Crumbs.

I have a hunch. I hardly dare believe I could be correct, as it's almost too much to hope. So I'm going to whisper it. After its hyper-prolonged and completely unjustified time in the limelight, the cupcake is dead. Or at least in terminal decline. There. I've said it. And boy, does it feel good.

The basis for this groundbreaking declaration is quite simple: a gradual realisation that it has virtually disappeared off the face of bakers' shelves and from the pages of the weekend supps. Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.

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I've always resisted the hype around this dumb confection, partly on the grounds of its being, in my view, an unsavoury symbol of cult of the individual. In the height of its popularity, even wedding cakes - those large iced creations that are cut and shared between guests as part of the ritual of witness and joint celebration - were diminished to piles of cupcakes, one for each guest to take away and consume in private.

Another irk is how readily the British public adopted the cupcake, which by its very definition is American (in the UK, we don't bake by cup measures) and abandoned the more traditional fairy cake. And the third is that cupcakes aren't really about baking at all; the skill they demand is all in the heavy sugary decoration (called, annoyingly, frosting instead of buttercream). In other words, the cupcake is all fur coat. It's very telling that demand for icing sugar, icing bags and food colourings went through the roof as the cupcake became ever more ubiquitous. Inevitably the benchmark standards set by the likes of the Hummingbird American bakery in London's Notting Hill dropped, and some of those made elsewhere just looked (and tasted) vulgar. Hummingbird made the cupcake a high-end speciality, but too many have jumped on that bandwagon, only to see it sink in the mud.

Now it seems our tastes are more refined. Even James Morton, the Scottish GBBO hero, appears to have dumped the cupcake in his latest book, How Baking Works (Ebury; £20). Among over 200 pages of biscuits, cakes, macarons, pastries, frasiers, friends, frangipanes, tarts and tortes, for which he offers recipes, explanations of the baking process and useful troubleshooting tips, I can find only one nod to the cupcake - except that he calls it "a wee sponge", and puts the emphasis on how best to achieve the lightness of the cake. I like that he opens the book with the declaration that it is for the unpretentious. His focus is on technique and flavour - not on style over substance.

I decided to investigate my earth-shattering "cupcake in demise" theory a bit further and asked Stefan Spicknall, owner of the Cottonrake 24-hour bakery in Glasgow, for his opinion. He said the volume of cupcakes he bakes every day has halved over the last few months. Although he still enjoys making high-end versions such as carrot and roasted walnut with carrot jelly, cupcakes are simply not on-trend. Demand has slumped. Or, as Spicknall hiself puts it so charmingly, the "arse has been burned out of it".

Their popularity for weddings is also in decline (hoorah). Cake tables are the big thing now. This is where around 10 large cakes are commissioned for a party of 100, laid on a table at the wedding reception, and cut and shared around guests. Though not a full-scale return to the traditional high-stacked wedding cake, where the top layer is kept for the Christening of the couple's first baby, this modern multi-choice version allows for guests' various dietary requirements such as gluten and dairy-free. It also presents a welcome challenge for bakers to be as inventive as possible. Another trending version is the "naked" wedding cake, a sponge which has no icing at all but is filled or decorated with fruit and cream. Again, the absence of icing puts the focus on the cake.

This is not to say that we've lost out taste for sweet things entirely, of course. The French macaron - also made with sugar, icing sugar and food colouring - is making significant headway in gaining public favour. I'm sure it won't be long until the good old Scottish macaroon, made with potato and icing sugar among other things, makes a return to bakers' shelves.

Meantime, though, the dreaded doughnut is coming our way in the guise of the American brand Krispy Kreme, famous for its sharing boxes full of iced versions in various flavours. When it opened near Edinburgh it caused traffic jams on the M8 and now it's set to do the same when its new branch opens at Braehead shopping mall.

Whether these doughnuts are any better than cupcakes is debatable. It will be interesting to see if either features in the next series of GBBO, due to air in the autumn. Somehow I doubt it.

What is sure, though, is that even without the cupcake, it's still possible to have your cake and eat it.