If You Don't Like Cupcakes, You Don't Like Fun

Andrea Clurfeld of the Asbury Park Press has the right attitude:

Cupcakes runneth over

I'm sorry, but if you don't like cupcakes, you don't like fun. I can understand avoiding gargantuan slabs of cake and banana-plus splits with so many scoops of ice cream, you don't get charged if you finish the whole thing. They're gross.

But cupcakes are three to four bites of pure enjoyment, little frosted cakes that are just the right size, just the right taste. For those who agree, there is "Cupcakes! From the Cake Doctor," the latest in a cake-mix-inspired series by the inventive Anne Byrn (Workman; $13.95). It's a cupcake primer, a cupcake bible, a cupcake celebration.

Byrn, who started her cake-mix doctor career while a food writer for The Tennessean newspaper, simplifies the baking process for home cooks by explaining and exploring how to transform a box of flour-plumped ingredients into beautiful round confections. Where there's science, Byrn demystifies. Where there's creativity, Byrn inspires with sure-handed advice and step-by-step instructions.

"Cupcakes!" does it all, really. The only thing it doesn't do is explain to cupcake devotee me why you can get pizza delivered just about 'round the clock, but not a buttercream-smeared cutie that's the subject of life's fiercest craving.