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125 Best Cupcake Recipes Paperback – April 2, 2005
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Spicy to sweet, simple to sumptuous... dozens of fabulous frostings. (Home Cooking)
Cupcake... officially a grown-up food... the perfect compromise -- decadent enough to satisfy, small enough to minimize the regret. (Jennifer Biggs Memphis Commercial Appeal 2005-04-13)
About the Author
Julie Hasson is a master baker and has worked as a pastry chef, caterer and recipe developer. Her articles and recipes have appeared in Cooking Light, Bon Appetit and Vegetarian Times magazines. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
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How do the cupcakes turn out? Well, that depends on your skill as a baker AND what kind of pans you use. I find mine turn out much better when I use a lighter, shallower cupcake pan. My heavy, dark pan makes the cupcakes denser, they take longer to bake, and they don't bake up into domes. Some of the low-star reviewers here may simply be using the wrong bakeware. Make sure your cupcake liners come up to a scant millimeter below the lip of the cupcake pan, and you should be fine. My cupcakes are usually medium-to-light in texture, same as you'd expect from an 8' round cake. Cupcakes are *cakes,* not Krispy Cremes, and should have the same consistency as cake - but if you want a lighter consistency, substitute vegetable shortening for butter.
There are some things she gets just plain wrong, but I'm not sure how much of that is her and how much is her book guy cut-and-pasting too much. The Almond Poppyseed cupcake recipe consistently makes 9 cupcakes, not 12 (almost all recipes say "makes 12 cupcakes"). The Pink Lemonade cupcakes made 8 instead of 10. Then there are some problems that could just be me trying something for the first time, like with the extremely delicious margarita cupcakes. They involve poking holes in the tops of baked cupcakes and drizzling a syrup over them; the syrup won't go in the cupcake and instead will slide over the top and pool in the bottom of the cupcake pan (so glad I left them in there!) but I simply took the wrappers off the margarita cupcakes and voila! no longer sticky.
The worst part of this book is the layout. The table of contents in the front directs you to sections (like, "for kids.") You have to go to the section to see what kinds of cupcakes it covers and what page each recipe is on. It's extremely annoying. I tend to just skip straight back to the index. I have a bag of slivered almonds? Index search "almonds" and there are the recipes I can use with the ingredients. Why they couldn't just put all the recipes in front with page numbers is beyond me.
Excellent recipes I have made at least twice:
Almond poppyseed cupcakes
French toast (we like to use large-grain sugar, sprinkled on top before baking, instead of frosting after. It creates a "crust.")
Margarita (OMG if you love limes!)
Cheesecake cupcakes (small-portion cheesecakes; buy foil liners, absolutely delicious)
Lemon cheesecake cupcakes (same)
Pink Lemonade cupcakes
Earl Grey cupcakes
Chai Tea cupcakes
White chocolate macadamia cupcakes (perhaps could be better with a cocoa cake base?)
Ginger cream cheese icing (works great on Trader Joe's gingerbread mix)
Whipped cream topping
Lemon buttercream frosting
Cream cheese icing
The lemon buttercream and lemon glaze frostings taste great, especially if you combine them and work to get the consistency you want (tip: use lemon oil instead of lemon juice). And, note about frosting/icing: unless you are planning on decorating the cupcakes, make half the frosting recipe. We just spread a little frosting on ours with a knife and half a frosting recipe makes more than enough.
Also, I've never made frosting before, and was a little intimidated (always using the pre-made stuff from the store). I can't go back to the store bought stuff now, her recipes are so yummy! And each cupcake recipe makes about a dozen cupcakes (usually between 12-16), which is great so that I can make single batches and try different flavors quickly!
Chocolate raspberry cupcakes are good just need a little more than 1/2 cup raspberries or maybe I needed to squish them in a little tighter.
While this book is packed with recipes, it does not contain many photos. If this is important to you, I'd suggest looking at some other options. If you like coming up with your own decorating ideas, the the photos are not quite so necessary.