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Apps: Cupcakes and other guilty pleasures

For every fitness app out there that helps us lose weight, and for every news app that keeps us more informed, there are alternatives available that cater to our guilty pleasures. Whether you are looking for the best cupcake recipe or want to keep up with all the celebrity news and gossip, there are mobile apps that provide gluttonous and mindless indulgences. Here are five of our favorites.

Food Network Cupcakes!

(iPad; $2.99)

This brand new app from The Food Network is exactly what its name suggests, and more. Inspired by the popular show "Cupcake Wars," this app showcases more than 100 different types of cupcakes and includes recipes, illustrations and cooking tips. The only pertinent information that Cupcakes! seems to be lacking (thank goodness!) are calorie counts. The app has extensive breakdowns available for every genre of cupcake, from "Go-To" (Vanilla, Chocolate, Swirled) to "Cupcakes for Dinner," which includes recipes for Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes and Corn Dog Cupcakes (a "Blue-ribbon treat"). Cupcakes! also lets you choose recipe selections from Food Network personalities like Rachael Ray and Paula Deen.

TMZ

(iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android; free)

Celebrity news is at its best when it's being delivered by paparazzi cameras thrust into the faces of famous people, and that's why we have the TMZ app. Not only can you watch TMZ TV clips, but you can read recaps of all the relevant award shows. For better and/or worse, the TMZ app is shameless in its coverage of Hollywood DUIs, drug busts and divorces. TMZ reports on the wash-ups and has-beens with as much enthusiasm as the A-listers.

Foodspotting

(iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, BlackBerry, Windows; free)

Do you like to see food before you eat it? If so, you will love the free foodie-heaven app, Foodspotting. Instead of reading through people's ranting reviews of local restaurants, you get to view what counts the most, the actual food. Users take photos of what they are about to devour and share their snapshots. More interested in sharing libations? Then check out the free See My Drink app, which offers recipes for more than 1,000 different kinds of cocktails.

Punch! Culture Shelf

(iPad; free)

In the mold of Mad Magazine, this innovative new application is a satirical publication built specifically for the iPad. The app includes hilarious pop culture quizzes and celebrity spoofs.

Keeping Up with

the Kardashians

(iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, BlackBerry; free)

What says "excess" more than a Kardashian with an American Express card? Well, downloading the Keeping Up with the Kardashians app on your iPhone can be your way of living vicariously. If you can't get enough gossip about Kim, Khloe and Kourtney, then you've found your 15-minute guilty pleasure right here. The app's photo carousels can also be useful in planning a girls' night out. Think of it as a little guilty inspiration.

-- By Appolicious.com,

Tribune Media Services

Tech Bytes

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