The recipes in “Year-round Cupcakes” range from a fast one-bowl cake with creamed butter icing to chocolate ganache covered cupcakes with gold-leafed chocolate shards on top. Each cupcake can be kept simple or embellished to personal taste with flavoured syrups, fillings or fancy decorations. The standard favourites are here along with more unique flavours. Neumeier shows the average home cook how easy it is to bake and decorate cupcakes. Simple piping techniques are clearly explained and an array of other imaginative decorating ideas are provided. A chapter called “Cupcake Science” gets the baker started with the basics behind making great cupcakes (e.g. tips such as using an ice cream scoop to fill tins to the perfect level, how to put a filling inside a cupcake, why buttermilk is the best liquid to bind the dry ingredients, what kind of knife to use for frosting). A year’s worth of ideas are presented from major holidays (Reindeer Snacks, Snowballs, Red Velvet Valentines, Spider Webs, Scuttling Spiders, Bunny Cakes) to ideas for children’s birthdays (Spelling Bee Alphabet Cakes), baby parties (Pastel Petit Fours), summer soirees or backyard barbecues (Sandcastles and Beach Umbrella Cakes), and cake sales (Fudgie Brownie Cupcakes). Just like cupcakes themselves, this small, playfully designed book is irresistible.