Shape up or ship out… cupcake?

April 23, 2008 at 1:13 PM | Posted in cupcakes | 28 Comments

When I think about the reasons why I love cupcakes I usually mention the “cake” – moist and fluffy or the “frosting” – smooth, silky, sugar rush or the portable bite size-ability of the whole cupcake package. It never crossed my mind that there was another characteristic that I hadn’t even considered.

Recently my cupcake convert friend, Natalie, emailed me this article and asked me the question:

“… and how do you feel about a square?”

A new cupcakery, Cupcakes Squared, in San Diego, CA, owned by Robin Wisotsky, wanted to set her cupcakery apart from all the other trendy cupcakeries out there by baking up square cupcakes. Whaaaaaaat?

Whoa. Wait a minute. Square? Cupcakes? I can’t even wrap my brain around that concept. I need visuals… stat!

(photo credit: San Diego Foodstuff)

Alrighty then… now that I can see what I am up against I’ve written down some pros and cons.

1. The square shape would make traveling easier, more apt to stay up than topple over and roll around.
2. Making the ever popular cupcake-cake would be oodles easier since squares stack next to each other more symmetrically to create that illusion of a sheet cake.
3. A square shape gives you more square footage for your money (if we’re talking equivalent pricing)
4. The toppings wouldn’t roll off the cupcake as easily.
5. It would be really easy to fit a square cupcake as a gift or wedding favor in a cute little square box and bow.

1. The round shape compliments the swirl of the frosting better to me.
2. The round shape fits in your mouth better than a square. (Try to keep it G-rated, Nikki. LOL)
3. Squares make me think of brownies not cupcakes.
4. Round shape is easier to hold b/c of the natural curve of your hand.
5. You’d have to buy custom made packaging, liners if you want to bake square cupcakes.

My pros seem like more (my) opinion than “facts”. I guess it just doesn’t look like a cupcake to me without the whimsical round cylindrical shape but… I can admire the ingenuity and creativity of thinking outside the cupcake box.

Got anything to add to my list? What are your thoughts on the cupcake shape theory?

Leave me a comment.



  1. How do you expect me to keep it G rated after that? I mean if some guy walked up to me and was like hey I have a square p*^!$ wanna taste I’d run the other way. That’s pretty much the same way I feel about square cuppies

  2. NIKKI, ::smacks head:: You just had to go there. btw Nice use of ^ in your attempt at a G-rating. LOL

  3. Because I know you like em round better and can’t make you pros and cons sound like it … I’ll prove your pros are wrong

    1. It’s still little, it will still topple … stop kidding yourself
    2. Ok the cupcake cake may be easier, but it’s SOOOO much less impressive when you use squares that fit together AND what about round corners?
    3. Actually, it looks like they just made big cupcakes and cut the sides of … thus less sq footage
    4. See #3 … it’s still rounded on top like a cupcake … no reduction of Jimmie fall-age
    5. It may be easy to fit it in, but if you went to a wedding and opened up a square cuppy you’d be like WTF kind of crack was the baker smoking … they screwed up the cupcakes

  4. NIKKI, Ok. seriously. #5 made me bust out cackling.

  5. XOXOXO!!

    (not joining the debate, too much of a novice)

  6. NATALIE, right back ya babe :)

  7. i too am a novice when it comes to cupcake but I think they’re kind of cute!
    LOL at Nikki about the wedding cake baker :)

  8. BETH, well I guesss… you are entitled to your opinion (even if its wrong!). I keed I keed. Wub you. ;)

  9. I love it. I want that square pan and liners, STAT! I would totally commit to all square. Im more of a square type, thats how I roll, yeah..

  10. Please let me introduce you to the Terre Haute Square Donut (google it). Same types of pros and cons, but I swear it just TASTES better when it’s square :-P

  11. I just have one thing to say…whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

  12. SLUSH, um yeah… then I don’t think I can roll with you anymore. LOL

    CAITLIN, square donuts? Just like cupcakes, my donuts need to be round. How can I pretend its a huge diamond ring if its square? I mean.. come on… really??

    MRSABYBABY, exactly! whaaaaaaaaaat?

  13. Um those are just wrong. Cups are round. so cupcakes should be round. So square cupcakes can’t happen. Call them something else. Those look more like a piece of sheetcake. (OCD overload)

  14. Ok, it just occured to me that I’m a complete idiot. My cupcake hero cupcakes are square this month. But these are off the charts square.

  15. Soooo, I think they are kinda cute. I like different things and these are definetly different. Would I trade my round pan for a square pan? Probably not, but I would like a square one to bake on certain occasions.
    ::ducks from objects being thrown by CB and NB::

  16. MARY, haha you so funny! I think you are forgiven b/c your cupcakes weren’t rigidly square. They were still rounded. Its all good ;)

  17. The square one is a mini cake. The cupcake has been, is, and will always be round. It is not a mini-cake, it is a separate entity… a very round separate entity. :)

    And I agree with Nikki… If I saw that at a wedding I’d totally be making comments about the amount of crack smoked at that bakery. :)

  18. NIKITA, separate entity indeed! and whatever the baker was smoking… uh? can I have some? haha.

  19. all narcotics must be shared. :)

  20. i think the cube cupcakes look alittle like brownies with frosting on them. even though they might be easier when traveling, i think i’d prefer to get an original circle cuppy from you :]

  21. SUE, exactly! its a brownie NOT a cupcake! aawwww you’re so sweet. ::blushing::

  22. Square = brownie. Round = cupcake. That’s all.

  23. ZEBE, nft. ;)

  24. Your all way off
    These cupcakes rock
    The taste is so much better then any cake I have had its crazy
    The square shape is refined and pretty with the gold logo
    they don’t fall over like round cakes and you can peel the four sides of the paper easy
    they fit in a box nicely
    Have any of you tried them
    And there are square cups
    I have some
    Dave W

  25. DAVE, I never said anything about taste. Just commenting on the shape. I am sure they are quite tasty or your “wife/sister’s” biz wouldn’t be successful. Round or square aside, taste is what brings customers back. Thanks for commenting. PS. where do you buy square cups? I couldn’t find any and after emailing Robin, she said hers are custom made.

  26. Actually I make round brownies…in cupcake pans and liners!!! You don’t get that whole crispy edge, squishy center dilema. They are just through and through perfect. However they are still brownies. Ergo, square cupcakes are still cupcakes. A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet!

  27. DONNA, Oh man. I guess we differ on the whole crispy edge brownie thing. I love the edges! To each their own, right? Its all good.


    We spend so much time saying to go outside the box that we fail to appreciate what awesome things a box can bring. I am working on some images of my square cupcakes and you will see that they are WAY more fun than you think. STAY TUNED!

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