A rather interesting article from The Guardian by Zoe Williams about the rise of the cupcake in the UK.
They are enormous; I mean, I call it the one-handed snack item, but you need pretty big hands and a huge appetite. And that watery icing that might have tasted a bit like lemon is totally yesterday. Now you need two inches of buttercream. It has to be pink, or green, or baby blue. It has to be piped. It has to reach yearningly skywards like the mackerel heads poking out of a stargazy pie. Only it must be delicious-looking. The modern cupcake looks like a child's dream, a death-row tea. To bowdlerise the M&S advert, it is not just cake, it is me-cake, 21st-century-cake, way-of-life-cake
Part of the drama and magnetism of these cakes is their forbidden nature, which is why New Yorkers (forbidders extraordinaire) take to them so lustily. They're really not to eat, but to watch: it's pornography rather than cooking. (I'm disagreeing with the not really to eat part!!!)
In Britain, we have embraced the movement (well, come on - a movement, and you can eat it? Of course we have embraced it), but for subtly different reasons. We are not so in love with self-denial as New Yorkers, and when we make and buy these items, it is with a mind to eating them rather than just staring
There are also some good recipe's for cupcakes to be found on the site here including Magnolia's red velvet (pictured above) which I may take a day off work and make for valentines day! It's rather funny that they choose to put a fairy cake picture (2nd one above) with the article about the rise of the cupcake!