A cupcake (the common US term) or fairy cake (the common British term, although it is now used interchangeably with the US term) is a small cake designed to serve one person, frequently baked in a small paper cup. As with larger cakes, frosting and other cake decorations, such as sprinkles, are common on cupcakes.
The name of "cupcake" is given as it is a small cake the size of a teacup. In previous centuries, before muffin tins were widely available, the cakes were often baked in individual pottery cups, ramekins, or molds. The name "fairy cake" is a fanciful description of its size, which would be appropriate for a party of diminutive fairies to share.