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Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes Hardcover – October 4, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alisa Huntsman graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and is the pastry chef at the Loveless Café in Nashville, Tennessee.

Peter Wynne is an author and newspaper journalist. He lives in Pennsylvania.

Tina Rupp is a New York-based photographer.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition (1st printing) edition (October 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811854485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811854481
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.1 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sandy Kay VINE VOICE on September 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The tall layer cakes you see at the bakery always look so impressive sitting on a cake stand or plate and sliced with two layers of filling. Somehow the two-layer cakes I make don't quite stack up (pun intended). But most recipes for the home baker are written for two layer cakes.

This book has recipes to make those fabulously tall, triple-layer cakes. I wouldn't buy it as a first cake cookbook (Rose Levy Beranbaum's "The Cake Bible" or Nick Malgieri's "Perfect Cakes" coes to mind as better beginning cake baking cookbooks), but this book does deserve a place on the shelf if you really enjoy baking cakes and want to make the kind of cakes that will inspire "oohs" and "ahs" when you bring them to the table. There is a great variety of recipes. The recipe categories are: chocolate cakes, vanilla cakes, fruit-flavored cakes; nut and spice cakes; cakes with a world of flavor (e.g. chai, dulce de leche, black forest, blue cornmeal), and finally holiday and special occasion cakes. The last chapter has recipes for three different kinds of wedding cakes that will serve 80-100 people if you feel adventurous and want to bake a wedding cake!

Each cake recipe is followed by the recipe for a frosting and often a different filling that go with it so you don't have to flip to a separate section of the book to find the frosting or filling that will suit the cake you have chosen. The frosting choices and the cake flavors sound amazing. She covers the expected combinations: chocolate cakes with toasted coconut-pecan frosting or different types of chocolate frosting; vanilla cakes with white chocolate, white chocolate buttercream or chocolate frosting; strawberry shortcake; boston cream pie.
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Format: Hardcover
I have quite a library of cook books and this one has quickly become my favorite baking book. This book is not only visually beautiful, but the recipes are well written and easy to follow.

I certainly hope to see more books by Alisa Huntsman!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a delightful reading experience! Sky High is well-written and a pleasure to read. Beautiful, full-page color photos accompany nearly every recipe, and the paper is sturdy and high-quality. The Baker's Notes throughout the book offer additional tips to ensure baking and frosting success.

The cakes are inventive and there were many new, delicious-sounding combinations that I am eager to try (such as chai cake with honey-ginger cream, Halloween sweet potato cake and chocolate-hazelnut gianduja cake).

Chapters include Baking Basics (a primer on ingredients and equipment), Chocolate Cakes, Vanilla Cakes, Fruit-Flavored Cakes, Nut and Spice Cakes, Cakes with a World Flavor, and Holiday and Special-Occasion Cakes.

The recipes are straightforward and easy to follow. An amateur baker armed with the chapter on baking basics and an attention to detail should be able to create any of these masterpieces (perhaps with the exception of the three wedding cakes which seem slightly challenging).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've had this book for years, and used it extensively. The recipes I repeat most often are the chocolate peanut butter cake, and the orange grand marnier cake, but I've also made the orange grand marnier cake, the one-bowl chocolate and ice cream cake, the strawberry butter cake, and the dulce de leche cake.

The recipes are really well laid out, and easy to follow. Each cake is a discrete project, no flipping back and forth through the book to get all the pieces together (unless you want to mix things up). The cakes are impressive in terms of results, but can mostly be accomplished in the course of an afternoon, with the obvious exception of the wedding cakes. (The ice cream cake needs a few hours in the freezer at an intermediate stage, but doesn't require an overnight.)

My only quibble is that the whipped-cream based frostings used in some of the recipes won't hold a three-layer cake together throughout the entire process of slicing and serving. If you want to impress your guests, this is something you need to keep in mind when making baking choices, but otherwise? Shut your eyes and eat your cake. You'll be glad you did.
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Format: Hardcover
I love this book for inspiration and for the beautiful photography. The chocolate-peanut butter cake is delicious... peanut butter ganache... who knew? I want to love the whole book because Loveless is a great restaurant. But I have to knock off a couple of stars for incomplete recipes. If you want to produce a cake exactly like in the photo, here and there ingredients and garnishes are left off, things just aren't quite right, as mentioned by other reviewers.

I knocked off two stars for the miserable dulce de leche cake. Perhaps there's a reason this cake is only shown whole and not sliced. I wish I'd checked bloggers' reviews before trying this the day of a bake sale. It was an absolute failure -- every layer sank and the texture was like eating a kitchen sponge, not a sponge cake -- chewy yet granular, with an odd bubbly appearance, refusing to come off the parchment. Grr... I should have trusted my instincts when I read the list of ingredients.

I will grant you that the dulce de leche icing (basically DDL mixed with whipping cream) is amazing, but seriously, don't torture yourselves by making DDL from scratch. Buy it and save a couple of hours.
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