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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
The author used to keep cookies on hand for her family and guests who showed up unexpectedly. She has since realized that cakes are even easier to make - and just as well-received.

I liked that the cakes are fairly easy to make (and fairly quick, since none are frosted). Glazes are suggested for some cakes, and the author suggests what to serve with some cakes to dress them up (fruit, ice cream, flavored whipped cream, etc).

The ingredients should be in just about any grocery store with only a few exceptions (such as maple extract, coconut extract, fresh lavender leaves, and cream of coconut). Even better, most of the ingredients are likely in your cupboard and refrigerator on a daily basis so if you have only an hour's notice of a friend coming to visit, you'll have your choice of many cakes to whip up and serve warm.

The author covers a wonderful variety of flavors (chocolate, vanilla, coconut, espresso, lemon, nuts, fruit, etc.) without focusing on any single one too often. As I went through the book, I kept thinking of friends who would like one recipe or another.

There are recipes for 100 cakes and 37 are pictured.

Chapters include:
-SNACKING CAKES: Apricot Jam Cake, Blackberry-Pecan Snack Cake, Chipotle-Chocolate Cake (with four variations), Chocolate Cherry Snacking Cake, Chocolate Malted Snacking Cake, Chocolate Gingerbread, Cinnamon Pudding Cake, Fresh Strawberry Cake with White Chocolate Chips, Graham Cracker-Chocolate Chip Snacking Cake, Hummingbird Snacking Cake, Neoclassic Gingerbread, Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cake, Super-Delicious Whole-Wheat Carrot Cake, Maple Syrup Gingerbread, Poppy Seed Cake, Sour Cream and Lemon Cake, Spiced Orange and Cranberry Snacking Cake, Stout and Chocolate Snacking Cake with Chocolate-Stout Glaze, Semolina and Yogurt Cake, and the World's Quickest Yeasted Coffee Cake.

-ROUND CAKES: Almond-Brown Butter Cakes, Apple and Cheddar Cheese Cake, Apricot and Olive Oil Cake, Chocolate Cake with Panforte Spices, Cornmeal-Almond Cake, Cream of Coconut Cake with Chocolate-Coconut Glaze, Everyday Yogurt Cake, Fig and Cornmeal Cake, Pear Cake with Sea Salt-Caramel Sauce, Honey and Walnut Cake, Zebra Cake, Apple-Walnut Upside-Down Cake, Chocolate-Caramel-Banana Upside-Down Cake, Cherry-Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake, Mango Upside-Down Cake, Orange-Almond-Caramel Upside-Down Cake, Peach-Buttermilk Upside-Down Cake, Pineapple-Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake, Classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, and Plum-Blueberry Upside-Down Cake/

-LOAF CAKES: Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Raisins, Anise Pound Cake, Chocolate-Raspberry Marble Pound Cake with Chocolate-Raspberry Glaze, Chocolate Cream Pound Cake, Citrus and Black Pepper Pound Cake, Orange Blossom Honey Pound Cake, Clove-Scented Chocolate and Apricot Loaf, Lavender and Lemon Pound Cake, Orange-Chocolate Chip Pound Cake with Sour Cream Glaze, Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Pound Cake, Nutella Swirl Pound Cake, Maple-Pecan Pound Cake, Marble Molasses Pound Cake, Rich Yellow Loaf Cake, Sweet Potato Pound Cake, Sesame Seed Pound Cake, Tea Cake, Triple Ginger Pound Cake, Walnut-Whiskey Pound Cake with Whiskey Glaze and Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Pound Cake.

-BUNDT CAKES: Applesauce Cake with Oatmeal Streusel, Banana-Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake, Black Pepper and Spice Cake with Lemon Glaze, Chocolate-Zucchini Bundt Cake, Dulce de Leche Coffee Cake, Blueberry-Cornmeal Bundt Cake, Chocolate Walnut Prune Cake, Cold-Oven Cream Cheese Pound Cake, Cream Cake, Cranberry-Walnut Bundt Cake with Maple-Espresso Glaze, Espresso-Hazelnut Bundt Cake, Hungarian Coffee Cake, Mississippi Mud Cake with Espresso-Bourbon Glaze, Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake, Orange-Ricotta Pound Cake with Marmalade Glaze, Pumpkin-Sage Ring, Pistachio-Polenta Pound Cake, Pineapple and Toasted Coconut Cake, Whole-Wheat and Honey-Nut Bundt Cake, and Peanut Butter-Sour Cream Bundt Cake with Butterfinger-Ganache Glaze.

