Author(s): Fergal Connolly
Whether it's their individual size, their pretty frosting, or just their ability to bring back fond memories of childhood - cupcakes really do have ultimate treat-appeal. Every generation loves them, and even the most curmudgeonly among us find it hard not to smile when presented with a plateful of cupcakes.
Cupcakes come in many shapes and guises, but the one thing they all have in common is their small, individual size and the fact that they are baked in a muffin pan or cup-shaped moulds, which are often lined with a crimped foil or paper case. Almost any cake batter can be baked in a cup-shaped mould to make cupcakes. Classic yellow cake or pound cake mixtures are particularly popular, but gingerbread, carrot cakes, fruit cakes, yeasted cakes and brownies can all be transformed into cupcakes.
Whether it's a smear of cream cheese frosting or an intricately decorated cake topped with fondant decorations - it's the topping that often provokes the greatest delight. Children and adults alike will love helping to decorate the cakes, and it can make a fun afternoon activity before you even get round to sitting down with a glass of milk to enjoy them. Once you get started on the recipes in this book, you'll realize just how fun baking and decorating cupcakes can be - and you might just find yourself with a new hobby!