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There is no downside to eating a cupcake – it is soft, cakey, buttery and just the right size. That being said, cupcakes as a trend are very ‘two years ago’. If you are looking for a trendier, yet bite-sized meetha, consider these options:

  • Macarons. Macarons (not to be confused with macaroons) are most definitely the new cupcake. These delightful, slightly domed French confections look like sandwich biscuits and have a buttercream or jam filling. What sets a great macaron apart from the rest is the ‘foot’ (slightly ruffled edge) at the base of each domed cookie. Macarons are available at some local bakeries, but because they are difficult to make, they don’t come cheap. However they are well worth the price and have tremendous snob appeal.
  • Whoopie Pies. The humble cousin of the macaron, whoopies are extremely hip at the moment. They are easy to make and consist of two cookie shaped cakes held together by a dollop of cream or cream cheese frosting. Whoopies were first made by Amish women, said to have included them in their husband’s lunch boxes. When their men opened the boxes and saw the sweet treat, they would shout “whoopie!” and hence the name stuck. If you can’t find them in a bakery, try making them yourself.
  • Cake Pops. These are literally a ball of cake on a stick and are extremely popular with both children and adults. Cake Pops are not widely available in Pakistan but are incredibly easy to make. Use any branded cake mix to bake a cake, break it into crumbs, add a container of pre-made frosting, shape into balls and put them on skewer sticks. You can coat them in melted chocolate and cover them with nuts or pipe decorations on them. There are loads of options; use your imagination and have fun with them.

— Marylou Andrew

First published in the Adbuzzzz Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on August 21, 2011.