The big thing these days, though, seems to be cupcakes. I don't know what makes people think cupcakes easier, really. In fact, I don't think it takes a MENSA-grade level of logic to determine that they are more time consuming. Yet people persist with the cupcake obsession! I've even jumped on the bandwagon, having created an elaborate anniversary celebration cake made with 100+ cupcakes for Dyke Night at the DC Eagle. My mother would be so proud.
Nevertheless, there is an ever growing niche market for Cupcake Lovers. Jumping on the bandwagon to design the Next Best Thing, people are acquiring patents and marketing things all over the place (much like the scrapbooking phenomena exploding out of Provo, Utah [ProvoCraft, etc.]). I've noticed a few things on the way that seem interesting:
In the event your cupcakes need to travel somewhere on foot, Wilton's brought us the Silly Feet! line. I'm personally waiting for Silly Feet! adorned in glittery stilettos. Then again, they might teeter a bit (which is an amazing commentary on modern shoe design, no?). Or, even better, CROCS!
Forget the mini cupcakes and indulge in a gigantor version. Again, Wilton has done it with this incredibly unique creation. Bake the Dimensions® Large Cupcake in two halves and then, when cooled, plop them securely together with a bit of your best buttercream. I have to admit that this is the only cupcake creation that blends the ease of the sheet cake with the quirky cuteness of a teensy cupcake. I might forget, however, that this is one large cupcake and insist on not sharing with anyone in my general vicinity. I can get rather territorial when baked goods are around.
Linens 'n Things offers this Ultimate 3-in-1 Cupcake Caddy. My Mom would like this one! Not only can you store and transport cupcakes, but this caddy can help your everyday sheet cake OR 24 mini cupcakes! Lord Almighty. This might actually fit in one of my [limited] kitchen cabinets. I also like anything that's functional and utilitarian. Theoretically, you could keep a pie in there. You could even hide a birthday present or all of your cake decorating supplies. Sure, it only holds 12 cupcakes in its neat little grooves, but the possibilities are endless.
Finally, despite the myriad of other cupcake knick knacks available to the residential baker, I'd like to offer this gem. Brilliant design? Well, yes. Cute colors? Absolutely. Realistic for the average person? Um, only if you have an enormous house and/or cabinetry to spare. Meet the Cupcake Courier. Jennifer Gunn, a mother of two living in SoCal, came up with this little doohickey in an attempt to "solve one of the biggest headaches of [her] life -- transporting cupcakes." With her thoughtful (*cough*) contraption, you can haul 36 (that's three whole dozen!) cupcakes to parties all over the land. I hate to make fun of the average housewife, because I do believe they/we are amazing creatures, but when one of your life's biggest headaches is how to cart around cupcakes, I do believe you've either achieved a noble level of peace and tranquility in your life or you forgot to read the newspaper that morning.
I guess what I'm saying, folks, is that there's no reason to spend a bajillion dollars on a fancy-pants cupcake thingamajig designed by a [bored] SoCal housewife or (and Alton Brown would be proud) on something that only has one use. There are a lot of ingenious ways to make, transport and serve the little pufflets of joy. And remember, in the immortal words of my Momma, "nothing's easier than a quick sheetcake".
Ok, ok. I will say that it's easier to sneak a snack in the creation process when making a cupcake army versus working on a sheet cake. But again, do what my Mom did and make two!