Just looking at the Doodles & Daydreams Cake showcased on the cover of The Sweetapolita Bakebook: 75 Fanciful Cakes, Cookies & More to Make and Decorate by Rosie Alyea evokes happy childlike feelings. How fun would it be to draw doodles on a cake with edible markers?
This feeling stayed with me while I was going through the whole bakebook admiring the full-colour photographs and adding post-it notes to recipes I want to make, such as the Rainbows and Sprinkles Cake, the Cloud Cake, the Doodles & Daydreams Cake and the Neapolita Cake.
There’s a recipe for making homemade sprinkles (who doesn’t like sprinkles?) and recipes for sugar-coated cookies, layer cakes, tiered cakes, basic cake recipes, cut-out cookies for decorating and for frostings, fillings and more. They’re well-written and easy to follow, and The Sweetapolita Bakebook also includes step-by step technique tutorials.
Although my two daughters are grown up, the Wondrous Sweets for the Wee chapter is one of my favourites. Helping me not just to bake, but also to decorate the Painted Mini Cakes, draw on the Chalk-A-Lot cookies with edible chalk or do the cut and paste on the Illustration Cake would have made their baking experience more memorable.
Let’s get baking…
The cake recipes I chose to test for this review are the Best-Ever Buttermilk Cake (page 151) and the Simple & Splendid Chocolate Cake from the Prized Basic Cake Recipes chapter. These are two of the cake recipes that are used as the base of some cake recipes throughout The Sweetapolita Bakebook.
As I’m on a quest to find the best recipes for lemon curd and caramel sauce, I made the Salted Caramel (page 193) and the Zingy Citrus Curd (page 196).
I made these recipes while visiting my sisters in Toronto. Since they’re both bakers, I knew they would make excellent taste testers.
The Best-Ever Buttermilk Cake
This cake, made with buttermilk, was moist with a tender texture. I baked it in a Bundt pan (as we love our Bundt cakes), sprinkled powdered sugar on top, and served it with the Zingy Citrus Curd. This is a cake that could be served at an afternoon tea.
Zingy Citrus Curd
I’ve tried many recipes for lemon curd but this one has to be my favourite so far. It was the perfect balance of sweet and tart and I loved the taste of the creamy texture. To make the lemon curd, the recipe asked for six lemons for the lemon juice, but I only used two very large lemons.
My sister Silvana loved the cake on its own but also thought it paired well with the Zingy Citrus Curd. My sister Rita loved this cake and would it eat it for breakfast (and she did). I’ll be making the Best-Ever Buttermilk Cake and the Zingy Citrus Curd for my next afternoon tea.
Simple and Splendid Chocolate Cake
The headnote for this recipe says that this cake should be called the “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious chocolate cake” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s quick and easy to make and the combination of dark cacao and espresso coffee gives it a deep chocolate taste. I baked the cake in two nine-inch round cake pans and didn’t frost it as I served it with the Salted Caramel.
I always feel intimidated whenever I make caramel -- the syrup could burn or the sugar might seize and I would have to start over. This time there were no issues while I was making the salted caramel. It did take two minutes longer for the sugar to turn amber but that could be due to the stove’s temperature.
It was unanimous that this was the best chocolate cake we had tasted so far, and paired with the salty caramel, it was divine. The only complaint was that Salty Caramel recipe makes only one cup.
Is the Sweetapolita Bakebook bookshelf worthy?
Absolutely! If you love to bake and be creative, this is the bakebook to own. It contains simple and quick recipes to make as well as recipes that are time-consuming and require more ingredients. The Sweetapolita Bakebook brings together family and friends not only to bake but to unleash their creativity.
The book cover photo is from The Sweetapolita Bakebook: 75 Fanciful Cakes, Cookies, and More to Decorate by Rosie Alyea. Copyright © 2015 Rosie Alyea. Excerpted by permission of Appetite by Random House, a Penguin Random House company. Rights reserved.
Rosie Alyea is the author of the Sweetapolita website and blog. You can purchase The Sweetapolita Bakebook at your local bookstores and at on-line booksellers.
The Sweetapolita Bakebook: 75 Fanciful Cakes, Cookies & More to Make and Decorate
Author: Rosie Alyea
Publisher: Appetite by Random House
Softcover: 208 pages
The Sweetapolita Bakebook: 75 Fanciful Cakes, Cookies & More to Make and Decorate was sent to me by Appetite for Random House to review for the Food Bloggers of Canada website. The opinions are my own.
The Sweetapolita Bakebook: 75 Fanciful Cakes, Cookies & More to Make and Decorate review was written by Liliana Tommasini, author of the aptly named blog My Cookbook Addiction. Her passion for baking and cooking began at an early age. Liliana grew up in an Italian household where each meal was made from scratch with fresh ingredients and Sunday family lunches were always a celebration. She lives in Laval, QC with her husband, youngest daughter, two cats and an expanding cookbook collection. Now, the Sunday lunch celebration continues in her family. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.