If you’re craving a cupcake topped with whipped vanilla frosting the next time you’re in the Holy Land, you’re in luck.
A New York Times story about the American-style cupcake craze spreading across the Middle East mentioned three shops that recently opened in Israel, all in Tel Aviv.
Debbie Stein, who is originally from Minnesota and founded the TLV Cupcake Company, told the NYTimes she saw a niche market for cupcakes in Israel:
Many of the people living in Tel Aviv know about cupcakes either because they are immigrants from countries where the cupcake is popular or they have spent time abroad… We saw Tel Aviv as the perfect place to introduce such a product, because cupcakes are gourmet and fashionable.
In addition to traditional flavors, she offers local versions such as halva, chocolate citrus, and Pink Velvet (red velvet with pomegranate juice instead of food coloring).
Danielle Levy, originally from England, opened I Love Cupcakes with her South African business partner, Hayley Rabie.
For the more homemade treatment, Israeli Ofer Yeger opened Cupcakes, whose website proclaims that "the sweetest trend in the world has finally reached Israel." Yeger’s site says she’s a former journalist who, after a trip to New York, decided to "combine [her] love for cooking, fashion and everything else that’s beautiful out there." And yes, she cites both Sex and the City and Magnolia Bakery in introducing her Israeli customers to the dessert.