Tuesday, November 11, 2003

The Pleasures of Homemade Cake

Cakes taste better when they're homemade. They're fresher and moister, and they're made exactly the way we like them...our favorite flavors and spices, that special frosting, the personal touches. And the aroma of a cake baking satisfies like few other scents.

I've made a few cakes lately for family and friends: a rich pumpkin chocolate-chip bundt cake glazed with cinnamon and a pinch of ginger (twice) and a simple old-fashioned coffee cake topped with brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon crumbles. Their hunger for a homemade cake extends beyond mere taste....it's also about the loving hands that made it for them; about tiring of store bought baked goods laden with preservatives and food colorings; about desire for simplicity.

I have a few recommendations for cake cookbooks to create unusually delicious, quick-to-make, crowd pleasing cakes for your loved ones:

- "Bundt Cakes" by Karen Plageman and Susan Herbert. Published in 1973 by Owlswood Productions. You mght be able to find a copy on eBay or Amazon.

- Betty Crocker's "Cake and Frosting Mix Cookbook" first published in 1963. It's never been out of print, but you might find a treasured early edition at eBay or Amazon. (No, you may not borrow my First Edition, First Printing of this classic. One of the few books I don't loan to anyone.)

- "The Cake Mix Doctor" by Anne Byrn. This woman is a genius. Buy the Deluxe Edition with extra recipes and photos of every single cake. Published in 2003 by Rodale Press and Workman Publishing, you can find it everywhere.

Make a cake this week for your family, friends or that new neighbor down the street. And remember to save a piece of yourself.

Send emails to DeborahWhite@UniqueRecipes.com.

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