OP here. Wanting to clarify a couple of points.
I have only ever heard my friend be asked ONCE for the recipe, and it was by someone she had met only once before, so not really a friend. I thought that as we saw each other every week in our social circle that she might see my request more favourably than someone she does not really know.
Therefore, asking her only the once in an email did not seem like I was ignoring any cues, subtle or otherwise, given to others. And the fact that she has now moved away changed my view too. I had not thought to ask her for the recipe when she was still here and happily making them for everyone. The kudos for the cupcakes was all hers to keep. And even if she shared the recipe now, it would be "Friendsname's cupcakes" to anyone who asked and requests for the recipe would be referred to friend or politely denied.
YES I would absolutely accept a no answer. Disappointed, clearly, but it is her absolute right to say no. And I am having a little fun trying out new recipes, learning as I go. One day I will perfect my own cupcakes, it just may take some time and any heads up or help would have been wonderful.
No, I would not want a half detailed recipe so if she has changed or tweaked the recipe there is little point. But all of this is useless conjecture because at the end of the day the ultimate problem I have is that she does not have the courtesy or kindness to just be honest with me and say "thankyou so much for asking, I am glad that you love the cupcakes, but I really do not want to share the recipe." or, "I would rather not share the recipe. Thanks for asking. Have a great new year".
So now I am left to presume that she has the email, but will not ever be sure, and also presume then that the answer is no, which is a whole lot more presumption than I ever like to deal with. Why oh why can't people just be honest? All this guesswork is hurting my brain
And I am sorry that some posters feel that calling her a grinch is unfair. I am just being honest in how I feel. I do think she is being a little selfish by withholding what is apparently a public recipe, but at the end of the day I am more upset about being snubbed and the request being given the silent treatment. An honest response from my friend would have avoided this whole dilemma.