While I definitely enjoy the fun 'decorating' part of this book, I have to say that I purchased it just as much for the cake recipes themselves, and I haven't been dissapointed. There are so many other great book reviews, I figured I didn't have anything to add. However, last night I made the Caramel Apple Cupcakes and they are so delicious. (Okay, I confess, I'm eating a couple as I type!) I also have to admit they were time consuming...but worth it! The sour cream batter created just the taste and texture cupcake I expected. Just a bit lighter than a muffin, but great for a brunch too. I actually like that there are master cake and frosting recipes provided so that once you're familiar with them, the specific decorated cupcakes are just variations. (As an aside, I purchased another cake book with one mix and many variations, but, unfortunately, the one batter just wasn't as good as this author's batters.)
This is of course a cupcake book, so I'm not going to complain, but it did cross my mind that it would be helpful to have other pan/baking time options mentioned. (because the batter is that good) However, I can figure that out from other cake books. I really appreciated the general information section which included cupcake specifics. I don't think any of my other books discuss liners vs. no liners and peaked vs. flat-topped cupcakes. The tips provided within the individual cupcake pages were helpful as well. For example, for the fruit topped cupcakes, the approximate amount of fruit needed to top each one (x blueberries, etc.) is provided - good to know ahead of time!
The decorations range from simple (candy) to elaborate (handcrafted flowers using decorating tips), so if time is an issue, one could focus on either the batter or the decorating. Either way, I think this book is a good combination of baking and decorating ideas.
Please note that I have the spiral edition. (another nice feature!)