The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cakes and pastries

WoofMeowOink's picture

Cakes and pastries

Hello all.

I wanted to ask you guys if you could recommend a good book for cakes and pastries that is amateur-friendly, with some coverage of technique or tips that could help improve my baking experience.

The reason I ask is that I have tried, on several occasions, to bake cakes from scratch following recipes from a generic baking book that I bought from Borders, but each time have been disapointed with the results. Each time the cakes come out flat and dense (I had much better luck with the croissants I baked). I thought that this could be the result of my poor technique/knowledge, the quality of the available equipment in my kitchen, the quality of the ingredients I have at my dispossal, or all of the above. Or (it occured to me) it could also be the result of a poorly written book (?).

In any case, if anyone could recommend a book to help an amateur, I'd appreciate it very much. :)

plevee's picture

" Bakers' Companion" King Arthur flour

"How To Bake" by Nick Malgieri

"Joy of baking"

In that order, but all good & will turn out delicious treats.



KansasGirlStuckInMaryland's picture

America's Test Kitchen website also has great technique video's.

cgmeyer2's picture
cgmeyer2 has some excellent baking lessons & tutorials.

ladychef41's picture

For "user friendly amateur" cake recipes, I would recommend either Betty Crocker or McCall's cookbooks. There are no pastry recipes in them, but I think their recipes are very straight forward, tried and true. If you want a more "sophisticated" cookbook, you would need to look elsewhere. But for easy, straight forward directions and good tips, I would suggest either of these books. I grew up using both of these books and never had anything but good results..



PaddyL's picture

Better Homes & Gardens puts out very good cookbooks that cover just about everything cake, pastry, bread, etc., as does Good Housekeeping.

WoofMeowOink's picture

Thanks much everyone! You have given me a lot to read and work with. :)