I've raved to everyone I can about the most delicious, heavy, decadent peanut-butter filled chocolate cupcakes I made with this book (with my neighbors help, of course). Besides being dark chocolate and peanut butter heaven in your mouth, they are actually the heaviest cupcakes I've ever held in my hand. This book has cookie cupcakes and cupcakes that come in all flavors and shapes, such as layered lemon-yogurt and raspberry jam, boston cream pie, blackberry-cornmeal, mocha, and zucchini spiced cupcakes. There's even a delicious recipe for cheesecake cupcakes that doesn't require a spring-form pan and the kids loved.
The second half of the book details super fancy toppings, themes, and characters. I love looking at all the creative ideas, but these are way beyond my level of expertise. Nesting baby-bluebirds, sunflowers, wreaths, and the intricacies of making fruitcakes with meringue mushrooms are amazing and worth a perusal. One part of a recipe I definitely want to try if I'm feeling experimental in the kitchen is caramel-dipped hazelnuts. The amazing thing about these is that you hang them and let the caramel drip and dry so that it makes an optical effect of dripping upwards when placed on a cupcake. My neighbor ended up buying this book since she had checked it out of the library so many times and wanted her own. I love checking this book out while I'm at the library for some good inspirations and definitely recommend it to many friends.
Recommended by Allison Holbrook