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What's Up, Cupcake?

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CrumbsBakeshopCupcakes .jpg
How does the cupcake crumble? These are from Crumbs. (Photo by Julie Wolfson/LAist)

How does the cupcake crumble? These are from Crumbs. (Photo by Julie Wolfson/LAist)
They just won't go away. Not even eclipse-able by Frozen Yogurt, the ubiquitous cupcake has held Los Angeles in its sugary, frosted, portable grip for the past few years, and doesn't seem to be letting go. In today's LA Times, food writer Mary MacVean looks into the cupcake phenomenon and tries to unravel its sweet mystery. Why do we still adore cupcakes?"Are cupcakes a big deal with you guys?" I also asked some out of town visitors from Vancouver, Canada last week. They told me no, not at all. Sure, they're trendy, but "not like here," they assured us. Here is where we have so many "cupcakeries" we need to constantly update maps of the madness. We wait in line for the sugar rush when a bakery has a special or a giveaway. Hell, we even hold a big old Cupcake Challenge and compare one cupcake to the next until even the most devoted eater to surrender and wave the white(cake) flag of defeat. Cupcake-makers Tweet the madness, and meet-up groups gather to nosh.

Summarizes MacVean: "No forks, no plates, maybe just a napkin. You don't have to share. No leftovers. At a bakery, everyone can pick their own flavor. Cupcakes are easy to make and can be decorated for any occasion you care to consider." They are "cute," "flashy," "girlie" and "icon[ic]" and can match your makeup but not murder your waistline. They seem to be here to stay, no matter how many no-carb diet bandwagons we leap on, or how much we grumble at the cost of living. I mean, we can't stop talking about them. Or eating them.

Speaking of...a cupcake sounds pretty stellar right now. Now, where to go to get the perfect one?