Make It Easy, Cupcake!: Fabulously Fun Creations in 4 Simple Steps

Make It Easy, Cupcake!: Fabulously Fun Creations in 4 Simple Steps

by Alan Richardson, Karen Tack

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Overview

Make It Easy, Cupcake!: Fabulously Fun Creations in 4 Simple Steps by Alan Richardson, Karen Tack

From the bestselling authors of Hello, Cupcake! and Cake My Day! comes a collection of brand new, completely irresistible cupcake designs—all of which can be made in just 4 steps!

Let Karen Tack and Alan Richardson show you how to make the most inventive cupcakes—for any imaginable occasion—using easy, everyday ingredients (and tools) from your own pantry or grocery store. The 100+ recipes in Make it Easy, Cupcake will allow you to transform marshmallows into blooming daffodils and wafer cookies into airplane wings, use jelly beans for dragonflies and chocolate cookies as bat wings, and countless other ideas for creative cupcake confections. . .all in four easy steps.

Start with a batch of plain cupcakes (made from scratch or store-bought) and follow the authors' illustrated instructions for decoration. Each recipe includes a complete list of ingredients and simple HOW-TOs along with color photos illustrating each step. From baby buggies to hot-air balloons, gingerbread men to the Loch Ness Monster, this is the go-to resource for the most creative, crowd-pleasing cupcakes ideas of all time. Enjoy!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250139399
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 06/19/2018
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 145,355
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Called “the cake whisperer” by Gourmet, KAREN TACK is a cooking teacher and food stylist. Her work can be seen on the covers of Gourmet, Bon Appétit, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Woman’s Day, Martha Stewart Living, Parents, Real Simple, Nick Jr., and many others.

Fellow creator ALAN RICHARDSON has photographed dozens of best-selling cookbooks, and his work appears in many leading food and women’s magazines. He is the coauthor of The Breath of a Wok, which won two coveted awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

EVERYDAY CANDY BASH

Candyful cupcakes for events big and small!

CANDY-DROIDS Candy Robot Cupcakes
CANDY-DROIDS

CANDY ROBOT CUPCAKES

18 vanilla cupcakes, chilled
1. Sprinkle your work surface with decorating sugar to prevent sticking. Roll out each orange slice to a 3¼-inch diameter round. Cut out two 1 ½inch circles from each flattened candy to make 18 circles.

2. Spoon ¼ cup of the frosting into a zip-top bag. Spread the top of the cupcakes with a mound of the remaining frosting and smooth. Place an orange candy circle on top and press it into the frosting. Roll the tops in a bowl filled with the sugar to coat. Gently pat to reshape. Brush excess sugar from the orange candy circle.

3. Cut ¾ inch from the coated end of the Pocky sticks, discarding the longer pieces. Snip a small corner from the bag of frosting. Pipe a dot of frosting on the top and one side of each Mallowmar. Attach the cut end of a Pocky stick to the top dot and a brown M&M to the side dot.

4. Pipe a small dot of frosting on top of each cupcake and attach the heads. Add dots to the front and sides of the cupcakes to attach the M&M's Minis for the buttons, the pearl for the light, and the Mike and Ike candies for the arms.

Makes 18

BACKYARD BBQ

BAKED BEANS

Vanilla cake mix batter, prepared according to package directions
1. Line a 12-cup cupcake tin with paper liners. Fill the cupcake liners halfway with the cake batter. Bake for 11 to 14 minutes, until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (The cupcakes will bake up short, leaving a slight lip to hold the beans.) Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Freeze the cupcakes for 30 minutes before assembly.

2. Combine the frosting and the corn syrup in a medium bowl. Microwave the mixture in 5-second intervals, stirring after each, until melted.

3. Add the jelly beans to the warm chocolate mixture and stir to coat evenly.

4. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the jelly bean mixture onto the top of a cupcake and spread it to the edge of the liner. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.

Makes 12 cupcakes

HOT DOGS

12 vanilla cupcakes, chilled
1. For the hot dogs, use a small serrated knife to saw 1 ¾ inches from each end of the breadsticks; discard the centers and reserve the ends. Put ¾ cup of the vanilla frosting in a small bowl and stir in the chocolate frosting and about 15 drops of red food coloring to tint the vanilla frosting brownish-pink. Microwave the tinted frosting in 5-second increments, stirring after each, until smooth. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Coat each breadstick end with the frosting, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl, and transfer to the lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.

2. For the hot dog buns, use a small serrated knife to level the tops of the cupcakes with their paper liners. Make two parallel cuts in the top, ½ inch apart, and discard the center strips.

