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Cupcakes galore

Will America's love affair with cupcakes ever end? Probably not anytime soon. Cupcakes are popular for a variety of reasons — they're relatively easy (and fun) to make, they can be customized with a variety of flavors and colors, and both kids and adults love them, so they're a win-win when you're serving dessert to a crowd of all ages. But the most important reason for their rise to fame, we think, is the fact that they're just the right portion size. No one's going to call cupcakes a light snack, but they eliminate the awkward problem that plagues many parties when cake is brought out — no one wants the first slice.

Not so with cupcakes. Instead of endlessly passing slices around, everyone can grab their own treat at their leisure, and the best part is that no one faces the pressure of perfectly cutting a cake. If you've never made a cupcake before, it's easier to make than many other baked goods. After all, there's no dough to roll.

This week's Recipe SWAT Team was a smashing success. There's not a boring cupcake recipe in sight, and once again, members of our Culinary Content Network generously sent us a few recipes to feature. Here are a few highlights:

Carly Goldsmith, our tireless copy editor and talented baker, created Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting that are absolutely delicious, with just the right amount of pumpkin flavor and a fluffy, moist interior. They're definitely a special treat for the kids (and adults, too!).

And our Cook editor, Anne Dolce, created a cupcake with a savory surprise — it's not your average cupcake, and absolutely worth checking out.

But the winning prize goes to Victoria Kabakian from the Culinary Content Network, first time participant and author of the blog Mission: Food, whose motto is "Nothing is impossible." Kabakian's recipe for Pink Lemonade Cupcakes scores major points for originality, and the beautiful photos certainly don’t hurt either. Congratulations! And many thanks to everyone who participated.



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