Simple Cake: All You Need To Keep Your Friends and Family in Cake

Ten Speed: Crown. Mar. 2019. 204p. photos. index. ISBN 9780399581427. $23.50; ebk. ISBN 9780399581434. COOKING
The sentence, “10 cakes. 15 toppings. 30-cake-worthy moments,” forms the premise of this strikingly minimalist cookbook that is both a throwback and an update, a work that nods knowingly at the modest skills and outsized ambitions of many modern home bakers. First-time author Williams (founder of the eponymous line of bakewear) relates her preference for functionality over extravagance, for family-friendly go-tos that embrace nostalgia and reject complexity. If this approach seems risky, it is saved by the addition of delightful variations, tips, and topping suggestions— the last of these drawn from the more robust second section and made manifest in the final collection of “Cake-Worthy Moments.” Here we see how a basic cake and topping combination can transform into a “Self-Care Cake,” “Sleepover Cake,” or “Over the Moon Cake.” It’s a tiny transformation but utterly effective: nuanced, delicious, and accessible.
VERDICT A love letter to the power of unfussy baking, family celebrations, and simple experiences. For novice bakers, bakers with children, and cake-eating minimalists.
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