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Southern Cakes: Sweet and Irresistible Recipes for Everyday Celebrations Paperback – June 7, 2007


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Southern Cakes: Sweet and Irresistible Recipes for Everyday Celebrations + Southern Pies: A Gracious Plenty of Pie Recipes, From Lemon Chess to Chocolate Pecan + The Southern Pie Book (Southern Living (Paperback Oxmoor))
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (June 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811853705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811853705
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 8.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Food writer Nancie McDermott has compiled 65 of the most sinfully delicious cakes south of the Mason-Dixon line, and the result could make even Scarlet O'Hara weak in the knees...The recipes all have a down-home feel, but many of the cakes also have a touch of elegance." Choclatier Magazine, December 2007

"Every recipe has a charming headnote, often showing a bit of historical research, and about a third are illustrated with color photos. McDermott's handy introductory chapter on cake baking includes the very Southern advice to buy butter on sale and keep it in the freezer 'so you are baking-ready 24/7.'" Los Angeles Times, August 22, 2007

"For my money, the grandest-looking cakes in this book are the brown sugar pound cakes baked in a tube pan with a lush mass of caramel glaze drooling down its sides, and the classic coconut cake, with its feathery, dazzling white frosting. When I brought the coconut cake to the office, people in the street were literally lunging at it." Los Angeles Times, August 22, 2007

"It's little wonder that Southerners are proud of their baking history. Southern Cakes is filled with the kinds of recipes that make you want to take time to relax and enjoy something delectable." —The Arlington Advocate, March 2008

About the Author

Nancie McDermott, cooking teacher and author, lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Becky Luigart-Stayner is a photographer for numerous magazines and lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

More About the Author

Nancie McDermott is a North Carolina native, born in Burlington, raised in High Point, and educated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand gave her a lifelong love for the cuisines, history and cultures of Asia, and she has spent the last twenty years cooking, reading, traveling, writing, and teaching about Asian food. Her ten cookbooks focus on Asian kitchens, but since moving back home to North Carolina in 1999, she has taken time to look at the foods of the American South, the place she fell in love with cooking in her grandmother's dairy farm kitchen. Now living with her family in Chapel Hill, NC, she writes, researches, and teaches about both her beats, while serving as a contributing editor for Edible Piedmont magazine. Visit her blog at: nanciemcdermott.wordpress.com, to keep track of it pie by pie.

Customer Reviews

I believe any one will like this book if you love to bake.
Robert L. Barber
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of absolutely phenomenal cakes.
KatA
The photos are very good and the recipes are simple and easy to follow.
Sandra P.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Denise Floyd on June 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
The receipes in this book are the cakes that my grandmother made when I was a child. I can remember her in the kitchen baking all day and then placing a towel on the counter and displaying all her baked cakes for our family. The photography in this book is awesome. From the coconut cake on the cover to the buttermilk cake is a replicate of the real thing. The receipes are easy to follow and well written. If you love the southern heritage of cakes made by your grandmother or your mom, you'll find them all in this wonderful book. I found the ingredients to be readily available in my pantry and the stories about each recipe add to the interesting reading. A nice addition to my collection.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By C. Young on January 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is the first southern cookbook that has cake recipes that taste like the cakes I grew up with. Those cakes were made by the amazing cooks in the Black Baptist church I grew up in. I haven't tasted cakes like those for years. The White Chocolate cake and the Caramel cake are amazing! The recipes are easy to follow and produce a wonderful taste and texture.I HIGHLY recommend this book if you want authentic southern cake recipes because this is the real deal!
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By J. D. O'Connor on September 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
Wow! Nancie McDermott has done it again with her new book, Southern Cakes. My great grandmother is originally from Louisiana, and many long visits to her house were enlivened by a special coconut cake, glazed chocolate cake or other old-fashioned Southern treat. The recipes in this new book remind me very much of those anticipated childhood desserts. As much as I love the recipes in Nancie's new book--like every single coconut cake (rightly given their very own chapter!)her Ocrakoke Fig Cake and the quirky Tomato Soup Cake, it's Nancie's delicious writing and her unique ability to illustrate the intense love affair Southerners have with their cooking--and their place in the world--that I truly love. I can't wait to see what Nancie will pull out of her (very talented) hat next!
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By K. Nielsen on May 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I took this book to my mom's house and we chose two cakes to bake - the Red Velvet and the Thibodeaux Chocolate Doberge. My mom is a serious baker who rarely allows store-bought desserts or bread into the house, so I knew she would be a good one to test out this book with. The Red Velvet cake was not terribly impressive. Our cake had a soggy, fallen middle, yet managed to be over-baked around the edges. I could also taste the chemical flavor of the red food coloring, but that could just be the brand I used. The frosting was delicious.

The chocolate cake itself was delicious, but the recipe indicates a 300 degree oven. On our first try, baking the layers at 300 for 40 minutes in 8-inch rounds (instead of 9), resulted in raw cake. We purchased 9-inch rounds as the recipe called for and baked the next cake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. All of the other recipes in the book call for a 350 oven, so I'm not sure why this one was 300. 350 worked much better. The filling turned out to be delicious - essentially a chocolate pudding. The frosting did not turn out at all, and seems like a strange recipe for frosting. After following the instructions, chilling the frosting overnight then attempting to beat it into something that could be considered frosting, we ended up with a very runny (but tasty) concoction. We made my mom's recipe for a chocolate buttercream frosting that's not too sweet and it went perfectly with the cake.

I am looking forward to trying more recipes from this book. I think the caramel cake and the oatmeal cake will be next...
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By pbk on March 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've finally found the cake recipe book that I've been searching for years for. I especially like the yellow cake recipe - with chocolate icing reminds me of my childhood birthday cakes from scratch. I was always intimated by scratch cakes. Now I feel like a bonafide cake baker with this book. I haven't used a boxed cake mix since I got this book. The cakes are so moist and delicious - you can't go wrong with this one.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Sarah TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
Nancie McDermott's Southern Cakes gathers some of the South's most well-known delights: pristine fluffy coconut cakes, deliciously oozy jelly cakes, red velvet cake, pineapple upside-down cake, Mississippi mud, all the way to that towering confection, Lady Baltimore cake, rich with raisins, figs, pecans and brandy. Along the way, she shares plenty of stories of the origins of the various recipes, many from family and friends or from various regional cookbooks.

There are numerous variations on pound cakes (classic, chocolate, marble molasses, brown sugar, cream cheese, blue ribbon, bourbon, sweet potato) that are easy to whip together; these are perfect for impromptu afternoon teas or to give as gifts. There are light and fluffy coffee cakes, oatmeal cake, and date-nut cake. I also loved the addition of "ethnic" baking recipes such as a Russian Jewish babka (yeast bread), a tres leches cake (a traditional Hispanic favorite that blends milk, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk), a Rosh Hashanah honey cake and a Passover torte that are perhaps not as quickly associated with Southern desserts.

Also included are heirloom and antique recipes such as a tomato soup cake, Ozark pudding, and a cake recipe dating from 1898. I loved some of the more offbeat creations such as chocolate mayonnaise cake, pumpkin-raisin cake, a "Japanese" fruitcake, and the divine fig cake and pear bread.

Finally, a chapter on icings rounds out the cakes, with recipes for seven-minute frosting, cream cheese, browned butter, chocolate fudge, classic boiled, and never-fail chocolate icings, a caramel glaze, and an easy lemon curd (which is super-expensive if you buy it at a specialty store).
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