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Amanda Pendolino
May 07, 2013

What Will Replace the Cupcake Craze?

Cupcakes are so 2011.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the gourmet cupcake craze surged two years ago, but since then, sales of the decadent treats have soured. They’re not a daily food necessity, they go against all trendy diets and they can be made at home or bought for less with a visit to the grocery store.

(It looks like Kat Dennings‘ character in 2 Broke Girls may never be able to quit her restaurant job.)

As I mourn the days when a gourmet cupcake shop graced every street corner with a Crumbs vanilla & chocolate combo (Crumbs > Sprinkles!!), I wonder what will replace the cupcake craze. Here are some ideas:

Gourmet donuts

Photo credit: Fonuts

The donut craze is already beginning. In L.A., we have Fonuts, a haven of baked donuts with flavors like Maple Bacon, Cheddar Chorizo and Vegan Lemon. (Don’t think too hard about the fact that baked donuts are basically muffins with holes in the middle.) In San Francisco, Dynamo Donuts features treats like Chocolate Rose Geranium Hazelnut and Molasses Guinness Pear.

Cake pops

Cake pops are similar to cupcakes, but their tiny size makes them a lower-calorie treat, and since they’re portable, it’s easier to eat them on the go or at parties. Starbucks introduced cake pops back in 2011, citing Martha Stewart and food blog Bakerella as influences. They’re also a fun at-home food craft project — you can buy a cake pop kit with all of the necessary components.

Macaroons and macarons

Wikipedia says macaroons have been around since the 9th century — but recently, they’ve become a gourmet obsession featuring unique flavors and cage-free eggs. The similarly named — but entirely different — confection known as macarons have also surged in popularity in recent years.

At Chantal Guillon in San Francisco, you can snack on Lavender Poppy and Raspberry Lychee French macarons, while at Bisous Ciao in New York, enjoy Green Tea macarons with jasmine-infused chocolate ganache.

Which trend is your favorite?