on 5 December 2011
You can tell this is a book backed by the Women's institute. It's strong on inspiration but doesn't skimp on the common sense either. For example, it gives you half a dozen quality and easy-to-follow cupcake recipes (plus minor variations)and then proceeds to use these as the basis for all the wonderful ideas for celebration and occasional cupcakes throughout the book. There's even a very handy and eminently straightforward guide on making and applying the icing.
Most of the recipies in this book are illustrated with simple but gorgeous photographs. I particularly enjoyed the Black Forest cupcakes with their cherry stalks sticking up into the air! However, the WI obviously had more ideas than they had pages, so a number of cupcakes don't have illustrative photographs, and I found it difficult to imagine how these would turn out as a result. Call me lazy, but when you're spoilt with such superb pictures for most of the recipies, it's disheartening when you suddenly find yourself needing to rely on your mind's eye rather than your real ones.
That said, this is an excellent book which will charm and inspire anyone wanting to start baking and decorating cupcakes.