The history of cup cakes stretches back to eighteenth century. The cupcakes are also known as fairy and patty cake. The aim of preparing this was to serve a single person. A cup cake is usually baked in aluminum or thin cups. Sprinkles are decorations on these desserts which simulate the decorations on a large cake. Amelia Simms mentioned in the "American cookery" that cakes can be baked in small cups. That is when the cakes came in to existence. It was addressed as cupcake in the early 19th century. Prior to the availability of the muffin cups pottery cups were used to bake the cupcakes. Because of being baked in a cup size it took the name cupcakes.
Because of the fanciful description and design of the cake it is known as fairy cake too. The other name cup cakes are made by measuring the volume unlike the cupcakes which are measured as per weight. Usually these are baked in tins or loaves. The cupcakes baked in kitchen are also known as quarter cakes. The materials used in making the cup cakes are butter, sugar, flour and eggs. One can prepare these at home and they would taste great. You can also buy it from your favorite bakery.
Those who are allergic to eggs can avoid using eggs in the cakes and can use gel from edible agar to make the cake. There is also other similar kind of cake available in the market named as pound cakes. Pound cakes used lesser butter and eggs and thus they are cheaper than the cup cakes. If you are preparing these at home then you can use the same recipe as you use for a layer cake. One can bake it faster as their small size is appropriate to absorb heat and bake faster. Originally ramekins were used to bake the cup cakes and now also some bakers use the ramekins.
In internet forums a cake in a mug gained popularity and was widely discussed and from this the popularity can be judged. Another type of cup cake is butterfly cake. It is called so because it has wings like projections. Another type is a cake ball and forms a portion of the dessert. Mixture of crumbled dessert mixed with frosting makes this type of cake.