Customer Reviews: The Cupcake Diaries: Recipes and Memories from the Sisters of Georgetown Cupcake
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on November 12, 2011
I have followed DC Cupcakes religiously and have ordered the cupcakes for shipping numerous times. This cookbook is indeed heartwarming and there are lots from their actual memoirs. There are also numerous recipes for some of their best cupcakes, including Red Velvet, Pumpkin Spice, and Cherry Blossom. They also have several recipes that were exclusive to their show.

Overall, I'm so glad I bought this. My only criticism is that I wish it was organized better. I wish there was a list of all the recipes and the corresponding page number because you do have to look through the entire book to find the recipe or go hunting in the back index, which includes everything else too.

The only recipe I've made so far is the Salted Caramel. It came out well but the recipe made 24 cupcakes instead of 12. I've never seen a cookbook off by that much (and I am using standard size cupcake pans!). Though I guess making more is better than making less!

However, I highly suggest this book. If you're looking for a certain recipe/cupcake, leave me a comment and I'll check to see if the book has it!
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on November 24, 2011
I pre-ordered my book and was so excited when it came. I've never had GC because I'm not ready to pay that much to have cupcakes shipped to me, so I was looking forward to trying some of their recipes. I cannot help but wonder if these recipes are truly, ingredient for ingredient, what they use in the store.

The reason I wonder is this: The caramel apple recipe seemed really inaccurate. I'm an experienced baker who wanted to see what the fuss was about, and this recipe was very disappointed. I followed the recipe exactly as it was written and it made 28 cupcakes vs. the 18 they say it will make (others have said this as well). They didn't rise well and looked nothing like their pictures. I threw those out and started again. I filled the liners with less batter and they still didn't turn out great. They taste good, but they didn't rise and are flat. Again, it made 28 cupcakes.

I was going to try the carrot cupcake recipe but I didn't bother, because it's the same recipe as the caramel apple cupcakes with the addition of grated carrots.

I have tried their vanilla cupcakes which are very good. I also made the milk chocolate frosting which was good. I love their cream cheese frosting (which I've been using for awhile as that has been published on the internet).

I was also hoping they would give more information about their fondant decorations and where they purchase the cutters. I have mini cookie cutouts and plunger cutters and have never been able to find them in the turkey, snowflake, Christmas tree, or reindeer fondant decorations that they use.

Overall, I enjoyed reading their book and am looking forward to trying other recipes, but I will not try the caramel apple or carrot cupcake recipes again.
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on December 11, 2011
I have really enjoyed this cookbook. I made 6 cupcakes flavors for Thanksgiving. The gingerbread, pumpkin spice, caramel apple, and chocolate were wonderful!!! The coconut was fine, I have had better though. However we did not care for the red velvet cupcakes at all, I made this recipe twice thinking I did something wrong in the first one but both times they came out poorly. All of the frostings were terrific. Most recipes I made yielded at least twice as many as the recipe stated but I froze the extras and they defrosted perfectly. This is a wonderful cookbook, although it could use a table of contents for the recipes.
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on August 17, 2013
I was soooo excited that these ladies put out their recipes, but I am left wondering if they have some "secret ingredients" that they don't reveal because honestly, I was very disappointed with the basic vanilla cupcake recipe. I bought the Plugra, I bought the Madagascar Vanilla Bourbon, I made sure all my ingredients were room temperature, etc etc Basically, I read the book and followed the recipe. My family's response-- blah. My reaction-- blah. I had much higher hopes for delicious cupcake treats, but this was nothing special. I was not "wowed" in any way. Also, many have commented that these recipes say "makes 12" and they make almost twice that amount-- so something is clearly off. I agree with the other 6 reviewers who gave this book 1 star, but many other reviewers seemed to be happy, so judge for yourself.
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on November 9, 2011
I love this book!! The girls let us in on family memories and stories. There are wonderful personal photographs included and the "staged" photographs specifically completed for the book are also great. This book has a lot of information packed into it. I have not read the entire book from cover to cover just yet but I have definitely read a significant part and the information seems on point. Of course, there are a lot of cupcake recipes but there are also different recipes from their Babee like Baklava and other sweet treats! The family memories that go with them are heartwarming.

I have not tried any of the recipes in the book yet. I am going to bake the vanilla cupcakes with the vanilla buttercream frosting tonight so I will update my review and let you know how they turned out. I have high hopes that the girls have taken just as much effort into these recipes as they have with the ones that they use for their cupcakery.

