Around the year 2000, a single episode of the HBO series "Sex and the City" launched a cupcake craze that has yet to die down. With so many things that Americans love having been invented in other countries, it may surprise you to know that the cupcake was invented sometime before the end of the 18th century in the United States of America.

The Who, What, When of Cupcakes

Around 1796, Amelia Simmons included a cupcake recipe in her well-known cookbook "American Cookery." At a time when making cakes was a complicated process, cupcakes provided an easy cake-making option; the cakes were smaller, so they baked faster. And, the ingredients could be measured by cups rather than pounds. Some people called cupcakes "1-2-3-4" cakes, a reference to the easy-to-remember recipe, which was: one cup butter, two cups sugar, three cups flour and four eggs.