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163 of 169 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Grand Slam right out of the cupcake ballpark!
SUGAR ALERT: I will be fawning and tripping all over in talking about this book!

If you are a closet cake-decorator but you don't feel up in the ranks of Duff or Colette or Martha, then grab this book and hold on to your socks, because Karen Tack and Alan Richardson will take you on a fabulous decorating ride!!

Wow, wow, and WOW! This veritable...
Published on April 11, 2008 by Toni

versus
79 of 94 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful decorations, but disappointed in recipe!
First, let me say that I love the pictures and decorating ideas in this book. I have had the book for about a month, and I have not had a chance to make any of the decorating ideas out of here, but this is my favorite cupcake book so far. My complaint is on the actual recipe I made. I made the Vanilla cupcakes last night for my daughter's birthday today, and they were...
Published on June 28, 2008 by Kim


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163 of 169 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Grand Slam right out of the cupcake ballpark!, April 11, 2008
By 
Toni "the bookworm" (Chicago, Illinois United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make (Paperback)
SUGAR ALERT: I will be fawning and tripping all over in talking about this book!

If you are a closet cake-decorator but you don't feel up in the ranks of Duff or Colette or Martha, then grab this book and hold on to your socks, because Karen Tack and Alan Richardson will take you on a fabulous decorating ride!!

Wow, wow, and WOW! This veritable encyclopedia of "mini-cake" decorating is so fun and easy that there is absolutely no excuse for anyone to lament "they can't". With the use of food items found anywhere, you will be making the cutest, and most impressive cupcake creations you can possibly think of, and Karen and Alan will make you legendary to boot!

This team of talent has come up with extremely amazing and irresistable cupcakes like giraffes, Van Gogh paintings, clowns, aquariums, etc that will all fit on top of a little poof of cake batter.

The book size itself is large with big print which lends itself to the purpose of the photographic detail that is so big, sharp, and clear, there is no doubt or question on sequence or step. Karen Tack is the recipe creator and food stylist and Alan Richardson is the text writer and photographer; both are brilliant and incredibly talented individuals, so as a team, they are a match made in cupcake heaven.

The Acknowledgement page was itself fun and relaxed, not something plodded through; you can tell it was done with real gratitude and thought, which is part of the overall charm of how this book was put together.

There are 8 chapters between the "Introduction" and the "Sources"; got those socks gripped?........

INTRODUCTION: Your text page begins the journey, and right after, you are given an impressive section of pages that visually, and with text, show you how you will make the many creations through the use of candies, cookies, and types of sugars.

CUPCAKING TECHNIQUES: This was invaluable for those who are novice cupcake bakers or wannabe's. Hints and instructions on methods for pouring batter, spreading frosting, making frosting, and melting chocolate for designs, are shown in close detail. They show you how to make "fur" for the lion cupcakes and "leaves" for flowers. This is followed by methods used to draw "bugs", people faces, and hairstyles by using melted chocolate and candies. The next section shows how you will literally build up these creations, like the bowling pin cupcakes, so instruction is shown in simple and fascinating detail. Part of the more complex designs require a grouping of cupcakes, like "corn on the cob", "rabbits in a hole", or the "alligator", and you are given an idea of the schematics involved in getting them just right!

APRIL FOOL'S THEME:
Corn on the Cob
Bagels and Lox
Buttered Popcorn
TV Dinner ("peas & carrots", "drumsticks", & "mashed potato" cupcakes!)
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Box of Chocolates
Van Gogh's "Starry Night" in frosting (he'd love it!)

PARTY ANIMALS:
March of the Penguins
Fat Cats (cats with their paws on fishbones!)
Fishbowl (you use those Pepperidge Farm fishies for this one!)
Panda-monium
Westies
Crazy Horses (this uses candy circus peanuts and wafers)
Pup Cakes (a whole bunch of poochies to choose from!)
Monarchs (what a great Spring party or bridal shower presentation!)
Shark Attack (you'll want to go into these waters!)
Old Swampy the 'Gator

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CUPCAKE!:
When I Grow Up
Party Princess (any little girl will just LOVE these!)
Slumber Party
Big Birthday Party
Bowl Me Over (this is soooo darn cute; pins and a bowling ball!!!)
The Big Top (definitely a more time-required, but great, project)

