Spoiler alert! If you love cupcakes and don’t mind spending your evenings in a diabetic coma, there’s no better app than Hello, Cupcake. Best Buy.
Hello, Cupcake is based on Karen Stack’s book series with the same name. It may be quite popular, but I wouldn’t have known if Apple hadn’t selected it as the App of the Week. In fact, I suspect many iPad users wouldn’t have known either because geeks don’t make cupcakes, we eat them.
Karen Stack has been called the cupcake whisperer, which seems to me a stretch. Whisperers have to have someone who can listen to them before they can be effective. It was a metaphor coined for a book about a horse trainer and it somehow seeped through our vocabulary by a process of osmosis of sugar coating. Since cupcakes have no brains nor ears, a more appropriate metaphor might be cupcake masseuse.
And what a masseuse she is. We’re talking ninja turtle cupcakes, caramel apple cupcakes, and spaghetti and meatball cupcakes (with raspberry meatballs and frosting noodles). She can knead that dough until it sighs with satisfaction.
These are among the ten recipes included with the app. Nothing in Hello, Cupcake is plain vanilla. You can find everything from owls to polar bears. I was actually surprised the pink cupcake below made it past the Apple censors until I realized it was supposed to be a flamingo. Even then it took a while, but I saw it.
The $3 app ships with recipes for ten cupcakes as well as videos explaining topics such as piping, tinting and melting frosting. Each recipe includes pictures as well as text to describe each step of the process. Two pictures can be played one at a time or in animation format to get a better view of the process.
Every step of the process is documented with pictures and videos, including pictures of ingredients and key stages in preparation. The only thing you don’t get is the ingredients.
If you want additional recipes, you can buy sets (or tins) for a dollar apiece. You could also buy the book with more recipes, but the individual recipes are cheaper. And you also get the videos and step by step pictorials.
Hello, Cupcake also succeeds as an attractive and entertaining app. The recipes are just fun to look at. Best of all, it’s better than window shopping online or in magazines. You can imagine the creation of delicious cupcakes up to the point where you close the app and save the calories.
If you’re not already a decent baker, however, expect to mess a few of these up to start with. The steps can be detailed and complex. Start out making them for your kids, who won’t complain how they look. Better yet, practice on your neighbor’s kids so your own kids don’t end up twenty pounds overweight and destroy the house during a sugar induced frenzy.
Jenny Manytoes rates Hello, Cupcake
Jenny Manytoes would make biscuits all over Hello, Cupcake. She wouldn’t actually make the cupcakes, her polydactyl paws are far too delicate for that. But I guarantee she will knock those cupcakes off the counter and drag them around the house for Pearl and Chutney (our neanderthal dog) to fight over. If Chutney gets to them first, she wins. But Pearl is faster and both are capable of leaving crumbs in the carpet, under the couch, and on the bed.
Well, Pearl would leave them on the bed. Chutney’s too damn heavy to lift herself over the edge and even if she made it she would just flop around on the water bed, unable to move. She would just bark at Pearl and keep us awake all night.
Oh, yes, and Hello, Cupcake is a best buy.
The Jenny Manytoes Rating System