Life's a cupcake...even these days

Despite the recession, or maybe because of it, bakeries that specialize in cupcakes are becoming more popular as people look for an inexpensive sweet indulgence that won't break their budget, according to a story.

Magnolia Bakers, featured in the popular HBO show "Sex and the City," has three locations. Another cupcake shop, Sprinkles, has stores in Newport Beach, Palo Alto, Calif., Dallas, Scottsdale and more are planned for Houston and Chicago.

It makes sense that comfort food is more appealing in hard times. It's a way to relax and enjoy life, to feel comfortable.

Vanessa Gates, manager of one of San Francisco-based Miette Patisserie's three shops, said in the story that cupcakes are popular because they're the perfect "small indulgence."

"People are picking and choosing their indulgences very carefully right now, and our cupcakes are high quality -- we use all organic ingredients -- but they're still affordable," Gates said.

At about $3 each, a high-end cupcake, just like a high-end chocolate bar, may be one indulgence people are willing to pay for -- even in a recession.

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