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America's Weirdest Cupcakes Slideshow

America's Weirdest Cupcakes Slideshow

Just when you think you've seen the end of the trend, veggie curry, Thanksgiving, and grasshopper cupcakes change your mind

BLT Cupcake

Known for a wide selection of savory cupcakes like Caramelized Onion and Madras Curry, Chicago-based MORE cupcakes serves up their own spin on a classic American sandwich: the Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato. The cake is garnished with heirloom tomatoes and candied bacon bits.

Fig and Cheese Cupcake

This savory combination seems to be quite popular, as both the New York-based Robicelli’s and More cupcakes carry their own versions. Robicelli’s serves up its “Laurenzano,” a fig cupcake with goat cheese buttercream, balsamic gastrique, and crispy prosciutto bits; while More sells a goat cheese, fig, and merlot cupcake made from — you guessed it — goat cheese, fig, and red merlot wine.

Chocolate-Covered Potato Chip Cupcake

At Over the Rainbow Cupcakes in Palm Springs, Calif., you can satisfy both your sweet and salty tooth by biting into their chocolate cupcake with buttercream and potato chip flakes, topped off with a chocolate-covered potato chip. Other items on their “Wild Side” menu include a spicy chocolate jalapeño cupcake and a lemon Dijon mustard cupcake. Michigan’s Just Baked bakery takes sweet and salty one step further by selling “The Big Game." It's a devil's food cupcake dipped in chocolate ganache and rolled in salted nuts, pretzels, and potato chips.

Guinness Cupcake

Can’t wait to start drinking until after dessert? Now you can pick up a Guinness-infused cupcake from a few bakeries. Both the Atlanta Cupcake Factory and Just Baked sell Irish-inspired chocolate cupcakes infused with dark Guinness stout and topped with Bailey’s Irish Cream frosting.

Bacon and Maple Syrup Cupcake

If you're in Chicago, why not grab breakfast on the go by trying a bacon maple syrup cupcake? Foiled Cupcakes sells a breakfast “Up and At ’Em” cupcake that’s a vanilla cinnamon cake filled with mascarpone cheese and topped with maple syrup frosting and bacon bits. Aching for French toast instead? In New York you can try CupcakeStop’s French toast with Bacon cupcake — a vanilla, cinnamon, and maple cake with caramelized applewood-smoked bacon, topped with maple and cinnamon infused buttercream, and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

Thanksgiving Cupcake

The Chicago-based Bleeding Heart Bakery serves up a seasonal Thanksgiving-inspired creation — a sweet potato cupcake with pralines and topped with toasted marshmallow frosting and cranberry relish. And just last week, LA’s Yummy Cupcakes was also selling a Thanksgiving cupcake flavored with actual turkey gravy.

Chicken ‘n’ Waffles Cupcake

Find this seasonal cupcake at Brooklyn-based Robicelli’s. Inspired by the Deep South’s classic American dish of chicken and waffles, the “Chicken ‘n’ Waffles” cupcake is a vanilla waffle-flavored cake, topped with vanilla buttercream and a buttermilk flour-coated fried piece of chicken that's dipped in maple syrup.

Lucky Charms Cupcake

While various breakfast cereals have been used to make goodies such as Rice Krispies treats, pie crusts, and trail mix bars, in Pleasantville, N.Y., Flour & Sun Bakery’s “The Lucky” comes in both vanilla and chocolate flavors topped with sweet marshmallow frosting and rolled in Lucky Charms cereal.

Savory Casserole Cupcake

Every month on a rotating menu, California’s Republic of Cake serves up savory casserole-like cupcakes. Past flavors included a “Veggie Curry” curry-flavored buttermilk cupcake filled with peas, carrots, potatoes, and topped with cool cucumber yogurt. This month, you can grab a “Green Bean Casserole” buttermilk cupcake filled with mushrooms and green beans, and topped with Parmesan cream cheese frosting and crispy fried onions.