-CRUMB CAKES: Blueberry Buckle, Cherry-Almond Crumb Cake, Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake, Cranberry Cake, Nectarine Cake with Cinnamon-Nut Topping, Coca-Cola Chocolate Cake, Coffee-Heath Bar Crunch Cake, Peanut Butter and Jelly Crumb Cake, Rhubarb Streusel Snacking Cake, and Red Grape, Polenta and Olive Oil Cake.

-ANGEL FOOD & CHIFFON CAKES: Coffee Angel Food Cake with Hazelnut-Coffee Glaze, Brown Sugar Angel Food Cake, Cocoa-Chip Angel Food Cake, Coconut Angel Food Cake, Lemon Poppy Seed Angel Food Cake with Lemon-Cream Cheese Glaze, Cinnamon-Nut Chiffon Cake, Lime Chiffon Cake, Vanilla Bean Chiffon Cake, Banana-Macadamia Nut Chiffon Cake, and Chocolate Marble Chiffon Cake.

If you like this book, you may also enjoy Coffee Cakes: Simple, Sweet, and Savory by Lou Seibert Pappas as well as Cakes from Scratch in Half the Time: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Bake Cakes Forever by Linda West Eckhardt. I prefer Cake Keeper Cakes over those two, and it is the least expensive.

This book is well-worth the price.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a gem of a cookbook. There are 100 simple recipes and I hope to bake my way through them all. I was particularly impressed with the snack cake section because that style of cake, in most general cookbooks, is often ignored or relegated to a couple of uninspired recipes. The beauty of the snack cake is the speed of preparation, the freedom -- its small size (8 x 8 inches) requires little commitment so many different recipes may be tried with abandon. Usually after two sittings the cake is gone, and, like a small batch of cookies, there is joy in filling the house with the scent of a fresh cake baking.

I prepared two cakes from the book - the Chocolate Malted Snacking Cake and one of the bundt recipes -- the Applesauce Cake with Oatmeal Streusel. Both cakes baked perfectly and were absolutely delicious and distinctive. The Chocolate Malted snacking cake had the appropriate slightly coarser texture of a snack cake and the batter possessed a heavy scent of malt. Once baked, dark chocolate was the predominate flavor with malt providing depth and interest in the background. The recipe came together quickly with little effort and produced a cake that was both delicious and different.

I added a picture of The Applesauce Cake with Oatmeal Streusel since it isn't photographed in the book. The streusel has body because of the oatmeal so it keeps its distinct texture through baking. The spices include cinnamon in the streusel and cardamom, cloves and vanilla in the batter which creates a cake that is lightly spicy with undertones of citrus from the cardamom. I chose to prepare this cake because it would serve two functions -- dessert and a breakfast sweet. Slices freeze well which for me is always a consideration because unless prepared for a function or party, it takes a while for us to finish a large cake.

The negatives are few. The book is a paperback so it refuses to stay open by itself unless turned to the middle pages. A cookbook holder would be helpful. The font size is a little small - it looks like 10 point at the most -- but the dark brown ink keeps it readable. Each chapter contains a particular style of cake - snacking, round, loaf, bundt, crumb and angel food/chiffon. There are approximately 37 photographs of the 100 recipes. The lack of pictures is something I usually find annoying, but since most of the cakes are straightforward and organized by shape, actually seeing a picture isn't necessary. These are not cakes that are extensively decorated so while a photograph would have been nice, it isn't a fatal flaw. I would recommend this cookbook of delicious imaginative cakes to all bakers.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
I love cake, have been baking many years, and was very excited when I discovered this book. So much so, that I purchased a couple of new pans with the intent of baking a new cake (or two!) a week. The book is well written and organized (despite a few editing glitches), and provides great information on the basics, as well as helpful tips (the same tried and true ones I've learned over the years).

I never like to review a cookbook or craft book unless I've tried to make a few things first. I made several of the cakes (most recently the pear cake and the yogurt cake) and they came out just fine - as expected. However, the author's suggested ingredients of unbleached flour, and cornmeal for some, just didn't produce the kind of cake I personally like most. Out of curiosity, I tried at least one, substituting bleached flour, with similar results. I did find, however, that all tasted better a day or two after baking.

The cakes rose just fine, etc., but have what I think of as a muffin or heavy sponge cake texture/flavor. (The heavier type cake that's good for snacking or breakfast.) There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, I just thought I would mention it in case other readers prefer a lighter cake. I've perused some of the recipes I've still left to try in the book, and based on the ingredients, they'll probably all come out similar.

I still haven't found a cookbook that features what I refer to as an `old-fashioned' yellow cake texture, but I'll keep looking! Maybe I should look at old cookbooks instead of new ones!

