What were cupcakes originally called?
When bakers began systemizing their recipes, they often used one cup of butter, two cups of sugar, three cups of flour, and four eggs as a standard for cake baking. The ease of these numbers paved the way for a name that accurately described the basic cake and cupcake measurements, thus, "1234 cakes", “Number cakes” or "Quarter cakes" were born.
Cupcakes have been around since the late 1700s. The first mention of the cupcake can be traced as far back as 1796 when a recipe notation of “a cake to be baked in small cups” was written in "American Cookery" by Amelia Simms (1811 - 1868).
However, the word ‘cupcake’ itself did not come about until 1828, when celebrated author and cooking expert Eliza Leslie (1787–1858) published her cookbook ‘Receipts’, which included the recipe for the first cupcake.
Though Leslie can be credited for cementing the first cupcake recipe, there is no single inventor of this sweet treat. Most of the time, ‘cupcake’ was simply a name for a measurement, much like ‘pound’ cake.
Furthermore, no one knows for sure if whether the name "cupcakes" was applied because of the cup-sized measurements or because they were deliciously baked into cups. Regardless of her inspiration, we can thank the infamous cookbook author for the name we've come to know and love.