[Photograph: Eric Isaac]

With geometrically perfect buttercream swirls and a healthy sprinkling of profanity, Robicelli's: A Love Story, with Cupcakes takes the cupcake canon and smushes it right in the sprinkles. For the Robicelli family, cupcakes are not a part-time pastime, or a carefully photographed and delicately consumed event. They were the salvation of a small family trying to survive in an economic downturn, who started a business making something that everyone loves—really good cake.

It's hard enough distinguishing yourself in the cupcake business, much less the dessert world, but Matt and Allison Robicelli's infectious swagger and pure passion for every aspect of their chosen trade has cleared the way for success. Greatness isn't achieved by trying to be the next best version of anything, and in their uniquely blunt, honest, and heartfelt way, the Robicellis have set themselves apart.

The book takes three hundred pages to introduce fifty recipes, which should clue you in to the level of verbosity found within. It reads like a husband and wife bantering over why each recipe is better than the last, with plenty of tips, explanations, and history to convince you that they're right every time.

Like the business itself, the cupcakes are a labor of love. That means freshly grated carrots and roasted walnuts in Carrot Cake Cupcakes, which the authors claim is the easiest in the book, but still takes hours to produce a finished product (I'm giving you the eye, Allison). Does that mean you shouldn't attempt any of the recipes we're including? On the contrary! You should absolutely try everything we did, from making a potato chip and pecan cake for Pecan Potato Chip Cupcakes, chocolate custard for Brooklyn Blackout Cake, and orange flower water-scented Italian citrus cake for Pizza Grana Cupcakes. And their world-famous, labor-intensive, candy-thermometer-mandatory French buttercream, which is used in three out of the four recipes.

Bake the Book doesn't bother with desserts that aren't absolutely worth trying, and neither should you. So go stretch, put on some music, do whatever you have to in order to prepare yourself to take the plunge into Robicelli's world of cupcakes.

Win A Copy!

Thanks to the generous folks over at Penguin Publishing House, we are giving away five (5) copies of Robicelli's: A Love Story, with Cupcakes this week. All you have to do is tell us your favorite cupcake flavor.


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