15 Sweet Treats You Should Bake Instead of Cupcakes

It's not that we're anti-cupcake, it's just that…okay. We are a teensy bit anti-cupcake. But wait! Hear us out! It's not that cupcakes are bad in and of themselves. It's just that there are so many other treats weɽ rather bake. So: We're taking a stand. Here are 15 wildly varying desserts that all have one thing in common: They are way better than cupcakes.


Key lime cupcakes sound fun since everyone loves key lime pie (or at least everyone should). The specific combination of light and airy meringue with key limes is delicious.

Putting key lime into a cupcake? We might not be lining up at a cupcake shop to order this flavor. First of all, the bright green color of the cupcake might be off-putting to some people, including kids (since kids hate green food, as we all know). And second of all, sometimes lime-flavored baked goods have a sickly sweet taste.


10 Most Popular Cupcake Flavors — and Why

It's pretty safe to assume that if you're reading this article, you're a fan of cupcakes -- and it's a good time to be one. In recent years, these versatile, tasty treats have gone from being inexpensive, easy-to-make confections given away at children's parties to trendy desserts enjoyed by hipsters around the world.

Today, little cupcakes are a big deal. While many restaurants and eateries have been forced to shut their doors due to the recent economic downturn, business in specialty cupcake shops is booming [source: Tulsa World]. The reason for cupcakes' recent surge in popularity is simple: They're relatively inexpensive and grant people a few bites of indulgence, even when money is tight.

In this article, we'll walk you through the 10 most popular cupcake flavors and explain the reasons behind their appeal. When you're done with the list, you'll know how to order like a pro from the most popular cupcake boutiques.

Click over to the next page to learn why vanilla cupcakes are anything but bland.

Despite how tame you may think vanilla is, the flavor has exotic origins. Vanilla comes from plants that grow in tropical areas, and harvesting the prized vanilla bean is no easy feat. After a long and complicated process, the end result is the immensely popular vanilla extract.

Chances are you've had a vanilla cupcake at one time or another. As you probably already know, vanilla is one of the most common flavors found in candies, pastries and various sweet treats. In fact, like chocolate, the taste of vanilla typifies sweet desserts and confections for many of us, so it's not surprising that these cupcakes are so popular and easy to find.

Vanilla cupcakes usually consist of a sweet white or yellow cake with a thick layer of creamy white frosting. They line the shelves of local bakeries and grocery stores and will almost certainly appear on the menu of any specialty cupcake shop you visit -- you can even pick one up at Starbucks. Some say the cupcake is a fleeting trend, but regardless, the vanilla flavor is here to stay.

Indigenous North Americans have been growing pumpkins for approximately 5,000 years [source: History Channel]. But how long have they been eating pumpkin cupcakes?

Pumpkin-flavored foods are extremely popular during the fall and winter months. The pleasant taste of these large orange fruits appears in everything from pie to beer, so it should come as no surprise that pumpkin cupcakes are all the rage leading up to Halloween and throughout the holidays. Although they're typically available for just a few months out of the year, pumpkin cupcakes are extremely popular. It's not unusual to find them at parties, grocery stores, bakeries or even on restaurant dessert menus.

When sitting down to devour one of these tasty treats, you can count on a pumpkin cake base, but the choice of topping is up to the baker. You might find a traditional, sugary icing that may or may not taste of pumpkin, or the cake might simply be glazed. Cream cheese is a very popular and common topping. By the time Christmas dinner comes around, if everyone's tired of pumpkin pie, pick up a dozen pumpkin cupcakes and serve them for dessert, instead.

There's something comforting and nostalgic about a steaming loaf of banana bread. Banana cupcakes taste a lot like banana bread -- only you probably won't be eating one for breakfast. These surprisingly popular desserts are more common than you might think, and like their pumpkin-flavored cousins, they go well with a variety of toppings and icings.

Anyone who has tried a banana split knows how versatile these mushy yellow fruits can be, so when they're the star flavor in a cupcake, the possibilities are nearly endless. Banana frosting is always a good choice, as is strawberry, raspberry or any other berry-flavored icing. Of course, just about any type of chocolate frosting is delicious when topping these little yellow cakes, but if you're in the mood for something really different, try adding a dollop of whipped cream. It's simple and delicious!

