Thanks to the popularity of cupcake shops, you can buy a hand-held sweet treat in any number of neighborhoods. But now, you'll be able to grab one at any hour of the day, thanks to a 24-hour cupcake ATM from Gold Coast bakery Sprinkles (50 E. Walton St.).

The machine resembles a bank ATM, with a touch screen and credit card reader, only it's bright pink. In between transactions, it plays a catchy jingle ("I love Sprinkles. Yes, I do. Yes, I do. The best cupcake in the world!"). Once a cupcake is selected and paid for, the screen shows a live video feed of a mechanical arm retrieving the chosen boxed cucpcake.

Here's a by-the-numbers breakdown of more Sprinkles ATM-related facts:   

>>11: The time the cupcake ATM began operation on the morning of Saturday, Aug. 4.

>>12: How many cupcakes the first first ten customers to use the ATM on opening day won. The machine was also randomly stocked with Willy Wonka-inspired "golden ticket" coupons for a dozen free cupcakes.

>>500: The maximum number of cupcakes the machine can hold at one time.

>>$4: The price of one cupcake.

>>12-15: The number of cupcake flavors available from the ATM on a daily basis. Inventory will mirror the flavors stocked at the store, which rotate daily and include one or two seasonal flavors, said store supervisor Laura Potter.

>>30: The number of seconds you have to swipe your credit card after selecting your cupcake of choice. After that, the ATM resets and you must make your flavor selection again.

>>0: The number of dollar bills the ATM will accept. Credit cards only, please.

>>3: The number of coming-soon cupcake ATMs planned at Sprinkles locations in Dallas, Houston and
Washington, D.C.  

lmarnett@tribune.com |@redeyeeats
>>Read RedEye reporter Mick Swasko's March article about plans for Sprinkles' cupcake ATM.