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The Cake Bible Hardcover – September 20, 1988


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The Cake Bible + The Pie and Pastry Bible + The Bread Bible
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; 8th edition (September 20, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688044026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688044022
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 7.5 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (315 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Rose Levy Beranbaum is a kitchen chemist extraordinaire--this, after all, is the woman who wrote her master's thesis on the effects of sifting on the quality of yellow cake. In The Cake Bible, she explains the science behind types of leavening, the merits (or not) of sifting, melting chocolate, preheating ovens, and more. There are precise and detailed instructions for intricate wedding cakes as well as cakes that can be mixed and in the oven in five minutes. In addition, nutrition information is included with every recipe. Cake scientist Beranbaum doesn't forget the art, either; pencil drawings teach novice bakers how to create a garden full of flowers from royal icing and mushrooms from piped meringue. It's no wonder that the International Association of Culinary Professionals picked The Cake Bible as their cookbook of the year for 1988--this book has something to teach bakers at every level.

From Library Journal

Beranbaum, a talented baker and former owner of a New York cooking school, has produced a definitive work that will excite accomplished cooks and beginners alike. She covers basic, "foolproof" cakes as well as showcase cakes, accompanying these with pages and pages of adornments of all types; her instructions are impressively precise but unintimidating. She also includes lengthy discussions on ingredients and equipment and concludes with a special section on the chemistry of cake baking and on making a professional wedding cakes. An essential purchase. JS
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Rose Levy Beranbaum is the award-winning author of 10 cookbooks, including the upcoming The Baking Bible (November 4, 2014) and The Cake Bible, now in its 50th printing and the International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook of the Year for 1988. The Cake Bible was also listed by the James Beard Foundation as one of the top 13 baking books on "the Essential Book List." Rose also won a James Beard Foundation Award in 1998 for Rose's Christmas Cookies, and her book, The Bread Bible, was an IACP and James Beard Foundation nominee and was listed as one of the Top Ten Books of 2003 by Publishers Weekly and Food & Wine. Her most recent book, Rose's Heavenly Cakes, won the International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook of the Year for 2010. She is a contributing editor to Food Arts magazine and writes regularly for the Washington Post, Fine Cooking, Reader's Digest, and Bride's. Her popular blog, realbakingwithrose.com, has created an international community of bakers where you can visit Rose Levy Beranbaum and join in the discussion on all things baking. While you are there, you can bring the author right into your kitchen as she demonstrates key techniques and shares trade secrets so that you can create perfectly divine cakes.

Customer Reviews

I have made it my goal to try every recipe in the book.
JoAnn Cueto
The Cake Bible, as well as all of Rose Levy Beranbaum's books, is a step above any baking book I have ever experienced before.
A Customer
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes baking and decorating cakes.
Perla E. Gomez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

661 of 674 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Sykes on April 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While it's difficult to add much to the other reviews of "The Cake Bible", I do have a couple of thoughts that might help resolve some of the conflicting reports. Like a few of the other reviewers, I have found this to be a frustrating book, even for someone with culinary training. Let me make one thing clear -- I really want to like it. The book is comprehensive and authoritative, and the author, Rose Levy Beranbaum, tries very hard to communicate. What isn't covered in the text is usually addressed in the extensive margin notes or footnotes. With strengths like that, it would seem impossible for any recipe to fail.

But, many recipes do fail, sometimes spectacularly. How is that possible? The reasons are many and varied. First, my sense is that the recipes themselves are fragile. While ingredient measures are expressed in precise units (you'd better own a scale), the instructions must be executed to the letter. No step can be compromised; no corner can be cut. Exact pan sizes and oven temperatures must be used. The ingredients are carefully balanced. If you're off by just a little, the cake will fail. Hence, I don't approach the recipes in this book with the sort of unhesitating confidence I would like. It often takes several tries to get a cake right.

Second, the recipes don't take kindly to substitutions. Once, I came up a little short on sour cream and tried to substitute some plain yogurt in the Sour Cream Coffee Cake. The recipe wasn't robust enough to accommodate the additional water provided by the yogurt, and the cake fell. To make these cakes, you need to triple-check the ingredients list before you start.

Third, only the highest quality ingredients can be used. The Mousseline Buttercream is a good example.
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88 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Allie Kat on August 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I'm not an experienced baker and although I don't mind baking, I will admit that I like eating cake more than I do baking it. However the recipes from The Cake Bible have brought me so many rave reviews that I look forward to making them. For a special occasion several years ago I made a three-tiered Golden Genoise with a raspberry buttercream and marzipan roses, and there are people who still marvel about it. I've also made the Black Forest cake, the Triple Chocolate cake, and the Cordon Rose Cream cheesecake with great success. The coffeecake and the blueberry buttermilk pancakes are now family classics, and for my own birthday I always make the Perfect All-American Chocolate Butter cake with a Milk Chocolate buttercream. These are real cakes, similar to great ones I've had in Vienna, London, and New York, that rely on the flavor of the ingredients rather than the overwhelming sweetness prevalent in the typical American cakes. Most of them do use a lot of butter and eggs, and there's no margarine, powdered icing sugar, or artificial flavourings in these, so be forewarned. I find them no more difficult than recipes from any other book, but the end result is light-years ahead. The fancier versions of the decorated cakes can be intimidating since my manual dexterity is somewhere below that of a dyslexic orangutan's, but even if my decorations aren't picture perfect they have a kind of funky charm, and still taste good. In any case, unless it's for a special event, it's not necessary to make them fancy. The recipes have been constructed from scratch so that the ingredients and techniques make perfect sense chemically, rather than having been recopied from existing ones. It's difficult to look at other cake recipes now.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By jerry i h on January 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are many cake cookbooks available, but I am not comfortable with recommending any of them. The Cake Bible by Beranbaum is the only one I can recommend without reservation, as the recipes and techniques all work. On the whole, I like this book quite a bit and use it fairly often as a reference.
The author has done wedding cakes professionally for many years, and this cookbook is a compendium of tried and true recipes that she has used. This is both good and bad. These are baking recipes that are battle tested and ones that you can rely upon, especially on special occassions. On the other hand, it is a very personal collection of production recipes, and you will not find several common cake types because she has not done them in her professional experience.
Several recipe types, such as butter cakes, genoise, and buttercreams, are very different from the usual ones that you will find in other baking books. This is because they are a record of the author's efforts, and not just a mechanical recapitulation of standard patissierie recipes. The procedures at first seemed to be unnecessarily finicky, and had a few extra steps that did not seem to be necessary. On the other hand, I had no problems with any of the ones I tried. The procedures are often unique; while the results were not better than standard recipes, they can, in some cases, be slightly easier to execute than standard recipes, which are more prone to failure by the home baker.
The arrangement of the cakes chapter is particularly useful. It assumes that you will work methodically through the chapter, baking each cake as you go, and not just pick out recipes at random.
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