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VINE VOICEon May 10, 2011
I am a pastry chef and I own 300 cookbooks. You would think that little would impress me. You would be wrong. Jan Moon's Big Book of Cupcakes is so much more than I ever thought it would be I barely flipped through the pages before buying it and rushing home. Now that I have had time to live with it and love it I am more impressed than ever.

Moon walks you through 150 different cupcakes. Often, these are combinations of cake flavor, filling, frosting, and then decorations. She uses bases to spring into the stratosphere of creativity. Chocolate Chocolate Chunk? Mojito? Banana Split? Sign me up! I want to make every cupcake in here! Not only will the recipes get you drooling but all the cakes look brilliant and beautiful as well. She also includes a feature called Flip It which gives you ideas on how to alter the cupcakes for a different presentation, flavor tweak, etc. It is helpful and gets your creativity running. Moon also divides her book into helpful sections, which are:
* Cupcakes 101
* Spring Fever
* Summer Celebrations
* Fall Follies
* Winter Wonders
* Cupcakes for Sharing
* Resources
There are also an introduction and index. Cupcakes 101 is great because if you are someone who has never really baked, or are giving this as a gift to someone who does not have a ton of kitchen experience it is very helpful. If you are an accomplished baker or chef, skip that part or flip through it, then get on to the recipes.

The only thing I hate about this book is I cannot figure out which ones to do first! I love this book so much, and trying to decide is sweet, wonderful torture.

Highest possible recommendations. This blows away Martha Stewarts' cupcakes any day!
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on July 22, 2011
I borrowed this book from the library in order to get some ideas for my daughters' birthdays. As usual, I requested every single book on the subject that our library had in order to get as much information as I could. I looked over Betty Crocker's cupcake book.... eh. I looked over visually appealing books that use candies and things to make the cupcakes stand out... but they use canned frosting and cake mixes. Don't get me wrong, cake mixes are great, and I've used them faithfully for over 9 years, but this time I wanted to try and stay away from that, so I put those down too. Then I got to this book.

This is the best book by far that I've EVER borrowed on cake! First of all, Ms. Moon uses White Lily flour, something that is reasonably priced in every single grocery store, instead of the traditional cake flour. I never get around to scratch cake because every book on the subject calls for cake flour in their recipes, and a tiny box is ridiculously priced... you make one cake and if it doesn't turn out right, you wasted your whole box of flour.

Second, Ms. Moon gives wonderful advice on where to find ingredients and what things can be swapped out in a pinch. I knew this would be a great book when she banned the use of margarine when butter is called for. Nothing but butter should be used, because it gives way better flavor.

I am the kind of person who buys flour by the pallet, because when I bake, I REALLY BAKE. I have made in the course of 2 weeks almost 200 cupcakes from this book. Each recipe yields just over 2 dozen regular sized cupcakes, except for the butter cake. I had to double that recipe in order to get the amount I needed.

Every person who's tasted any of the cupcakes I've made from this book has been completely overwhelmed with flavor. It's like a party in your mouth with every bite. Mixing and matching frosting and cake combinations is fun to do, and really easy. There are pictures for every finished cupcake. I can't say enough good things about this book! I loved it so much, I had to own my own copy, which I ordered yesterday!

If you want to bake a DELICIOUS 'from scratch' set of cupcakes, this is the book for you!!!
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First off this book is dangerous just with its pictures, everything looks so good! The thing I hate most about cookbooks is when they don't show pictures of of the food, this book has a picture (beautiful and yummy at that) for every single cupcake! The Big Book of Cupcakes starts out with Cupcake 101, which I definitely needed. It goes through terms, measurements, tools, tips and techniques and more! There are even pictures throughout this section to show demonstrations. Then onto the recipes which are separated by seasons (Spring Fever, Summer Celebrations, Fall Follies, and Winter Wonders.) Each recipe is very easy to understand and starts with the cupcake recipe and then if applicable a frosting recipe. The book ends with "Cupcakes for Sharing" which talks about how to display, decide on flavors, ship, and more.

