Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make

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Houghton Mifflin Co
  • Witty, one-of-a-kind imaginative cupcake designs using candies from the local convenience store.America's favorite food photography team, responsible for the covers of America's top magazines, shows how to create funny, scary, and sophisticated masterpieces, using a zipper lock bag and common candies and snack items.With these easy-to-follow techniques, even the most kitchen-challenged cooks can• raise a big-top circus cupcake tier for a kid's birthday• plant candy vegetables on Oreo earth cupcakes for a garden party• trot out a line of confectionery "pupcakes" for a dog fancier• serve sausage and pepperoni pizza cupcakes for April Fool's Day• bewitch trick-or-treaters with chilly ghost chocolate cupcakes• create holidays on icing with turkey cupcake place cards, a white cupcake Christmas wreath, and Easter egg cupcakesNo baking skills or fancy pastry equipment is required. Spotting the familiar items in the hundreds of brilliant photos is at least half the fun.
  • Author:
    Karen Tack
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    Houghton Mifflin Co
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    Houghton Mifflin Co
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    Houghton Mifflin Co
    Houghton Mifflin Co
    Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make
    Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.
    Houghton Mifflin

Recent User Reviews

  1. cheftalk.com
    "The Icing On The (Cup)cake"
    Pros - ideas, inspiration, creativity, commercially produced junk food as ingredients.
    Cons - commercially produced junk food as ingredients
    Reviewed by: Susan Sterling

    I love it when I come across a gem of a cookbook that is useful for everyone from the total beginner to the consummate professional.  And when it's a book that is truly inspired, artful, uplifting, and puts a smile on your face, well, that's the icing on the cake.

    Hello, Cupcake! Irresistibly Playful  Creations Anyone Can Make is such a gem.  It's a brilliantly creative exploration of really charming character "cakes" made from cupcakes, and ingredients you buy.    

    When they say anyone can make them, they mean anyone!  If you're a novice in the kitchen, everything in the book can be made with a can of frosting, a ziplock bag, some cupcake batter, and assorted candies, cookies, fruit leather, and sprinkles.  The designs are so charming that even a pro might use the book for inspiration, substituting some of the ingredients for homemade or more culinary choices like buttercream, marzipan, and fondant.

    If you're looking for some fresh ideas for theme cakes or parties, or if you ever cater to children, there's lots in this book to get the ball rolling.  

    To give you some idea of the sorts of things in the book,  they've made cupcakes look like everything from Bagels and Lox, to Corn on the Cob, to a TV dinner with fried chicken and peas and carrots, complete with mashed potatoes (with gravy and a butter pat of course).  These are all done up in sweet things, not savory.

    The recipe in that ilk that I made was the Spaghetti and Meatballs.  You basically put a bunch of cupcakes near each other, then using your ziplock bag, squeeze out a bunch of spaghetti made of canned vanilla frosting tinted with a little yellow food coloring and cocoa.  Then, when the spaghetti is all over the cupcakes, on them goes the meatballs, which are Ferrero Rocher chocolates, covered in "tomato sauce" made from low sugar strawberry preserves.  Then of course no spaghetti is complete without a little parmigiano on top – grated white chocolate.  In my kitchen, the canned frosting became white chocolate buttercream, the strawberry sugo was from scratch from organic strawberries, and, OK, I used a piping bag with a #4 tip instead of the ziplock.  I had fun telling my nieces and nephew that we were going to have spaghetti and meatballs for dessert.  

    There are some designs that put together a few different elements on different cupcakes to make a fun composition, rather than each cupcake being the same.  There's "Shark Attack" in which some of the cupcakes feature a 3-D shark with big teeth coming out of the blue icing water (the fin is half a chocolate wafer shoved into the shark's "Twinkie" body, then it's all dipped in microwaved grey frosting).  Red fruit leather lines the mouth, the white teeth are piped frosting, add a few gills and chocolate chip eyes and they look like they're jumping out of the cupcake.  Then in between there are life preservers on other cupcakes, made from mini doughnuts coated in vanilla frosting with fruit leather rope, and they've cut a bite mark out of some of the life rings as though the sharks have taken a bite out of them.

    Everything from monarch butterflies, to howling werewolves, to a garden with Oreo cookie crumb "dirt", to sunflowers, a slumber party, pandas, an alligator, a circus, turkeys, Christmas ornaments, snow globes, pandas, dogs, penguins, horses... and a partridge in a pear tree.  Really, there is a partridge in a pear tree, with sliced almonds for feathers, and a piece of Tootsie Roll shaped into the long curled feather on the partridge's head.

    This book could even be used by older over-achieving children who are interested in creating things in the kitchen.  

    I recently noticed there is a sequel to this book, "What's New Cupcake."  The answer is, "not much."  My recommendation is to check out the original for the most inspiration.   And maybe get an icing bag and a couple of tips instead of the plastic bag.  


    Spaghetti and Meatballs 

    10 vanilla cupcakes baked in white paper liners

    1 can (16 oz) vanilla frosting

    ½ tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

    3 drops yellow food coloring

    11 hazelnut chocolates (Ferrero Rocher), unwrapped

    ¾ cup low-sugar strawberry preserves (low-sugar has the best color)

    2 tablespoons grated white chocolate, plus an additional chunk for garnish

    1)Tint the vanilla frosting with the cocoa powder and yellow food coloring and spread a thin layer on top of the cupcakes.  Arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter so that they are touching.

    2)Spoon the remaining frosting into a ziplock bag.  Press out the excess air and seal the bag.  Snip a 1/8 inch corner from the bag.  Pipe the frosting all over the cupcakes to make the spaghetti, piling it high and allowing some of the spaghetti to hang over the edges.

    3)Place the hazelnut chocolates and the strawberry preserves in a medium bowl and toss to coat.  Spoon some of the preserves on top of the cupcakes.  Place 1 hazelnut chocolate on each cupcake and 1 on the platter.  Top the cupcakes with the remaining strawberry preserves.  Sprinkle with the grated white chocolate.  Place the chunk of white chocolate on a separate plate with a small hand grater and bring to the table with the platter of spaghetti.

    Makes 1 platter of spaghetti and meatballs: 10


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