Cupcake Book Reviews

Don’t waste your money
Borrow it from the library
Buy it used
Buy it on Amazon. You won’t regret it.
Run to the nearest bookstore. Pay full price. It’s worth it.

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::Cupcakes!:: by Elinor Klivans

This is the first official cupcake cookbook that I ever bought. I think if my memory serves me correctly (I wouldn’t bet on it though) I bought it from Crate and Barrel as an impulse buy. Probably wasn’t a good idea to browse cookbooks when I was hungry huh? Lucky me I really have nothing bad to say about this book. I’ve made the Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes, Chocolate Hi-Hats and Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes. All delicious! It is a great book for a beginner or even an advanced baker b/c the recipes range from simple classic cupcakes to filled cupcakes to special occasion cupcakes. Another great plus is the photography. I am a very visual person so one sure fire way to make me love any cookbook are pictures. There is a picture about every 5th recipe. The recipes are easy to read, understand and execute.

Crazy About Cupcakes by Krystina Castella

Probably one of my favorite cupcake cookbooks if post-its, pen marks and dog eared pages are any indication. I find myself reaching for this book every time I need inspiration for a specific recipe or cupcake idea. I like the photography but I wish it had more pictures for individual recipes rather than group shots. The recipes and instructions are easy to understand. I love all the variations using different recipes and frosting combinations that the author suggests throughout the whole book. She has crunkcake recipes too! I’ve made countless cupcake and frosting recipes and all have turned out wonderful. I’d say that I use it more for the recipes than the decorating tips though. I think the decorating is fun and whimsical but not exactly my style. Hmmm… maybe I’m turning into a cupcake snob? Naaaaahhhh…

500 Cupcakes by Fergal Connolly

On the cover of the book, Connolly boldly states, “the only cupcake compendium you’ll ever need” but I am not so sure. I have made 3 cupcake recipes (oreo cookie, jelly donut and chocolate buttercream) from this book and all of them have been mediocre. Not sure if it’s my inability to substitute (I don’t do self-rising flour so I subbed with AP flour+baking powder+salt) but all of them have been dry and tasteless. But I will say that all 3 “frosting” recipes were pretty good. Even though there are tips, techniques and great photography for many recipes (I love having pictures in any cookbook), I also feel a little mislead because there aren’t really 500 unique cupcakes. Trust me. I wasn’t naive enough to think there would be 500 cupcake recipes but there are definitely multiple filler cupcakes by simply adding an ingredient(s) to each base recipe and a whole chapter dedicated to muffins. Uh… hello? Muffins are NOT cupcakes. Muffins are ugly cupcakes. Just saying…

Confetti Cakes for Kids by Elisa Strauss

Even though this book is mostly cakes, there is a chapter (about 25 pages) dedicated to cupcake decor ranging from “beach” to “ice cream” to “burgers and fries” and more. Elisa Strauss uses various decorating techniques to design her cupcakes from frosting, fondant, royal icing, etc. I think the beginner cupcake-er might be a little overwhelmed with all the ingredients and steps but the intermediate and advance cupcake-er will be tickled pink over the techniques and design for each cupcake. What I love the most is the picture(s) for every design so you can visually see what you are attempting to create. The author also offers various cupcake, frosting recipes and techniques in the first chapter that I refer to all the time. I would buy the book just for the first 2 chapters: techniques and basic recipes.

Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunksi

I bought this book from William Sonoma but the picture I posted is from Amazon so the covers are slightly difference but I am told that it’s the same book. Maybe I got the special edition cover and it will be worth millions someday! (Wishful thinking?) I remember barely glancing at the bookshelf while browsing WS when my eye caught the cover title: Cupcakes and all the sudden I slowed down to grab the book. I had no idea I’d trained my eye-brain that well. HAHA. The thing is… I rarely buy books from stores. I usually deal exclusively with Amazon for the better deals but after flipping through the book for a good 20 minutes in the store, I bought it. The pictures sucked me in. There is almost a picture for every cupcake in the book. The chapters are broken down into Basic, Fruit & Nut, Chocolate, Special Occasion, Frosting & Fillings and Presentations. I’ve made countless recipes from this book and have never regretted paying full price (although my frugal side says it wouldn’t have killed me to wait for Amazon shipping… LOL)

Hey There, Cupcake! by Clare Crespo

I got this book as a gift from a fellow cupcake loving friend. I am not sure why I didn’t have it in my book collection already so I was giddy to receive it from her. I like that the author has a variation of cupcake recipes besides the classics: cola cupcakes, honey cupcakes, citrus cupcakes, savory cupcakes etc among various frosting recipes too. Of course I love when there are pictures for every cupcake. I’ve only made one recipe from this book b/c to be honest sometimes I forget I have it but the one I made was yummy. I am the most intrigued to make the author’s Candy Dough recipe soon. Guessing it’s her alternative to fondant?

Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson

I absolutely LOVE this book! I love that the authors take simple techniques and equipment to create some amazing works of cupcake art. I can relate to what they do b/c that is my design aesthetic too. Even though I tend to focus on flavors and not spend too much time on decorating with complicated techniques, this book has taught me that I can do a lot with imagination, a ziplock bag and candy. Who needs fondant when you can roll out a starburst? Genius! There are instructional pictures to re-create everything in the book ranging from dogs, penguins, vegetables, faux dinner, sunflowers, shark etc. They do have some cupcake and frosting recipes but the authors honestly admit that they usually use canned frosting and cake mix. I think this book would be enjoyed by all baking levels, parents and kids. I can’t wait for the 2nd one… Coming soon?


Cupcakes by Martha Stewart

No matter how you feel about Martha. Love her or hate her. The woman knows how to bake! When I found out that Martha Stewart had a cupcake book in the works I knew I’d be buying it. I pre-ordered it via Amazon and have since bought her cupcake book 3 more times for friends. FYI Costco is selling them (at the time of this review) for $14.99. You really can’t beat that price for this book! Regular price $24.99. Honestly I’d probably pay $24.99 for it if I couldn’t find it cheaper via Costco or Amazon. It’s “that” good. Her 1-bowl chocolate cupcakes are my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe, her meyer lemon cupcakes are sweet&sour-licious, her snickerdoodle cupcakes are AH-MAZING and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made her buttermilk cupcakes, all to rave reviews. One of the things I always say about my book reviews are the pictures. Note to aspiring cookbook authors: Pictures are a must. And Martha doesn’t disappoint. There are pictures for every cupcake recipe in her book. I get so inspired whenever I flip through this book. Great recipes and fun decorating ideas. What more could you ask for?

What’s New, Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson

Another winner for the cupcake duo of Karen Tack and Alan Richardson! I’ve been waiting for their 2nd book to come out ever since I bought their first book: Hello, Cupcake! (you can read my review above). True to the style of their first book they use simple decorating “tips” for the novice baker but even the most experienced baker will enjoy this book. One of the noticeable differences in their 2nd book is the addition of the “EZ cupcake” nomenclature for each chapter. There is a range of EZ to more difficult but realistically all the cupcakes in the book will seem easy with their straightforward instructions. Other than that, it’s still the same recipe for success as their 1st book. Simple techniques+candy decorations=amazing cupcake creations! If the pictures don’t inspire you then I don’t know what will. I could stare at the pictures for hours. (Pssst… Just between you and me. Insider gossip tells me that they have Book 3, 4, 5, 6 currently in the works! I can’t wait.)

Cake Pops! by Angie Dudley

Angie (or as she’s more fondly known as Bakerella) brings us a hard cover book version of her popular blog. Most readers in the confectionery blogging world know Bakerella’s blog but if you don’t you can find it (here). So was I surprised she got her own book? Not in the least. She’s friendly, talented and funny. A great recipe for an author. Even though I tried not to give into the cupcake pop hype, I found myself succumbing to the teeny cupcake temptress. And it was delicious. You can see my own cupcake pops creation inspired by Angie’s book (here) and (here). Being a visual person, I love the picture step-by-step instructions in the beginning of the book when she takes you through how to make a cupcake pop from an 9×13 sheet cake. Even though she primarily uses boxed mix for consistent results she also provides some scratch recipes as well. I think my favorite parts of the book are the “tips” for each creation and the picture index in the back.

**Review coming soon**

**Review coming soon**

**Review coming soon**

**Review coming soon**

**Review coming soon**

Do you have a cupcake book you want me to review?

iheartcuppycakes{AT}gmail{DOT}com

32 Comments »

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  1. I am so glad you did this! I didn’t know about most of these. Sorry I have been such a slacker about AYE. I am working on the roundup and changing some things.

  2. I LOVE “Hello Cupcake”. It’s my fave cupcake book. Thanks for posting the reviews. I’m always in search of more good cupcake books.

  3. Thanks so much for putting this guide together! Very helpful! :)

  4. THANKS! Perfect timing, too. My babysitter is turning 14 and I want to make something extra special for her – she’s awesome. I think I’ll check into Hello, Cupcake. Your blog is quite fun.

  5. I almost bought “500 cupcakes” today while I was surfing through cupcake books. Now Im glad I didnt. It just seemed like the author was trying to just reach the goal of 500 cupcakes without putting alot of effort into each one. A book that I recently bought is “cupcakes galore” I like it and it has alot of fun recipes although it has nothing to original, I have baked about 5 out of the book an all tasted wonderful!

  6. I was also disappointed by 500 cupcakes, which I received as a gift. Tt doesn’t even include a Red Velvet recipe! How can you include muffins and savory recipes and completely skip red velvet?