Coffee-flavored cupcakes may sound bizarre to some people, but they make perfect sense when you think about it. After all, there's coffee cake (though typically sans icing), ice cream, candy -- even tiramisu contains a distinctive coffee taste. Coffee made the jump from a pick-me-up drink in the morning to a popular dessert staple a long time ago, so don't be surprised if you see coffee cupcakes sharing shelf space with their chocolate and vanilla counterparts at your local supermarket or bakery.

Coffee is featured prominently in desserts because it goes well with just about anything that tastes sweet. Therefore, there are a myriad of possible frosting options for coffee cupcakes. Chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch, almond, raspberry -- really, any flavor that might go with a cup of joe is a possible contender for the cake or icing part of your cupcake. Even if you take your cup decaf, you have nothing to fear decaffeinated grounds can easily be substituted into any coffee cupcake recipe.

Let's face it, just about everyone loves chocolate. And no wonder -- many of the compounds contained in chocolate cause receptors in the brain to chemically induce feelings of pleasure (Read more about this in Can chocolate give me a happy high?). Chocolate is eaten by people all over the world, and for many of us, dessert and sweet treats are synonymous with the flavor.

Perhaps the main reason that chocolate cupcakes are so popular is because they use a winning combination: chocolate on chocolate. However, just because chocolate cupcakes have chocolate cake and frosting doesn't mean they're all the same. A rich dark chocolate cake spread with creamy white chocolate icing differs significantly from a milk chocolate cake topped with chocolate ganache. It's all chocolate, so you know it's going to be good, but it doesn't all taste the same.

Biting into a lemon cupcake isn't anything like sinking your teeth into an actual lemon. Although there will be a definite bit of tartness with the cupcake -- the amount of which is determined by the recipe -- the overriding sensation should be sweet. In fact, that's what makes this variety so popular. People who like a little sour with their sweet have found an answer to their dessert dilemma after years of passing up chocolate and red velvet cupcakes. Lemon cupcakes have really gained popularity in recent years, and you'd be hard-pressed to walk into a specialty cupcake store and not find one.

Lemon cupcakes typically consist of a yellow, lemon-flavored cake with sweet but slightly tangy yellow frosting. If the combination of lemon cake and lemon frosting is too tart for your taste, ask for an unfrosted cupcake with just a light dusting of powdered sugar for a subtle dose of extra sweetness.

When you think of peanut butter, cupcakes probably aren't the first thing that comes to your mind. However, peanut butter cupcakes have become quite popular in recent years, and, like many of the other cakes featured in this article, they aren't too sweet, which makes them extremely versatile and likeable.

Since you're starting with a nutty, slightly savory cake, you could just build on that by topping it with peanut butter frosting. To take the decadence up a notch, add chocolate. If you feel like going for something more unique, try mixing up some banana or honey frosting for an unusual treat. Or, if you're just looking to sweeten up an old childhood favorite, try forgoing frosting altogether and simply adding a few dollops of grape jelly to the top of the cupcake -- it's like a bagged lunch and trendy dessert in one!

Carrots have been a principal ingredient in European sweet cakes since the Middle Ages. The reason for this is simple: Carrots have more sugar than just about any other vegetable [source: Davidson]. Even if you have an aversion to carrots, you'll probably still like carrot cake cupcakes. They're like regular carrot cakes, only smaller. These sweet orange and white treats consist of a miniature carrot cake with a cream cheese-based frosting. If you're out of frosting (or don't like cream cheese), you can also eat them plain.

Carrot cake cupcakes epitomize the reason cupcakes have become so chic recently, as they offer a taste of indulgence without the temptation of an entire cake. You can find carrot cake cupcakes in most cupcake specialty stores and in many bakeries and supermarkets.

