Let Them Eat Cake!

A short while back I wrote, Were you a pie baker, when pie baking wasn’t cool?. I was excited and overwhelmed by the sheer number of pie cookbooks slated for publication this year.

Move over pie cookbooks, cake cookbooks are heading into Dodge. Personally, I am a cake over pie dessert person and this year’s crop of cookbooks covering cakes and baking looks spectacular.

“A party without cake is just a meeting” Julia Child

Baking at the 20th Century Cafe: Iconic European Desserts from Linzer Torte to Honey Cake by Michelle Polzine: Just look at that cover – holy cake flour. Polzine, one of San Francisco’s best pastry chefs, pays homage to the foundational desserts of so many cultures while lightening and modernizing the recipes through her California lens.

Martha Stewart’s Cake Perfection: 100+ Recipes for the Sweet Classic, from Simple to Stunning by Martha Stewart: Just look at that cover – (I will say that about most of the cookbooks here today). Martha is the queen and here she presents an authoritative baking guide featuring a beautiful collection of sheet cakes and chiffons, batters and buttercreams, and tiers and tortes to tackle every cake creation.

A Good Bake: The Art and Science of Making Perfect Pastries, Cakes, Cookies, Pies, and Breads at Home: A Cookbook by Melissa Weller: Melissa Weller is the trendsetting baker of the decade, the baking superstar of our time. Her takes on chocolate babka and sticky buns brought these classics back to life with a vengeance, kicking off nationwide trends. Now, in her first book, she shares 120 meticulously honed, carefully detailed recipes for producing impossibly delicious baked goods. I have reviewed the digital copy and I cannot wait to have this gorgeous book in my hands!

Dessert Person: Recipes and Guidance for Baking with Confidence by Claire Saffitz: In her first cookbook, Bon Appétit and YouTube star of the show Gourmet Makes offers wisdom, problem-solving strategies, and more than 100 meticulously tested, creative, and inspiring recipes. We will be wowed with recipes like Babkallah (a babka-Challah mashup), Apple and Concord Grape Crumble Pie, Strawberry-Cornmeal Layer Cake, Crispy Mushroom Galette, and Malted Forever Brownies. Claire outlines the problems and solutions for each recipe – like what to do if your pie dough for Sour Cherry Pie cracks (patch it with dough or a quiche flour paste!) – as well as practical do’s and don’ts, skill level, prep and bake time, and foundational know-how.

Fruit Cake: Recipes for the Curious Baker by Jason Schreiber: One of New York City’s most influential and popular food stylists, Schreiber combines aesthetic flair and flavor in 75 whimsical recipes that celebrate fruit and cake in all their festive and delicious glory. Fruit Cake is a tasty epicurean tour through dozens of cakes and other pastries that use a variety of fruits, combining them with diverse fillings, as well as liquor, nuts, and more. Interwoven with the recipes are stories, anecdotes and asides that are just as charming and intriguing as the lush, full-color photos that accompany them.

Snacking Cakes: Simple Treats for Anytime Cravings by Yossy Arefi: In Snacking Cakes, the indulgent, treat-yourself concept of cake becomes an anytime, easy-to-make treat. Expert baker Yossy Arefi’s collection of no-fuss recipes is perfect for anyone who craves near-instant cake satisfaction. I love Yossy’s first cookbook Sweeter Off the Vine: Fruit Desserts for Every Season and am looking forward to this release!

Milk Jar Cookies Bakebook: Cookie, Cakes, Pies, and More for Celebrations and Every Day by Courtney Cowan: Featuring seventy-five recipes for adorable, irresistible hand-rolled cookies, classic cakes, and pies, no-bake treats, homemade marshmallows, and even sweet drinks, Milk Jar Cookies Bakebook more than delivers on owner Courtney Cowan’s motto, “Life’s short, eat cookies!”

The Farmer’s Daughter Bakes: Cakes, Pies, Crisps and More for Every Fruit on the Farm by Kelsey Siemens: Bake your way through the seasons right alongside Kelsey Siemens, founder of the blog the Farmer’s Daughter. Now readers can cozy up in Kelsey’s farmhouse kitchen and bake up an irresistible array of sweets inspired by her family’s beautiful farm in British Columbia and the bounty of each season’s harvest.

The Good Book of Southern Baking: A Revival of Biscuits, Cakes, and Cornbread by Kelly Fields and Kate Heddings: A comprehensive, contemporary collection of more than 100 beloved Southern baking recipes from the James Beard Award-winning Kelly Fields of the New Orleans bakery Willa Jean. As the reigning queen of Southern baking, celebrated pastry chef Kelly Fields has spent decades figuring out what makes the absolute best biscuits, cornbread, butterscotch pudding, peach pie, hummingbird cake, and, well, every baked temptation in the Southern repertoire.

Jenna Rae Cakes and Sweet Treats: Over 100 Recipes for the Modern Baker by Jenna Hutchinson and Ashley Kosowan: Beloved family-owned Canadian bakery Jenna Rae Cakes shares over 100 recipes for its most delectable and most beautiful sweet treats. Jenna and Ashley reveal the tried and true recipes, flavours, and show-stopping designs that put them on the map. Inside you will find recipes for over 100 of the most vibrant and decadent cookie sandwiches, cupcakes, party squares, cakes, macarons, cream puffs, and more. Known for the long list of rotating flavour options they offer each day at the shop, Jenna Rae Cakes and Sweet Treats features all of their fan favourites.

The Mountain Baker: 100 High-Altitude Recipes for Every Occasion by Mimi Council and Kimmy Fasani: Most recipes are developed and employed at or close to sea level, so what is a baker to do if they live 5,000 feet higher? In The Mountain Baker, longtime mountain dwellers Mimi Council and Kimmy Fasani share their recipes for successful cakes, cookies, muffins, breads, and beyond. With their firsthand experience, Council and Fasani are just the women to talk about the science behind high-altitude baking and cooking.

Nadiya Bakes: Over 100 Must Try Recipes for Breads, Cakes, Biscuits, Pies and More by Nadiya Hussain: Learn to bake incredible cakes, pastries, pies and puddings for every occasion with Nadiya’s simple and achievable recipes. In true Nadiya fashion, these bakes include the classics and mouth-watering twists that will become your sweet staples for every birthday party, afternoon treat, lunchbox snack, dessert, and even dinner. These recipes will be your favourites for every day and for every celebration.

Other baking books headed our way look just as tempting as those above and include:

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  • Jane  on  May 3, 2020

    I am addicted to baking books – they are the biggest section on my bookshelves. Looks like 2020 will be an expensive year!

  • annmartina  on  May 4, 2020

    Cakes, yes!!! I remember a waitress coming through a packed seafood restaurant in Awendaw, SC holding aloft the freshly baked coconut cake their cake lady had just dropped off. Pure excitement!

    I brought Christina Tosi’s Arnold Palmer cake to our company picnic last summer. Even though it was sitting on a picnic table full of dessert the whole thing was wiped out.

    Nothing beats the impact of a cake

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