cupcakeWhat is it about over-priced, calorie-laden, exotic cupcakes that has everyone in such a twitter?  I don’t get it. I particularly don’t get it when a friend was telling me that she bought cupcakes for her daughter’s class at school and thought she had a bargain because they didn’t cost over $100. Fifteen cupcakes for under $100? Is that really a bargain these days?

Then I started getting review books that featured cupcake bakers who find love through exotic ingredients and piles of frosting.

First I read Cupcake Rush by Donna Kauffman, and while I understood the minimalist approach of baking small goodies rather than a huge cake, I didn’t really buy that an upscale New York baker would chuck it all to become a cupcake specialist in a downscale Southern seaside town. But I didn’t think much about the cupcake angle.

Then the avalanche of cupcake books landed on me:

Cupcake by Mariah Jones, one of the 99-cent (or free) Kindle novellas, features an overweight protagonist and a sexy art gallery owner next door to her bakery. Why, one wonders, if the protagonist wants to lose weight, doesn’t she decide to bake low-calorie, heart-healthy alternatives? Because cupcakes are “in,” that’s why!

Cupcakes and the Centre of the Universe by Whitney Moore, another digital-only book, takes a Douglas Adams approach to the universe and baking. So much for the fish. Still, are cupcakes an acceptable alternative?

The Icing on the Cupcake by Jennifer Ross is the chick-lit romance answer to the cupcake frenzy. One dumped woman moves from Dallas to Manhattan and takes the city by storm with her cutely named cupcakes. Uh huh.

Cupcakes and Cupids by Jennifer Connor is admittedly one of the first cupcake romances, but it’s so short that I don’t think it quite qualifies as the trend-setter.

How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue will be published in March 2012, but promises to be more chick-lit about friendship and the little bundles of fattening food.

And those are only the tip of the icing.  A veritable glut of cupcakes are waiting in the wings to be published through the spring and summer, not only in the romance realm but also in children’s literature and mysteries.

My question is: Who cares? Are you so enamored with cupcakes that you’ll scarf up these goodies as they come out? If so, what fascinates you about them? Or are you like me puzzled as to their appeal? This dieting reviewer is curious to know.

– Pat Henshaw

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