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Cupcakes Throughout History

February 14

How far have cupcakes come over the years? Compare your favorites against these classic, albeit a bit crude, recipes from the past.

1796 – American Cookery: “A light Cake to bake in small cups. Half a pound sugar, half a pound butter, rubbed into two pounds flour, one glass wine. Emptins, a nutmeg, cinnamon and currants.”

1828 – Seventy-Five Recipes for Pastry: “Five eggs. Two large tea-cups full of molasses. The same of brown sugar, rolled fine. The same of fresh butter. One cup of rich milk. Five cups of flour, sifted. Half a cup of powdered allspice and cloves. Half a cup of ginger. Cut up the butter in the milk, and warm slightly. Warm the molasses, and stir it into the milk and butter: then stir in, gradually, the sugar, and set it away to cool. Beat the eggs very light, and stir them into the mixture alternately with the flour. Add the ginger and other spice, and stir the whole very hard. Butter small tins, nearly fill them with the mixture, and bake the cakes in a moderate oven.”

1833 – American Frugal Housewife: “Cup cake is about as good as pound cake, and is cheaper. One cup of butter, two cups of sugar, three cups of flour, and four eggs, well beat together, and baked in pans or cups. Bake twenty minutes, and no more.”

1871 – Mrs. Porter’s New Southern Cookery Book: “Half a cupful butter and four cupsful of sugar creamed together, five well-beaten eggs, one teaspoonful of [baking] soda dissolved in one cupful of cream (or milk), six cupsful of flour, nutmeg, one teaspoonful of dry cream of tartar.”

2006: BakeSpace.com launches as the Web’s first online food social network & recipe swap – complete with cupcake logo. Cupcake lovers rejoice and use the site to meet, exchange cupcake recipes and share their tips and expertise.

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