Article first published as Book Review: The Big Book of Babycakes: Cupcake Maker Recipes, Homemade Bite-Sized Fun! by Kathy Moore and Roxanne Wyss on Blogcritics.
The popularity of cupcakes is even getting more so now than it was several years ago. Cupcakes are used as deserts for special occasions, parties and even as a substitute for wedding cakes. I’ve even noticed many of the menus in restaurants offer cupcakes for desert. At one time, making cupcakes seemed time-consuming and required additional work instead of just pouring the batter into a cake pan and baking it. However, by using a cupcake maker the work has diminished, the baking time shortened by at least half, and the final result being more consistent especially if you use the tested recipes in “The Big Book of Babycakes Cupcake Maker Recipes” by Kathy Moore & Roxanne Wyss.
For the purpose of the review, we are asked to test three recipes. For me, this was a delight! I love cupcakes and so do the neighborhood kids which always are my test subjects. The first recipe I tested was “Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes.” The basic batter is made from the usual ingredients but the liquid is 1/2 cup of thawed frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate and 1/3 cup buttermilk. To make the cupcake raspberry color I added red food coloring. The frosting (recipe given) also used red food coloring and raspberry lemonade concentrate giving the cupcake a tart, yet sweet flavor. The texture of the cupcake was dense and moist, a perfect combination with a cup of freshly brewed coffee.
The second recipe I tested was “Mushroom Goat Cheese Empanadas.” (Yes, you can make other things and not just cupcakes in a BabycakesÒ cupcake maker! I used a purchased refrigerated piecrust. (You can use puff pastry as well.) The filling was made from garlic, onion, red bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, mushrooms, oregano, cumin, Monterey Jack cheese and goat cheese. The bottom crust was placed into the cupcake maker similar to placing individual tart shells. Once the mixture was spooned into the cavity, a circle of crust was placed on top. The empanadas aren’t sealed nor do they look like the traditional version; however, the end result is very tasty and made a great lunch when served with a side salad. On a personal note, I liked the fact these empanadas were so easy to make and to me it didn’t matter they didn't resemble the traditional version.
For the third recipe I chose “Cherry Strudels.” For the crust I used purchased pie crust and puff pastry and used a filling of canned pitted tart red cherries, and dried cranberries thickened with cornstarch. Once cooked, I added chopped toasted almonds to the mixture. The shell was made from the pie crust and on top of that I placed a spoonful of cherry mixture. A circle of puff pastry was placed on top and brushed with an egg wash. Baking time was about 11 minutes. The strudels came out nice looking with a few of them having the filling seep out. The puff pastry on top added an interesting texture to the strudel. I specifically liked the filling which was enhanced with almond flavoring. The recipe called for 1/2 cup sugar and because of this, we found the strudels a little too sweet. Next time I make this recipe I will cut the sugar down by half or omit it all together. The recipe was good enough to make again and I will try apples as well. I think the recipe can be interchangeable with any type of filling.
The beginning of the book has a whole part on tips, ideas, and information using a Babycakes cupcake maker making it easy for the reluctant cook. Using the maker cuts down the baking time by at least half, but keep in mind if you only have one and the recipe is large, you will have to bake in several batches.
I’m pleased with “The Big Book of Babycakes: Cupcake Maker Recipes” by Kathy Moore & Roxanne Wyss and encourage you to consider purchasing it. This book, along with a Babycakes cupcake maker, would make an awesome gift as at a bridal shower. I can’t imagine any bride not being thrilled with it; besides, it would be fun to make the recipes in the book “together.”
The Big Book of Babycakes: Cupcake Maker Recipes, Homemade Bite-Sized Fun!
Kathy Moore & Roxanne Wyss
Robert Rose Publishing (2012)
Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views (9/12)