Cupcake Travel Advisory

By on June 5th, 2011 . Filed under: Artwork, Cupcake Ideas .

You may not want to travel outside the United States this summer if your menu plans include cupcakes. According to the Food Museum On-Line Exhibit, “No other language has a word that means exactly the same as the English ‘cake.’” And, allow me to refine that sugar one bit sweeter: no other language has a word that means exactly the same as the American ‘cupcake.’

It turns out that even in England a ‘cupcake’ is not a ‘cupcake,’ but a ‘fairy cake’ (and they don’t taste the same). If you are bonne vivant in France, you will only find “les petits gateaux,” or, little cakes (which simply are not cupcakes). In Austria and Germany, welcomin the “torte” (much shorter and denser). Eastern Europe? The “baba” (no frosting) and the “kulich” (closer to fruitcake). Wrap around to Japan to find “kasutera” (sponge cake). Now, for Australia, I have it on top secret authority that a “lamington” is the thing (looks yummy, but it’s not a cupcake, either).

So unless someone can tell me otherwise, I’m issuing a cupcake travel advisory.

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6 Responses to Cupcake Travel Advisory

  1. Betty

    I can assure you and your readers that we do indeed have cupcakes in the UK. Fairy cakes are quite different to cupcakes, usually being smaller and with decidedly less frosting, but cupcakes have also found their way across the Atlantic and we have some really great cupcakeries in the UK.
    I would highly recommend Angel Food Bakery in Brighton (, or The Hummingbird Bakery ( and Primrose Bakery ( both in London.
    Cupcake fever is going strong even outside the US.
    Betty :)

  2. Betsy @JavaCupcake

    I live here in Germany… and let me tell you… the CUPCAKE does exist! They often refer to them as muffins. BUT… there are several shops here in the country.

    Jenny’s Cupcakes, WOLKE’s Cupcakes, Wir machen Cupcakes… I could go on!

    Also, London has a HUGE cupcake scene that I hope to check out this summer.

    So please, don’t issue a cupcake travel advisory!!!!

  3. Laura Tiltman

    I am from the UK, and I have a cupcake business… I can asure you that after visiting New York, NY, three times and eating the ‘USA cupcake’… We here in England do have cupcakes that taste the same!!!

    We find the main difference is that we make them from scratch, (which is also down to availability)… whereas alot of online recipes from the USA use sponge from a box and icing from a tub…

    Our ‘fairy cakes’ are more traditional and are smaller, but we do actual cupcakes too!!!

    Laura xxx

  4. Erin

    Why do you assume that cupcakes in the US are all made from a box. I can assure you that bakeries do not use a box mix. I don’t either!

  5. Miranda

    Yes the icing I use is homemade by me and if we have all the ingredients I made the cake batter from scratch, because box and tube stuff is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever tasted. I wish the icing in a tube DIDN’T exist! Cupcakes are found in more places than the U.S. I know London has them I am very familiar with the Humming Bird bakery I even have their cookbook.

  6. Laura Tiltman

    Not at all Erin, if you read my post, I state that ‘alot of online recipes’ are using/asking for box/tub ingredients… obviously bakeries wouldn’t do this as that would not be cost effective!

    Hummingbird is a popular bakery in London with books etc too (I use their Red Velvet one personally)… but in general, the UK cupcakes are like the US ones, having tried both (again as stated above Erin)… our fairy cakes are just smaller simpler versions (mainly for children)…

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