Cupcakes: From the Cake Mix Doctor

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Cupcake magic...Cupcakes are celebratory, cupcakes are comforting, cupcakes are peel-back-the-paper and tickle-your-inner-child treats that elicit smiles wherever they appear.

But leave it to bestselling cookbook author Anne Byrn to take cupcakes to the next level. Proving that cupcakes can do everything a big cake can do, only better, here are 135 dazzling recipes —and you'll never believe they started with a mix.

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Cupcakes!: From the Cake Mix Doctor

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Cupcake magic...Cupcakes are celebratory, cupcakes are comforting, cupcakes are peel-back-the-paper and tickle-your-inner-child treats that elicit smiles wherever they appear.

But leave it to bestselling cookbook author Anne Byrn to take cupcakes to the next level. Proving that cupcakes can do everything a big cake can do, only better, here are 135 dazzling recipes —and you'll never believe they started with a mix.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
From chocolate ganache to toppings with panache, this latest addition to the Cake Mix Doctor canon offers creative ideas and 135 recipes for tiny, delicious cakes. The detailed table of contents and alluring cupcake likenesses in the opening assemblage of photos will have readers salivating. The Cupcakes with Class chapter offers tasty elegance, from Cappuccino Chip to Harvey Wallbanger (which contains vodka and liqueur). Kids' cupcakes range from Cotton Candy to Caterpillar, and priorities delightfully in place, Byrn provides party-planning suggestions for favors and activities that complement the cupcakes. Helpful hints abound via "The Cupcake Doctor Says" tidbits, which appear throughout the book, and mini-essays that ponder questions such as "What's a Muffin? What's a Cupcake?" The Muffins: Breakfast Cupcakes chapter suggests ways to move beyond the classic blueberry (though Byrn offers a new take on that standby, too); Cupcake Cousins and Cupcake Creations will give do-it-yourselfers the confidence to try making fancy desserts in muffin tins. Fans of the regular QVC guest will already know that homemade frostings are a must, "the strand of pearls setting off the classic little black dress." Recipes for creams, glazes, frostings and sauces will help cupcake chefs "experiment and enjoy." (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The Cake Mix Doctor's many fans will be delighted that she has returned to sweet baking (her last book, The Dinner Doctor, just didn't have the same appeal as her other two Cake Mix Doctor titles). Here, Byrn presents 135 recipes for cupcakes for any occasion-from "cupcake cousins," such as Mini Strawberry Trifles baked in a muffin pan, to Breakfast Cupcakes (a.k.a. muffins) to Jelly Doughnut Cupcakes-along with an assortment of toppings, frostings, and glazes. There are imaginative cupcakes just for kids, fancy ones for adults, and elegant creations like a Cupcake Wedding Cake. The opening essay includes 16 full-color photographs. For all baking collections. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761135487
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/4/2005
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 411,665
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Byrn is the author of the bestselling Cake Mix Doctor series and The Dinner Doctor, with over 3.5 million copies in print. She makes frequent appearances on Good Morning America and QVC. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her family. Her website is

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Read an Excerpt

It was chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten of New York City who put little chocolate cakes with warm, melting centers on the map. The method he uses is to bake a rich chocolate batter with very little flour at a high heat until the sides of the cake set but the centers are still runny. This method works in a restaurant kitchen, but there is a more practical method for the home cook. This one uses a chocolate cupcake batter with a center of chocolate ganache-that luxurious mixture of semisweet chocolate and hot cream, stirred until smooth, and allowed to cool. The ganache sinks into the batter as the cupcake bakes, creating a creamy molten center. Serve these tout de suite, as the French would say, and have ready to go the dessert plates, forks, sauce, and sugar for sifting.

Basic Chocolate Ganache (see below), chilled at least 1 hour (see "the Cupcake Doctor says" below)
Cinnamon Crème Anglaise (see below)
Vegetable oil spray for misting the pans
All-purpose flour for dusting the pans
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain devil's food cake mix
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, for dusting

1. Prepare the Basic Chocolate Ganache, cover it with plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator to chill. Prepare the Cinnamon Crème Anglaise, cover it with plastic wrap placed right on the surface, and place it in the refrigerator to chill.

2. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly mist 24 cupcake cups with vegetable oil spray and dust them with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pans aside.

3. Place the cake mix, water, oil, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and blend 1 1/2 to 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look well combined and thickened. Spoon or scoop 1/3 cup batter into each prepared cup, filling it three quarters of the way full. (You will get between 22 and 24 cupcakes.) Drop a heaping teaspoonful of ganache onto the top of the batter in each cup. Place the pans in the oven.

4. Bake the cupcakes until the cake bakes up around the ganache, the tops are domed, and the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks for 1 minute. Run a dinner knife around the edges of the cupcake cups, lift the cupcakes up from the bottoms of the cups using the end of the knife, and pick them out of the cups carefully with your fingertips. Place them on dessert plates, sift confectioners' sugar over the top, spoon the crème anglaise in a pool around each cupcake, and serve warm.

Store these cupcakes, in a cake saver or under a glass dome, at room temperature for up to 1 day. To reheat so the centers are molten once again, place the cupcakes on a microwave-safe plate and cover with paper towels. Heat on high power for 10 seconds, carefully remove, and serve.

Basic Chocolate Ganache
3/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
8 ounces (1 1/3 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon liqueur of your choice or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)

1. Place the cream in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a boil, stirring. Meanwhile, place the chocolate chips in a large stainless steel mixing bowl. Remove the cream from the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate has melted. Stir in the liqueur, if desired. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or chill for 20 to 30 minutes so it thickens to a spreadable consistency.

