Saturday, 23 July 2011

Love Bakery: Cupcakes from the Heart Cookbook Review

I'm quite partial to a cupcake, as some of my other posts will attest to, so when I was making a Book People order a few months ago and saw this book for cheaps I just had to add it to my basket! I hadn't even heard of the Love Bakery before but I figured I'd take a punt. I was glad I did as it's a lovely book, both to look at and to cook from. The book is a good size and actually stays open while you're trying to follow a recipe - always a bonus! The photography is gorgeous and there is a full-page photo of each cupcake. The super huge images really help as they add a lot of decoration to their cakes and you can recreate the designs much more easily when you can see every detail. The flavours are original enough to justify buying yet another cupcake book! There is a great section with Cuptail recipes! There are also the classics, breakfast cupcakes, fruit, afternoon tea, retro and kid's cupcakes. Flavours include Rhubarb and Custard, Toffee Apple, Chocolate Lime amd Cosmopolitan. There is also a recipe for English Whoopie Pies, Cake Pops and the ubiquitous giant cupcake. There are even a couple of preserve recipes.

What also makes this book great are the little additions throughout the book like the really useful tip of using an apple corer to remove some sponge to then add a filling to the cake. Brilliant! At the end of each recipe there is a 'To add the love' section which details how to fill and decorate the cakes; and then a 'Love tip' which gives information about ingredients or alternatives. They have also given gift-wrapping ideas, a few mood boards they have created and there are gift tags to use and templates for sugar-paste decorations. A really well thought out book.

What do you do when all your surfaces are covered? Take your cupcakes into the garden of course!! I love Red Velvet cupcakes but have never attempted to make them so I thought I'd choose it as my first recipe from the book. The recipe was well laid out and clear, it even lists all the equipment you will need, down to the smallest detail like a teaspoon and a wire rack. I halved the quantity and the mixture made exactly six, as did the frosting - take that Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook!!

Haha, cat looking on! This is the first time I've been truly successful with a frosting which made me extremely happy. The cakes also rose beautifully though the sponge wasn't as red as I'd hoped, even with a little extra colouring. They were very moist but not too sickly. Very happy.

Then today I made the Pimms Cuptails. Again, the recipe was a pleasure to follow and the buttercream was easy to make while the cakes were baking. Another successful frosting - joy! I didn't follow the Love addition of blitzed cucumber, strawberries, raspberries, mint and orange for the centre of the cupcakes which probably lessened the flavour a little but they were lovely as they were. We couldn't really taste the Pimms in the sponge which was a shame and the orange flower water overpowered the extra Pimms in the frosting but it still made a really tasty, light cupcake. I'd probably leave out the orange flower water in the frosting next time and add a little more Pimms to the mixture for a stronger flavour. I used a piping bag for the first time today too!! These were definitely the two prettiest ones but I think with practice I might be ok next time! There was obviously glitter involved too, I think it might be against the law to have a bling-less cupcake!!

Next time I want to try the Whisky Mac Cuptails - a spiced cake with whisky frosting sounds amazing. All the cuptails look pretty fab, as do the It's Not Terry's But My Chocolate Cupcakes and the Lemon Curd Mascarpone Cupcakes. Most things really. Can't say I fancy Cake Pops much though, the idea of compacted cake crumbs makes me feel a little queasy!

I'm so, so pleased I own this book. The recipes quantities have been bang on and have been really successful. An absolute treat and lovely to look at too. I think a trip to their shop is in order when I go to London next month. I hope it lives up to my expectations, and I also hope they make another book with more flavours one day! The book is still available for £4.99 over at The Book People if I've tempted anyone to try it!


  1. I have this lovely book too and have had great results with the recipes, I definitely agree that this book is full of brilliant and unique cupcake flavours. Definitely one I'd recommend. X

  2. Thanks for the recommendation. There is still part of me being seduced by the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook but now I have a new one to check out! My biggest concern with buying overseas cookbooks is the availability of ingredients. Have you managed to find everything you need to make your cupcakes?