HOSTEST with the MOSTEST:
Sunflowers (a veritable burst of green and yellow and Oreo cookies!)
Black and White Party
Play Pool (no one will mind the 8 ball!)
Baby Shower
Petit Fours (very elegant and delicate)
Garden Party ( a "garden" of carrots, peas, radishes, and cabbage)
Easter Eggs
Rabbit Holes (so unbelievably clever; Karen Tack is a genious!)
Candy Stars and Stripes Forever
Family Tree
Wedding Cake and Monograms

NIGHTMARE BEFORE THANKSGIVING:
Alien Invasion
Creepy Crawlers (almost good enough for goin' fishin')
What a Hoot
Pumpkin Patch ( absolutely adorable; Alan's photography is superb!)
Howling Werewolves
Autumn Leaves (how did they think of this great project?!)
Larry the Turkey

HOLIDAY ON ICING:
Edible Ornaments (incredible boxed "ornaments"!)
String of Delights
Snow Globes (this was sheer genius by placing the cakes on their side!)
Gingerbread Boys
Partridge in a Pear Tree (fantastic!)
Nutcracker Sweet (you'll be dancing!)
Frosting the Snowman (too darn cute!)
White Wreath (Christmas glory in white and red! Awesome!)

CUPCAKES AND FROSTINGS:
(Cake mix recipes): Pumpkin Spice, Chocolate Chunk Surprise, Chocolate Mint, Orange Spice, Banana Chocolate, Gingerbread

(Homemade recipes): Chocolate Cupcakes, Banana Cupcakes, Carrot Cupcakes, Almond Cupcakes, Lemon-Poppy Seed Cupcakes, Vanilla Cupcakes

(Frostings): Next-to-Instant Ganache (melted chocolate), Homemade Ganache, Almost-Homemade Vanilla Buttercream, Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate Frosting

SOURCES

OK, OK.................I have gone beyond fawning but if you're a cake decorating fool like myself, you understand the passion. My deep gratitude to Karen and Alan; you guys ROCK!
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82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do I Really Need Another Cupcake Book? Yes!!, April 5, 2008
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This review is from: Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make (Paperback)
When I saw this book featured on the Martha Stewart show, I thought, "Do I really need another baking book? I have so many..." I decided to get it anyway, thinking I could always pass it along to someone else if I was not fond of it. Well, I am SO GLAD I made this purchase! The book is beautiful- and I really mean that- the book itself is beautiful, large in size, softcover, with huge color photos and great instructional pages. The recipes are really not that complex (they vary from very detailed to very simple, even though they look challenging at first glance). The author teaches you how to make a variety of adorable cupcakes, and they don't all have to be used for kid parties - there are some showstoppers in there for weddings, party favors, barbeques, holidays, and more. My favorites are the garden patch, the "April Fool's" cupcakes, the alligator, and the pandas. The book is not full of cupcake recipes - it is more of a cupcake design book, as it shows you how to create these fabulous cakes. At the end of the book there is an actual baking recipe section, and I LOVE how the author has two kinds of recipes- simple, quick cupcakes you can make with boxed mixes, and then another section of "from scratch" cupcake recipes. Even if you never make a single cupcake from this book, it is STILL worth purchasing for its sheer beauty. It is fun to flip through the pages and look at the adorable creations and see how they were put together. I LOVE this book. If you are STILL saying you don't need another baking book, do what I did and throw out one old cookbook so that there is room on the shelf for this baby.
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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too Cute for Words!, March 20, 2008
By 
B. OBryan (Ypsilanti, MI United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make (Paperback)
These are the cleverest, cutest cupcakes I've seen yet and I have many of the cupcake and cake books listed on Amazon. Super Easy using the techniques and supplies mentioned! An absolutely wonderful book!
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79 of 94 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful decorations, but disappointed in recipe!, June 28, 2008
By 
Kim (Anthem, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make (Paperback)
First, let me say that I love the pictures and decorating ideas in this book. I have had the book for about a month, and I have not had a chance to make any of the decorating ideas out of here, but this is my favorite cupcake book so far. My complaint is on the actual recipe I made. I made the Vanilla cupcakes last night for my daughter's birthday today, and they were horrible. I ended up throwing the entire batch out and luckily I have some cake mixes in the pantry and am making new cupcakes this morning for her birthday party this afternoon! So frustrating!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best cupcake decorating book that I've found, May 5, 2008
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This review is from: Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make (Paperback)
This is the most fun, creative, and charming cupcake decorating book that I have come across. The designs are phenomenal, and the authors show you how to create each design, step-by-step. They have a supply list for each type of cupcake (so you don't go into the grocery store trying to figure out what you need, without much guidance), and there are a few basic techniques that they repeat, but to create different effects. So, for example, you might use a cookie for a panda head, but you will use it to make beagle ears.

