Look at the cupcake closest to us in the image.
Yes, that one is a beauty. You can barely see the cake, can you? A whopping amount of frosting, coupled with a veritable plethora of sprinkle - that's a modern cupcake.
Cupcakes are a lot like marketing. I mean, you don't see people sitting around eating the frosting and sprinkles from a cupcake, throwing away the cake, do you? (unless you're watching a Seinfeld episode about muffin tops - click here).
Take a look at an old-school cupcake:
How much frosting do you see on that cupcake?
Frosting is to cupcakes as discounts/promotions/marketing is to merchandise. We all love more and more and more frosting, until there's just too much frosting there, and then we stop buying cupcakes from the bakery.