Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treatby Martha Stewart Living Magazine
The perfect cupcake for every occasion.
Swirled and sprinkled, dipped and glazed, or otherwise fancifully decorated, cupcakes are the treats that make everyone smile. They are the star attraction for special days, such as birthdays, showers, and holidays, as well as perfect everyday goodies. In Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, the/i>/b>/b>
The perfect cupcake for every occasion.
Swirled and sprinkled, dipped and glazed, or otherwise fancifully decorated, cupcakes are the treats that make everyone smile. They are the star attraction for special days, such as birthdays, showers, and holidays, as well as perfect everyday goodies. In Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, the editors of Martha Stewart Living share 175 ideas for simple to spectacular creations–with cakes, frostings, fillings, toppings, and embellishments that can be mixed and matched to produce just the right cupcake for any occasion. Alongside traditional favorites like yellow buttermilk cupcakes swirled with fluffy vanilla frosting and devil’s food cupcakes crowned with rich, dark chocolate buttercream, there are also sweet surprises such as peanut butter and jelly cupcakes, dainty delights like tiny almond-cherry tea cakes, and festive showstoppers topped with marizpan ladybugs or candy clowns.
The book features cupcakes for everyone, every season, and every event: Celebrations (monogram heart cupcakes perfect for an elegant wedding); Birthdays (starfish-on-the-beach cupcakes sure to be a hit at children’s parties); Holidays (gumdrop candy ghouls and goblins ideal for Halloween revelers); and Any Day (red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for a picnic, or caramel-filled mini chocolate cakes for grown-up gatherings).
In singular Martha Stewart style, the pages are both stunning in design–with a photograph of each finished treat–and brimming with helpful how-to information, from step-by-step photographs for decorating techniques to ideas for packaging and presenting your cupcakes. Whether for any day or special days, the treats in Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes will delight one and all.
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Read an Excerpt
One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes with Gumdrops
Piped buttercream starbursts and chewy gumdrops make playful toppings for these ever-popular chocolate cupcakes. As the name of the recipe implies, all the ingredients come together in one bowl. Using vegetable oil instead of butter makes an exceptionally moist cake; good quality cocoa powder, such as Valrhona, produces a deep, dark color and the best flavor. White icing and clear gumdrops combine in this elegant monochromatic motif; use multi-colored gumdrops for a more whimsical effect. You can customize the cake flavor by using a different extract in place of the vanilla; for example, anise would complement the clear gumdrops used here (increase amount of extract to 1½ teaspoons). Makes 18
1½ cups all–purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened Dutch–process cocoa powder
1½ cups sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup warm water
Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe below)
¾ pound gumdrops, for Garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, extract, and the water; beat until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
2. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
3. To finish, fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium French-star tip (Ateco #863 or Wilton #363) with buttercream. Pipe 5 starbursts around perimeter of cupcake, then pipe another starburst in the center. Cupcakes can be stored up to 1 day at room temperature, or refrigerated up to 3 days, in airtight containers. Bring to room temperature and place a gumdrop in the center of each starburst before serving.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
If there is one frosting recipe a home baker should always have on hand, this is it. This all-purpose buttercream has an ultra-silky, stable texture that spreads beautifully over cakes and cupcakes, and can be piped into perfect peaks and patterns. Swiss meringue buttercream is also less sweet than other types of frosting, with a wonderful buttery taste. It can be varied with different extracts, juices, zests, and other flavoring agents, and tinted any shade. Don’t worry if the mixture appears to separate, or “curdle,” after you’ve added the butter; simply continue beating on medium-high speed, and it will become smooth again.
Makes about 5 cups
5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).
2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.
3. With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.
4. (Optional) To tint buttercream (or royal icing), reserve some for toning down the color, if necessary. Add gel-paste food color, a drop at a time (or use the toothpick or skewer to add food color a dab at a time) to the remaining buttercream. You can use a single shade of food color or experiment by mixing two or more. Blend after each addition with the mixer (use the paddle attachment) or a flexible spatula, until desired shade is achieved. Avoid adding too much food color too soon, as the hue will intensify with continued stirring; if necessary, you can tone down the shade by mixing in some reserved untinted buttercream.
