery written be Amelia Simms. She specified that these “cakes” were to be baked in small cups. And the first real “receipt” for cup cakes was found in “Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes and Sweetmeats” by Eliza Leslie written in 1828.
Our modern day muffin tins not being available back then, cup cakes were baked in small pottery bowls, what we know as ramekins. These were the first cup cakes. Nowadays we have fancy papers and cute muffin tins to bake ours in, though I still like to use ramekins for small cakes.
This is an excerpt from the book The Frugal Housewife dated 1803.
“For Queen Cakes: Take a pound of sugar, beat it fine, pour in yolks and whites of two eggs, half a pound of butter, a little rose water, six spoonfuls of warm cream, a pound of currants and as much flour as will make it up; stir them well together, and put them into your patty-pans, being well buttered; bake them in an oven almost as hot as for bread, for half an hour; then take them out and glaze them, and let them stand but a little after the glazing is on to rise.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but I have no idea how hot the oven should be, though since I bake a lot I can take an educated guess. But what is a “spoonful, how do you beat sugar fine, how much flour is enough to “make it up”, and how heavy are these queen cakes if you have to bake them for a half hour? And how are they going to “rise”? I don’t see any baking powder, baking soda or yeast.
The cupcake really came into its own when the Hostess brand of cakes came out with their first cupcake in Jan of 1919.
That’s 93 years ago…wow. They always had a devil’s food cake (smart move…how can anyone go wrong with chocolate I’d like to know), but in the beginning they were hand iced with either vanilla or chocolate frosting. It wasn’t until the 1948 that the yummy cream filling and that cute little curly cue frosting was added.
If you want to make your own gluten free Hostess cupcakes: go here……
Now cupcakes are a mainstream treat for birthdays, parties, buffets and just because they taste so darn good and are the cutest things ever.
I am sooooooo glad for modern recipes where everything is spelled out and a whole lot of the guess work is gone.
I couldn’t resist putting this one in too, especially since I think this is the patty cake talked about in the rhyme: “roll it and roll it and mark it with a B and put it in the oven for baby and me”. This “cake” is rolled and cut and then baked.
“For a “Shrewsberry Cake: Take one pound of sugar, three pounds of the finest flower, a nutmeg grated, and some cinnamon well beaten: the sugar and spice must be sifted into the flower, wet it with three eggs and as much melted butter as will make it of a good thickness to roll into a paste; mould it well and roll it; cut it into what shape you please; perfume the cakes and prick them before they go into the oven. “
It’s fun to look at old cookbooks (check out the spelling of “flower”) and see what my great great great great grandmother used to bake with. Of course, she learned from her mother who learned from her mother who learned from her mother (you get it). I’ve been fortunate in that my mother is a great cook and I was able to learn from her. I know that’s not the case for many.
We’ve lost a lot of our history and connection in our “modern world” which makes me a little sad. That’s why we’re here together; to create our own history and connection. So we can learn from each other and build our own community of awesome bakers who can bring joy and satisfaction to those around us.