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(article, Liz Crain)
Over the past several years, the cupcake has assumed a cultural importance greater than its small size. No longer is the cupcake the stuff of kids' school birthday parties; as the New York Times reported back in 2003, "They are art, they are fashion, they are a tourist attraction, and they can be big business." [%image feed-image float=left width=250 caption="A cupcake from the blog Cupcakes Take The Cake."] Cupcakes these days have their own books, such as Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and their own bakeries, such as Portland's Cupcake Jones. Along the way, cupcakes have become a fun wedding-cake alternative. They offer a way to dole out icing-topped sweets on the big day without having to cut the cake. And you don't have to choose between chocolate or vanilla, fruity or nutty, vegan or gluten-free; with cupcakes, you can have it all. Cupcakes Take The Cake, a New York City-based blog written by three friends, was recently featured on "The Martha Stewart Show" during the show's Cupcake Week, the last week of March. The blog, stacked with cupcake recipes and news, covers everything from the nation's ever-expanding roster of cupcake boutiques to the ongoing competition for the world's largest cupcake. Cupcakes Take The Cake typically has more than 100 posts a month. If you want to get fancy in your own kitchen, try whipping up some of the blog's wasabi white chocolate with plum sake filling cupcakes, featured on the blog Cupcake Bakeshop.