Like carrot cake cupcakes, red velvet cupcakes are big treats in miniature form. Instead of ordering an entire red velvet cake, why not choose a portion-controlled red velvet cupcake, which you can eat in about five or six big bites? This variety is moderately decadent and easier on both the wallet and the waistline than a full-sized cake, a fact that has helped red velvet cupcakes become virtually synonymous with the modern cupcake movement. It's a trendy, grown-up flavor in a kid-sized form that appeals to sweet-lovers of all ages. In fact, red velvet cupcakes often outsell all other flavors, including such traditional favorites as chocolate and vanilla, in some specialty cupcake stores [source: cupcake].

Aside from size, red velvet cupcakes don't really differ from their full-scale brethren. The little red cakes are smaller, but otherwise identical, to full-scale red velvet cakes, and they are topped with the same cream cheese-based frosting.

Forget the fads -- chocolate and vanilla cupcakes are timeless. These scrumptious desserts combine the two most essential sweet tastes into an unbeatable concoction that's always in style. You can find chocolate and vanilla cupcakes everywhere from the trendiest cupcake shops to elementary school cafeterias.

Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes might only consist of two flavors, but they've got countless variations. A light vanilla cake with dark chocolate frosting provides an entirely different taste from a milk chocolate cake slathered with creamy vanilla icing.

You can't go wrong with these two classic flavors, regardless if you're mixing up a batch straight out of a box or are about to devour a carefully concocted treat made from the finest ingredients.


The 30 Weirdest Roadside Attractions Right Here in the U.S.

It’s summer road trip season which means an unforgettable summer vacation doesn’t always require hopping on a plane and traveling overseas. You can find truly fascinating haunts right here in your own backyard. If you’re itching to jump into your car and embark on an unforgettable road trip, know that there are plenty of stops just waiting to be discovered all across the U.S. &mdash many of them rich in history.

From the strange (like Seattle’s Gum Wall, which began in the 1990s with people posting coins on the wall with the help of, you guessed it, gum) and the WTF (like Cadillac Ranch just outside of Amarillo, Texas) to the absolutely gross (like Hair Museum in Missouri), we’ve rounded up 30 must-pull-over destinations for your next trip.

So, what are you waiting for? Don’t let summer pass you by without seeing at least one of these roadside attractions. Pack your bags and prepare yourself for the weird.

A version of this article was originally published in August 2016.


Slideshow: The 13 Wildest, Weirdest Food Vehicles on America’s Roads

We recently put together a list of the 101 best food trucks in America for 2017, but what about interesting food vehicles in general? America’s roads have some crazy cars, trucks, and motorcycles that are spiffed out to look like all sorts of things — there are upside-down school buses, cars with hot tubs, and even some vehicles that resemble animals or food items.

One man went so far as to transform his Harley-Davidson motorcycle into a cheeseburger on wheels. The insane (and awesome) motorcycle has a loaded tray table between the handle bars and ketchup bottles as shock covers, with hot cheese that seems to be melting over the front wheel. Another crazy food vehicle? The Space Shuttle Cafe, which serves food from a realistic looking NASA space shuttle on wheels. Check out the rest of our list for more of the wildest and weirdest food vehicles on America’s roads.


Slideshow: The 13 Wildest, Weirdest Food Vehicles on America’s Roads

We recently put together a list of the 101 best food trucks in America for 2017, but what about interesting food vehicles in general? America’s roads have some crazy cars, trucks, and motorcycles that are spiffed out to look like all sorts of things — there are upside-down school buses, cars with hot tubs, and even some vehicles that resemble animals or food items.

One man went so far as to transform his Harley-Davidson motorcycle into a cheeseburger on wheels. The insane (and awesome) motorcycle has a loaded tray table between the handle bars and ketchup bottles as shock covers, with hot cheese that seems to be melting over the front wheel. Another crazy food vehicle? The Space Shuttle Cafe, which serves food from a realistic looking NASA space shuttle on wheels. Check out the rest of our list for more of the wildest and weirdest food vehicles on America’s roads.


