Are Gourmet Cupcakes On The Way Out?

We have been predicting the cupcake's demise for a long time (Slate has been waiting for the sugar crash since 2009), but now the Wall Street Journal has reintroduced the all-important question in the food dessert world: Is the cupcake trend dying?

The business publication puts cupcakes on the chopping block, noting that while Crumbs was trading at more than $13 a share in mid-2011, nowadays the cupcakery's shares are just $1.70. Last Friday, the company said that sales for the year will be down 22 percent from the expected, causing shares to drop 34 percent.

Even worse for the cupcake business, there are quotes from an investment banking firm partner saying things like "the novelty has worn off," and "it's a short-term trend and we're starting to see a real saturation."

So what's next? Nothing quite has the low entry barrier of cupcakes (one of the cons to the business is, after all, that anyone can bake cupcakes), but pies have been trending for a while and have a potential mini-size for party appeal, while gourmet donut shops have been gathering a following. We like betting on pies, just because we're obsessed with the sweet and savory possibilities, but the market will decide.