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Divided America Comes Together To Agree A $3 Cupcake Is Ridiculous

07/14/2014 04:09 pm ET | Updated Jul 14, 2014
Peden Munk via Getty Images

Most Americans aren't willing to pay more than a dollar or two for a cupcake, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted on the heels of the demise of cupcake empire Crumbs Bake Shop shows.

Sixty-six percent of Americans said the most they'd willing to pay for one excellent cupcake is $2 or less. Nineteen percent were willing to pay $3, 9 percent were willing to pay $4, and 7 percent said they'd pay $5 or more

According to the Crumbs website, a six-pack of the company's "signature" cupcakes costs $27, or $4.50 per cupcake.

It seems Americans just aren't that into cupcakes. Fifty-eight percent of poll respondents said cupcakes are "somewhere in the middle" of their dessert rankings, far more than described them as "one of the best" desserts (24 percent) or "the very best" (5 percent). Ten percent described cupcakes as "one of the worst" desserts, while 2 percent said they were "the very worst."

Given that middling ranking, it's perhaps not a surprise that most Americans aren't willing to pay top dollar for the treats, even for a top-quality cupcake.

Not only are Americans not clamoring to pay for gourmet cupcakes, they also would prefer that new dessert shops sell something different. Thirty percent of Americans said they would most like a new shop in their area to sell ice cream or gelato, while 20 percent said doughnuts. Cupcakes were tied with "something else" at 16 percent, just ahead of cookies, at 13 percent. Five percent said they would like a new shop to sell macarons.

But it's not all bad news for cupcakes. Only 8 percent of Americans think there are too many cupcake shops in their area, while 31 percent said there are not enough.

And many Americans under age 30 are still fans of the dessert. Forty-one percent of that category called cupcakes either "one of the best" (31 percent) or "the very best" (10 percent) dessert. Nearly half of younger Americans said they would pay $3 or more for an excellent cupcake. They were even more likely to prefer a cupcake shop over a doughnut shop in their area, 23 percent to 16 percent, though ice cream still won out at 32 percent.

Younger Americans were different in another way as well. While 26 percent of respondents overall picked chocolate frosting on chocolate cake as their favorite flavor of cupcake, making that the highest-ranking option, younger Americans were more likely to choose vanilla on vanilla.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted July 9-11 among 1,000 U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here.

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