Book Review: The Southern Cake and Pie Book… from Southern Living Magazine by Leann Richardson
‘It practically jumped into my cart the minute I spotted it!’
When it comes to baking books we must first admit that all cookbooks are not created equal. Let us also admit that online recipe sources are often hit or miss… with mostly misses for me. I have been an avid reader and collector of cookbooks for about 30 years. In that time I have struggled to find cookbooks that have more than a few recipes in them that I have loved and made repeatedly. I have spent hours leafing through cookbooks in bookstores. Scoured many websites searching to find recipes that I know I can trust. I have found that the most reliable recipes come from trusted sources. I tend to gravitate toward sources like popular baking magazines that have been around for a very long time or a favorite chef I have followed for years.
As much as I would love to have all of my grandmother’s cake recipes, I am sad to say, I did not have the foresight to gather those while she was still with us. The memory of cakes she made from my childhood still have me longing for her recipes. I have poured over hundreds of cookbooks in search of those particular favorites from my childhood. I remember her carrot cake and spice cake fondly. She made a Hummingbird Cake that I still have not perfected but I still try often. I remember her chocolate cakes and butter cakes. Oh, I must not forget those pound cakes that were served with her chicory coffee in traditional Louisiana fashion. She used real ingredients… butter, sugar, flour, milk, eggs. There is not a whole lot in life more comforting than that combination of ingredients.
I happened to be in our local Sam’s Club store the other day on a mission for food to feed my family. I decided to swing by and check out the new releases in cookbooks they had on display. That is when it found me…. just the right cover and words to draw me toward it. I had found the book I had been searching for. It practically jumped into my cart the minute I spotted it! Well, I helped it a little bit. I knew it had to join my collection.
Southern Living has published a new book called The Southern Cake and Pie Book. The book is published through Oxmoor House Publishing. It contains 304 pages of the most beautifully photographed cakes and pies you can imagine. The book is filled with classic celebration cakes and pies, tips for baking and frosting that special cake, and serving secrets to put your presentation over the top.
My childhood favorites are all in this book. Southern Living Magazine has taken their best recipes and given us a beautiful collection of childhood memories on a plate. One of the things I love most about a Southern Living cookbook is that all the recipes have been tested and tried by many professionals before it goes to publication. They have very high standards for their recipes and I don’t believe I have seen very many fails over the years from them… if any.
The book includes everything from mini cakes (cupcakes/fairy cakes), traditional classics, cheesecakes, pound cakes, coffee cakes, cakes made with seasonal fruits, to holiday favorites. If you name it I think it is in this book! The pie section is fantastic, too. For all of you cake lovers this is a real treasure for your cake book collection.
I made the Italian Cream Cake just this past weekend for our 13 year old’s birthday and it turned out perfectly. The only thing I had to adjust was baking time for our higher altitude.
We shared it with a crowd and there was not one unhappy person in the bunch. It did not last long. I will definitely be baking my way through this book in the coming months. I don’t think there will be any complaints from my test tasters.
Leann Richardson I am a 50 year old wife, mother, and grandmother living in Texas. I am a retired professional baker and an avid cookbook collector who still enjoys baking for my family and friends every chance I get.
You can find me online at my blog – Some Days There’s Pie at Chefleann
Note. This review is not solicited by any publishing company. I just totally loved this book and wanted to share it with cake lovers.