This week’s cookbook is actually a two-for-one. When I reach into my stash of cookbooks I usually pull these two out simultaneously. To me, they’re really just one great book of easy, fun cupcake decoration.

Yes, I’m delving into my shelf full of just desserts. Can you tell I have a sweet tooth?

“Hello, Cupcake” and “What’s New, Cupcake” by Karen Tack & Alan Richardson are two of the most fun books I’ve ever read. The cupcakes are cute, whimsical and just plain fun – both to make, look at and most of all eat! It’s a great book in the respect that it teaches you how to decorate cupcakes without all the fancy schmancy tools. You just need scissors, zip lock bags, food colouring, candy and a lot of time. Each of the books include recipes in the appendices for easy icings and altering cake-box mixes to make them more flavourful. You don’t even need to know how to bake to make these lovely little darlings! In each of the how-to of the cupcake decorations she suggests using the plain old tub of icing from the grocery store. It doesn’t get much easier!
Granted, every time I make them I go the extra mile of baking the flavour of cupcake I want and making icing from scratch but the nice thing is that these books are accessible for everyone.

This book is full of photos, large colourful, stomach pain inducing photos. The use of the different everyday candies is ingenious. I’ve never thought of taking the time to roll out tootsie rolls or cut up skittles to make ears or windows. Each of the books feature a variety of different cupcakes. There’s an April Fools section to each one, my favourite, animals, theme parties, Halloween, Christmas, spring… the possibilities are endless.
“April Fools?”, you ask. Allow me to elaborate. The beginning of each book there’s a series of cupcakes that are meant to look like something else. For example, spaghetti and meatballs, Chinese take-out, a box full of popcorn, corn on the cob, pizza… the cupcakes in this section are just fantastic. Some of them you look at and ask “Why is that in there? This is a cupcake book.” Then you realized that, hey, that is a cupcake.

There’s a little bit for everyone from baby showers, to Easter surprises, to snow globes, to haunted houses. These are two absolutely fantastic books to help spruce up your dinner parties or just to make everyday living just that little bit more fun!

These books have become such a phenomenon that Karen & Allan have even released an App on itunes! The App helps you explore the world of cute cupcakes with animations, helpful videos, exclusive tips, illustrated shopping lists and step-by-step photographs of each recipe. The initial App purchase gives you access to 10 recipes with all of these helpful bonuses – with the option to purchase more in the App itself.

“Hello, Cupcake” and “What’s New, Cupcake” are both available from most retail bookstores and online bookstores. The Hello, Cupcake App is available on itunes.

Karen Tack & Allan Richardson have since put out another delightful book called “Cupcakes, Cookies and Pie, Oh My!” that covers making the rest of the dessert world be even more fun. I haven’t purchased it just yet – but I know it’s on my wish list!

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