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I love cupcakes, and I love baking, so I’m not quite sure why I had never actually tried to make cupcakes. My mini muffin tin holds tea lights. I didn’t even own a regular-sized muffin tin. But my favorite cupcake place, Love at First Bite, is across the San Francisco Bay in Berkeley, and I just don’t get there that often. That’s probably a good thing for my waistline, but nonetheless, I jumped at the chance to try out the Cupcake Kit by Elinor Klivans from Chronicle Books.
The kit includes a few hundred adorable cupcake liners (half the reason to buy the kit!), a small cookbook with a bunch of really tasty-looking recipes, and a pastry bag with tips–pretty much everything you need except for the ingredients and the muffin tin.
And how are the recipes? They’re great (and you can even peep a few for free on the Chronicle site): delicious, unusual (chocolate butterfly anyone?), and well-written. They’re full of good tips about what to expect and how to get the best from your ingredients. The author warned that the batter would look curdled when I added lemon juice if the cream wasn’t room temperature, and I’m glad she warned me so I didn’t panic; the cupcakes I made turned out fine.
I tried out the Meyer Lemon Cupcake recipe with a friend, and I was thrilled with how easy it was and how delicious they were. (Case in point: there are only four cupcakes in my photo because a house guest ate two in the middle of the night without knowing they were waiting for a morning photo shoot in my kitchen!) I don’t think I will ever make cream cheese frosting without lemon zest ever again; it’s that delicious.
So here I am, still addicted to cupcakes, and now with the means to make them in my own house. Uh oh.

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