Every few months, someone publishes a news article/editorial/blog post talking about whatever baked good of the moment is the "new cupcake." There were the whoopie pies and the macarons (that one was such a joke - ever tried to make a macaron?) and on Saturday it was pie's turn with the LA Times article, "Is Pie the New Cupcake?"
Cupcakes became so popular over the last few years that upscale bakeries sprang up across the nation to offer them in red velvet, mocha and chai latte. A fan site featured pictures of cupcake tattoos on aficionados. But new versions of the all-American favorite — pie — are increasingly popping up at bakeries and restaurants. Pie has replaced cake at some weddings. There are pie happy hours and pie shooters served in shot glasses.Look, I get the urge to declare something "the new cupcake." Cupcakes are huge. And everyone wants to be the first to identify the next big trend. But pie is not the new cupcake.
I, a huge cupcake fanatic, will be the first to admit (ok, probably not the first) that the cupcake craze has gotten out of hand. Cupcakes are everywhere (really, Red Robin?) and there are a ton of cupcakeries in every major city. Not all of them are good. Many will go out of business. Cupcakes will not forever sustain their popularity over the last 5+ years. Nothing ever does. But cupcakes aren't going anywhere. They aren't just popular because of Magnolia and Sex and the City. As long as they remain cute, easy to make, fun to experiment with, and vehicles for amazing creation and decoration, they will remain popular.
Plus the biggest reason cupcakes aren't going anywhere? Cake isn't going anywhere. More people may be having wedding pies, but pie will never replace the wedding cake. Just like it will never replace the birthday cake. Jessie Oleson aka CakeSpy wrote a great blog post about this a few weeks ago.
Now, don't get me wrong. I love pie. I love it enough to have had it for my birthday one year, and enough that I was even hired as pie recipe consultant for a newly opened Seattle bakery. I love it on a plate, in a cake, in a shake, on a stick. I, like, totally embrace pie.
But I'm not convinced it takes the cake.
Here's an idea: why don't we just let pie and cake get along? Pie on some days, cake on others? Or embrace diversity by combining them, as in the case of the Pumpple Cake or the Pake?I couldn't agree more. Pie is great. I applaud the new pie shops and the increasingly interesting pie recipes I've seen pop up around the intertubes. I enjoy baking pies and have gotten more into it in the last year. But pie is not going to replace cupcakes. It's like saying tea is the new coffee.
My Kumbaya conclusion? Can't we all just get along? The world is big enough for pie lovers and cupcake lovers. And cupcake lovers who are also pie lovers. And I say, the more sweet goodness, the better.