Martha's Meyer Lemon Cupcakes
The mild and sweet flavor of Meyer lemon is one of Martha’s favorites; these zest-flecked cupcakes are filled with Meyer lemon curd, which peeks out from the tops. The fruit, which is actually a lemon-orange hybrid, is generally available at specialty stores in winter and early spring. If you can’t find Meyer lemons, use regular lemons instead. The recipe yields a lot of cupcakes, so you may want to consider these for a bake sale or large gathering, such as a shower or special birthday celebration.
3½ cups all–purpose flour, sifted
2 tablespoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice (from 1 to 2 Meyer lemons)
½ teaspoon baking powder
1½ teaspoons coarse salt
1¾ cups (3½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
7 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Lemon Curd (made with Meyer lemons; below)
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, zest, baking powder, and salt.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in cream cheese. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, beating until just combined after each.
3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
4. To finish, dust cupcakes with confectioners’ sugar. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a coupler and a medium round tip (#8) with curd. Insert tip into top of each cupcake, and squeeze some curd below top to fill the inside, then lift the tip and squeeze more curd in a pool on top. Filled cupcakes can be kept at room temperature up to 1 hour (or refrigerated a few hours more) before serving.
A high proportion of lemon juice gives curd its intense flavor. As an acid, the juice also prevents the yolks from curdling when heated (unlike when making pastry cream, which requires the extra step of tempering). You can substitute an equal amount of juice from other citrus, such as lime, grapefruit, or blood orange.
Makes about 2 cups
2 whole eggs plus 8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
⅔ cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
Combine whole eggs and yolks, sugar, and lemon juice in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Strain through a fine sieve into another bowl, and cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap, pressing it directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days).
Fourth of July Cupcakes
Tiny blue buttercream stars and red licorice stripes create a patriotic batch of cupcakes to celebrate Independence Day. Festive
24 Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes (below) or One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes (above)
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Blue gel–paste food color
1 small bag red licorice laces
1. Tint 1 cup buttercream bright blue with gel-paste food color. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip (#4). Using an offset spatula, spread each cupcake with a smooth layer of untinted buttercream. Cupcakes can be refrigerated up to 3 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature before decorating
2. To finish, cut licorice laces into seventy-two 1 ½ inch-long pieces and seventy–two ¾ inch–long pieces. Arrange three longer pieces and three shorter pieces to form a flag pattern on each cupcake. With blue frosting, pipe nine dots in each open corner to form “stars.”
Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes
You will likely make these cupcakes again and again, varying the frosting (say, dark chocolate) and sprinkles (sparkly, multicolored, or otherwise) to suit your whim or fancy. Two types of flour contribute to the cupcakes’ singular texture: Cake flour makes for a delicate crumb, while all-purpose flour keeps them from being too tender. Makes 36
3 cups cake flour (not self–rising)
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
2¼ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons coarse salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2¼ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2¼ cups sugar
5 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Fluffy Vanilla Frosting (page 302)
Round candy sprinkles (nonpareils), for decorating (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium. Add whole eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add yolks, and beat until thoroughly combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each. Beat in vanilla.
3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
4. To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting. Refrigerate up to 3 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature and, if desired, decorate with sprinkles before serving.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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The wide range of difficulties and flavors makes this cupcake cookbook perfect for anyone. From the one bowl chocolate cupcake to the multi-step special occasion recipes this book has it all! I use the meringue butter cream frosting recipe on just about all of my desserts now. It works great on a birthday cake, cupcake, or even for dipping a cookie. It is so light and fluffy it could replace Cool Whip. The vast number of ideas and designs in this book will equip you with a special cupcake for every occasion, and the simple directions make even the most complicated looking design simple. This is a must have for any kitchen.
This is a wonderful cupcake book. There is a picture of every cupcake and it helps to inspire you to try new things. I have made only a couple of the actual recipes so far and they have been fantastic. It is nice to have many different icing and cupcake recipes all in one place. They only thing I don't like is the quantities that some of the recipes make are kind of crazy. How often will you need 32 cupcakes at one time?
Overall, I have enjoyed this cookbook immensely. The banana cupcakes, strawberry cupcakes, and maple cupcakes are pure heaven! (Was disappointed in the consistency of the devil's food cupcake, though.)The frosting recipes are easy to follow and unbelievably delicious. This cookbook is chock-full of ingenious ideas for decorating cupcakes for every imaginable occasion. The glossy photographs are a feast for the senses and will inspire you to entertain. A terrific resource guide is included in the appendix as well. Makes a great gift!
