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But no one knows the true origin of cupcakes, leaving us with a lot of speculation. What we do know is the earliest recorded cupcake recipe dates back to 1796 and is as follows:
"A light Cake to bake in small cups.
Half a pound sugar, half a pound butter, rubbed into two pounds flour, one glass wine, one do. [glass] Rosewater, two do.[glass] Emptins, a nutmeg, cinnamon and currants."
---American Cookery, Amelia Simmons, 2nd edition (p. 48), Courtesy of The Food Timeline
This recipe seem somewhat straight forward, but slightly different from the cupcake recipes we are used to today. It is very rare to see a glass of wine in cupcake batter and the rosewater* was most likely used as a flavoring agent, but emptins-what is that? After some careful digging it was determined the emptins was a leavening agent. It's purpose was to give the cakes an lighter quality.
So how does this all sound to you? Here at my little cupcake we are very curious what those first cupcakes tasted like! Would you be willing to help out? Bake up a batch of these cakes and let us know how they come out. Exact measurements might take some tweaking, but the force will be with you. Good luck!
my little cupcake
*my little cupcake recently made rose cupcakes for Valentine's Day!