A cupcake is a small, sweet baked good topped with frosting. You might bake cupcakes for your best friend’s birthday.
When you make cupcakes, you mix up cake batter and instead of baking it in large pans, pour it into the small, paper-lined indentations in a cupcake or muffin pan. Some people prefer cupcakes to cakes, because they’re the perfect serving size. In Britain and Australia, cupcakes are called “fairy cakes.” Cupcake is an American English word dating from the 19th century.