Food App of the Week: iBake Cupcakes

By on Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

iBake Cupcakes
Developer: GotFocus Solutions
Cost: $0.99
Runs on: iPhone

January is usually a time of year when gym treadmills have a longer wait time than The French Laundry. It’s understandable, then, that frosted baked goods are not on your current menu. However, cupcakes in recent years have almost become a food category of their own. For those who accept this fortunate loophole, there’s iBake Cupcakes.

This is a very simple app with very few frills and zero wow factor. It’s really nothing more than 24 cupcake recipes (with pictures). You open the app and you’re immediately taken to a scrollable list of cupcake recipes that include a small thumbnail image, title and short description. While not a bad start, some of the descriptions really don’t offer much. Consider the description of the Peanut Butter cupcake: “Crunchy peanut butter. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.” I’m not looking for Shakespeare, but this clearly could have been more helpful.

To find each recipe you scroll up and down the list, which sometimes feels sticky and not smooth like most other apps—although it works fine. You then click on a recipe of your choice and you’re presented with a small picture (which can be zoomed in to take over your screen), prep time, cooking time, serving size, difficulty star rating (from 1-4), an ingredient lists (for both the cake and frosting), and finally instructions on baking and putting your baked goods together.

The app lacks some of the main interactive elements that make apps worthwhile, such as the ability to create and share a shopping list, a built-in timer, a place where you can rate or make notes of the recipes you made, videos, glossary of ingredients, or many of the other features seen in other food apps.

Being a simple app isn’t a crime, however. And I definitely want to try my hand at the Dark Choc & Avocado cupcakes.

However, it doesn’t seem to excel at the few things it does offer. The pictures, while pretty, are sometimes not as sharp as they should be; the scrolling—as I mentioned earlier—is not greasy-rail smooth; and as you read through the recipes you’ll begin to notice several typos. If this app were free, it might get a pass, but when asking for even a small fee, I believe the end-user expects some polish and a little extra icing on the cake.

Toque Rating:

Written by Steve Cooper

Steve Cooper is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Hitched, a service and lifestyle online magazine for married couples. When Steve is not not researching or dispensing relationship information, he's reading, eating or marrying flavors together in the kitchen.

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