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There was a time when nary a butterfuly was seen in these parts.

I think it had a lot to do with the widespread use of pesticides which, thankfully, has been curtailed.

In my opinion, the sight of a butterfly flitting around a garden is surely one of Nature’s most beautiful sights.

So when I opened the book Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson and saw a baking project involving butterflies resting prettily on cupcakes, I knew I had to to try to recreate them.

I received a copy of this book thanks to a lovely person at Houghton Mifflin Company and I couldn’t have been happier to welcome it into my cookbook family.

This is one of those books that makes you want to take a week off work just so you can spend it in your kitchen building cupcake penguins and aliens, among other things.

Seriously. You have to look at this book!

Divided into chapters that focus on different themes likes April Fool’s or Nightmare Before Thanksgiving, the book has numerous baking projects that all use cupcakes as building blocks. Literally.

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A thorough introduction that explains the basics of baking and frosting cupcakes is augmented by lots of colour photos and step-by-step instructions for some of the more involved projects. Don’t be intimidated, however. The book teaches you how to use all sorts of everyday treats to make the most incredible things. For example, you can learn how to make perfect little cabbages out of … cornflakes!

I know. I know. It’s earth-shattering.

I think a huge part of the book’s appeal is that even the most inexperienced baker would have a grand time trying out any of these baking projects. The book closes with a variety of recipes for cupcakes and frosting. While there are recipes that call for baking mixes (I’m not a fan), the book does also offer recipes for entirely homemade cupcakes and frostings. Either way, there are options for those who might normally be intimidated by this sort of thing and those that think, “Make a dog out of cupcakes? Why not?!”

I thought the book was fabulous and am very happy that I had the chance to review it. If you have any budding bakers (young or old) in your life or any cupcake fanatics for that matter, this is a book they’d love.

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I made my cupcakes with a very basic chocolate cupcake as the base. I used a vanilla buttercream that I tinted yellow as the frosting and a base for butterflies that I had piped and filled using dark chocolate (for the outline) and coloured candy wafers (for the interior of the butterfly).

Believe me when I say they look more complicated than they are. I followed the book’s template for the outline of the butterfly wings and after getting used to (attempting) to pipe in a straight line, I was able to produce them quickly. I filled the interior of the cupcakes and then used a toothpick to swirl the dark chocolate and pink candy coating together. I let the wings set in the refrigerator before placing them atop the cupcakes.

After seeing all those pretty butterflies on the cupcakes, I can’t wait to see all the pretty butterflies in the garden!

Ciao!