The Cupcake Doctor Says
You will most likely prepare these special cupcakes for company, and I would recommend them heartily! Make the ganache the day or night before, cover with plastic wrap, and chill. For a bigger, bolder flavor, prepare it with Ghirardelli double chocolate baking chips, a bit less sweet than the typical semisweet chips. You can add 1 tablespoon crème de cacao to the ganache to make it special, but this is easily omitted. Flavor these as you desire, by adding almond extract instead of vanilla, for example.

Cinnamon Crème Anglaise
2 cups whole milk
5 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Place the milk, sugar, and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the sugar dissolves, 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, place the egg yolks in a medium-size mixing bowl and beat with a fork until lemon colored. Remove the saucepan from the heat and ladle a large spoonful of the hot milk mixture over the egg yolks, stirring the yolks gently. Transfer the yolks to the milk mixture and stir to combine. Place the pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and cinnamon.
2. Spoon a generous tablespoon of the warm sauce onto plates and place Warm Chocolate Cupcakes with Molten Centers on it.

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Table of Contents

Cupcakes 101 (p. 4)
Mastering the art of the cupcake, from mixing the batter to frosting and decorating. The pans, the pantry, and all you need to know to tote cupcakes to school functions, potlucks, and family reunions.

Cupcakes with Class (p. 22)
No one outgrows the love of cupcakes. Rich in sophisticated flavors, these are the desserts to serve at your most elegant dinner party: Warm Chocolate Cupcakes with Molten Centers, Cherry Cheesecake Cupcakes, Fresh Pear and Gingerbread Cupcakes with a Creamy Lemon Frosting, and Coconut Snowballs.

Cupcakes for Kids (p. 94)
Loaded with kid appeal, these cupcakes are irresistible no matter what your age is. Try Butterfly Cupcakes with Pastel Frostings, Pineapple Banana Smoothie Cupcakes, Buried Treasure Cakes, Peanut butter Surprises, and A Cupcake Zoo, or one of the many other treats in this chapter.

Celebration Cupcakes (p. 170)
Special occasions deserve the most festive cupcakes. make Strawberry Rose Cakes for Valentine's Day, Fireworks Confetti Cupcakes for the Fourth of July, Pilgrims' Hats for Thanksgiving, and adorable Snowman Cupcakes for the winter holiday season.

Muffins: Breakfast Cupcakes (p. 220)
Freshly baked, warm muffins make a delicious sart to the day, and this chapter has plenty of favorites, both sweet and savory: Blueberry Yogurt Streusel Muffins, Butter Pecan Banana Muffins, Easy Granola Muffins, and Green Chile and Corn Mini Muffins, to name a few.

Cupcake Cousins (p. 272)
Desserts with cupcake aspirations: Mini Strawberry Trifles, Fresh Raspberry Cream Cakes, Little Chocolate Bar Cakes, and Mini Créme Brûlées—all made in a cupcake pan.

Cupcake Creations (p. 296)
When is a cupcake not a cupcake? When it becomes part of a wreath or a wedding cake or an artist's palette or a bouquet. With the right decorations, cupcakes can be used to form a magical centerpiece for any party.

Frostings and Glazes (p. 316)
A cupcake just isn't a cupcake without that final touch—a pretty swirl of homemade frosting or glaze. There are twenty-five to choose from, including Chocolate and malted Milk Buttercreams, Creamy Lemonade, Butterscotch Maple, and Caramel Pan Frostings. And an easy Basic Chocolate Ganache. What could be better?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2006

    What happened?

    I LOVE Anne Byrn's books. They have saved my bacon and impressed guests for a number of years now. Unfortunately, this book takes after Dinner Doctor more than the previous Cake Doctor books. That is to say, if you are looking for a recipe in that 'I'll know it when I see it' fashion that so frequently accompanies a sweet tooth attack, you'd better be prepared to spend some time going page by page. There are very few photographs, and the patently misnamed 'Contents' page merely gives a description of the catagory, not a list of recipes within the category. I bought the book because I found myself in a 'cupcake emergency' that required something very specific. Once home, I couldn't take the time to hunt and peck through 'Cupcakes!' and try to imagine, from the ingredients list and instructions, a finished product for each, so I found what I needed in another cook book. Maybe when I have nothing better to do (ha!), I'll thumb through the book page by page and write down all the recipes and corresponding page numbers and stick the list in the front cover. I may even give it a fancy name like, 'table of contents.' Ms. Byrn is wonderful and if her book were even slightly user-friendly, I would give 5 stars whole-heartedly.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Buy it!

    Love the book. Having so much fun with all the different receipes

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2008


    My daughter-in-law got this last summer, shared it with me, and I couldn't wait to get my own copy. We've both gone cupcake-crazy since then. Lots of great ideas, and mix-and-match options here. I made the cupcake bouquet for my daughter's bridal shower. So easy, and it looked magnificent! I like that the recipes can be used for regular cakes, too. I also love her Chocolate Cakes book--I mix and match the recipes between the two books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2006

    Easy Cupcakes Friends Rave About

    This book is great. All the cupcakes my family has tried have turned out wonderfully and we have only bought one ingredient we didn't already have on hand, and she explained where to look and what brand would be good to buy. Not hard to make at all, nothing weird in them, and DELICIOUS cupcakes that my friends rave about.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2012

    Awsome book

    The recipes are so great.I Love Them!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012


    Love this cupcake book! Cant wait to try some recipes!

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  • Posted July 3, 2011

    Warning for Nook users

    Downloaded this, but there are problems. I'm not sure what "? Cups" means. I think it's a failure to translate 3/4 cups, but can't be sure without looking at a printed version. And since baking requires exact measurements to achieve optimum results, well, this just won't do. Color me disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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