Update 11/13:

I have now made the Vanilla cupcakes w/ Vanilla Buttercream frosting and the Red Velvet cupcakes with the Vanilla Cream Cheese frosting. I took the Vanilla cupcakes to work and everyone was raving. They were still talking about them the next day! I made the Red Velvets over the weekend because this type of cake has been my nemesis!! However, these were moist and flavorful...two things that were missing in previous tries. My family really enjoyed them and my mom took 6 of them home! My next experiment will be w/ the Chocolate cupcake recipe from the Chocolate Goo-nache recipe w/ the chocolate ganache and the carmelized hazelnuts. I am very hopeful and excited.
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on April 22, 2012
This book is interesting to me. I'll start with the not-so-great aspect and then move on to the greater aspects. Amazon had this book on my "Recommended" list based on another cupcake book I had purchased. I had never heard of the authors nor their television show nor their bakery. The book sat in my cart for nearly a month as I waited for some reviews to be posted before I bought it. The opinions seemed a bit split, so I decided I'd go ahead and buy it. Before making any recipes, I read the book from cover to cover. Then, on to the recipes. I have made four of the recipes: red velvet, irish cream, coconut, lemon blossom. I did not like any of them. The texture for both the irish cream and the lemon blossom were far too light. The crumb just was not what I typically like in a cupcake. The red velvet, irish cream, and lemon blossom all had minimal flavor. I suspect incredible marketing must be a huge part of their success. I do plan to try the cherry blossom soon and hope I will have better luck. If I do, I'll come back and modify this review. As nearly all the other reviewers have pointed out, you'll end up with more cupcakes than the book indicates. I didn't get uptight about that. Keep them to eat later or give them away? Well, that's the bad news, now on to the good.

I actually liked the frostings. The frostings are very good. I'll definitely use them with someone else's recipes. I also enjoyed the narrative. The book is more than just a book of recipes. They tell their "story." They talk about baking with their grandmother and having to sacrifice to open a business that they both really wanted. I was excited to read about their grand opening and all of the challenges and opportunities they've faced on their journey. I'm proud of them. I'm also fairly amazed by their creativity. The way they decorate the cupcakes are very cute, and the flavor combinations (at least in theory) are wonderful.

I do not know if the recipes are authentic; I doubt it. Despite what we might think, most bakers and chefs do not reveal their actual recipes in their cookbooks. Instead they give modified versions (not just scaled-down versions but modified ingredient versions). I don't have a problem with that; I don't expect them to give away all the secrets that keep them in business.

Overall, I'm just not impressed with the cupcakes, which I feel is the major point of the book. At the end of the day, it's not about cuteness or popularity--it's about tasty food. So, I have to give it 3 stars.
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on January 30, 2012
My pre-teen girls watch the show. When we traveled to DC last summer getting cupcakes at the store was a must. We spent a lot there on cupcakes, t-shirts the whole deal. The kids were very excited when the book was released at Christmas. We have tried two recipes so far and both were disasters. The coconut recipe was first and I let the kids try it alone. So MAYBE there was a mistake, probably not, they're pretty good little bakers. So we decided to try again with the salted caramel. After purchasing special ingredients and following the directions to a tee. They spilled over the pan (12 cupcakes to the recipe - bah), smoke alarm went off, cupcakes puffed up to great heights then sunk to nothing. We used the rest of the batter and added flour to adjust for altitude. We called the store in DC and they suggested also raising the temperature on the oven. Still a disaster. Worst cookbook I have ever purchased.
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on February 1, 2012
I am a professional baker and have made several recipes from this book and most have turned out disastrous. I do not recommend the buttercream recipe at all, way too thick to pipe on cupcakes! However, there are two recipes that have turned out fabulous: gingerbread cupcakes and blueberry bacon cupcakes. It is a cute little book if you've been to their store, but I wouldn't waste your money on hopes of finding amazing recipes.
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on November 27, 2011
I visited a friend in DC and because I love cupcakes she took me to Georgetown, I was really excited, tried them and I must say , they are soooo delicious. I'm a huge fan of Red Velvet cupcakes so I tried their recipe, but as other readers mentioned, the recipe made over twice as many cupcakes as the recipe stated (36 instead of 12) and they didn't grow nicely as they really are.
I wonder if these recipes are really the ones they bake daily ?!?!?!?
A little bit disappointed !!!
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on February 20, 2012
I love Georgetown Cupcakes. I always make it a point to stop by their Bethesda bakeshop every time I'm in the area. I pre-ordered this book so that I could make their cupcakes whenever time allowed. I tried their Coconut Cupcake recipe because that's my family's favorite. The ingredient quantities seemed a little off but I followed the recipe to the tee. It yielded more than the 12 cupcakes that the book claimed. The batter also rose so much that it was a disaster. Disapppointed and un-rescuable, I threw these into the trash. I tried the recipe one more time and had the same exact results. This was when I realized, I wasn't crazy. I am afraid to try another recipe because I use the same ingredients they're using and they're not exactly inexpensive either, so I don't want to waste anything.

Overall, I'm disappointed. I just buy their cupcakes whenever I want them. Luckily, the cupcake shop is close by but I feel bad for those other folks that were pining their hopes to make their own version of Georgetown Cupcakes who aren't close to Bethesda, and are probably getting the same disastrous results as me.
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