I think that we can safely say that the peak of the cupcake craze is past us, considering that we’re no longer hearing about “that cupcake fad” or every new cupcake bakery in the newspaper each week. But that doesn’t mean that cupcakes are any less popular. In fact, they might even be more popular now than before as more people take an interest in baking them at home. Cupcakes! is a lovely cookbook with more than enough ideas to get you started on your own personal cupcake (baking) craze.
I don’t usually spend too much time on the introductory sections of cookbooks, but I must admit that I really like the opening pages of this one. It includes a quick look at all the basic components of cupcake making – from equipment to mixing methods – that is enough to give any baker (especially a novice) a little extra insight into the whys and hows of baking. It’s well presented and works with the format of the rest of the book.
The recipes center around two basic recipes – one chocolate cupcake and one yellow cupcake – which are used as the foundation for most of the recipes in the book, meaning that once you have mastered those two, it is a breeze to expand your repertoire with different variations. By the time you’ve worked through several of the recipes, even you’re not the experimental type, you might even find yourself encouraged to experiment a little on your own. Basics aside, there are some slightly more challenging cakes, as well as a number of frostings, fillings and great ideas for decorating. The book is also packed with gorgeous, tempting photos of the cupcakes that are very likely to tempt you into trying a few different types of cupcakes. And, if you happen to be a (food) blogger or photographer, they’ll probably give you more than a few ideas for plating and presentation as a bonus.