Hello, Cupcake!

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National Cupcake Day is Dec. 15. There are competing theories of the cupcake’s origin, but the following is generally agreed upon by food historians. In early 19th century America, many cooks were illiterate and passed down recipes orally. Some cooks had developed a recipe for multiple small cakes, for which it was easier to guarantee an even bake with limited supplies of fuel. The recipe was simple: one cup butter, two cups sugar, three cups flour, four eggs, and a cup of milk. Since most cooks at the time weighed their ingredients rather than measure them, the name “cupcake” caught on. —Spencer White

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