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Una cupcake, también conocida como fairy cake o taza de pastel, es una pequeña tarta para una persona, frecuentemente cocinada en un molde similar al empleado para hacer magdalenas o muffins. Es una receta de origen estadounidense, e incluye añadidos como glaseado y virutas.
El alimento surge en el siglo XIX. Antes de que surgieran los moldes para hacer muffins, solían hacerse entazones, cazuelas de barro o ramequines, siendo este el significado de su nombre en inglés (cup y cake). También existe otro origen para su nombre, derivado de la forma de medir los ingredientes empleados para su elaboración.[1]
La receta base de un cupcake es similar a la de cualquier otra tarta: mantequilla, azúcar, huevos y harina. La mayoría de recetas para tartas pueden servir, y debido a sureducido tamaño se realizan más rápido que una tarta común. Lo más habitual es que sean elaboradas en moldes al uso, similares a los empleados para hacer muffin. Servido como un postre, es frecuente en la cocina norteamericana que esté presente en celebraciones de cumpleaños y fiestas infantiles.
1. ↑ The Food Timeline: cake history notes

Individually portionedconfections have a long and venerable history. Diminutive iterations of popular traditional baked goods are particularly enjoyed when portability and ease of service is appreciated. Cookies, tea cakes, petits fours and cupcakes all spring from the basic same idea. Commerically packaged "personal size" cupcakes appeared after World War I. Think: Hostess cup cakes.
There seem to be two theories about theorigin of recipes titled "cupcake:"
1. The name comes from the amount of ingredients used to make the cake (a cupful of flour, a cupful of butter, cupful of sugar etc.).
---This is very similar to how pound cake was named. In fact, the recipes for cup cakes and pound cakes include pretty much the same ingredients and would have produced similar results.
2. These cakes were originally bakedin cups.
---Old cookbooks also sometimes mention baking cakes in small cups. These cups may very well have been earthenware tea cups or other small clay baking pans. These would easily accomodated baking level oven heat and produce individual-sized cakes. This is not the same thing as contemporary metal cupcake pans, enabling cooks to bake a dozen small cakes in one fell culinary swoop.
Which istrue? Both! We have historical evidence (old cookbooks) that support both theories. This food historian agrees:
The name given in Britain and generally in the USA to any small cake baked in a cup-shaped mould or in a paper baking cup. In the USA the term may have originally have been related to the American measuring system, based upon the cup."
---Oxford Companion to Food, AlanDavidson (p. 234)
Small pound cakes baked in individual-portion pans were quite popular in the 18th century. "Queen Cakes" are a good example of these. Food historians tell us this recipe evolved from lighter fruitcakes baked in England.
"Queen cake. A small rich cake made from a creamed mixture with currants, lemon zest, and sometimes chopped almonds, baked as individual cakes. They have beenpopular since at least the 18th century. Now usually baked in paper cases, traditionally little fluted moulds in fancy shapes were used; Eliza Acton (1845) said that heart-shaped moulds were usual for this mixture."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 644)
20th century cupcake variations are endless. They range from simple to sublime. Baking paperscome in designer prints. Individual portions and easy clean-up make cupcakes perennial favorites for classroom birthdays and bake sales. A survey of American cookbooks reveals the interest in cupcakes, as food in their own right, has grown over the years
A cupcake (British English: fairy cake; Australian English: patty cake) is a small cake designed to serve one person, frequently baked in a...
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