Think the cupcake craze ended with the 50th incarnation of Battlefront Buttercream or whatever competitive cupcake-baking show is currently clotting up your DVR these days? Think again, because America will never tire of small, portable desserts that are endlessly customizable.
In celebration of National Cupcake Day (that's today, which also happens to be National Cat Herders Day, and I'm sure there's an analogy somewhere in there waiting to be made but I'm just not that clever), Food & Wine named its 7 Favorite Cupcakes of the year—and one Houston bakery made the cut.
Fluff Bake Bar was heralded by Food & Wine restaurant editor Kate Krader for its Cup|Cakes, which stack slices of cakes in cups between layers of rich frosting. "I love these Cup|Cakes, because, as much as I like cupcakes," wrote Krader, "I like cake ever more."
Krader's favorite flavor, the caramel-and-devil's-food-cake-based Veruca Salt, is on offer year round at Fluff Bake Bar, but it's pastry chef Rebecca Masson's seasonal peanut butter and jelly we're nuts about at Houstonia. Masson had crate after crate of Concord grapes shipped to her Midtown bakery to make the grape jelly from scratch, while the layers of vanilla cake are saturated with nutty brown butter that complements the sweet peanut butter cream throughout.
Additional flavors of Cup|Cakes, which pack nearly an entire slice into one cup, include birthday cake, red velvet cake and carrot cake, but that's not all Fluff has in its pastry case this time of year. Look for seasonal treats like a Veruca Salt-inspired bûche de Noël with tiny meringue mushrooms, pistachio poundcake with whipped mascarpone and cherries, festively decorated sugar cookies that put those on The Great Holiday Baking Show to shame, and a wide variety of pies—all of which can be ordered for Christmas and picked up on Dec. 23 and 24.