Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weekend Cooking - Big Book of Cupcakes

Presented by Southern Living Big Book of Cupcakes: 150 Brilliantly Delicious Dreamcakes by Jan Moon

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Oxmoor House (April 12, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0848734378
ISBN-13: 978-0848734374


It's official: The cupcake craze has taken the world by storm. No longer are cupcakes solely for children-these handheld treats now must pass muster with taste-discriminating adults equally ravenous for the little frosted jewels. Big Book of Cupcakes sets a new standard with recipes for cupcakes that actually taste as great as they look. In addition to the traditional favorite flavors everyone craves, such as red velvet and carrot cake, this book offers fun, new flavor twists like Maple Bacon and Caramel Sea Salt Mocha, as well as easy decorating and serving ideas, from classic to creative. In this book, which is organized by season and the events readers want to celebrate with home-baked cupcakes-from New Years to Christmas, birthdays to "just-craving" days-author and cupcake-bakery owner Jan Moon shares her secrets and most requested recipes. Whether you're making the perfect batch of cupcakes for a child's birthday party or satisfying a very adult comfort-food craving, the nostalgic treats that fill this book are sure to delight and surprise. Plus, Jan's creative tips on how to serve and display cupcakes for parties are sure to be crowd-pleasers.

With more than 10 years of experience honing her craft in the Test Kitchens of Southern Living magazine, Jan Moon has embarked on a venture of her own and opened a bakery in Birmingham, Alabama. In addition to wedding cakes and custom made treats, Dreamcakes Bakery specializes in delectable cupcakes, and Jan's unique creations keep her loyal customers coming back for more.

About the Author
With over 10 years of experience in the Test Kitchens of Southern Living magazine, author Jan Moon has embarked on a venture of her own and opened a bakery in Birmingham, Alabama. In addition to wedding cakes and custom-made treats, Dreamcakes Bakery specializes in delectable cupcakes, and Jan's unique creations keep her loyal customers coming back for more. Southern Living, launched in 1966, is the heart of southern life. Nearly 16 million people turn to the magazine each month for definitive southern recipes, travel tips, gardening guides, and home decorating inspiration. Readers in every part of the country recognize it as the authority for all things southern. They use it, keep it, and live by it.

I won this cookbook from Karen at Bookin' With Bingo. I was very excited to have won it since we are all about the cupcake craze right now. We watch Cupcake Wars all the time here. My daughter and I recently bought some pastry bags and tips and have been experimenting with icing our cupcake creations. We were thrilled when we saw all the cupcake recipes and ideas in this cookbook.

The 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.

We decided to try the Maple Bacon Cupcakes this morning. I love the sweet/salty thing. I know, I am weird.

We first made the butter cupcakes. It was supposed to make 24 cupcakes but mine only made 18. We even measured the batter when we filled the regular sized cupcake tins. Not sure what the deal was, but no matter. 18 cupcakes are plenty for us. The cake recipe went together without a hitch other than not making 24 cupcakes.

The bacon was cooked and cooled, the cupcakes were cooling on the counter so we moved onto the icing. I am not sure if we didn't let the cooked part of the frosting cool enough(it felt pretty cool to the touch) or if maybe it was the weather. Our frosting never set up. It was more like a glaze. I probably should have added more powdered sugar but honestly after tasting the icing, it was so sweet already that I couldn't imagine adding even more than the 1 pound of brown sugar and the 4 cups of powdered sugar already in the recipe. My only complaint with this recipe is that it calls for 1(16-oz.)package of dark brown sugar and then it calls for 4 cups of powdered sugar. I would have preferred the recipe to have the exact measurements. I don't always have ingredients in the same size package that the recipe may call for. Especially this day and age when package sizes are changing. We went ahead and just spooned the icing on each cupcake and placed the bacon on top. It kind of was a disaster but we went with it anyway.

These sound really strange but were actually very good even though they didn't exactly turn out. It reminded us of pancake, syrup and bacon. Kind of perfect for a lazy Sunday.

Even though our first try at this cookbook didn't turn out so well, we will try another recipe another day. We are thinking maybe Chai Cupcakes or maybe Mint Chocolate Chip.

I am posting the Maple Bacon recipe below. If you need 24 cupcakes be sure to double the recipe. The cake was a very good cake. I will use the butter cake recipe again. The recipe appears on page 172 of Big Book of Cupcakes. That is the picture from the cookbook. Notice how yummy they look compared to ours.

Maple Bacon Cupcake

1 recipe Butter Cake
1recipe Maple Frosting
12 cooked Bacon Slices

1.Prepare Butter Cake as directed.
2.Frost each cupcake with Maple Frosting using metal tip no. 2D. Top each with bacon.

Butter Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose soft-wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Paper Baking Cups
Vegetable cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2.Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
Add eggs,1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
3.Combine flour, baking powder,and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
4.Place paper baking cups in 2(12-cup) muffin pan, and coat with cooking spra; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full.
5.Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely. Makes 24 cupcakes.

(If you need 24 cupcakes you should double the recipe. We only were able to make 12 good sized ones and 6 wimpy ones)

Maple Frosting

1 cup butter
1(16-oz.) package of dark brown sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
4 cups of powdered sugar
2 tsp. maple flavoring

1.Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, bring to boil,stirring constantly. Stir in evaporated milk, baking soda,and corn syrup; bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat,and let cool. Transfer caramel mixture to a large bowl.
2.Gradually add powdered sugar to caramel mixture; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Stir in maple flavoring. Beat at high speed or until creamy. Icing firms up quickly, so use immediately. Makes 3 cups.

Weekend Cooking is a weekly meme sponsored by Beth Fish Reads.
Weekend Cooking is a chance to share the food love. Be sure to check out all the yummy cooking posts on Beth's blog.


  1. I love cupcakes and I think the maple / bacon combo sounds good. The frosting looks a bit much to me. I bet it was a bit on sweet side.

    I love the cover of the book, though and can't wait to hear how your next recipe goes.

  2. Since one of my recent WC posts was about maple bacon ice cream, then it goes without saying that I'd be all about maple bacon cupcakes! Gonna have to give these a try!

  3. I love cupcakes! I would love to be able to decorate them really pretty. Looks like a great book.

  4. Oh, yum! That salty/sweet combo is a hit for me, too.

    I agree that recipes should give measurements, not just package sizes; I've been frustrated with that same issue.

    The cupcakes look like they were a hit, even if the frosting didn't turn out exactly as you expected.

  5. Interesting cupcakes...a flavor combo I think I would really like. My recipes never seem to look like the pictures in the book!

  6. Sweet and salty is THE BEST combination! I love these type of looks wonderful. Fun book :D

  7. I think your cupcake looks pretty good!

  8. This looks like a great book. I have been looking for a cupcake book and will have a look for this one.

  9. I love the whole cupcake craze too, especially Cupcake Wars. It's so creative. I like the way you and your daughter experimented. So what if it didn't turn out exactly the way you wanted. I bet you both had fun.

  10. Kudos on a valiant first effort! I think it looks delish!


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