Confectionary Clash: Pies vs. Cupcakes

Cupcakes; Image from MorgueFileWhat could be better than a battle royal of your favorite sweets?  Not much.  However, could one tasty treat truly push the other out of the lime light and into oblivion (as some writers around the web might hope)?  Probably not too likely.

You may then be asking, “Why do so many people care about cupcakes and pies?!”  With articles popping up everywhere from blogs to the Wall Street Journal , the answer is that everyone has their opinion on what is best.  And unlike many other trendy food items, cupcakes and pie are commonplace in most people’s everyday lives (especially in childhood).

There are also businesses involved in the confectionary clash.   Shops and companies dedicated to selling baked goods have become huge money-makers in recent years due to such a great demand and a usually low start-up cost.  We spoke to the experts, Michael D. Wickersham of Wick’s Pies, Inc.  and Courtney Gorman of Sweet Lucinda’s , to get their thoughts on what makes theirs the best goodie in this melee.

Wickersham “was born in the Pie business.”  His father started the now famous Wick’s Pies in Winchester, Indiana, from the restaurants he owned and operated.  He started making pies because he couldn’t find one he felt was good enough for his customers.  The business started with 20 pies a day and is now up to about 10,000 per day.

Gorman’s baking also grew from her roots. She says, “Most of my recipes originate from my mom (Sweet Lucinda) or grandmother.”  Gorman adds, “When I was a very little girl my mom would bake for us all the time…my birthday parties were the best!”  These birthday delicacies and comforting memories like it are what inspired her to start her own bakery.

Pie; Image from MorgueFileBut it’s not all just about family recipes and good memories.  Both Wickersham and Gorman have their thoughts on what makes their sweet delights the clear front runner.

Wickersham’s biggest line of defense for the pie is their health benefits. “Many pies are made with fresh fruit.  Some pies are made with vegetables, some with milk, some with chocolate, and some with nuts.  Pies offer protein, dairy, fruit, vegetables, grains.  Come to think of it a slice of pie looks like a pyramid and could be used as a dietary pyramid,” he said.  He goes on to add that while cupcakes may be trendy, “Pie is America’s Dessert.”

Gorman feels that cupcakes are big because, “They are individual, personal cakes that make everyone feel special.  They are great for events and parties because they require no work…people can grab and go.  You can get a smattering of flavors instead of just one in a cake.”  She continues saying, “And sweets seem to be a treat that people are willing to still invest in.”

So which one is best?  Do trends beat out classics?  Is it better to share or have it all to yourself?  There’s no better way to decide then to put the two rivals head to head.

1. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jan/15/business/la-fi-pie-20110115
2. http://www.slate.com/id/2227216/ 3.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703960804576120453548957890.html 4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._state_foods

So, who is the real winner?  It could be both.  More accurately, it could be a combination of the two.  Gorman has actually brought the best of both worlds together at Sweet Lucinda’s with a pie cupcake.

But really if you want to know if it’s one or the other, only you can decide.  And what’s the best way to make a food related decision?  Taste test them both at home!

Try this recipe for a Chocolate Carmel Cream Pie  and cut it perfectly with this pie cutter  from Central or this one for the Ultimate Jumbo Filled Chocolate Cupcakes using a jumbo cupcake pan from Central.

**Pie Trivia – According to Wickersham, The Bean Pie (made of navy beans) was the Boxing Champ, Muhammad Ali’s favorite pie.

**Cupcake Trivia – Although often thought of as a trend, the first mention of cupcakes was actually in 1796 in “American Cookery” by Amelia Simms.  

Post your thoughts below on the results and which yummy dessert is your favorite!

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