3. For the mustard, put 3 tablespoons of the vanilla frosting in a small bowl, tint it yellow with food coloring, and spoon it into a zip-top bag. Set aside. Spread a layer of the remaining untinted vanilla frosting on top of the trimmed cupcakes and smooth. Use the tines of a fork to gently score the edge of the frosting, pulling it to the center, to resemble the edge of a paper plate.

4. To assemble, place 2 coated breadsticks cut end to cut end on top of the cupcakes to make the hot dog. Cut one corner from the bag of yellow frosting and pipe a zigzag line of the frosting on the hot dogs as the mustard. Place a trimmed cupcake top on either side of the hot dogs, cut-side down, as the buns. Snip the green apple twists into small pieces and add as the relish.

Makes 12 cupcakes

SLIDERS

12 vanilla cupcakes, chilled
1. Sprinkle the tops of the cupcakes with sesame seeds, pressing lightly to adhere. Use a small serrated knife to level the tops of the cupcakes with their paper liners; set the tops aside.

2. Place the cornflakes in a bowl. Snip the red fruit leather into ¼-inch pieces and toss with the cornflakes.

3. Put ¾ cup of the chocolate frosting and the corn syrup in a small bowl and microwave until softened. Pour the frosting over the cereal mixture, tossing to coat completely.

4. Spread some of the remaining chocolate frosting on top of the cupcakes. Add a heaping tablespoon of the cornflake mixture, spreading it to the edge. Place the cupcake tops over the filling as the bun.

Makes 12 cupcakes

COLESLAW

12 vanilla cupcakes, chilled
1. Set 3 tablespoons of the coconut aside and finely chop the remainder. Put 2 tablespoons of the chopped coconut into each of two separate bowls. Tint one bowl of coconut orange with the red and yellow food coloring and the second bowl light green with the green and yellow food coloring.

2. In a small bowl, mix ¼ cup of the vanilla frosting and 2 teaspoons water until smooth.

3. Combine the thinned frosting, the remaining untinted chopped coconut, and the unchopped coconut in a bowl. Toss until well blended. Sprinkle with the orange- and green-tinted coconut, tossing lightly to mix the colors.

4. Spread the top of the cupcakes with some of the remaining frosting and top with a mound of the coconut mixture to cover.

Makes 12 cupcakes

LEMONADE COOLERS

12 lemon cupcakes, chilled
1. Spoon ¼ cup of the frosting into a zip-top bag. Cut each fruit candy through the side, into 3 thin slices. For leaves, cut the green slices in half on an angle. For lemon slices, snip a small corner from the bag of frosting and pipe a line 1/8 inch from the rounded edge of each yellow slice to simulate the rind. Add 5 short lines to the center to mark the lemon sections.

2. Tint the remaining frosting yellow with the food coloring. Spread the top of the cupcakes with the yellow frosting and swirl. Place the frosted cupcakes in a yellow paper liner.

3. To assemble, stack two cupcakes with the additional paper liners and use the pointed end of a wooden skewer to make a hole in the center of the top cupcake and through the liners. Insert a trimmed skewer, about 3 ½ inches long, through the center of a third cupcake and its liners, and thread the skewer down through the hole in the stacked cupcakes to stabilize them. Repeat to make four stacks.

4. Add a lemon slice to the top of each cupcake stack, covering the hole from the skewer, and position 2 green leaves next to it. Cut each straw in half, keeping the bendy half. Garnish each cooler with a trimmed bent straw.

Makes 12 cupcakes

BLOOMIN' BEAUTIFUL!

PINK MAGNOLIA CUPCAKES

12 vanilla cupcakes, chilled
1. For the petals, put the white and pink melting wafers in separate small bowls, and microwave in 5-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth. Combine the melted candies, stirring gently to keep swirls of separate colors. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Dip the back side of a plastic spoon in the candy to coat, but do not go over the edge of the spoon. Place the spoon on the lined cookie sheet, candy-side up. Once the cookie sheet is filled, freeze the spoons for 5 minutes, until set. Gently remove the candy from the back of the spoon. Any broken pieces can be melted and used again. Repeat the process to make about 84 petals.

2. For the blossoms, reheat the remaining candy and spoon it into a zip-top bag. Snip a small corner from the bag. Pipe some candy into the bottom of a minicupcake paper liner. Arrange 4 petals in the liner, wide-end down in the melted candy, overlapping them slightly. Add 2 or 3 more petals in the center, using more melted candy to secure them if necessary. Refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes.

