What’s New, Cupcake? author Karen Tack and I go back a long way. In fact we both got our start in the Cook’s Magazine test kitchen (long before it morphed into Cook’s Illustrated). It was the late 80’s and Maggy and Sharon were just toddlers. Karen’s two nearly grown sons–Erik and Liam–were still very future.
At the magazine Karen and I both loved to cook, but I was drawn to writing while Karen realized she had the food styling gene. We were both at Cook’s when it folded, and she and I spent the summer of 1990 joyfully unemployed.
For a time we went our own ways. I moved to Restaurant Business Magazine and then Cook’s Illustrated while Karen honed her skills as a first-rate food stylist. All those gorgeous cookies and cakes you see on national magazine covers. They’re likely her work.
Early nineties, our paths crossed again when Karen worked with me on my Cook’s Illustrated articles which ultimately became The Perfect Recipe. By then I had moved to Pennsylvania, so Karen, along with her adorable dog, Scout (that’s him on the cover of her first book,Hello, Cupcake!) would make the two-hour journey from Connecticut. We worked intensely long and hard on her three-day visits, and by the end we usually had a pretty perfect recipe to show for it. That’s when I got to know Karen really well.
Then Erik was born and he started making the weekly trip with Karen and Scout. Erik was such a good baby. He mostly let us do our thing. Karen cooked while I documented our work. Occasionally he’d end up on my back in a baby sling while I was at the computer.
Good things always come to an end. Eventually the trips became cumbersome and complicated, so Karen and I had to part again. These days we don’t see one another nearly enough, but when we do we always pick back up where we started.
Thank you, Karen, for what you’ve done for me over the years. And thanks for sharing your talent and humor in Hello, Cupcake! and now What’s New, Cupcake?.
To celebrate Karen’s success, we’ve got five copies of What’s New, Cupcake? to give away. Simply tell us your favorite cupcake flavor. (If you haven’t already noticed, mine’s chocolate peanut butter!)
Deadline is this Sunday, May 16th at 6:00 PM ET. (Shh! Maggy’s birthday.) We’ll announce winners no later than 6:00 PM ET on Monday, May 17th.
#41 Heather Bonner
#65 Ken Davis
#99 Kelli B
who have all been notified. Congratulations you five and thank you all for playing!
That’s easy – carrot cake. Thanks for the opportunity!
Chocolate Peanut Butter!!
Chocolate cupcake with cream cheese frosting – just a mini version of my favorite cake.
Devil’s Food Cake with Vanilla frosting…omg….
What to choose, what to choose…. I love every flavor of cupcake that’s out there! I’d say that right now my favorite would have to be margarita with lime cream cheese frosting, yum….
Monique McGonagill says
strawberry with strawberry icing!
It’s so hard to just choose one but I’ll say Red Velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting
My favorite cupcake flavor is any! Well, I actually really love chocolate with classic buttercream frosting : )! YUM!
Sandra Fuqua says
I love cupcakes and enjoy making them.
Any with a banana base…banana coconut, banana chocolate chip, banana strawberry, banana pecan, etc.!
Kelli Downey says
Vanilla cupcakes with thick chocolate frosting (and maybe a few sprinkles to make me smile)
Ken Davis says
I love plain white cupcakes with fluffy chocolate icing…. nothing better.. it might be a hold over from my childhood… can’t say for sure.
Kate Ault says
Strawberry cupcake topped with Buttercream frosting with real strawberries blended in!
Eileen Fremont says
Vanilla cupcakes with coconut frosting!
Chocolate stout with caramel frosting!
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and itty-bitty chocolate curls.
Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker says
Love the story of your friendship!
My favorite cupcake flavor is chocolate with peanut butter frosting!
Mike V @ DadCooksDinner says
Completely unrelated to the contest…
My wife (the baker in the family) happened to pick up this cookbook at the library today, because she liked the look of it. We’ve spent the last half hour paging through it, looking at the pictures, and saying…”No way…how did she do that?”
The pictures in this book are worth the price alone. Seeing these cupcakes made into things that don’t look like cupcakes (stir fry with broccoli, sub sandwich, grill with hamburgers pop into my head) was a treat – we couldn’t stop laughing at her ideas and creativity!
french vanilla with buttercream frosting
Jennifer Haile says
Red Velvet, yes definitely!!
ummmm, I love red velvet! Thanks for making me hungry!
homemade vanilla funfetti!
By far my favorite would be white chocolate mousse cupcake. Delicious white cake, a thin cap of white chocolate ganache, frosted with white chocolate mousse. Might sound too rich (is anything, really, though?), but it’s just rich enough to satiate without overwhelming completely.
Jessica J. says
Probably chocolate with chocolate icing…
yellow with chocolate icing. YUM! 🙂
Mine would be chocolate with chocolate frosting. Yum.
What a neat story about your history with the author!
Boston Cream Pie cupcakes: yellow cake split in two, pastry cream between the layers, topped with bittersweet chocolate ganache.
Amy from She Wears Many Hats says
Golly bum, that’s a tough one…chocolate anything.
My favorite is chocolate with chocolate ganache
Lemon cupcakes wtih fresh strawberry frosting!
Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday says
Oooh probably Carrot with Cream Cheese Frosting.
…Coconut are good too.
… and there’s always the delightfully simple vanilla.
Too many choices!!
Honestly any cupcake is a good one. Right now a carrot cake one would be yummy!
Coconut for sure
Vanilla with chocolate frosting. I own the first book and would love to own this one. I actually have a copy out from the library right now!
Amy S. says
I’m a big fan of chocolate peanut butter, in any combinations. This book looks adorable!
Katie Z says
Cookin' Canuck says
I bought a copy of Hello, Cupcake when it was first released and really enjoyed the whimsical designs and photos. I’m so happy to see that another book is coming out. It was fun to learn more about your history!
My favorite flavor – anything with toffee/caramel flavors.
Kelly C says
Mines chocolate peanut butter too!!
Kathy O says
Chocolate with vanilla frosting! Made them for my mom on Mothers Day,
while i enjoy exotic flavors, i always fall back to a vanilla cupcake. never disappoints.
amy stein says
Ooooooo….this is so hard!
ok, right now, going with “anything topped with buttercream”
Love cupcakes, but am truly an icing girl!
My favorite would have to be… Raspberry cupcakes with almond ganache and garnished w/ slivered toasted almonds and fresh raspberries! Made them the other day…. WOW! fall back is red velvet w/ white chocolate cream cheese frosting
mmm red velvet (:
Vanilla cupcake with vanilla icing. And yes, I also order vanilla ice cream cones. :o)
Kelli B says
My favorite cupcake is carrot with cream cheese frosting. No box mix for me, I like homemade with tons of shredded carrot, nuts, raisins, anything you can throw in there!
Deb S. says
Since I live in the south now…it has to be Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing 🙂 Red velvet it really just a devil’s food cupcake with lots of icky red dye 🙂 Gotta love it y’all! 🙂