Monday, 5 August 2013

Lemon cupcakes and a review

Cupcakes are one my favourite things to bake. I definitely class myself as more of a baker than cake decorator so when I was asked if I wanted to review Cupcake Decorating Lab by Bridget Thibeault I said yes as I wanted to learn some new techniques. It's a beautiful book published by Quarry Books. It has 144 pages in total with lots of colour photographs.

The book is divided into 10 chapters

It starts with an introduction from the author and also covers materials that you will need. The chapters are then divided into

1. Icing basics - frosting with buttercream, piping with buttercream, tinting buttercream, striping with buttercream, chocolate ganache glaze
2. Sugared Fruit & Flowers - sugared berries, basket of peaches, candied flowers, candied citrus slices
3. Fondant - covering with fondant, silicone moulds, impression mats, stamping on fondant, stenciling on fondant
4. Royal Icing - piping on fondant, brush embroidery, royal icing decorations, sugar cookie topper
5. Flowers & Garden - single buttercream flower, buttercream rosettes, fondant rose bouquet, sugar blossoms, sugar flowers, butterflies in the grass, herb pots
6. Fun Themes - krispie S'more cupcakes, doughnut cupcakes, gone surfing, white chocolate snowman, cupcake cake, cupcake fondue, espresso cups tea party mojito
7. Kids & Babies - tutu cupcakes, ice cream cone clowns, movie night cupcakes, soft serve ice cream, owl cupcakes, egg nests
8. Weddings - tiered wedding cupcakes, monogram cupcakes, shot glass tiramisu, PBJ Mason jars
9. Cupcakes with a Twist - cheesecake cupcakes, cake truffles, cake push pops, rose bundt cakes, flourless chocolate cake
10. Presentation - pedestals & cupcake stands, ribbons, wrappings & packaging

Each chapter is beautifully illustrated with step by step photographs. There's a list of materials required on your left and a helpful tip box on each page. I chose to work with fondant as it still scares me and I also wanted to try something new. I bought some impression mats at a cake show last year but have not used them yet so this was a good opportunity.

I made my favourite lemon cucpcake recipe as I wanted something light and refreshing. I followed the instructions for using the impression mat and decorating the cupcakes and I am pleased with the results. 

My Verdict - I really like this book for the following reasons. It's clear and beautifully set out with lots of colour step by step photographs. It covers everything you need to know to decorate a cupcake from the basics of frosting a cupcake with a spatula to more complicated techniques such as brush embroidery. It also has cupcake recipes at the back in both metric and US measurements. If I did not receive this review copy, I'd put it on my Christmas wish list! 

 ingredients for lemon cupcake

 my recipe only made 10 cupcakes

 impression mats

 place fondant over the mat and press with your fingers or roll with a rolling pin 

 it works! 

 I also got to use my cute button mould

 These were the only colours I had but I think they worked out in the end 

 Place a small amount of frosting on top of the cupcake

 cover with fondant circle 


 it could be neater but I think they look great

 I also decorated some with butterflies 

Disclaimer: I received a free review copy from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 


  1. Ros, these are sooo pretty! I've always wanted to try embossing mats, the pattern came out great! and those little buttons are sooo cute!

    1. I was so pleased with how they turned out! Not as difficult as I thought :)

  2. no way... you are such an amazing decorator too... I could never do this detailed work... lovely cupcakes too x

    1. aww thanks Dom :) I'm so glad that the cupcakes turned out - everyone was well impressed and they tasted good too x

  3. These are so cute!! I have never made very fancy cupcakes, but these make me want to try it.

    1. Thanks! Do give it a go, it's not as difficult as it looks and turns out great :)

  4. all these are so cute I love them!!

  5. These look great and sound delicious!

  6. The button moulds are so cute! I always mean to try fancier cupcake decoration but in the end laziness (and the desire to eat cake immediately) gets the better of me!

    1. I love the button moulds too. I'm the same with cake decorating but I am trying to push myself out of my comfort zone!


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