Hello Cupcake!

Hey cake virgins!

I'm straying away from a typical post to do a book review. The book, which has quickly become one of my favorites, is called Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. Yes, this book is all about decorating cupcakes in creative and unique ways, but this can be great practice before you begin work on a larger cake.
Hello, Cupcake! offers not only some of the cutest cupcakes around, but also recipes for cupcakes and frosting. Not all cakes have to be full size. I find cupcakes a great and easy way to feed a boatload of hungry kids or adults.

The book starts off with simple tips, like which candies to use for facial expressions, the basic tools you will need to make their cute and playful creations, design materials, and even a list of baking supply stores, party supply and craft stores, gourmet candy stores, and  home decorating stores, even packaging and boxing stores.

The book provides a wide variety of cupcake designs, from holiday cupcakes that look like a turkey or a snowglobe, to April Fool's cupcakes, that look like corn on the cob or mashed potatoes and gravy.
What I think the book does best for you cake virgins is give you ideas and gets the wheels turning. Cakes don't have to be ordinary, they don't have to be typical. I think cupcakes provide an outlet to not only practice your techniques on, such as piping and gumpaste flowers, etc. but cupcakes are a medium with endless possibilities. You can still make a full cake out of cupcakes, as I demonstrated in a previous post with my starry night cupcakes.

Tack and Richardson do a good job of making these cupcakes easy to make. The cupcakes may look complicated, but you can make your own cupcakes look just like theirs. The techniques are simple, the candies are readily available at any retailer, and you can still impress your friends with you ability to make cute cupcakes that are not only delicious, but look great too.

Hello, Cupcake! is a great way to get your feet wet in decorating without having to jump in head first. The tips you learn from this book will help you in the future when you move forward with larger cakes, especially with figurine making. It helps you find the inner artist in you, and lets that inner artist get creative and think of unique ways to do different things.

Richardson and Tack have come out with a second book, What's New, Cupcake? that follows the same path as the first book. I have only gotten to glance through this book briefly (as a poor college student, I sat in the book store reading it and dying a little inside from not owning it myself) but it looks to be just as good, if not a little better, than the first book.

Both books are very affordable, only roughly $11 if you order it off of Amazon. It is also available for free shipping if you place an order over $25, so you could always buy both! If Amazon isn't your thing, both Hello, Cupcake! and What's New, Cupcake? are available at local bookstores for about $16 each.

I have included at the end of this post a video, courtesy of hmhbooks, of Alan Richardson and Karen Tack demonstrating how to make one of their many creations.

Until next time cake virgins!


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