  7. I love how you rate the cupcakes. That’s exactly how I do it too (do I buy it now @ full price or wait until I have a coupon or wait for the library? I have “Hello Cupcake” (Love it!) and Martha Stewart Cupcakes (absolutely love, love this one!). I will be giving the Martha Stewart book as a wedding gift a few times this summer and fall! =-)

  8. Nice! this Is exactly what i was looking for! I’d love a review of 125 Cupcakes by Julie Hasson if you have the time.

  9. I can’t wait to read your review of “Vegan Cupcakes”. I have been making recipes from this book, and even people who claim to not like cakes and cupcakes are raving about the results!

  10. As a book whore, I have most of these as well.
    Hello, Cupcake has cute decorations but the recipes in the back are not so great-well, except the carrot one. That’s awesomeness.

    VCTOTW is mostly awesome. I’ve made almost every cake! My favorite was by far the chocolate stout.

    Cupcake Galore is my favorite of all the books I have :)

  11. omg my friend is vegan! i had no idea there was a whole book! i will have to buy it for her!!!

  12. i love this

  13. I’m so glad I found your website as I have been looking at all the cupcake books you reviewed and wondering which was “the best” to buy. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s done this, but bought a cookbook because the pictures were great only to find when I get it home that the recipes are either too difficult or require ingredients that are just so hard to come by that you never use it and it just gathers dust. I’m am really looking forward to your review on “Cupcakes, Cupcakes and more Cupcakes!”. Thank you for making my cupcake book buying so much easier!.

  14. I have to say ‘Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World’ is my FAVORITE cupcake cookbook!!! I have made more than my share of cupcakes from Isa’s book trust me. ‘Hello Cupcake’…great book! I hope to try out more that are on this list. Thanks for posting this review!

  15. Hello! I am a new cupcake enthusiast and your review on books was SUPER helpful. I think I am going to purchase Hello Cupcake today! (and maybe martha down the line..?)

    I am a super beginning baker so I’m also thinking about art labs cupcake decorating studio lol.

    Love Your Blog! Thank You!

  16. I just got Hello, Cupcake from a friend this weekend! It is such an awesome book! I cannot wait to try some of the cute cupcake ideas!! I really want the Martha book and the vegan cupcake book to further my knowledge on friendly food! I <3 cuppycakes!!

  17. Hi you are doing a great job. I’m not a cup cake expert. All these years I’ve been making basic vanilla and chocolate cup cake. NEVER tried any other flavours or complicated methods. I thought I would buy a book this time and went on searching for the best cup cake book but nobody seems to be saying exactly which book is the best. but everyone seems to love ‘hello cup cake’ so I would give it a try. Thank you once again. Love your work!!!

  18. also Martha Stewarts cup cakes!!!

  19. Have to tell you bought “What’s New Cupcake?” Love the moose! Can’t wait to get Easter over so I can start on the moose.

  20. im so glad i found this blog!! i can’t tell you how much i’m glad to have found a place to express my obsession with cupcakes!!! thanks for the reviews since their so great and i always LOVE to make cupcakes! i make them every week even if its 105 degrees outside!!!!

  21. heey. when are you coming back? i have saved your page for months now and have seen no update. I really like what you have going on here and would love to see the rest of the books reviewed.!

  22. I was really excited to see this because I was looking online just recently and bought of the books you have reviews of. They are on the way as we speak so I am excited to see them. FYI the Cupcake Galore book I bought at a used bookstore it is in great shape and it was only $7. I have made the Pina Colada and the Margarita cupcake. Both good but the margarita cupcake is outstanding.

  23. I LOVE the “Hello Cupcake” book, my sister bought it for me in Dublin, and I have spend hours looking in it, being inspired by it, and trying out ideas! I completely agree with you, this is a book every cupcake-enthusiast should own!

  24. Oh, and if I may recommend a book, “EAT ME” by Cookie girl is amazing :)

  25. It’s not a book, but I’d love to hear your opinion.
    Thanks,
    Kim
    cupcakecrafts4u.com

  26. You might enjoy our site and products. We too are big Karen Tack fans. We developed kits to ease the challenge of finding supplies and included easy to use step by step color illustrated instructions. We hope you’ll visit cupcakecrafts4u.com.
    Thanks,
    Kim
    “Play with your Food!”

  27. Can you review “101 Gourmet Cupcakes in 10 Minutes” by Wendy Paul? I personally love it and the recipes are super easy.

  28. Hi,
    Grate job!!!
    This page helped me a lot!
    I found also another page that i think will interest all of you..

    http://www.squidoo.com/cup-cakes-just-like-the-experts

    I use it often..

  29. i bought the 500 cupcakes one and your right its terrible. There are only a couple recipes that i would try because they all dont seem very good. SO WHATEVER YOU DO DONT BUT 500 CUPCAKES

  30. You are my saviour. Thank you. Yes, I can’t stand Martha S, but u r right, it’s the taste that counts. Thank you thank you thank you. I’ll buy it! I am not a beginner in baking, I would say mediocre, but mostly cakes, trying on cupcakes. Have you heard of Betty crockers cupcakes??? Great review in amazon, wondering if u or anyone have 1st hand experience? Again, thank you.

  31. Sorry, it’s Betty crockery the big book of cupcakes

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