When I mention snack cakes, you might think about Twinkies or cream-filled Hostess Cupcakes, but snack cakes are not all prepackaged confections. Snack cakes are any type of small cake, cupcake, sandwich cookie or other snackable treat that you find packed away in school lunches, sold at bake sales or offered up to friends with coffee. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Snack Cakes is a great little book that is devoted to these individually sized sweets, starting with the history of what makes a snack cake so great and working through over 100 recipes for any variation you can think of.
The book starts off, like so many cookbooks, with an introduction to baking techniques and to the types of equipment that you’ll need to have in your kitchen for making these recipes. If you’re interested in baking snack cakes, you’ll probably go straight for the Classic Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes and the Cream Filled Sponge Cakes (cough *Twinkies* cough), but there are lots of other filled cakes, bars, brownies, crumb cakes and even miniature pies.
Although you might think that the book is just for complete beginners – and it does make it easy enough for almost anyone to make these recipes – it really is a much more versatile book. The recipes include donuts and cream puffs, with flavor combinations that anyone who likes to bake – yes, even experienced cooks – will love. And believe me, it never hurts to have lots of tips and reminders pop up at you as you go through the book because it just helps make you a better baker in the end.