This next book is the smallest book on my shelf, by far, but as they say – good things come in small packages! As many of my friends can attest, I have been a fan of Jamie Oliver for a long time, decades-long.
Naturally, when he endorses other Chef’s I have paid close attention. When those endorsements involve baking, I am even more attentive. So when Cupcake Jemma appeared on his FoodTube and other programming, I instantly fell in love. She is so FUN!
Now she has her own cookbook, which I have had for the past year and baked several recipes from. It’s the next book in my review series.
Book: The Cake Book
Author: Cupcake Jemma, of Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube
Publication date: 2014
Baking skill level: Beginner
Cupcake Jemma also has her own YouTube channel and I am one of those geeky-subscribers who awaits her new video every Thursday. I usually watch before I go to bed. I’m sure it helps me guarantee I’ll have sweet dreams!
Let me share a few of my favourite videos from her collection here – cause there are a lot. I may or may not have spent a weekend watching them all when I first discovered her YouTube channel… #SweetConfession
Malteaser Cupcakes. These remind me of my past London life so much, because I love malteasers. ….and I love how her videos are set in her home kitchen, or her Crumbs & Doilies bakeshop in Soho London (they have a million flavours and their Instagram feed is a tasty follow).
If you loved that video, check out her other video tutorials for basics like the perfect vanilla cupcake, to piping cupcake basics, to making fun themed cupcakes and other desserts . Her videos always have a fun angle based on her current events, the weather, time of year, etc.
Her book is super cute and a mini-book, half the size of most books. When I first received it, I carried it around with me for a week. I’m a pastry nerd, I know! I love cute small things, I love the feel of a good cookbook, I love baking, and I love both Cupcake Jemma’s style and her recipes.
Here is my review list for you to consider this book, or maybe it will be a nice stocking stuffer for someone you know this holiday.
The Cake Book Pros
- It’s a small book, and paper-back style. This takes up very little space on your bookshelf.
- Because of it’s size, most of the recipes fit onto one page! The facing page is a beautiful photo of the finished product, or a series of images demonstrating a key technique in the recipe.
- I love the glossy feel of the pages, it’s almost like a magazine more than a cookbook; but the pages have weight to them so it will endure some time in your kitchen indeed.
- The book is conveniently divided up into seasons, sharing recipes that are appropriate for each time of year. I have made her Jamaica Ginger cake, which is delicious for the fall season. I love ginger so much that I made it in the off-season though! Here’s a pick of the cake I made using her recipe – the spiced cake paired with cream cheese frosting was a tantalizing combination.
- Her opening section she shares some Tips & Hints, covering a few basics. If you truly are a beginner baker, then you want to read this section before you get into the recipes. She covers different ingredient notes, and key equipment and tools you’ll need to have sweet success.
- She does not always use a stand mixer, so this is a good book for beginners because her recipes don’t always require expensive equipment. Many of her cake recipes can be mixed by hand, or using a hand-held mixer. Easy.
The Cake Book Cons (not many!)
- This is a British / UK published book, as Cupcake Jemma is based in London, and not that that is by anyway a con, it just means the recipes are in metric units. This is actually a PRO for professional bakers because we weigh out ingredients for consistency in results. I do recommend having a scale at home, but if you are a beginner baker and do not have a scale then this will be a challenging book to use.
- Because of it’s size the font is quite small on each page, so you may need to read closely or get out your glasses.
In the end, you can see that my pros massively out-weight the cons and that makes for a strong recommendation from me. I ordered this one from Amazon.ca, but you can order directly from Cupcake Jemma’s website!