Martha Stewart’s “Cupcakes” under review!

11 Jun

Since Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes is the book we use more often than not, we decided to review it. Overall, we like the book a lot; obviously since we use it so often. The presentation of the book is very clean and simple. The pictures are also really great- and there are lots of them! One for every cupcake recipe, plus more for decorating and instructional use. This is something we really look for in any sort of cookbook. It keeps you on track with what you’re making. It’s easier to know if you’re doing it right (or wrong) if there are pictures of how the finished product is supposed to look.

The cupcake recipes themselves aren’t too crazy.  There are basic ones; your chocolate, vanilla, carrot. Then there are more unusual ones, like peanut butter and jelly, lavender, pistachio. Adaptations of other desserts are featured quite predominately in the book, such as Tiramisu cupcakes or the various cookie cupcakes they have. There’s a cupcake to suit any mood you’re in. The book also includes some flour-less and allergen-free recipes, which is nice to have if you’re baking for someone with these types of needs.

Another bonus- often we get more out of the recipes than she says- usually quite a bit more! So be prepared for that!

The Downsides:

Often the cupcake recipes had incredibly varied amounts. Some made 12, 16, 24, 28… so if you’re trying to make two batches of cupcakes and you need 24 then you’re in for a wild ride of calculating a recipe and trying to figure out how much an egg and a half is.

We found the icing recipes even more tedious. They don’t say about how many cupcakes they ice, only how many cups of icing they make, and with the icing recipes amounts as varied as the cupcake recipes, you’re in for a lot of recipe reducing. Who really needs 6 cups of icing when you’re trying to make a batch of cupcakes? It would have been nice to see more reasonable amounts.

It is a bit disappointing when your realize that only half of the book is actual cupcake recipes (not that I’m saying you’ll run out of cupcake recipes, there are about 78!). More than half the book is composed of decorating ideas for birthdays and holidays (many of them absolutely adorable, that being said!), as well as explanations, tips and tricks, icing recipes and display tips. Some part of me wants more cupcake recipes, but another part of me is thankful for the decoration ideas. It definitely inspires creativity. On second thought, this really is more a plus than a minus.

Last, but not least… Drumroll on the cupcakes we’ve made from this book…

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes, Carrot, Red Velvet, Rhubarb with Whipped Cream, Devil’s Food Cupcakes, Apple Sauce Spice, Brown Sugar Pound Cakes, Streusal, Flour-less Chocolate Cupcakes, Snickerdoodle, Banana, Strawberry.

Some more often than once. It also seems like there’s more we’re forgetting. It’s hard to keep track when you make as many cupcakes as we do.

Coming up next is the Black Forest Cupcakes for a dear friend’s birthday (I hope she doesn’t read this!). And we’re dying to try the Tres Leches… We don’t just use this book, we bake from a variety of books, websites, and our own minds, so more reviews to come!

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