I’ve had Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson for years now, but have only recently gotten around to baking from it. The book calls for a couple pans I never had at my disposal and was reluctant to buy (I’m so cheap about the strangest things: a $15 cake pan I’ll use multiple times, eh maybe not; an $8 lipstick I will try once and decide doesn’t look good, geez let’s buy ten)
In the past little while I’ve cranked out the Kentucky Bourbon Cake, Malted Milk Chocolate Cupcakes, Maple Chiffon Cake with Brown Butter Icing, and Cherry Chip Cake with Cherry Buttercream from this book and each one has been a hit.
Most recently, the Maple Chiffon Cake with Brown Butter Icing made it’s way out of my oven. OMG, it tastes and smells like breakfast, almost like French toast. Note, the original recipe calls for pecans but nuts are expensive and see my first paragraph.
The icing from this book are so good. I should confess here, I have the tendency to refrigerate cakes, including those frosted with buttercream. I know it’s a cardinal sin, but my instinct is to put everything in the fridge if it’s not being eaten right away. I’m working on it. Despite time in the fridge, the icing are still so good. Some of the best I’ve had. Lots of unexpected flavours like browned butter or cherry. However, I do find she underestimates how much icing each recipe yields. This could be a good thing, depending how heavy handed you are with your offset spatula or how much you like licking the bowl.
Maple Chiffon Cake with Brown Butter Icing
totally worth buying a tube pan for
I never would have thought of some of the flavour combinations in this book, so I’m really happy with this book and would totally recommend it. But if you’re a pedant or looking for truly “vintage” cake recipes, e.g, two scoops of flour, one handful of this, plus one packet of jello, you’re going to be disappointed. The recipes are adaptations of vintage recipes for modern kitchens and ingredients, or takes on more “traditional” or “vintage” ingredients. Lots of cakes here that use nuts, malt, molasses, jam, and alcohol. There are also a couple recipes here that could suit different dietary requirements, a few cakes require no eggs, or no butter or other dairy, and of course there’s your traditional Wacky Cake.
- ingredients list include measurements in cups and weight in ounces!!! (I love when books do this! why don’t all of them do this?)
- the book is divided by time and occasion–you’ll find everything from hasty cakes to party cakes
- frosting and icing recipes are amazing and endlessly adaptable
- instructions are clear, super easy to follow, and usually only a page long
- photographs look delicious and results look achievable, no crazy fondant sculpted cakes here
- nice blend of unique recipes I haven’t seen elsewhere (Cassata Cake, Watergate Cake) and old favourites (Texas Sheet Cake)
Cherry Chip Cake with Cherry Buttercream (and a layer of chocolate, of course)
- not every recipe has a photo, this generally doesn’t bother me, but I know this can deter some people
- some recipes call for pans not everyone might have
The not so good:
- these recipes make a lot of cake and a lot of frosting. Sometimes I just want to make a two layer cake, you know? My oven’s only so big.
I think I’ll have to check out Julie Richardson’s other book, Rustic Fruit Desserts, next.