In the fashionable quest for the next big cupcake trend, a dessert foodspotter has come up with an interesting proposal.

Despite valiant efforts by the whoopie pie, the French macaron and small pies, The Food Channel is going out on a limb to say that the next cupcake is, well, the cupcake - deconstructed.

Cupcakes, the ubiquitous dessert popular for being a portable, indulgence in cake and icing form, are now being set aflame, dipped in fondue, made in supersized, skinny and mini-me versions and are even packaged on a stick, points out the report based on research by food website The Food Channel, and market researchers Culture Waves, and Mintel International. The report was published earlier in May.

Like the old-fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich, the cupcake has reached such iconic proportions pastry chefs are seeking new ways to make over an old classic.

While the amped-up cupcake tops their dessert trends list, another fast-rising trend in desserts is the palate for sweet, salty, tart and spicy desserts - sweets that hit different parts of the tongue simultaneously.

In addition to chocolate and chili combinations and chocolate-covered bacon, mainstream candy makers like M&M's have latched on to the trend with their chocolate-covered pretzels, the report points out.

Rounding out the top five dessert trends are downsized wedding cakes, cheese and nut dessert trays, and alcohol-spiked desserts for grown-ups, the report says.

Instead of traditional three-tier wedding cakes, for instance, couples are opting for more casual, fun desserts like a cheesecake bar, pies, gourmet donuts, macarons, cake pops and ice cream floats.

Sweet tooths have also tapered or 'matured,' the report says, as Americans are opting to enrich their post-dinner treat with proteins like a cheese platter or nuts. Greek yogurt is also being used as a topping for fresh fruit.

Other dessert trends noted in the survey include the use of whole grains in desserts, less processed treats, floral flavorings, and dessert theatrics. The report cites restaurants like Brennan's in New Orleans which is famous for their tableside Bananas Foster, and egg creams prepared fresh at Eleven Madison Park in New York.

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