Help me find cakes from around the world.

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I’m a great admirer of Ann Morgan and her challenge to read the world in 196 countries. Not forgetting an extra territory chosen by her blog readers.

I met Ann, at the Wigtown Book Festival in October 2015. I was invited by the festival organisers to talk about the Clandestine Cake Club and my latest cook book A Year of Cake. As I listened to Ann’s talk, at the festival, about the book she’d written called Reading the World, the people she’d met, and some of the challenges faced, such as when is a country a country, I began to chew over the idea of doing something similar with cookery books, specifically containing cake or bake recipes with origins outside the UK

As people travel and migrate around the world, recipes travel with them. These are then adapted according to available ingredients, which in turn create a whole host of exciting new bakes.

Is this a challenge fraught with problems and arguments as to who first created cakes such as the Sacher Torte. What are the origins of the Red Velvet Cake. Which cook book contains the best tasting recipe.

The Challenge

I need your help in compiling a list of cookery books that contain cake/bake recipes from around the world. The cook book must capture the passion and story of the recipe’s origin. We all may know that the Sacher Torte originated in Vienna and that Lamington Cakes have origins in Australia but what about the Fairy Cakes. Where did they first make an appearance, do people still bake them these days. I used to bake plenty at school Fairs and for the children’s birthday parties. Cupcakes seem to be the favoured mini cake these days, but then again, where did the idea come from. Help me find the cook books that will help me find their origins.

I’ve cleared my book shelves, expanded my waistband to accommodate lots of cake tasting sessions, and will compile a list of books as I go along.

I hope you will join me in this challenge.

The suggested book list so far

  • Cakes from Around the World – Julie Duff
  • The World’s Best Cakes – Roger Pizzey
  • Around the World in 80 Cakes – Claire Clark
  • The Best of Baking – Annette Walter and Christian Teubner
  • United Cake of America – Warren Brown


  • This suggested list is thanks to John Holland.
    • Honey & Co. The Baking Book – Sarit Packer & Itamar Srulovich
    • The Book of Buns – Jane Mason
    • Sun bread and sticky toffee – Sarah Al-Hamad
    • Love Bake Nourish – Amber Rose
    • Scandinavian Baking – Trine Hahnemann
    • Sugar Rush – Johnny Iuzzini
    • Nordic Bakery Cookbook – Miisa Mink
    • Sugar and Spice – Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra
    • The Violet Bakery Cookbook – Claire Ptak
    • Sally Baking Addiction – Sally McKenney
    • Italian Home Baking – Gino D’Acampo
    • Bake Like An Italian – Catherine Fulvio
    • Dolci – Francine Segan



  1. “A World of Cake” by Krystina Castella. I have used a few of the recipes in this book for cake club. This book is full of research on the history of cake. It is organized by country and most recipes also include the story of the recipe’s origin. Great photos too.

  2. Sue Loewenbein

    Older editions of books from Australian Women’s Weekly should have traditional recipes for things which aren’t generally known in the UK, such as Nut Rolls.

  3. Felicity Day

    The Hummingbird Bakery Life is Sweet is all American Cakes, many of which aren’t known in the UK. There’s a bit of description of the background to each cake. The Roux Brothers’ Patisserie is good for French Cakes. Bourke Street Bakery for Australian cakes.

  4. Felicity Day

    I’ve recently got The Hummingbird Bakery Life is Sweet cookery book. The cakes are all from America with many that haven’t made it to the UK. A bit about the origins for each cake. I also have The Roux Brothers Patisserie which is great for French Cakes.

  5. I have an old recipe card for German Apple Cake which I’m have turned to for many years and still use as it never fails and always pleases. It was obviously an advertising campaign byMorton pie filing which my mum used when I was a child, I now substitute canned with stewed fresh fruit and it gets better every time. Happy to share if you think i ,sounds interesting.

  6. Elisha Rurka

    Hi Lynn,
    What a great idea! I have a bake book called United Cakes of America by Warren Brown. Although it is limited to cakes from the US, it has some interesting recipes from old sources and addresses the origins of different cakes from different states within the US.

  7. Hi Lyn, I have a book called The Best of Baking my edition published in 1979 that includes Tradional Cakes from around the World. I looked a few up on the Internet to get the stories behind these. My favourite is a love story for the Torta di Mandorla. The story of Phyllis and Demophoon from Heroides. It’s baked for Valentine’s Day and is an almond cake. Italians still use almonds as confetti today. Others of interest to look up are Gâteau St Honoré – Paris and is called patron saint of pastry cooks, Dobos Torte dating back to 1885 Budapest, Prince Regent torte a Bavarian torte dating back to 1886 and was named after Prince Regent Luitpold and of course the Panetonne and Scottish Black Bunn are also interesting. Wilkopedia give the background for most of these.

    • Hi Sandy. Many thanks for your suggestion. Although I’ve never made one, I do love the Gateau St Honore. I once made a Dobos Torte, but it was far too sweet for even my taste. I’ll give that one another try.

      There are such a lovely selection of Tortes to make that I’ll give those a try too.

  8. @smartcookiesam Thanks for the suggestions. I also have Roger Pizzey’s book. But not Claire Clark’s must put that on my list.
    @kaymwells Thanks for the suggestion Kay. Another to add to my list of reads.

  9. @smartcookiesam Thanks for the suggestions. I also have Roger Pizzey’s book. But not Claire Clark’s must put that on my list.
    @kaymwells Thanks for the suggestion Kay. Another to add to my list of reads.

  10. Hi Lynn,
    I have two books I’ve bought and not used yet on the around the world theme. I’ve got Roger Pizzey’s book which has about 250 recipes in it. I’ve just bought Claire Clark’s Around The World In 80 Cakes which is fab. It even has a couple of bundt recipes in it, too! X

  11. I have a book by Julie Duff – Cakes from Around the World. All the recipes start off with a bit of background to the country before the recipe and photos of cakes.

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