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Cake Ladies: Celebrating a Southern Tradition Paperback – October 4, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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The ultimate guide to preserving and canning is the perfect complement to America's Test Kitchen's recommended canner.
Foolproof Preserving: A Guide to Small Batch Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Condiments, and More
Foolproof Preserving: A Guide to Small Batch Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Condiments, and More
Foolproof Preserving: A Guide to Small Batch Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Condiments, and More
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  • Cake Ladies: Celebrating a Southern Tradition
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  • Southern Cakes: Sweet and Irresistible Recipes for Everyday Celebrations
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  • Vintage Cakes: Timeless Recipes for Cupcakes, Flips, Rolls, Layer, Angel, Bundt, Chiffon, and Icebox Cakes for Today's Sweet Tooth
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Named one of Kitchen Daily's Top Five Southern Cookbooks 2011
 
"A beautiful new book chock-full of cake recipes, Southern charm, and inspiring women.Y’all seriously need to check this out. The photos are beautiful and the recipes look divine. Just thumbing through the pages got me itching to preheat the oven and get baking." - Bake It Pretty
 
"The stories and words of the cake ladies, the photographs of not just delectable desserts, but of the people and places, add a richness and depth not often found in cookbooks." - Craft Gossip

About the Author

Jodi Rhoden owns Short Street Cakes, a popular bakery specializing in natural, from scratch, traditional Southern cakes. She is a food activist and member of The Southern Foodways Alliance as well as a board member of the Bountiful Cities Project. Jodi is the author of Great Cupcake Makeover, one of 12 booklets in Craft-In (Lark, 2010) and a contributor to The Green Market Baking Book (Sterling, January 2011). She chronicles her life as a baker, mom and foodie at http://shortstreetcakes.blogspot.com. Jodi lives in Asheville, North Carolina.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Lark Crafts; First Edition edition (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600597890
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600597893
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Hello Happy TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
The author of Cake Ladies, Jodi Rhoden, is actually a cake lady herself and she decided to write a book to honor the tradition of the beloved cake ladies, who are common in the South. Although discount store bakeries and boxed mixes resulted in a lessening of the cake lady popularity, luckily they are again regaining their well-deserved notoriety. And given that love is focal point of desire to bake for others, this resurgence in popularity is a wonderful thing.

Cake Ladies starts with an explanation of the anatomy of a cake wtih the ingredients used and why they are used. There is a feature on each cake lady telling about her background and why she makes cakes, plus their expert tips. And, of course, there are delicious recipes, like Vanilla Almond Pound Cake, Caramel Cake and Hummingbird Cake, and the classic Southern Ten-Layer Chocolate Cake, all beautifully presented along with pictures of the ladies working in their own kitchens. Reading about these lovely women, I was struck with the importance of preserving these types of things, and I appreciate what a wonderful job of that the author did with this book.
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Format: Paperback
This book is the exception that proves the rule: "Don't judge a book by its cover." The charm and nostalgia and delicious looking cake that are shown on the cover are a perfect preview of what's inside!

The stories of the ladies are lovingly, respectfully told. These women will all inspire you and remind you of why tradition and family are so crucial to our culture (southern or not!).

The recipes are diverse (and look delicious -- I'm going to make the Dirty Gullah Cake first!), and the tips included (like how to crack a coconut) are actually useful, not just stuck in there to take up space.

And the photography is flat-out gorgeous. This book is going to live on my coffee table (when it's not busy in my kitchen, of course).

I planned to buy one, but as soon as I saw the book, I bought ten instead. I will probably have to buy more, since I keep thinking of people I need to give the book to!
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Format: Paperback
If you have fond memories of cakes that you enjoyed growing up or you'd like to try to master the techniques needed to create your own cakes, Cake Ladies Celebrating: a Southern Tradition is a book that you need to pick up. The author wrote this book to celebrate days gone by in the south when women created their own cakes and were known for the amazing creations that came out of their kitchen. With more and more people becoming interested in self sufficiency, women are starting to discover some of the lost arts and one of those is creating your own cakes without the help of a boxed cake mix. Cake Ladies Celebrating a Southern Tradition will walk you through the basics of cake making including ingredients, tools, and tips. You'll learn why eggs should always be at room temperature when you use them to bake a cake and what the best way is to tell when your cake is done.

You'll learn about each of the cake ladies featured in the book and find out who they are, what type of cake they are known for and learn their secret kitchen wisdom when it comes to making the best cake there is. They share their favorite recipes with you along with tips and tricks to make yours come out perfectly. Each recipe is showcased on its own page with a full color photograph of the finished creation. You are also shown photographs of their favorite cooking utensils (in some case gorgeous vintage heirlooms), their kitchens, the towns they live in, and the ingredients they use.

The recipes themselves are well written and easy to follow. They include prep time, baking time, and decorating time. Also included is a detailed ingredients list and easy to understand directions. When appropriate, the icing, frosting, or topping recipes for the cake are also included. The photographs are truly amazing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I consider myself a cake lady and I was looking forward to other cake ladies sharing their recipes.
CONS: A few recipes depend on the yellow cake recipe in the book. Unfortunately it is missing a very important detail, what temperature to bake it at. I used 350 degrees. I then tried the lemon cheese layer cake it asked you to juice the lemons but did not state how much lemon juice you should have nor the size of the lemons. Either would have been helpful. I used 3 medium size lemons.
PROS: The lemon cheese layer cake recipe was a hit. I made the seven minute icing to go with it. The book has details about the ingredients that normally go into a cake mix that are very helpful. It also contains information such as substituting regular milk for buttermilk. I did enjoy reading about the cake ladies. It made the recipes more personal. I will try more recipes and update as I go
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This book is not like any other recipe book!! It is more about the 'experience' and the 'tradition' behind baking. You will certainly be disappointed if you buy this just to learn recipes.

Even though there are just a handful of recipes in the book, it leads you into the world of baking. It is the book if you are new to baking. It gives you detailed information about the 'science' behind baking cakes.
Overall a very good cake book to start with.
I would give it 5 stars if it had few more recipes for the price.
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