The Origin of Cupcakes
Cakes in some form have been around since ancient times, and today's familiar round cakes with frosting can be traced back to the 17th century, made possible by advances in food technology such as: better ovens, metal cake molds and pans, and the refinement of sugar.
While it would be impossible to say who actually made the first cupcake, we can look at several firsts surrounding these sweet, baked,desserts.
Originally, before there where muffin tins or cupcake pans, cupcakes were baked in small pottery bowls called ramekins. Teacups and other ceramic mugs were also used. Bakers soon evolved standard forms of volume measurements (cups) for their recipes. 1234 cakes or quarter cakes became common, so named after the four main ingredients in cake recipes: 1 cup of butter, 2 cups of sugar, 3 cups of flour, and 4 eggs.
The first official use of the phrase "cupcake" was an 1828 reference made in Eliza Leslie's Receipts cookbook.
Of course, small cakes without being called cupcakes existed before 1828. For example, during the 18th century, there were queen cakes which were very popular, individually portioned, pound cakes. There is also a 1796 recipe reference of "a cake to be baked in small cups" made by Amelia Simmons in her book American Cookery.