Now I am by no means a baker, nor have I ever tried to make "pretty" cupcakes, basically I am lucky is the tub of frosting I use doesn't tear up the cupcake! This book really is an inspiration to try new flavors and creations. I feel confident after checking out some of these recipes that I can attempt them and while it will definitely take practice, I hope to someday make "pretty" cupcakes like in the book!
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VINE VOICEon September 18, 2011
This book begins with many helpful tips on every thing from ingredients to supplies. There is quite a bit of helpful information in the Cupcake 101 chapter. The chapters following are divided into the seasons of the year. Each season has plenty of lovely recipes and decorating ideas. There is a recipe for every level of the baker in this book. Each recipe includes a full page picture of each recipe. I love that in a cookbook. The recipes and instructions are very easy to follow. There is a resource page in the back of the book also along with metric equivalent charts. This is a great cookbook with a huge variety of different cupcake and icing recipes and ideas. I have looked through many cupcake cookbooks and this one has one of the best assortments of recipes.

(I cannot buy the White Lily flour the author uses anywhere near my state. My cupcakes turned out light and fluffy using good old ordinary flour. You can use this cookbook without the White Lily flour, if you are not able to find it.)
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VINE VOICEon March 17, 2012
This book has inspired me to make cupcakes again! The recipes are easy to follow, the pictures are incredible, the flavor combinations are creative and mouth-watering, and REAL, QUALITY ingredients are used! I never realized I could make so many different cupcakes and frostings. Besides being a useful cookbook, this book is also a fantastic coffee table book because it's just so fun to look through. This book is definitely worth buying. This is my first Southern Living Cookbook, and I've enjoyed it so much that it inspired me to seek our other Southern Living cookbooks and subscribe to the magazine. Super find!!
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on March 1, 2012
this is my first time to make the cupcakes,they came out good. The instruction is easy to follow and the pictures are great too. I really recommend this book.
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on January 4, 2012
I purchased this book as a Christmas gift, and I loved it so much I had to get my own. The cupcakes i've tried so far are delicious and unique. The only thing i'd change about it is the format of the recipes. What I mean by that is that there are some basic cake and icing recipes in the front of the book and when you're working on a specific recipe, it will refer you to the pages for the basic cake and icing recipes, but then you'll go back to the specific recipe to see what to add to it to make it a specific flavor. I'd prefer for it to just be all on the same recipe page rather than having to flip back and forth. But, in the end, it's all worth the work because they are delicious.
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on October 4, 2012
I just downloaded this book onto my iPad, and there is not a single photo in it! That pretty much makes it useless to me.
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on January 31, 2014
I'm surprised this book received even one poor review! This book has singlehandedly changed my opinion on scratch cupcakes.

I have been a devoted "doctored cake mix" girl up until now. I tried a ton of scratch cupcake recipes only to be disappointed every single time. I have to have tried at least a dozen scratch vanilla cupcake recipes alone. Some were good, but they were never as tasty, as moist or as perfect in texture like my doctored vanilla. That is, until I tried this vanilla bean cake! Moist, fluffy, light and perfectly vanilla.

I also tried the banana's foster cupcake. Oh my heavens, this is a tasty fresh banana cake and the brown butter frosting is divine!!! I drizzled a little of my homemade salted caramel sauce on top. Let me tell you, my coworkers were ready to crown me the cupcake queen! My doctored banana cupcake can't hold a candle to this cupcake.

Just from these two experiences, I am antsy to try the rest of the recipes!

For those who are concerned about not having access to White Lily Flour, never fear. I don't have access to it where I live, so I just decided to use half cake flour and half all purpose flour. I get the sense that the recipes would work fine using all-purpose flour only.
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on April 21, 2012
I bought this book because I enjoy baking and especially baking cupcakes. I work at a library so I have seen many many cupcake books. We didn't have this book at the library so I bought it hoping it would be good. I am so impressed with this book from the bright and colorful pictures to the delicious recipes. This book is by far the best cupcake book I've seen, and I have seen a lot! You will not be disappointed with this book!
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