Within minutes of paging through the collection of recipes in Vintage Cakes, you will be desperately scanning your calendar for the next birthday, holiday, baby shower, or company potluck. Any excuse to bake a cake. With cakes like the Honey Bee and Coffee Crunch Spiral, how can you resist?
• Who wrote it: Julie Richardson
• Who published it: Ten Speed Press
• Number of recipes: About 50
• Recipes for right now: Berry Long Cake with Ginger Crumb, Ozark Pudding Cake, Honey Bee Cake, Nectarine Oat Upside-Down Cake, Jam Cake with Caramel Chocolate Ganache
• Other highlights: The cakes in this book somehow manage to seem fresh and new while simultaneously feeling familiar and immediately lovable. Maybe it's the fact that every single one has a vintage recipe as its base, though refined and updated from their hand-scrawled origins by Julie Richardson. She bridges the gap between our grandmother's recipes and our modern tastes and baked expectations.
I could honestly see myself making every single recipe in this book. Not only do the flavors appeal—fresh fruit! jam with ginger! burnt sugar and caramel!—but the recipes feel very approachable. Even the complicated roll-up cakes and flips feel like something I could actually do in my tiny kitchen (just check out the Butterscotch Cream Roll-Up in the photos above!).
This feeling of confidence comes from Richardson's carefully-written and straight-forward recipes as well as the fact that these cakes have a history of being made by everyday women in their everyday kitchens. They don't come from display cases, they come from ovens just like mine. That makes me feel that much more capable going into the kitchen.
What I'm really saying here is to go check out this book. Whether you are considered to be The Cake Baker among your friends or just love a good dessert at the end of the day, there's a recipe or three in this book that will make you smile.
• Who would enjoy this book? Cake lovers and bakers of all stripes. Anyone looking for something a little different to bring for the dessert table.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Vintage Cakes: Timeless Recipes for Cupcakes, Flips, Rolls, Layer, Angel, Bundt, Chiffon, and Icebox Cakes for Today's Sweet Tooth by Julie Richardson
(Images: Emma Christensen)