Saturday, April 4, 2015

Review: Dare to Bake! by Ady Abreu

Title: Dare to Bake!: Cupcake Recipes to Awaken Your Sweet Tooth
Author: Ady Abreu
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: March 28th 2015
Source: Schiffer Publishing


Learn to bake new and creative cupcakes using everything from the standard vanilla and chocolate to fruits and vegetables. These proven cupcake recipes can be easily recreated at home and also provide a fresh twist to some classics. There are the Tamarind and Guava cupcakes or the Hibiscus flower and Passion Fruit cupcakes that include exotic but easy-to-find fruits. There s also a selection of all-time favorites: peanut butter apple, fruity cereal, and pumpkin spice latte. The versatility of vegetables can be found in sweet and savory cupcake flavors such as spinach, corn, and pepper. With step-by-step baking instructions for the cupcake, filling, and icing, you'll soon be creating gourmet and delicious cupcakes that are sure to impress family and friends. This book is perfect for the avid bakers who want to look beyond the typical cupcake recipe.



I was really excited that this book came to be in my possession. I love to bake, and my girlfriend has an obsession with cupcakes. When I learned the author had competed on-and won- an episode of Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" I knew I had to read it. If I'm going to get new cupcake inspiration, it might as well be from the best. Overall, this was a solid collection of cupcake recipes.

This book has a lot going for it. Included in this book (in addition to recipes), the author includes a list of tools and equipment that you should have on hand in order to make the cupcakes found within this collection. There's also a cheat sheet section, so to speak, of techniques used and how to practice and master them to get the most out of your cupcakes. The chapters are separated into chapters such as Daring Creations, Crowd Favorites, Savory, and Cocktail Inspired so that it's easy to reference what kind of cupcake you'd like to make. Any girl who includes a chapter completely dedicated to boozy cakes is a girl after my own heart.

One of the best features about this book, in my humble opinion, is the fact that each and every cupcake recipe comes with a picture of how they should look. Pictures are of huge importance to me when I'm looking at a cookbook, so this made me really happy. On top of that, the pictures are very vibrant and professional; it's pretty much impossible to flip through this book without craving cake.

One thing that did confuse me a bit was the "Daring Creations" section. I am going to assume that it is called that because there's use of spices and alcohol. But honestly, they seemed to be pretty normal flavor pairings, like mango and saffron or cranberry orange for a fall cupcake. "Daring" is a mighty big promise and while these recipes do sound delicious, they're pretty standard.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book for beginner bakers. These cupcake recipes often have lots of ingredients. They definitely fall to a more complex style on the ease scale. A good majority of these books also have fillings, which adds a level of complexity. That said, if you do choose to use this guide, the instructions are fairly concise and descriptive, so that should help you through it.

I'd honestly probably try all of the cupcakes in Dare to Bake! at least once, but as always I'll highlight a few that stuck out to me. The ones that I'd jump into first are Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes (I know I know but PSL is love), Salmon Cupcakes, and Almond Amaretto Cupcakes.

This is a good collection of cupcake recipes that I'd recommend for more advanced, or should I rephrase as more confident bakers. The recipes can be pretty complex, but there's plenty of pictures to help you through it.

I was provided my copy in exchange for my honest review.


  1. ....salmon cupcakes? I'm intrigued, and a little bit frightened. ;)
    I love when a cookbook has photos of everything. Yay! It sounds overall like a pretty solid cupcake guide for established bakers. Excellent! Thanks for the review.

    1. They're savory, not sweet. Thank goodness! There's a cream cheese shmear with it. :) Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. I love me some cupcakes, you know this. I'd love to try a salmon cupcake just because I've never had a savory cupcake before and I think that needs to be corrected.

    1. Really? They can be fantastic. At work we'd do a corn bread/pulled pork cucpake.