While there are some foods that can really represent the US as a whole – chocolate chip cookies, brownies and hamburgers all spring to mind – it is much easier to break the country down by region or state because there are so many specialties out there that you don’t want to miss out on them. United Cakes of America is a book that tries to do this by highlighting cakes that are specialties of every state in the country. For instance, you’ll find Boston Cream Pie (yes, it’s really a cake) in Massachusetts and Tennessee Mountain Stack Cake for Tennessee.
Some states have recipes that feature ingredients that are specialties, instead of a specialty dessert. This applies in California, where Avocado Cupcakes are one of the two recipes attributed to the state. There are a few exceptions to the rule, like Key Lime Pie in Florida, because there are some recipes that are so representative of the area that it would have been a shame not to include them in a book about state specialties.
The recipes are all accompanied by great descriptions and even better photographs that will really make you want to start baking. The instructions are clear and all of the ingredients should be already in your home pantries, or at least very easy to obtain. It’s a fun book to look through and fun to cook from. This book might also be a good project to work through if you have younger kids who are learning about the different states so that they can sample something from every one.