BTW: to anyone who makes the yogurt cake covered with confectioners' sugar - I sliced through each piece, and put rasberry jam between the layers
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This cook book was very disappointing. I tried two of the cakes so far. Chocolate cake with Panforte spices which came out very dry and not tasty at all.. I also tried Peanut butter Chocolate chip pound cake and was extremely careful to have all the correct ingredients--room temp unsalt butter, room temp eggs, etc etc.. First I noticed it did start to brown too quickly on the sides after 35 minutes--she mentions to tent with foil after one hour if browning too quick. So I did tent the cake, but I was a bit concerned with the low rise but keep calm and baked on. At end of baking time, the middle had risen but was still not cooked although the sides were browned. I lowered oven temp, tented the cake again, and put in for 15 more minutes. The middle never got completely done but the edges were way over cooked! I know I only tried two recipes but I have no desire to try more and keep failing. It is a waste of my time & money. I should have paid attention to the negative reviews because looking at the positive ones it appears some of them reviewed before actually trying the recipes. For now the book is thrown across the room but if I do try any more out of it I will update on my results...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I have been an avid baker for years and upon receiving this book went about trying some of the recipes. First thing i noticed was that the balance of the ingredients in the recipes were off but i still tried a few. I will say that i found a few lacking in flavor the nutella cake recipe is so off that i wonder if the recipe was published wrong. I have a hundred cook books and most are on baking because i enjoy the art of producing home made cakes that are moist and remind me of my grandmothers. Save your money and move on. Their are so many good cookbooks out their and this one will only disappoint you. i am going to put this book into a book charity box.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
I am another fan or the Nutella Swirl pound cake. I have made it several times, friends have made it several times and we have never had a problem. It is becoming legendary among my teenagers and friends. I am very fond of this book and if I could cook a cake a day I would give it a go. As it is I am slowly trying a lot of the recipes and they work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
I've made at least one cake/week from this book for the past few months and they've all been wonderful! This has quickly become my "go to" book for cakes to have on hand for company or bring to work as a treat. Most recipes use basic ingredients that I always have on hand and can throw together on short notice without a trip to the grocery store.

My only problem has been that every round cake I've made so far (3 of them) has overflowed the pan. I thought it was my pan so I bought a new one after the first two messes in my oven, but even in the new 9" round pan the batter over flowed curing cooking. I haven't had this problem with the 8" square cakes or the bundt cakes, just the round ones. The cakes were still very tasty, after I did a bit of surgery to make them presentable on the serving plate.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
Cake Keeper Cakes is a wonderful collection of cake recipes for everyday cooks. The recipe instructions are clear, and the ingredients are easy to find in your local store, which is especially important for those of us who live in small towns. The book, however, is not your ordinary cake cookbook. The variety and uniqueness of the recipes is quite impressive. With recipes for round, loaf, bundt, crumb, chiffon and angel food cakes, there is a wide variety of cake types. There are unique recipes such as one that contains chipotle pepper, a cinnamon pudding cake, and how can you get more decadent than Nutella Swirl Pound Cake!

In Cake Keeper Cakes there are recipes for everyday cooking and more spectacular recipes for entertaining. Beautiful, tantalizing photographs are the icing on this cake book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Really wanted to like this book -- I loved the concept, I'm a good baker who finds cakes easy, and I thought the unusual flavors sounded great. I ended up giving this one away after many tries -- there were occasional odd textures, but the primary problem was really "meh" flavors. The reason I gave it this many stars is that I understand flavor is a very personal thing. I must say, though, that no one I baked for found any of these interesting. The consensus was that they were OK to eat, but not worth the bother of making again.

By contrast, Camilla Saulsbury's Piece of Cake! has provided me with several excellent and easy recipes.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I've only made 2 recipes from the book so far, the Nutella Swirl Pound Cake and the Apricot Jam Cake. Both were delicious BUT both sank seriously in the middle. We could only eat the perimeters because the centers were not cooked in both cases (even though a toothpick came out perfectly clean.) I originally got the Nutella Swirl pound cake recipe from Food & Wine and was inspired to buy the book because the picture looked so good. You might note that on the Food & Wine website MANY people reported the same problem with the sinking, uncooked center of the Nutella cake -- it's not just an anomaly. I've been baking for 50+ years and know what I'm doing and rarely have these types of problems. I will definitely make both cakes again, but will make some adjustments (for example, there was way too much batter for an 8 x 8 pan in the case of the Apricot Jam Cake -- will use 9 x 9 pan next time. In the case of the Nutella cake, will try to thin out the Nutella first, maybe by adding some of the batter to it to lighten it first before swirling in an attempt to keep the Nutella from sinking to the bottom.) I do look forward to making the other cakes in the book -- they all sound delicious!
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