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The Cake Book Hardcover – May 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Cakes are the edible symbol of life's celebrations, and this comprehensive resource is a celebration of cakes and the love and artistry that go into making them. Tish Boyle, the award-winning author and editor of Chocolatier and Pastry Art & Design magazines, unlocks the secrets to baking great cakes, with nearly 200 irresistible recipes and practical guidance on ingredients, equipment, and techniques.

The Cake Book includes recipes rangingfrom pound cakes and coffee cakes tomeringue, mousse, and ice cream cakes to fillings, frostings, and more. Throughout, color and black-and-white photographs and drawings show you important techniques and spectacular end results. A difficulty rating with each recipe helps you decide which to make, depending on how much time—or ambition—you have. You'll find recipes for traditional favorites, like Deeply Dark Devil's Food Cake and Apple Cake with Maple Frosting, as well as intriguing variations, such as Jasmine and Ginger Plum Upside-Down Cake, Hazelnut Vanilla Cheesecake, and White Chocolate Strawberry Meringue Cake.

Complete with decorating tips and techniques, a troubleshooting table, and a comprehen?sive listing of sources to help you find the best equipment and ingredients, this book is an essential reference you'll always turn to, whether you're new to cake baking or are an accomplished pastry chef looking for fresh ideas, inspiration, and recipes. From simple cakes for everyday get-togethers to layered creations befitting special occasions, The Cake Book will help you bake the perfect cake every time.

From the Back Cover

"There's something magical about the process of makinga cake from scratch, a process that transforms a few simple ingredients—butter, sugar, flour, and eggs—into culinary artistry."
—Tish Boyle

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (April 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471469335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471469339
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tish Boyle is a graduate of La Varenne École de Cuisine in Paris and is currently the editor of Dessert Professional magazine (formerly Chocolatier magazine), a bi-monthly publication for the pastry and dessert industry. Tish was previously an editor at Good Housekeeping magazine and has worked as a recipe developer for many large food corporations and national magazines. She is the author of Diner Desserts (Chronicle Books, 2000), The Good Cookie (John Wiley, 2002) and The Cake Book (John Wiley, 2006), and the co-author of six other cookbooks. Her latest book, Flavorful: 150 Irresistible Desserts in All-Time Favorite Flavors (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015) is also now available. Visit her website at and her blog at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

115 of 117 people found the following review helpful By K. J. A. Brown on June 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have bookshelves in my kitchen,overflowing with baking books that still have pristine pages, doomed to live their lives as mere gastroporn. Amongst the hundreds(yes,hundreds!)of cook books, only a couple of dozen make their way to the "active" shelf. In the three weeks since I purchased Tish Boyles' latest offering,it has worked its way to finger-smudged, frosting-smeared glory.
There's a lot to like about this book; the clear explainations of ingredients, equipment and techniques in the introductory chapters, a clean easy to read typeset and layout,and attractive,though limited in number,photos. Also appreciated by an antipodean like myself, measurements are given in both imperial and metric. This includes dry ingredients such as flour and sugar, which are often only listed by cup measurements in other baking books. If you've ever checked the discrepancies between one scooped cup of flour and the next, by weight,you'll appreciate the reason a careful baker chooses weighing.
But the real pleasure in this book are the recipes; there are real originals, such as the Jasmin Ginger and Plum upside down cake,and Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Fig Topping. There are also great versions of classics. The Deeply Dark Devil's Food cake is the most tender version I have ever made, with a truly luscious flavour (just don't try to reel the name off your tongue too quickly!. The Banana cake with Caramel Expresso Frosting defied the usual dense and gummy banana cake stereotype. Although time-consuming, and a need for careful attention to the details with the frosting ,itis definitely worth the effort. The difficulty of each recipe is indicated by a cake slice symbol at the start of each cakes description.
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76 of 79 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
`The Cake Book' by chocolate guru Tish Boyle evokes in me the exclamation ... `Holy butter crème, Batman, yet another book on cakes! What with several recent and classic big books on cakes, including those from great teachers such as `Perfect Cakes' by Nick Malgieri, those from dessert icons such as `Cakes' by Maida Heatter and those from baking expert explainers such `The Cake Bible' from Rose Levy Beranbaum, one wonders, does the world really need another book on cakes?

Well, I bought it, and I'm glad I did. Beranbaum does a somewhat better job of explaining the reasons why cakes work or don't work, and Heatter covers more of the classic European types of cakes, and Malgieri covers some pedagogical matters a bit better, but if you like baking cakes, then this book will not be intimidated by sitting alongside these other volumes on your shelf.

One thing which did surprise me (and which actually increases the value of the book) is that Ms. Boyle actually covers a lot more than cakes understood in a narrow sense as those confections generally done in layers, with icing in the middle and leavened primarily with eggs. The first and most interesting `out of spec' chapter covers cheesecakes, and I believe she has done us a major service by pointing out that cheesecakes, and the cream cheese from which they are made, are one of our great American originals. Her second great service is to give us a recipe for the classic New York cheesecake. I was quite surprised to find that these are not baked in water baths and a little crack or two is considered quite acceptable. This is totally understandable, as I'm sure Juniors in Brooklyn doesn't roll out their thousands of cakes a day by baking in water baths.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Shirleen on June 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have made the chocolate sour cream with peanut butter icing, lemon poppyseed with white chocolate icing, triple ginger pound, cream cheese cherry pound, chocolate pound and peach crumb coffee and all have been outstanding. The recipes are straightforward, ingredients can all be found in a regular supermarket (for the most part, I had to mail order the morello cherries, with plans to make the cherry cheesecake cups, although you could probably just use cherry pie filling), baking times are right on, I feel I could put one of these cakes in the oven, set a timer, and it will be perfect. Lots of mix & match possiblities with the frostings/fillings, and I like that there are some ice cream cake recipes. A great addition to any collection, and I have at least 5 other "cake" cookbooks.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Laura Stokes-Gray on October 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As author Tish Boyle put it, "Cakes are the edible symbol of life's celebrations." Cakes are - or should be - celebrations on their own, however, and this volume gives many reasons to rejoice.

Boyle is a professional. She serves as editor-in-chief for both "Chocolatier" and "Pastry & Art Design" magazines and is a graduate of LaVarenne Ecole de Cuisine (founded by the extraordinary Anne Willan). She has worked extensively as a pastry chef, food stylist, caterer, and has authored several other dessert books. Cakewise, Boyle is in the same caregory as Carole Walter, Susan Purdy, Rose Levy Beranbaum, Maida Heatter, Carole Bloom, Nick Malgieri, and Lisa Yockelson - all of whose books I own, along with another dozen devoted to cakes alone. Did I need this volume? Absolutely. Did I glean things from this book that I had not found in others? Without question. Is the book overpriced at $40? Yes, it is - about $10 more than it should be - but it can be had for less at Amazon and other sites.

What makes this book valuable? For me, cookbooks and baking books should be as much about technique, equipment, and ingredients as a compilation of recipes. The first 57 pages of "The Cake Book" is just that. The first chapter, "Ingredients for Cakes" boasts a simple guide for "Boiled Sugar Syrup Stages". In the third chapter "Cake-Baking Equipment", there is a handy "Guide to Cake Pan Sizes" giving not only surface area, but volume in cups for 24 different pans! A guide to blanching and toasting nuts in Chapter 4: "Cake-Making Techniques, Tips and Troubleshooting" provides oven temperatures specific to five different varieties of nuts.
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