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Maida Heatter's Cakes Hardcover – October 1, 1997

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; 1st edition (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0836250745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0836250749
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #808,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A man in Texas wrote to Maida Heatter looking for her Bullseye Cheesecake recipe; he and his wife had divorced, she had taken the recipe with her, and he was desperate for it! No wonder--it's a stunning work of art with its impossible-looking concentric circles of rich chocolate and vanilla-almond-flavored cheesecake. That recipe can be found here, along with other treats such as Chocolate Soufflé Cake, Boston Cream Pie, Florida Rum Cake, Kugelhopf, Swedish Leaf Cakes, Portuguese Sweet Walnut Bread, and West Indies Ginger Cake. Heatter, deemed "the legendary baking maven" by Food & Wine magazine, is a member of two cooking halls of fame: James Beard's and Chocolatier's. She has been cooking for decades and clearly indicates how to make classics perfect; she shares her tricks and tips freely like a good friend. (She swears by Philadelphia Brand cream cheese, for example.) She also steers clear of unusual or hard-to-find ingredients, even for the more exotic-sounding cakes. The book includes plain, chocolate, layer, and fancy cakes; cheese and nut cakes; yeast cakes and sweet breads; muffins, cupcakes, and gingerbreads; and ice cream and sauces. Simply divine.

More About the Author

Maida Heatter, a.k.a. "the Queen of Desserts," is the author of nine classic dessert cookbooks, including the New York Times best-seller and James Beard Award-winning Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts. She is a member of the James Beard Foundation Hall of Fame, has been named to Cook's Magazine's Who's Who in Cooking, and was one of the first people inducted into the Chocolatier Hall of Fame. She continues to bake joyfully from her home in Florida.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
This is a must have for anyone who loves baking.
Justin Kunst
I found this book to have a variety of excellent recipes especially the Bullseye cheesecake which is dense and delicious.
Dianne Siebold
Maida Heatter is one of those cookbook writers who is as enjoyable to read as to cook from.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 52 people found the following review helpful By JK TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I owned an older edition of this book and eagerly bought this newer one when it became available. Maida Heatter is one of those cookbook writers who is as enjoyable to read as to cook from.
I consider this book the diametric opposite in style to Bevelyn Blair's cake book, which is also a great book. Whereas Blair's book is sleek and substantial with virtually no 'fat' in the writing, Mrs. Heatter has a story to write about each of her recipes. For those who only want the recipe, no brag, just fact, buy Blair's book. However, if like me, you enjoy learning some background on a recipe, this book is up your alley. Mrs. Heatter freely admits mistakes and trials leading to the recipes, and I suggest the buyer take those to heart. Like another reviewer, I've tried tweaking some of her recipes, to my regret. She has obviously worked long and hard on these recipes and has perfected these through trial and error.
Many of the cake recipes in this book involve several steps, and can get quite complicated, especially for a novice cake baker. This is where Mrs. Heatter really shines. Her instructions are explicit and detailed. Few things are more frustrating than receiving a new recipe where the instructions leave the baker guessing steps. Not a problem with Mrs. Heatter! Though some of the instructions will be redundant to the experienced baker, I think it's much better to get too many instructions than too few!
The English Madeira cake is a jewel, possibly the best all-around pound cake I've ever baked. Her 'best damn lemon cake' is awesome in its overwhelming lemon-y flavor, a golden jewel that's certain to fly off your serving plate.
Mrs. Heatter also recommends having a stand mixer with two bowls and sets of beaters (she's a Sunbeam user).
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By H. F. Corbin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Stated simply, there are no better dessert cookbook writers than Maida Heatter. I have five of her bookbooks and from pleasant experience know that she has no bad recipes in any of her books. This one is no exception. If you can read English and own an oven, I'm not sure how you could possibly screw up one of these cakes. Ms. Heatter spends two to three pages on the simplest of cakes. She tells you where to place the rack in the oven, how many minutes to beat the sugar and butter together and what the batter will look like. For example, in the recipe for Cranberry Upside-Down Cake on page 201, she says: "The mixture might appear slightly curdled--it is okay." I'm happy to say I cooked this cake for the first time a few days ago. My friends thought it was wonderful. The best lemon cake I have ever baked and/or eaten has to be East 62nd Street Lemon Cake(page 22.)Over 20 years ago, when I had never melted chocolate in my life, I cooked a perfect Queen Mother's Cake (pp. 54-56.)The Robert Redford Cake(59-61)is a wonder to behold. Then there is the Oreo Cookie Cake, and on and on they go.
There are sections on all kinds of cakes here: plain cakes, chocolate cakes, layer cakes, fancy cakes, cheesecakes, fruitcakes, cakes with fruits and vegetables, yeast cakes, sweet breads and more. And all kinds of tips-- even how to wash a pastry brush.
There are no photographs in this book but who needs them? Your own cakes will be pretty enough to photograph. If you own other Heatter cookbooks, be forewarned; these recipes have been previously published in two of the author's earlier dessert books but here the cake recipes are all together.
I must admit that I find the cheesecake recipes-- at least most of them, a little over the top.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I bought this on a whim, with no idea who the author was, or if the recipes were any good. But much to my surprise, the promises made on the cover and in the blurbs actually panned out into fantastic results. Maida has perfected every one of the recipes, so much so that even the slightest tweaking of them on my part usually ends up in less than perfect results. (A word of caution though; I find most of the cakes a touch on the sweet side, so bakers with a less-than-sweet tooth may want to reduce the sugar.)
Nonetheless, it is a fabulous selection, a mind-boggling array of delicious cakes (more than 175!) whose recipes are so carefully crafted and lovingly detailed that they will work beautifully even in the hands of the most inexperienced novice. Instructions are crystal clear, and Maida never leaves room for any ambiguity to creep in and spoil a recipe. She doesn't always tell you WHY a particular step is performed (unlike Rose Levy Beranbaum's "The Cake Bible"), but it always works. (If she did explain, I imagine the book would be twice as long, given how detailed her instructions already are!) As a book for learning the art of baking, I think it needs to be paired with something else as well to make up for the lack of explanation (Why a tube pan? Why the bottom third of the oven? Why 350 degrees here but not there?), but it is a rich resource indeed.
The book has a number of typos, surprisingly, but they do not affect understanding of the recipes (thank goodness).
There are, however, few concessions to health and diet -- the main thrust is delicious cake, but the enthusiatic reader can still find some healthy choices (like the marvellous Zucchini Loaf, butterless and low in cholestrol, yet marvellously moist and delicious). I haven't been able to make all the cakes yet, but I definitely intend to. A million thanks to Maida Heatter for this gem of a book -- you now have a fan for life in me!
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