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4.4 out of 5 stars45
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 22 September 2010
Aside from the super sponge cake recipes for cupcakes, and the clear concise and thorough instructions on making the top simple types of topping and decorative pastes - this book is a small sized, beautifully bound and fun book full of clear colorful photographs and novel ideas and designs for fantastic cupcakes. It scales down some of the best of the current trend top cake decorating methods (stenciling, embossing, sugarpaste modeling) for use on gorgeous celebration cupcakes. It encourages you to buy some new equipment to make some of the decorations more easily, but much can be done using things I had already. Easy to follow, a joy to read, a delight to bake from!
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on 29 October 2010
This little book has about eight cupcake recipes; sticky ginger, orange and poppy seed, hummingbird, chocolate cherry mud, date and walnut, pear and chocolate chip, lemon polenta, and honey cake. You can use any of these recipes to then go on to create your batch of celebratory cupcakes which are divided into projects;

Celebrate: vintage chic, afternoon tea, zen garden, card trick, flower power
Wedding: rosy swirls, lovebird, floral fantasy, tiered miniature, roses are red
Children: birthday bears, play time, odd socks, perfect pets, rubber ducky
Seasonal: beautiful butterfly (as shown on the front cover), spring violas, falling leaves, snowflakes, festive firs
Designer: animal print, a touch of class, floral elegance, shopping spree, retro party

It also contains valuable information in the ways in which you should prepare your cupcakes and decorate them i.e. frosting, topping, using, sugar paste, stencils, cutters and moulds.

When undertaking any of these projects, pleased be armed with loads of patience and will power so that you are not tempted to eat any of the cupcakes before they are finished!
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on 22 March 2011
I can't disagree with the other reviewers who say this is a beautiful book with lovely pictures & stunning ideas.. but honestly, as a reasonably experienced baker myself, with quite a few cupcakes & novelty cakes under my belt, I very much doubt I'll be making any of these.. far too complicated, they need simply too much specialised equipment & time. A cupcake should be easy to bake & decorate... the ideas in here would need HOURS of prior prep with sugarpaste & modelling. I may use some of the recipes for the sponges, pear & choc chip for eg, but not the decoration. Sorry Lindy Smith - great ideas but not at all suitable for the average home-baker.
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on 1 November 2010
This is an attractively-produced small book with some interesting cupcake ideas. So why only three stars, when all the other reviews have been enthusiastic? Here's where the book lost or won stars for me.

1. Nice production. Plus one star.

Like I said, an attractive little book with a pleasant layout and good photography.

2. Legibility is a problem. Minus one star.

Most of the text is in small, grey type. You'll need excellent eyesight to read this comfortably, and it's going to be really hard to read it in uncertain lighting in an ordinary kitchen.

3. Cupcake recipes. Plus two stars.

Because of the legibility problem, I haven't yet tried making any of the recipes. Helpfully, each recipe says how long it keeps for - and several of them have good, long lead times. This is an unusual feature, and something you'll definitely need to know if you try the decorating ideas. There's a nice variety of familiar favourites and more unusual recipes.

4. Quantities. A warning and a benefit. Neither plus nor minus.

The recipes make a variable number of cupcakes, with the 'Hummingbird' (banana/pineapple) one giving you lots and lots. I'm a keen cupcake maker and I don't own enough pans to hold that recipe in one go, or enough oven space to cook them. On the other hand, there's a nice chart showing you how many cupcakes you can expect to get from each recipe in a wide variety of differnt sizes of tins.

5. Recipes for different decorating materials. Plus one star.

One section of the book tells you how to make a whole lot of types of icing including sugarpaste. The book is honest about which of them are really practical, and which ones are only for people who have real trouble buying the particular product ready-made. Due to the legibility problem (above), I haven't yet tried to make any of them.

6. Decorating ideas. Plus one star.

There ideas for decorating the cupcakes are varied and (mostly) original. We get one based on the straightforward piped buttercream swirl, but lots of others. There are detailed directions for each cupcake and it looks like they should be possible.

7. Practicality of decorating ideas. Minus one star.

On the other hand - the complications! Each idea lists all the different recipes you'll need and the equipment. It's amazing. A typical idea might need FIVE recipes of ingredients PLUS half-a-dozen items of equipment. Many of those items are used only once in the book.

I think the ideas have been worked out in a professional cake kitchen, where all these different things are kept in stock and used daily. If you're an enthusiast, maybe you've already got them. I bake quite a bit but decorate far less, and so although I've picked up a few items here and there, there's no way I have all of them. Here are a few that I certainly don't have:
- playing card embosser
- pansy mould
- icing pump to make a sort of 'hair'

And there's no sense of how much time a particular idea might take to do. That playing card cupcake looks like it would probably take at least an hour for each cupcake. Hmm. And that's after the time to make or buy all the stuff it needs. Hmm again. Enough to send me back to the usual glace-icing-plus-sprinkles.

So: the bottom line. If you're already doing a lot of semi-professional or professional cake decorating, you might want to take a look at this book for the decorating ideas and the recipes.

If you're an ordinarily enthusiastic baker, you might enjoy the recipes but you'll be facing a lot of expense, time, and patience if you want to tackle more than a couple of the decorating ideas.
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on 30 October 2010
Love this little book lots of new ideas for recipes, The Honey cake is delicious and you can change the taste using different honey's. The Hummingbird cake is another gorgeous recipe the next one for me to try is pear and chocoloate chip I personally found some of the decorations a bit over the top but certainly artistic, however to follow them exactly would mean buying some quite expensive equipment. However can't fault the recipes so far and to my mind theres nothing wrong with just a topping of lovely creamy buttercream or even better chocolate ganache, delicious.
Overall would thoroughly recommend this lovely little book although it is perhaps more suited to the more advanced cupcake maker.
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on 26 September 2010
This is full of brilliant ideas and as usual, Lindy Smith goes one step further and creates cup cakes you couldn't imagine!
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on 31 October 2010
This is a lovely little book with the most gorgeous cupcake designs. Full of the most inivative ideas I haven't seen elsewhere. All the info you need to buy the specialist equipment. If you want to make beautifull cupcakes - get this book!
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on 9 November 2010
Love the book - can definately recommend the Sticky Ginger recipe done this one twice now for friends and they love them.
The topping recipes and decorating ideas are brilliant and they taste as good as they look.

I am a big fan of Lindy Smith and have several of her books and this one is a must for anyone who wants to have a go at cupcakes.
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on 29 October 2010
This book is definitely for the more arty, or those willing to pay more for extra items to be able to create.

However, the wide range of alternative recipes for cupcakes is great. Can't wait to try baking them all.
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on 27 October 2010
Clear instructions on how to make many stunning cupcakes. The book is full of tips & ideas for both beginners & those with a little more knowledge, love it!!
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