Something Blue Cupcake

Small blue flowers on wedding cupcakes can be a fun way to add your "something blue" to your wedding reception. Blue cupcake papers are also a possibility. Use layered blossoms in a couple shades of blue to add a interest and take it to the next level.


The anti-foodie food

Cincinnati chili has proven oddly resistant to the foodie revolution unlike other regional dishes, like Tex-Mex, crab cakes, or shrimp and grits, there's no real way to sexy it up. You can't embellish on the recipe with truffle oil or pork belly, and it would be absurd to talk about its mouthfeel. It has, to my knowledge, never been included in a challenge on a competitive Food Network show. The pimple-faced teenagers who make it are cooks, not chefs.

Its presentation is simple: spaghetti under a uniformly brown chili sauce under an almost neon yellow pile of shredded cheddar. Its preparation involves little in the way of culinary technique, and the recipes never change. It is not healthy. If made by an experienced line cook, a full table's order can be made and served in under a minute. This makes it assembly line fast food, a culinary genre which has gone definitively out of style.

The dish is, in short, the ultimate anti-foodie food. This can be explained in part by its history. Cincinnati chili was first created in the early 1920s by the Kiradjieff brothers, Greek Macedonian immigrants who owned a hot dog stand next to the Empress burlesque theater. The recipe was probably an adaptation of a traditional, heavily spiced lamb or goat stew, which was placed on top of hot dogs in imitation of the cheese coneys they'd seen when they stopped at Coney Island after immigration processing in New York. The Kiradjieff's stand, Empress Chili, gained a popular following among burlesque patrons, and as they expanded, they hired more of the town's growing Greek and Balkan population as cooks, dishwashers and waiters.

Many of these waiters would then leave Empress to open their own chili parlors – the founders of Skyline, Dixie Chili and Gold Star, the three best-known modern chains, all got their starts at Empress, and the extent to which the original recipe was stolen by these offshoot parlors remains somewhat unresolved.

According to Dann Woellert, writer of The Authentic History of Cincinnati Chili, Tom Manoff, Jr., (the creator of the chili recipe that would eventually be used by Gold Star) allegedly stole one of the spice packets made in secret by the Kiradjieff family and took it to a chemist who used gas chromatography to determine which spices the blend contained. In other cases, brothers would leave family parlors to open competing chains across the street, and unscrupulous owners would claim affiliation to the more prominent parlors when no such affiliation existed.

As a result of this history of local culinary intrigue, owners of the parlors closely guard their recipes. Skyline makes all of its chili at a single commissary, then ships the boxed brown cubes that so alarmed me on my first day in the kitchen out to their franchises in order to maintain the secrecy. Recipes that are given by the parlor owners to the food press often are merely a list of spices (with no amounts offered) or have certain essential secret ingredients omitted.

Woellert estimates that the average Cincinnati chili contains 18 spices. They all contain cinnamon, and there's a myth in Cincinnati that the secret ingredient is chocolate (it's not, but I did not find that out until researching this article), but after that, it's a hodge-podge of random spices, like allspice, cloves, anise, nutmeg, garlic and cumin. Once you've hit 18 spices, adding new flavors is either not going to change much, or it's going to throw the flavor balance out of whack. For this reason, recipes are written in stone and protected like state secrets.

So when my friends from outside the city ask how to make Cincinnati chili, I say what I, a former Skyline cook, know to be true: dump it out of the container, add water, and heat.


Combining different cuisines can be a wonderfully delightful experience, and these examples of funky fusion foods are showcasing how consumers are pulling ingredients from all around the globe to create wonderfully unique recipes.

Experimenting with classic dishes from a variety of cultures is a creative way to create brand new meals with exciting flavors, and these funky fusion foods are offering up some bold and eye-opening examples of some of the ingredients you can put together. From instant noodles amazingly turned into larger-than-life burgers to breakfast tacos and Asian-inspired pies, these creative fusion foods will definitely have you amazed at all the unorthodox combinations.

Perfect for foodies looking to expand their palate with new and exciting dishes, these over-the-top recipes will definitely offer you some adventurous ideas.