Friday Reads: How to Cake It
“Friday Reads” is (an almost) weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work. Topics may be new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read. Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things. Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too. No matter the source, good reads are featured here.
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Since I know many people who have a birthday in March, from my soon-to-be 93-year-old father to frequent patrons of the library, the book of choice this week is How to Cake It: a cakebook by Yolanda Gampp. Recently added to our very large and popular cookbook section, you can easily spot this one on the new nonfiction shelf with its pink binding and hot pink title.
You may have been taught not to judge a book by its cover, but it is pretty safe to do it this time. Yolanda herself is featured front and center wearing a brightly colored tee that says caké and as you flip through the pages you will see the theme develop as she wears several other bold and bright tees proclaiming her cake love. In front of her is an elaborate 7-layer chocolate cake, sculpted into a pink and gold crown, festooned with oversized candy jewels, fit for the most demanding princess. You get the idea: bold, bright, whimsical cakes ‘r us.
“On her You-tube channel, How to Cake It, Yolanda creates mind-blowing cakes in every shape imaginable. From cakes that look like food, such as a watermelon and a Thanksgiving turkey, to cakes designed as oversized everyday objects, like a giant nail polish bottle and a Rubik’s cube, Yo’s creations are fun and realistic. Now, Yo brings her friendly, offbeat charm and caking expertise to this colorful cakebook filled with imaginative new cakes to make at home.” (Publisher’s summary from the inner flap.)
I expect my father would not be into the “Fried Chicken and Waffles” cake (vanilla cake and puffed rice) or the pink velvet cake shaped like a purse, but I bet he would love the coconut cake and Italian meringue buttercream frosting recipes. With Yolanda’s clear and thorough instructions and great tips for making the cake look professional, even a novice can turn out a dazzling and delicious cake.
This book is geared for children and the fanciful at heart with all of the design ideas, but if you are in need of great directions on leveling/layering, spreading a crumb coat or working with fondant, as well as a few cake and frosting recipes to create your own designs, then this book will be very helpful for you too. Okay, so that last statement may negate the idea that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Bakers who are not into pink and whimsy should not judge by the cover, but by the contents instead.
How to Cake It is currently on the new nonfiction shelf with the call #641.8653 GAM.