Shine On

Cupcakes still hot in Canada, despite cooling trend in U.S.

Cupcakes are still selling strong in Canada. (Thinkstock)A few months ago the Wall Street Journal announced the death of the American cupcake citing the collapse of Crumbs Bakery, a New York City-based cupcake chain with more than 60 locations. The company's shares fell to $1.74 from over $13 back in mid-2011.

The headline says it all: Forget Gold, the Gourmet-Cupcake Market Is Crashing.

It was simply a word of caution to investors: The cultural and economic phenomenon of cupcakes over the past decade was slowing down. Public interest in the sweet treat was waning after having been overplayed. Despite the cupcake fervor in the early 2000s -- after New York City-based Magnolia Bakery was featured in "Sex and the City" -- their novelty had worn off.

Yet something peculiar was, and still is, happening in Canada. We aren't following the same trend. That's right, cupcakes are still booming in and around the major cities with no signs of slowing down.

Also see: Don't Call it Plain: 7 Inventive Ways to Serve Vanilla Cupcakes

The Globe and Mail highlights a few cupcake-focused bake shops that are pleased as ever with sales. Among the successful shops is Cupcakes from Vancouver. Since its rise to stardom in the Oprah Network series "Cupcake Girls" the bakery expanded across British Columbia and opened one location in Toronto which launched this February.

In April, co-owner of Cupcakes, Heather White reported that year-to-date sales were up by 24 per cent from that same time last year. She also dismisses the idea that macarons or doughnuts or whoopie pies will ever surpass cupcakes in popularity despite what media headlines have suggested this year.

“Every two years or so there will be an article…. I get it – people like to get excited about new things, but our business has never been better,” she tells the Globe.

The Cupcake Shoppe, Dlish Cupcakes, and Prairie Girl Bakery in Toronto are also flying high with the latter two having opened second locations this year.

Also see: 7 Wedding Cake Recipes You Haven't Tried Before

It appears Canucks haven't entirely lost their taste for unusual cupcake concoctions including stuffed cupcakes, mini cupcakes, man cupcakes, cupcake towers, fondant icing, boozy cupcakes and cupcakes on a stick.

“At one point people thought it was really unique to do a cupcake wedding cake, now it’s just a regular order. I’m certainly not making any less of them,” says White.

The sweet treats have even become the shinning stars in television shows like the Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" and TLC's "DC Cupcakes."

Are you a fan of cupcakes? What is it about them that does, or doesn't, appeal to you? Tell us in the comments.

Watch the video below for tips on how to make great cupcakes at home.

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