From Publishers Weekly
Swift and Thomas of London's popular Primrose Bakery usher readers behind the counter to share their recipes for cupcake success, with dependable results. After offering a handful of basic recipes for vanilla, chocolate, lemon and carrot cupcakes, the bakers offer six buttercream frostings (standard vanilla and chocolate as well as coffee, lime and coconut, orange cream cheese and lemon) that the form building blocks for the rest of the collection. Little more than variations on a theme, many of the duo's recipes employ either a twist on a frosting (chocolate liqueur) or the cake itself (Earl Grey tea, malted milk, etc.), with a selection of "special occasion" cupcakes (for events like christenings, anniversaries, and birthday parties) that merely suggests decorating ideas like jimmies and plastic cake toppers. While their photography and style is eye-catching and their recipes perfectly acceptable, Swift and Thomas offer few surprises; novices interested in testing the frosted waters will find this a practical collection, but experienced cupcakers (bakers and consumers both) will likely be disappointed.
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These are simple, classic cakes, expertly executed and presented with Primrose's own quirky sensibility. The coffee and walnut cake--yes, they go beyond cupcakes--comes with icing only on top and between layers, leaving the sides rough and doughy. The peppermint cupcakes, dolloped with spearmint-colored buttercream and red-and-white-swirled candies, look straight out of Whoville. And we might just take to topping our cream cheese icing with grated orange zest after seeing how beautifully the authors dusted their carrot cupcakes with citrus-y flecks. --Bon Appetit, May 3, 2010
Multiple batches of the authors' recipe for vanilla cupcakes -- topped with super-sugary chocolate buttercream or vanilla buttercream frostings -- delighted crowds, including office guinea pigs, er, colleagues. Another sugar high: unusual cupcake varieties such as Earl Grey and Amaretto. --Washington Post, Express Night Out, May 19, 2010
Highly recommended for libraries that are looking for an advanced cupcake book--chefs will find plenty of party ideas. --Library Journal, starred review