Cakes, just like most things, can go in and out of fashion. This means that there is a real nostalgia for cakes that you might have had all the time as a kid, but that you haven’t seen outside of your grandmother’s kitchen in years. Vintage Cakes: Timeless Recipes for Cupcakes, Flips, Rolls, Layer, Angel, Bundt, Chiffon, and Icebox Cakes for Today’s Sweet Tooth is a collection of cakes that fit into this category: beautiful, classic cakes that deserve to be brought back into the spotlight. Think of flipping through this book as if you stumbled over a collection of vintage recipe cards. Vintage recipes always beg to be made, and the only difference between these and the old recipe cards is that these are clearly typed and beautifully photographed instead of being scrawled vaguely in someone’s handwriting.
The book is divided up into several chapters based on the type of cake: Hasty Cakes, Everyday Cakes, Little Cakes and Light Cakes, Flips and Rolls, Layer Cakes and, finally, Party Cakes. There is also a separate chapter at the end of the book dedicated to fillings, frostings and icings. There is a brief introduction at the beginning of the book that skims over ingredients and baking tips, but this book is really all about the recipes. Each one is accompanied by a story of its origin, what makes it a vintage cake or where the recipe came from, which really gives each recipe a nice personal touch. There are some baking tips scattered throughout the book, as well as some photographic how-tos that will help you when assembling some of the more complicated desserts.
Overall, this cookbook is a lot of fun to read through. Every recipe sounds appealing, whether it is something that your grandmother might have baked or the kind of cake that you used to see in diner and bakery display cases as a kid. The recipes are easy to follow and call for ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. They may be vintage recipes, but each one has been carefully tested and updated to make sure that it is up to today’s standards while still giving you that nostalgic feeling and flavor when you dig in to a slice.