It’s true that there are a seemingly endless variety of muffin and scone recipes when you include all the varied add-ins that can be mixed into any given batter, but when it comes to coffee cakes and breakfast pastries in general, are there really enough possibilities to fill up a 400 page book? The answer (of course) is yes. Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More is just such a book, packed with over 200 recipes and a ton of suggestions for variations to produce even more mouthwatering baked goods.
Despite the fact that coffee cakes are typically associated with breakfast and brunch, the recipes in this book can easily be served at any time of day; in this case, the “coffee” part of “coffee cake” is more of a serving suggestion, as each and everything in here will certainly go well with a cuppa. The book is divided up into chapters based on the type of pastry – savory, yeasted, pound cakes, muffins, etc. – which makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. Some of the yeasted pastries sound (and look, if you take a peek at the photos of some of the recipes that Cream Puffs in Venice has tried) particularly delicious, and as someone with a substantial cookbook collection, I appreciate the fact that there are so many of them in relation to the number of quicker/more commonplace muffin and cake recipes.
The recipes are exceptionally well written and the book should be very easy to use, even for relatively inexperienced bakers. That said, I will also note that if you are a novice, you might not want to jump in to the deep end by starting with the most complex recipes because there is a definite range of difficulty in the book that more advanced bakers will appreciate. The only minus to this volume is that there aren’t nearly enough pictures. The few that there are are so fantastic, it almost doesn’t seem fair that we have to wait to make them just to see what the other pastries look like.