Cupcakes are featured on the February covers of Martha Stewart Living and Better Homes & Garden magazines.
Even the February edition of Oprah's O magazine has a recipe for Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes with a not-so-traditional Cinnamon Buttercream frosting.

Kerry Johnson, co-owner of the Cupcake Station in Birmingham, doesn't see the cupcake trend cooling anytime soon. He and Tom Holleman opened another Cupcake Station in Ann Arbor in September.

"Our business is booming more after Christmas than before Christmas," says Johnson. People "seem more comfortable spending a couple dollars on a cupcake. It's an inexpensive way to make people happy."

Even the governor is getting in on cupcakes.

Johnson and Holleman wrote to Jennifer Granholm a month ago to tell her about their business expansion in Michigan and plans for further growth.

Johnson says he'll deliver cupcakes to her office Thursday. "We are going to surprise her with the flavors."

And these days, cupcake flavors have evolved. The Cupcake Station, for example, offers 20 flavors daily, including carrot cake, Michigan Bumpy Cake and Cookies and Crème. Cupcakes are popular for wedding receptions, wedding showers and baby showers -- and not just because they're cute and easy to handle.

"What we're finding is if you bring a cake to a shower at a restaurant, they may charge you a cutting fee," says Pam Turkin of Just Baked in Livonia. "My customers are telling me that they can get four to five different flavors and everyone can get what they like instead of one cake flavor."

Today, we're featuring cupcake recipes that transcend the usual: Brown-Sugar Pound Cupcakes with Brown-Butter Glaze; Banana Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Frosting and Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Filling.

My personal favorite:
What Up Doc? Carrot Cake Cupcake sprinkled with chopped walnuts. Yummy!

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