My concern was real. A Wall Street Journal article reported the icing was off the cupcake craze citing a big downturn in the stock of a major cupcake company. Having read that cupcakes were on their way out, I wondered if these popular indulgent pastries were going the way of traffic signals in Carmel.

Curious, I contacted several cupcake shops in Hamilton County to ask if there was any slip here with the trendy delight. My answer came quickly...the owners were all too busy making cupcakes to talk. However, after some persistence they dusted their hands of flour with their aprons, stopped the swirl of batter in arm held bowls and laid down icing covered spatulas to share their thoughts. Downturn? Not happening in Hamilton County they replied. Thank goodness. It may be a case on Wall Street but it's not a happening on Main Street.

I have found a consensus in describing cupcakes as an "economical extravagance" having both a popular and practical side. The flavors and imaginative frostings are liked by adults and kids alike. Who doesn't smile at a decorative cupcake or like to roll their fingers across the icing. Um-m-m is cupcake language spoken by all.

Interestingly our ice cream preferences tend to be the same one or two selections. However, for cupcakes, there seems to a sweet misery of choices on each visit. Often, we'll choose different ones and our choice just may depend on our imagination or a whimsical mood. Later on that particular subject.

Carmel's Flying Cupcake notes red velvet, strawberry, and a caramel butter as top sellers. In Cicero, SugarBean says its customers like vanilla, lemon, and peanut butter. GiGi's in Fishers finds red velvet, wedding cake, and a white and dark blend hard for customers to resist. For Heavenly Sweets in Noblesville it is salted caramel, strawberry and wedding cake that top the list.

If you have a practical side, cupcakes are even more attractive. The cost is nominal to buying the whole cake. There are no slices, plates or forks to handle. You are not tempted with leftovers. Talk about convenience for on the go, these treats come in their own travel cups. And for many of us, calories don't really count in small indulgences. In summary cupcakes are portion perfect.

Recently I brought home white almond wedding cupcakes from Heavenly Sweets. My wife seemed charmed by my "Hello Cupcake!" greeting and was delighted with her white icing pastry. Fondly remembering a wedding cake afternoon in 1976, we renewed our vows over cupcakes. This past Sunday closed an impromptu honeymoon weekend with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra/Lea Salonga concert at the Palladium.

Say, did I mention there is a whimsical side to this cupcake allure?