Best book for baking cakes?

(24 Posts)
GodisaDJ Thu 04-Oct-12 14:46:40

...for a Christmas present for someone. He likes baking cakes but tends to pull off recipes from the web.

I'm not a baker at all so wouldn't know which book is better than which!

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 04-Oct-12 16:38:00

I'm buying Dan Lepard's Short and Sweet for myself for Christmas. wink

melliebobs Sun 07-Oct-12 15:04:14

Mary Berrys baking bible smile

Arithmeticulous Sun 07-Oct-12 15:13:02

Mary Berry's Fast Cakes.

perfectstorm Sun 07-Oct-12 15:34:19

Tea With Bea. Really unusual recipes that look and taste amazing, so not ones he can nab at will from the net - and they all actually work (real issue with books from pro chefs/bakers. They often slightly alter recipes so as not to lose their edge, and then they don't work properly.)

I own about 30 cake books, and several are fab, but this is the best/most original IMO (I have my eye on a Japanese one, as they make amazing patisserie, but it's very expensive so am yet to purchase and can't comment on how good it is, as a result). And it's at the Book People at the moment, so only a fiver too!

perfectstorm Sun 07-Oct-12 15:35:24

Should add that there are a couple of more basic ones I could mention, which are just as good, but you can get a lemon drizzle or vicky sponge recipe off the net just as easily. Bea Vong's recipes, and you can't.

I love the Hummingbird Bakery book

I can second the Hummingbird Bakery book, it's wonderful smile

perfectstorm Sun 07-Oct-12 17:13:29

Not a huge fan of the Hummingbird one, tbh - I don't think the recipes work that well (and I was reassured to read most people on Amazon felt the same) thoughit does look exquisite.

The Primrose Bakery book is better, IMO, with some really unusual flavoured cakes.

I think the best basic one is Leith's Baking Bible, which explains the science as well. It helped me to know why things work. But it's nowhere near as pretty as Primrose or Tea with Bea.

GodisaDJ Sun 07-Oct-12 18:28:23

Thanks all. Some great suggestions - will have a nosey at the books when I'm on the computer (on phone at the min). Appreciate the time taken to respond wink

Wolfcub Sun 07-Oct-12 18:36:49

Rachel Allen Cake

LadyPeterWimsey Sun 07-Oct-12 18:46:22

Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book. I've never had anything go wrong from there and I have form for cake disasters.

economymode Sat 03-Nov-12 22:18:07

Controversially, I don't rate Mary Berry recipes. Well, not the ones in her Baking Bible, at least.

I have Short and Sweet, which is great. Also rate Peyton and Byrne's British Baking and got Lily Vanilli's Sweet Tooth today, which has some more unusual ideas in it.

I don't own one, but you could also look at a Good Housekeeping or Good Food book.

seanbonbon Sat 03-Nov-12 22:23:50

Lily Higgins- Make,Bake,Love, published in Ireland.

Everything I've made from this book works and I'm not a natural baker.

I use this alot - it's more about cake decorating (obviously) but the recipes are really good and reliable www.bookdepository.co.uk/Home-Guide-Cake-Decorating-Jane-Price/9781740453677

BloddersMum Mon 05-Nov-12 22:43:44

I really like last years Great British Bake Off book. Tried 7 recipes so far from the book and all have worked well.
I have the domestic goddess also. The recipes that work I go back to time and time again. However many have been disasters.

bluebird68 Wed 07-Nov-12 13:18:36

I second Tea with Bea. i borrowed it from the library and those i tested worked. Mary berry- i have an ancient copy of her Ultimate cake book- most recipes- and i've done loads from it, work very well and taste great. I think one or two were dodgy but from testing so many that's a very good score.
I dont get on with Dan Lepards recipes.
Mich turner has some great interesting recipes but her books have a lot on decorating in them, fantastic party cakes is from memory the least decorating based of them all.
I looked at Annie bells brand new Baking bible in the library the other day and it looked great. I may request for christmas, haven't tried recipes from it but hear she is reliable.

BirdyArms Wed 07-Nov-12 18:42:34

I really like Short and Sweet, lots of interesting recipes and a bit more modern than some of the others.

I am interested to hear that Annie Bell is doing a new baking book, I really like her, very reliable.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 19-Nov-12 01:30:15

I got Peggy Porschen's boutique baking a couple of weeks ago and hve enjoyed the resuits so far. Recipes good, nice photos/decoration abd the book layout is very glam. Highly recommended

Leith's Baking Bible is brilliant. I'm always championing it on here!

twolittlelovelies Fri 23-Nov-12 10:22:10

Maybe he enjoys downloading recipes though and wouldn't use an actual book as much? Have you thought about downloading some books to his ipod/ipad/phone etc for him? Bit more fiddly for you but it sounds as if he enjoys using gadgets when baking? Plus, many books are available for the kindle etc at lower prices so you could get him more 'books'?

coffeeinbed Fri 23-Nov-12 10:24:09

Annie Bell Baking bible.
Tis brilliant.

Slubberdegullion Fri 23-Nov-12 10:43:19

Mary Berry's Ultimate cake book. They all work.

HazeltheMcWitch Fri 23-Nov-12 10:53:55

I LOVE baking books, and could pontificate about them for hours!
It really depends what type of things he likes making, really - does he like trad cakes, flouncy cakes, cakes meticulously iced...
- Tea with Bea is good, but it's quite stylised IMHO. If he's quite 'just so' in terms of clothing, houseware etc that might be the perfect book for him! If he's more of a bloke, that likes a nice slab of madeira, this is not the book for him.
- Dan Lepard's Short and Sweet I also love. It has more than cake, and gives good info about why things work/not work. It also has some interesting flavour combos.
- Peggy Porschen great if he likes icing cakes (as in iced like a wedding cake). Hummingbird Bakery (the 1st book, NOT Cake Days, which is crap) is great for cakes with butter cream icing.
- For something a bit different I like Dorie Greenspan's Baking. She's American, quite experienced (as in no spring chicken but not as experienced as Mary Berry!). This book is MASSIVE and details loads and loads of cakes, and really good info on how to adapt each recipe into 5 or 6 more.
- I also rate Paul Hollywood's How to Bake. Really reliable, good explanations. But this one does have quite a heavy focus on bread.

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