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'Cupcake' instead of fairy cake or bun

(101 Posts)
JoKyJo Fri 10-Aug-12 11:45:03

I find this one hard to understand - when I was little, they were always 'buns', 'butterfly buns' if the top was cut in two to make wings with a blob of buttercream underneath, or possibly 'fairy cakes' if they were fully iced.
Fairy cake is so much nicer than 'cupcake'! Why has everyone begun calling them cupcakes?

grrrranny Fri 10-Aug-12 11:57:23

Horrible things cupcakes (ok I don't have a particularly sweet tooth). A place I know serves up garishly-coloured, thickly-iced with butter icing - no butter involved but marg - cupcakes. Just the look of them makes me feel queasy. And they are much bigger than the old bun or fairy cake too.

JessM Fri 10-Aug-12 12:02:19

American import aren't they?
Foul things with far too much sugary icing on top. More icing than cake sometimes.

Bags Fri 10-Aug-12 12:04:25

I blame Mr Kipling.

Annobel Fri 10-Aug-12 12:10:00

What about muffins? Nowadays they seem to be just big buns with some kind of flavouring or fruit in them. Our old fashioned muffins are sometimes called 'English muffins'. Why don't we reclaim them and call the others 'American muffins'?

merlotgran Fri 10-Aug-12 16:10:09

I find it hilarious that loads of stick thin celebrities are supposed to find cup cakes irresistable. Posing with an over decorated extra large 'bun' in your hand is one thing. Allowing a crumb to pass your lips is something else. These sugar filled monstrosities have been inflicted on poor old fairy cake Britain and then we get lectured about type 2 diabetes angry

JO4 Fri 10-Aug-12 16:24:54

Today I had a real old-fashioned cream bun. You rarely see them these days round here. Not posh enough I suppose. hmm I love the loads of artifical cream against the plainness of the bun. And then there's the delicious dusting of fine icing sugar. And the streak of artifical 'jam'.


Better than over 'butter'-creamed cupcakes any day.

JoKyJo in my very old McDougalls cookbook, fairy cakes are the ones with currants. No icing. They are nice. smile

vegasmags Fri 10-Aug-12 16:37:28

I'm glad it's not just me who rages at the cupcake invasion - horribly over deocrated monstrosities. Thankfully my family still prefer the good old fashioned bun! One of my favourite books is The Classic Slum by Robert Roberts, all about growing up in Salford in the early years of the century. he describes how his harassed mother, passing through the house to go and serve in the little shop, would call to her children - Bun? Banana? Either, neither, both? This became a rallying cry adopted by my own family, and still in use.

Don't get me started on muffins - just over big buns who think too much of themselves.

GoldenGran Fri 10-Aug-12 16:53:14

I'm a fairy cake person, and they should not be as big as your hand! I also call them buns and when the DGC and I are baking, the word cupcake is not used.[smile

Butternut Fri 10-Aug-12 16:59:31

I like a good old fashioned rock cake.

Annobel Fri 10-Aug-12 17:03:04

My granny made rock cakes - a test for our teeth. Mum made buns - plain, iced, sultana, chocolate. Not surprising I was a chubby kid.

Anagram Fri 10-Aug-12 17:03:51

I remember those cream buns, jingl - or at least, they sound the same. We used to buy them after school. The consistency of the bun was more bread-like than cake-like, but the 'cream' was delicious.

jeni Fri 10-Aug-12 17:15:17

I remember my first attempt at baking, Rock cakes sad I dropped one and cracked a terrazzo floor! I reckon the crack was there before and due to subsidence. My oh reckoned otherwise!angry

Annobel Fri 10-Aug-12 17:15:23

Are those the big shiny buns with 'cream' inside which were known as cream cookies in my Scottish childhood? A big treat for afternoon tea when we were staying at granny's on our summer holidays.

jeni Fri 10-Aug-12 17:16:11

I've never had a cupcake!

Annobel Fri 10-Aug-12 17:22:40

jeni grin
Nor have I ever even felt tempted by a cupcake - amazingly.

absentgrana Fri 10-Aug-12 17:36:01

American slang is such that calling a sweetmeat a fairy cake just isn't acceptable, then, as with so many things, the term cupcakes crossed the pond and became the norm here. (Butterfly cakes were simply little sponge – i.e. fairy – cakes with a circle cut out of the top, the hollow filled with butter icing and the halved circle from the top stuck into the icing like wings.)

In the US English muffins are what we call crumpets; they are unfamiliar with the things that we call muffins. Muffins are increasingly becoming known as English muffins in the UK because there is no confusion here with crumpets as we still call them crumpets.

Clear as mud, I suspect.

Anagram Fri 10-Aug-12 17:57:59

I don't think I've ever had an English muffin. I wouldn't know what one looked like!

absentgrana Fri 10-Aug-12 17:59:41

It looks a bit like a teacake but doesn't contain dried fruit and isn't usually glazed.

Anagram Fri 10-Aug-12 18:03:03

Hmmm, thanks absent but I'm not much the wiser. Sounds like a flattish plain bun! I'll Google it smile

Elegran Fri 10-Aug-12 18:04:48

Don't confuse muffins with crumpets, as I have heard people do. Different animal entirely.

Anagram Fri 10-Aug-12 18:04:54

Have done so - they look a bit like potato cakes.

jeni Fri 10-Aug-12 18:06:12

Ooh! A bit of crumpet with butter and jam. Toasted in front of the log fire on a toasting fork! Used to be a winter treat for this family.

jeni Fri 10-Aug-12 18:08:29

It's basically a yeast batter mix poured into ring on a griddle! I used to mahe them the butter runs through the holes and -----(fattening)sad

absentgrana Fri 10-Aug-12 18:08:40

Muffins – British version – consist of a light yeast-based enriched bread dough that is cooked on a griddle so that (like armadillos) they are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. They are split while still hot, spread with butter, pressed together again and eaten. You can also serve with jam.