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The great cupcake debate: Cupcake craze or crumble?

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Cupcakes by M.E.’s chocolate cannoli cupcake entry for the 2013 Harrisburg Cupcake Cup.
Cupcakes by M.E.’s chocolate cannoli cupcake entry for the 2013 Harrisburg Cupcake Cup. - (Photo / )

Today, I bring you a seriously sweet foodie debate: Has the cupcake craze run its course, or are those snack-size cakes here to stay?

Given that Crumbs Bake Shop, the world’s largest cupcake chain, announced this week that it would be closing all 48 of its stores across 10 states and the District of Columbia, the answer might seem obvious.

Hardly, I say.

Some believe the cupcake craze started after Carrie and Miranda ate Magnolia Bakery cupcakes in a 2000 episode of “Sex and the City.” But even back in elementary school, it was almost a given that your classmates would bring in those tiny cakes for their birthdays. And, heck, the iconic Hostess cupcake has been around since 1919.

Best of all, according to Google Trends, nothing is ever going to trump the cupcake. And, let’s admit it, most of us bow down to “The Google.” Google’s studies show that cupcakes are still much more popular than whoopie pies, French macarons, gourmet doughnuts and cake pops — all of which have been contenders for what some cupcake skeptics have hypothesized to be “the next” cupcake.

Yet, the cupcake is still king.

Cupcakes show no signs of waning in Central Pennsylvania, either. This year marks the sixth annual Harrisburg Cupcake Cup, a cupcake competition that I run as a benefit for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. Over the years, it has grown to a 300-person community event with about 50 amateur and professional contestants from southcentral Pennsylvania. Stay tuned for details on the Dec. 7 event.

For ideas on where to enjoy a cupcake the rest of the year, here are my local suggestions:

Adams County

Gettysburg Cupcake Café, Gettysburg

Johnny Como’s Cupcakes & Coffee, Gettysburg

Cumberland County

Camp Hill Bakery, Camp Hill

Carlisle Bakery, Carlisle

The Couture Cakery, Lemoyne

Lady Bug Baking Company & Café, New Cumberland

Dauphin County

Heather’s Cupcakes-N-Things, Harrisburg

Desserts Etc. by the Hershey Pantry, Hershey

Sprinkles Bakery, Hummelstown

Lancaster County

La Petite Patisserie, Lancaster

Ady Cakes, Lititz

Scratch Cupcakes, Lititz

Lancaster Cupcake, Mountville

Lebanon County

Millcreek Country Cupcakes, Lebanon

York County

Just Cupcakes, York

Mackin’s Cupcakes & Coffee, York

Sweet Escapes Cupcake Bar & More, Thomasville


What’s your favorite cupcakery?

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Erica Reed

Erica Reed

Erica Reed is the editor for custom publishing at Journal Multimedia, but she moonlights as a foodie and wino. Follow her at @HbgFoodandWine.

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