3. Put ¼ cup of the vanilla frosting in a small bowl and tint it pink with the food coloring, then spoon it into a zip-top bag. Snip a small corner from the bag. Pipe a dot of pink frosting into the center of the flower and add some yellow pearls to make the flower center.

4. Tint the remaining frosting bright green with the green and yellow food coloring. Frost the top of the cupcakes and smooth. Carefully remove the flowers from the paper liners and press one on top of each cupcake.

Makes 12 cupcakes

CHERRY BLOSSOM CUPCAKES

13 chocolate cupcakes, chilled
1. Line a jelly-roll pan with waxed paper. For the petals, put the pink melting wafers in a small bowl and microwave in 5-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth. Spoon some of the melted candy into a zip-top bag. Snip a very small corner from the bag. Pipe the melted candy into the mini spoons, but do not fill them over the edge. Tap the spoons lightly to smooth the tops. Place the filled spoons on the lined jelly-roll pan, using the lip of the pan to support the spoon handles and keep the melted candy level. Refrigerate until the candy is set, about 5 minutes. Carefully remove the petals from the spoons; any broken petals can be melted and used again. Repeat to make about 75 petals.

2. Spoon the chocolate frosting into a zip-top bag and ¼ cup of the vanilla frosting into a separate bag. Tint the remaining vanilla frosting light blue with the food coloring. Frost the top of the cupcakes with the light blue frosting. Arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter in the desired branch shape. Snip a ¼inch corner from the bag of chocolate frosting. Starting from a bottom corner of the cupcake assembly, pipe lines of chocolate frosting to form the main branch. Pipe more chocolate lines to thicken the branch and to create side branches.

3. Arrange 5 pink petals as a flower cluster along the branch on each cupcake, pointed ends out and overlapping slightly. For buds, place random single petals along the branches.

4. Snip a small corner from the bag with the vanilla frosting and pipe 5 or 6 short lines in the middle of each flower, pulling the frosting from the center out. Sprinkle the centers with pink nonpareils. Pipe a dot of chocolate frosting at the base of the buds.

Makes 13 cupcakes

MARSHMALLOW DAFFODILS

12 vanilla cupcakes, chilled
1. For the petals, snip the marshmallows crosswise into 4 or 5 slices. Put the decorating sugar in a bowl and dip the marshmallow slices to coat.

2. For the centers, use a small melon baller or spoon to scoop out the flat side of the gumdrops. Sprinkle nonpareils inside the scooped opening.

3. Tint the frosting bright green with the green and yellow food coloring. Spread some frosting on top of the cupcakes and smooth. Arrange 6 marshmallow petals side by side, overlapping if necessary, around the perimeter of the cupcake, leaving a ¾-inch opening in the middle.

4. Place the gumdrop, scooped-side up, in the center of the petals, pressing into the frosting to secure.

Makes 12 cupcakes

START YOUR ENGINES!

COOKIE BIPLANES

12 vanilla cupcakes, chilled
1. Snip the large marshmallows in half crosswise. Snip 12 mini marshmallows into thirds crosswise.

2. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. For the top wing, trim 1/8 inch from one short end of 24 graham sticks and place the cookies in pairs, cut ends together, on the lined cookie sheet. Put the white melting wafers in a zip-top bag and microwave them in 5-second intervals, massaging the bag after each, until smooth. Snip a small corner from the bag. Pipe some melted candy on the cut ends of the graham sticks and press the paired cookies together. Refrigerate to set, about 5 minutes. For the bottom wing, cut the remaining graham sticks in half crosswise.

3. Separate the mini Oreos — remove and discard the creme center — to make 12 cookies. Tint the frosting blue with the food coloring. Frost the top of the cupcakes with the blue frosting. Place a large cut marshmallow on top, cut-side down, as the engine. Pipe a dot of melted candy on top of the marshmallow and add a mini cookie. Press a long graham stick wing into the frosting, using a dot of melted candy to secure the wing to the flat side of the marshmallow. Add 2 small bottom wings parallel to the top wing, about 1 inch apart, on the opposite side of the marshmallow, securing them with some melted candy.

4. Cut the red licorice into twenty-four 1½-inch pieces. Put the red melting wafers in a zip-top bag and microwave them in 5-second increments, massaging the bag after each, until smooth. Snip a small corner from the bag. Use dots of the melted red candy to attach the licorice between the ends of top wings and the point where the bottom wings meet the large marshmallow. Pipe lines of the red candy along the top edge of the wings. Add the brown M&M's as the wheels. Pipe a dot of white melted candy, reheating it if necessary, and attach 3 mini marshmallow pieces as the propeller and a yellow M&M nosepiece in the center. Arrange the remaining ¼ cup mini marshmallows as clouds.

