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June 22, 2017

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Like a piece of cake

The China Post news staff--They owe it to Carrie Bradshaw. The cupcake, this little thing of beauty, has risen to stardom in part thanks to "Sex and the City," shot outside Manhattan's Magnolia Bakery. In the scene, Carrie, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, sitting on a bench, takes a huge bite out of a pink-frosted cupcake and the rest, as they say, is history.

Earlier known as "number cakes" because of the easy to remember recipe (1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups flour etc.), cupcakes have officially gained a cult following. Lines spill out the doors of some well-known bakeries across the United States, with the likes of Magnolia Bakery, Sprinkles, Crumbs and Georgetown Cupcake becoming household names.

Who cannot resist these colorful mini-cakes frosted with dollops of whipped cream or smeared with cream cheese goodness? Fortunately, Taiwan is not lagging behind the cupcake trend. Eater's Digest has recently found three shops where you can get your dose of happiness in a cup, sans the long lines.

Located on Dunhua South Road, Ginjer Cakes 'N More is said to be the first specialty cupcake shop in Taipei. Opened in 2004, Ginjer serves cupcakes, cookies and other pastries, all baked home-style. Try Ginjer's Special (NT$50), a light and fluffy vanilla cupcake topped with buttercream. It is simple and delish with or without frosting, just like mama used to make.

Strolling in those alleys behind Roosevelt Road and smell the aroma of chocolate wafting through the air? That must be from We Love Cookies.

With cupcakes always generously smothered with frosting, the shop is well-loved by international students learning Mandarin in the nearby campuses, who all seem to be in a proverbial search for good desserts in town. The mint chocolate cupcakes (NT$50) — dense and moist chocolate cake with lick-worthy mint icing — never fail to brighten a gloomy day.

New kid on the block Les Bebes Cupcakery formally opens its doors tomorrow, Sunday. This posh cupcake shop is tucked in the alleys behind Yongkang Street, 15-minute walk from Dongmen MRT Station. Although on the pricier side, Les Bebes offers quite a range of cupcake and frosting combination. How about biting on a cup of Earl Grey instead of sipping it? The Earl Grey is a light cupcake with the perfect symphony of the classic afternoon tea and a tinge of lemon, topped with whipped cream. The cupcakes come in tiny sampler (NT$35) and regular sizes (NT$90 and up).

"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy cupcakes. And that's kind of the same thing."

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