This is primarily a design book, NOT a cookbook, although the authors provide a few recipes in the back for a basic cupcake and frostings. Even with the fantastic pictures (the book is loaded with them) and the wonderful instruction, making cupcakes like this takes a lot of time and love. There's no way around that, so please don't fault the book if you find that the learning curve is steep, or that it's taking you hours to decorate the 40 cupcakes that you promised to bake for your child's first grade class!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, great ideas, recipes not so great, December 14, 2009
By 
D. Baker "Absynth" (Norfolk, VA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make (Paperback)
Great book. I got a treasure trove of ideas and inspiration from this book. The techniques are clearly described, and most are very easily accomplished. The instruction is great, I never felt confused or as if they left something out, as I sometimes do with these types of books.

The 3 star rating is due to their recipes.
The vanilla cupcakes were DELICIOUS the day I baked them, but by the next day they had become dry and not so tasty.
The carrot cupcakes were dry (I did not overcook them), and even though I increased the spice, it was still fairly bland.

The "almost home-made buttercream" is terrible. MAYBE I made it wrong. Hard to do when there are only 4 ingredients.
It was just runny, not fluffy at all, refused to whip, and tasted like marshmallows.

I recommend this book for creative ideas, but save yourself the headache and ignore the recipe section!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Very Best on Amateur Decorating, July 30, 2008
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This review is from: Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make (Paperback)
We purchased this book for my 11 yr. old daughter to experiment with cake decorating before we invested in a class for her. We had found the author's website and their blog and just couldn't resist.

There are no special skills required, no special equipment, and ANYONE can make these gorgeous little cakes. And the designs--unlike anything I've ever seen in a cupcake book. So completely different and charming that we just looked at the pictures for three days before we even tried to bake anything. There is nice tutorial at the beginning on how to us Ziplock bags as a decorating bag, how to frost a cupcake, anchor design elements and how to use melting wafers, among other things.

The book is full of pictures to help you along and the directions are very clear. Yes, you do have to make a trip to the store for some of the candy items necessary, but all but one of the items is readily available at the local grocery or convenience store. The only thing I have never seen is white circus peanuts used for the horse's heads.

My daughter has made the sunflower cupcakes, the slumber party cupcakes, and the black and whites. We're having a cupcake for every occasion and looking for excuses to make more. There are very few recipes in the book, some are just ways to doctor up a cake mix and some are simple home made varieties, but the authors don't claim to have written a recipe book. This book is completely about decorating, even though the cake mix recipes have been really good so far.

The inspiration and encouragement to come up with your own designs is huge. The author's website features a cupcake club with a monthly cupcake challenge in which readers send in the pictures of their own themed creations or their reproductions of the designs in the book. We didn't join the club, but my daughter has done the flower challenge and is working on turning Rover into a cupcake. FUN!

My recommendation is to BUY THIS BOOK! If an 11 yr. old can produce fun and delicious cupcakes, let me tell you, anyone can do the same. It's a gem that we'll use over and over and over.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irresistable Playful Creations I can Make!, April 5, 2008
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This review is from: Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make (Paperback)
This book is so enjoyable to simply browse thru. Simply Adorable!!!

Each recipe has precise instructions with beautiful photographs to guide a home baker to produce brilliant results. It is jammed packed with delightful & original & very creative ideas that will appeal to all ages.

I plan on gifting this to many family members & friends. I know they'll love it too.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, March 26, 2008
This review is from: Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make (Paperback)
My two kids made the corn on the cob cupcakes - they were very easy and lots of fun. The book has lots of great creative ideas with step by step instructions. The color pictures are beautiful. I especially like all the ideas for birthday parties.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cute but more for kids than adults, August 5, 2010
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This review is from: Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make (Paperback)
This is a very cute book and the way it disguises cupcakes is incredibly clever and very cute. However, a little inedible...

I'm a sugar fiend but a lot of these I would have a problem stomaching a lot of these (vanilla cupcakes covered in jelly beans?)

The designs are so cool and I loved reading how they did them. However, I just cannot imagine ever making most of these for adults - they would just be too much to truly be edible.

Anyway, I can't wait until I have kids (or neices/nephews) where I can make these for kids parties and I'm guessing these will be a hit. But I don't see myself bringing them into work anytime soon.
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Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make
Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make by Alan Richardson (Paperback - April 24, 2008)
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