April 11, 2016

People have been asking us: Whatever happened to our cupcake historian? He used to pop by the CANDY LAB  fairly often. So we gave him a call and he was happy to join us for lunch (and a cupcake). And as usual, he had a handy fact or two to share.

He was looking through a pile of new cupcake liners we’d just bought, which inspired him to tell us about the history of cupcake liners. We were surprised to find out that this absolutely essential product did not arrive on the market until after World War Two.

Oddly enough, for something so cute and delicate, cupcake liners were created by an artillery manufacturer called the James River Corporation. After the war, the market for artillery shells dropped precipitously. So the fast-thinking folks at James River pivoted toward paper and created the first paper dessert cup, using the same machines they used for shells.

Before then, bakers had to laboriously prepare cupcake tins with oil and flour, and even then there would be sticking issues. So when the paper liner came along, it was embraced by bakers, growing immensely popular throughout the 1950s.

Then in the 1970s, the look of paper liners became much more varied in color and design—and it’s hard to imagine now what we’d do without all those colorful choices!

That pretty much takes us to where we are today, awaiting the next giant leap in paper liners.

Thanks, cupcake historian. We hope you drop by more often.

Historically yours,

Alan and Karen

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