Cakes in America aren't just about sugar, flour, and frosting. They have a deep, rich history that developed as our country grew. Cakes, more so than other desserts, are synonymous with celebration and coming together for happy times. They're an icon of American culture, reflecting heritage, region, season, occasion, and era.Read more...
Cakes in America aren't just about sugar, flour, and frosting. They have a deep, rich history that developed as our country grew. Cakes, more so than other desserts, are synonymous with celebration and coming together for happy times. They're an icon of American culture, reflecting heritage, region, season, occasion, and era. And they always have been, throughout history.
In American Cake, Anne Byrn, creator of the New York Times bestselling series The Cake Mix Doctor, takes you on a journey through America's past to present with more than 125 authentic recipes for our best-loved and beautiful cakes and frostings. Tracing cakes chronologically from the dark, moist gingerbread of New England to the elegant pound cake, the hardscrabble Appalachian stack cake, war cakes, deep-South caramel, Hawaiian Chantilly, and the modern California cakes of orange and olive oil, Byrn shares recipes, stories, and a behind-the-scenes look into what cakes we were baking back in time. From the well-known Angel Food, Red Velvet, Pineapple Upside-Down, Gooey Butter, and Brownie to the lesser-known Burnt Leather, Wacky Cake, Lazy Daisy, and Cold Oven Pound Cake, this is a cookbook for the cook, the traveler, or anyone who loves a good story. And all recipes have been adapted to the modern kitchen.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-07-18
- Reviewer: Staff
This culinary walk through American history is both fascinating and kitchen-inspiring. Bestselling author Byrn presents chapters in chronological order (from “1650 to 1799: Baking Cakes in Early America” through “2000 to the Present: The Cakes of the New Millennium”). All recipes are designed for the modern kitchen, with minor changes made when needed (hickory nuts aren’t available to most bakers, and apparently Martha Washington’s pans were bigger than those used today). Headnotes detail the lineage of cakes, including the Robert E. Lee Cake, a recipe the Confederate general’s wife, Mary Curtis Lee, passed on through the family that describes a layer cake filled with a bright lemon filling, topped with an orange and lemon icing. Fast-forward to the new millennium for the Smith Island Cake, an exquisite 10-layer fudge-frosted extravaganza that was named Maryland’s state cake in 2008. In between, readers will find decade-defining information, such as the popularity of using baby food fruit purees in baking in the 1970s, and sidebars on prominent baking figures who have made their marks in kitchens across the country, including Betty Crocker and Martha Stewart. These well researched and written pages go far beyond the average baking guide. Agent: David Black, David Black Agency. (Sept.)