Creative Cupcakes!


Have you noticed how many cupcakeries have sprung up around the country or, even, in your own town? Cupcakes are everywhere and it’s easy to see why.

Cupcakes are:

  • Portable
  • Cute
  • and Perfectly Portioned

Karen Tack & Alan Richardson, creative co-authors of Hello, Cupcake!, have come back for another batch of cute and surprisingly simple designs for a variety of occasions–bringing show-stopping cupcakes to home kitchens.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the book for review and to participate in a chat with the authors, hosted by McCormick. What fun!

What's New, Cupcake?

The book is brimming with pictures of both the finished cupcakes and many of the steps it takes to make them, making it easy for the home cook to replicate the fun ideas in the book as well as learn the techniques to improvise their own. The authors jokingly call themselves “lazy decorators” but, as Karen pointed out, lazy for some translates to efficient and smart.

For instance, a lot of the supplies you’ll need are basic kitchen tools. Most of the ingredients, outside of the cupcakes themselves, can be purchased in the candy aisle of your grocery store and take just a little bit of manipulation to turn them into great details.

Even with my background in pastry and cake decorating, I was able to pick up several fun ideas. I’m not sure I would have thought to use lime chewy candy to make broccoli spears the way they did for their Chinese Takeout cupcakes. And the marshmallow flowers are absolutely to die for! Simply snip a marshmallow on the diagonal and dip the cut edge into colored sugars, then arrange them in concentric circles to form the most darling, elegant flowers I’ve seen in a while.

Now, I’ll be honest, not all of the short-cuts and simplifications are my cup of tea. I’m not the biggest fan of Twinkies but there’s nothing to say I can’t substitute my own pound cake mini-loaves. In fact, a lot of the short-cuts can be made more gourmet for those looking for more of a culinary challenge.

And to top things off, I’ve got 2 author-signed copies of What’s New, Cupcake? to offer to you! Since the opportunity came from my connection over at Circle of Food, it’s only fair that I offer the giveaway over there. Head over to this same post over on Circle of Food and leave a comment with your favorite flavor of cupcake to be entered in the drawing. At the end of the month I’ll draw two comments out of a cake-pan for the books and a little something extra from me!