Makes 12 cupcakes

BEETLE BUGS

12 vanilla cupcakes, chilled
1. For the wheels, use a small serrated knife to saw 1/8 inch from one edge of each Oreo. Saw the small trimmed pieces in half crosswise and remove the creme; use these pieces as the wipers. For the bumper, cut each licorice twist into three 2-inch pieces.

2. Spoon ¾ cup of the frosting into a zip-top bag. Spread some of the remaining frosting on top of each cupcake and smooth. Put the decorating sugar in a bowl and roll the tops of the cupcakes in the sugar to coat. Gently pat to reshape. For the car hoods, separate the Vienna Fingers — remove and discard the creme — to make 12 cookies. Snip a small corner from the bag of frosting. Pipe some frosting on top of a cookie to cover. Lightly press the coated cookies in the blue sugar to coat.

3. Pipe a dot of frosting on the lower half of the cupcakes and add the hood, sugar-side up. For the windshield, cut a marshmallow in half and use a dot of frosting to attach it with the cut side against the hood.

4. For the bumper, use a dot of frosting to attach the licorice piece on the lower half of the hood. For the headlights, pipe 2 dots of frosting on either side of the hood and push a yellow M&M into each dot. Attach the cookie wipers, a PEZ license plate, and a mini M&M hood ornament, using dots of frosting to secure each. For the wheels, place the Oreos cut-side down on either side of the cupcakes, under the hood.

Makes 12 cupcakes

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Make It Easy, Cupcake!"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Karen Tack and Alan Richardson.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Everyday Candy Bash
Candyful cupcakes for events big and small!

Candy-droids
Candy Robot Cupcakes
Backyard BBQ
Baked Beans
Hot Dogs
Sliders
Cole Slaw
Bloomin’ beautiful!
Pink Magnolia Cupcakes
Cherry Blossom Cupcakes
Marshmallow Daffodils
Start your engines!
Cookie Biplanes
Beetle Bugs
Swan Lake
Marshmallow Swans
Strawberry Ballerinas
Balloon Art
Party Balloons
Hot Air Balloons
Helmet heads
Football Squad
Goal Posts
Special delivery!
Delivery Storks
Marshmallow Baby Bundles
Baby Buggies
Lemonade Coolers (Single Recipe)
Jeepers, peepers!
Bird-Watchers
Munchkin Fledglings
Keep on truckin’
Delivery Trucks
Make believe it!
Pink Unicorns
Glitter Fairies
Nursery games
Baby Bears
Baby Rattles
Bows Art (Single Recipe)


Chapter Two: We Baked a Zoo
Critter cupcakes as easy as 1-2-3-ROAR!

Fido’s spots
Fire Hydrants
Barking Dogs
How the cookie crumbles…
Lucky Kitty
How now brown cow?
Chocolate Cows
Let’s be shellfish!
Crabby Crab Cupcakes
Oysters with Pearls
Busy Beavers (Single Recipe)
Bucky the Chipmunk (Single Recipe)
Safari so good + Jungle boogie
Elephants
Giraffes
Lions
Gorillas
Tigers
Bee Eaters
White Lab Mice (Single Recipe)
Cheese Slice (Single Recipe)
Nessie sighting!
Loch Ness Monster
Go whole hog!
Groundhogs
Hedgehogs
My pad or yours?
Frogs
Dragonflies
Wing it!

Chapter 3: We Wish You a Merry Cupcake
Year round holiday-licious decorating ideas!

Love is in the air!
Valentine Lovebugs
Sweet Hearts
Pesky wabbits!
Easter Bunnies
Carrot Patch
Big Bang!
Patriotic Rockets
Fourth of July Explosions
Tricks or treats!
Halloween Bats
Pretzel Skeletons
Circus Peanut Pumpkins
Monster Mouth (Single Recipe)
Spider bites!
Cupcake Spiders
Gobble, gobble, gobble!
Thanksgiving Turkeys
Autumn Leaves
Turn over a new leaf!
Santa’s got a crew!
Santa Face
Reindeer Roundup
It takes a wreath…
…to make a wreath!
Mini Christmas Wreath Cupcakes
Make it snappy!
Gingersnap Babies
Snow Day!
Change your HAT-titude!
Snowman Cupcakes
Skating on thin ice!
Melted Snowmen
Oreo Penguins
Lorna Dooneville
Cookie Village
Bugle Trees
Champagne Toast
Cheers!

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