I wanted to practice shooting something in my handmade lightbox so I baked some cupcakes at home and made a valiant effort to frost them in a semi-decent manner. I shot the photos with a simple table-top setup using a lamp and handmade light tent. The cupcakes got me thinking…

I like cupcakes but I think they’re overhyped and at $3 to $4 in some cases, overpriced. Over the past few years cupcakes have dominated everything related to desserts and cakes (apparently beneath that cute exterior lives the soul of Genghis Kahn). Most of the cupcake chains have at least one location in Manhattan and combined with the local mom and pop shops it seems as though there are a bazillion cupcake shops. I read entrepreneur / business magazines and quite a few emerging entrepreneurs are planning to start cupcake shops. I love bakeries and I’m all for entrepreneurship but I worry about entrepreneurs who are putting their life savings into a cupcake shop largely because they’ve been successful for others.

My perspective might be skewed because I live in NYC but it seems like the cupcake market is crowded. I’m familiar with Magnolia because they frost cakes in a big window that faces 6th Ave and Crumbs because I constantly pass by their 42nd St shop. However, I don’t think I’ve had cupcakes from either and can’t recall the names of any other shops without thinking about it for a bit.

What do you think about cupcakes? Is the “craze” actually limited to NYC and maybe a few other cities but non-existent in most places? If you’re the owner of a cupcake shop, what sets you apart from the chain shops and other local shops? Supposedly pies are going to be the next big thing but what do you think the next trend will be?

Honestly, I’m a bit tired of cupcakes but I’ll still devour one without any hesitation.

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