A wonderful book full of cupcakes galore! Beautifully photographed, with recipes that you want to read, study, and finally pick one to make. The instructions are well written, easy to follow. There are a lot of basic baking instructions and background information as well. If you are new to baking, don't feel overwhelmed. Everything you need to surprise friends and family with great cupcakes is right here. Sections of the book include "Swirled and Sprinkled", "Dipped and Glazed", and "Holidays". We found that we could spend so much time looking and reading that we almost didn't leave time for baking! We are especially fond of the "Strawberry Cupcakes". Cupcakes equal fun and Martha Stewart's Cupcakes has plenty!
I gave this book to my sister,who has three kids and is totally into parties for her children. She loved this book.
I love this book!! I've made the carrot cake cupcakes, the red velvet, and the banana pecan cupcakes so far and each has turned out great! The red velvet had the most delicious taste and were moist without being greasy (which I've experienced with some other red velvet recipes). I highly recommend this book.
this is a must have book. if you love baking or are just starting out this is a book for you. this is a fun book to learn all new cupcakes. this was my first real cupcake book and i've learned so much from it. there are simple cupcakes and then there are the harder multiple step ones. over all they are all good. when i make cupcakes from this book they don't last long in my house : )
Great collection of easy-to-fancy cupcakes to wow your family, friends and co-workers! Not for waist-watching, but hey, its dessert, what do you expect?
I love this book, I'm not sure why I waited so long to get it! Many of the recipes are more advanced and some require ingredients you have to get in a specialty store. I would recommend it for more advanced bakers, although she does give good step by step directions. There are many complex flavor profiles in both the cupcakes and the frostings. One of the first recipes that I tried was the Salted Carmel Chocolate mini-cakes and I received rave reviews from my family. I look forward to trying more of the recipes. The pictures are beautiful! As usual, Martha delivers a great cookbook.
This has become one of my favorite cookbooks. The pictures are beautiful, and the recipes are easy and yummy to boot! Haven't had bad feedback yet on any of the cupcake recipes I've made out of this book. Such fun flavor combinations too! This has a permanent spot amongst my easy-to-reach recipe books!!
This book is a must have for any cupcake lover.These are some of the best cupcake recipes you'll find anywhere.
Martha has really figured out the art of the cupcake.... With her book as a basis, the delicious results are limited only by your own creativity. YUMMMMM
I love this, its taught me so much
I got this as a present and returned it in exchange for another book. I love cup cakes, but feel that if you have a good basic cookbook/baking book this one is overkill. After that 10th recipe you have it all and it's just a matter of changing the color of frosting or adding cocoanut instead of hazelnut etc. It is also bound as a paperback which makes it hard to prop open during baking.
This book is fun to read as well as make one of the cupcakes. Makes a really cute birthday party. The ideas are worth the price of the book.
*****This is a great book on cupcakes. Great illustrations. Big variety of different cupcakes. As usual for any Martha Stewart book great instructions.
This book is a lot of fun. The recipes are easy to follow and creative. There are simple as well as advanced recipes so it is good for everyone. Most of the recipes ingredients are easy to make/find so it's not a headache running around trying to get to a specialty store. Wonderful book overall, I would highly recommend for anyone looking for a bit of pizzaz in the cupcake department!
Easy and fun way to spend time with your kids
If you have a craving for cupcakes, start here. A great selection of all types, flavors and occasions, organized in typical Martha fashion. It gets your creativity going, but the only drawback is that it is very difficult to choose which one to bake first!
This is another excellent Martha Stewart production.
Good product , good delivery, Wife is once more pleased and surprised!
I LOVE this book! There is such a variety of recipes, tips, decorating ideas, etc. There are pictures on every page (YES!) and most of the stuff is easy for beginners. All of the recipes are GENIUS!
I want this book realy bad! I love cupcakes,but GLAZED?!It sounds AWESOME
I AM SO HUNNGRY!!!!!!!!
i live this book it has any type of cupcake you could imagine! It even has great ideas on how do decorate the cupcakes i love this book!!!!!!!