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Cake Cookbook for Beginners


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I want to give my sister an easy to follow cake book that covers parchment, crumb coat, batter, trimming. She primarily wants to do celebration cakes for her family. Cake Bible might be too intimidating for her . . . suggestions please, and thanks!

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I want to give my sister an easy to follow cake book

Check out the new book "Baking" by James Peterson.



'A person's integrity is never more tested than when he has power over a voiceless creature.' A C Grayling.

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I was going to go with Braker's "The Simple Art of Perfect Baking", but it seems like she'd like something with plenty of images and starts from simple decorating advice. I know some Australian/UK books that are pretty good in this regard, but for the US, even something like Williams-Sonoma's book on cakes or Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook would be nice (flipping through her website for advice would also be a good start to see if the kind of advice and visuals suit her).

But the cake recipes in Simple Art, I really like. Plus when I was starting out baking, it helped me make my first step to being really systematic about baking cakes.


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Perhaps not to have as the 'only' cake cookbook, but a very useful cake cookbook, is One Cake, One Hundred Desserts by Greg Case and Keri Fisher.

It does exactly what it says it does: takes one basic cake recipe, with very detailed and very easy to follow directions, and turns it into 100 different cakes, pudding, bombes, etc. The "Double Chocolate Mousse Bombe" is a family special occasion favorite. I have worked 5 different chocolates into it now.

I love RLB's Cake Bible :wub: , but agree with your reservations for a first time baker. Oh, but how wonderful to have such interesting and useful explanations of why and how.



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Disclaimer: I'm not a cake artist by any stretch of the imagination so I may be going too simple here.

If you want something fun and not too overwhelming for starting out that has lots of pictures and explanations without getting into teaching texts or massive tomes, I've given the Whimsical Bakehouse book as a gift to a few people who expressed an interest in getting into celebration cakes. They've all loved it and it doesn't usually take too long before they decide they want something that goes deeper but it seems to do a pretty good job of getting them rolling and having fun.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Don't worry about the Cake Bible being intimidating.

It's big and comprehensive, and the author explains things so well that it's hard to go wrong.

She also provides both cups and grams.

For me:

A. Grams/Milliliters + digital scale = "Almost perfect" cakes every time

B. Cups/Ounces + measuring cups (no digital scale) = "I hope you have really, really good luck and great technique, because you'll need it" cakes

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Go with the RLB Cake Bible and if you think she needs some easy to follow visuals on using decorating tips, get a couple of the Wilton books (vol 1 or 2). Rose has all the basics in easy to follow steps and it is a book that she'll use again and again as her skills grow.

Many of the flashy famous decorator's books leave out the basic beginner details or what to do when problems arise. Their scope is also narrow, including only a couple of cake recipes and the same with their icings.

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  • 3 months later...

My daughter has decided that the likes to make cakes. Particular, fondant-icing cakes to whose decoration she devotes far more time and intensity than she has ever devoted to her homework or her room-cleaning.

She's looking for a cookbook that offers cake and other icing recipes, but I think her greatest interest would lie in decorating techniques.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

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Thinking about the government.

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I know that in my cheap bookstore (online it's www.bookcloseouts.com) any books from Collett's seem to be excellent. I bought an armload of them for a young man who was just embarking on his pastry career and he seems to have made good use of them.

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