By Karen Axelton

photo butch bakeryCupcake businesses remain hot, but now some new twists are popping up. Here are two we’ve seen recently.

Manly Cupcakes: reported on the story of David Arrick, a Wall Street Lawyer who started a cupcake business after being laid off and noticing long lines outside New York City’s Magnolia Bakery. He saw an article describing cupcakes as “pink and magical” and decided they could also be masculine.

Arrick’s online cupcake delivery business, Butch Bakery, sports an unabashedly manly design and touts the manifesto: “We make manly cupcakes. For manly men.” What makes them so manly? Part of it’s liquor: flavors include kahlua-soaked vanilla cake with Bailey’s Bavarian cream, brandy-soaked lemon cake with orange-infused chocolate ganache filling, and chocolate and beer-infused cake with beer buttercream frosting. Of course, there are also non-alcoholic flavors like caramel cake with salted caramel filling; and maple cake with milk chocolate ganache and crumbled bacon.

Ironically, Arrick admits most orders have been placed by women. Brides have also asked him if he’ll make wedding cakes, and the Food Network approached him to see if he wants to audition for its show “Cupcake Wars.”

“It’s surprisingly a cutthroat environment for cupcakes,” Arrick told, but that isn’t stopping him. Currently with so many orders his site is backlogged, Arrick is planning to expand to Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles this year.

Wine and Cupcakes: Combining two hot trends, sisters Sandy Neves and Josie Genaro launched Sisters Cupcakes by Design in Cathedral City, California. The company sells 23 varieties of gourmet cupcakes and caters weddings and other events. But one marketing tool that’s worked especially well is its wine and cupcake tastings.

Held several times a month, the tastings pair flavors like coconut lime, chocolate orange and spumoni cupcakes with various wines.The events have been extremely successful for the sisters, who also offer tea and cupcake tastings that can be held at clients’ homes for events like wedding or baby showers.