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LayeredLayer cakes never fail to impress when you put one out for dessert. Their size is part of what makes them so visually appealing, but the promise of layers of flavor is what makes us want to reach for a slice time and again. In Layered, you’ll find dozens of recipes that will help your baking “reach for new heights” no matter what occasion you are baking for.

The book begins with a brief introduction about the author and her love of layer cakes, as well as why you should love them too. From here, the book jumps in to the tools and ingredients that you’ll need to have in your kitchen before getting started, followed by a crash course in basic cake techniques. Layer cakes require a little more labor than your average cake because they need fillings between the layers and some sort of decorative frosting on top. The book offers both simple and more eleborate finishes for the cakes, so you have a nice variety to choose from every time you bake. That said, this book is more about the recipes and flavors in the finished cakes than in the decorations, so the bulk of the book is spent on the recipes for the cakes themselves and not icing techniques. The cakes are divided into chapters – Classic Cakes, Chocolate Cakes, Casual Cakes, Whimsical Cakes, Adventurous Cakes and Holiday Cakes – by theme, making it easy to choose a cake recipe by the sort of occasion you are baking for. A Chocolate Coconut Cake is a good cake for any occasion, but you might want to opt for a Cinnamon Roll Cake for a big brunch or a Butterscotch Bourbon Cake for a grown-up birthday party.

The recipes are clearly written and easy to follow, even though each cake has multiple components required to put the finished product together. The filling and frosting recipes are right alongside the cake recipes, giving you the best flavor pairings possible for every base cake. That said, you certainly can mix and match the different flavors in the book to put together your own custom cakes, as well. Each recipe is illustrated with a stunning photo of the finished cake. You can take your decorating cues from the photo or use simpler (or more complex) decorating techniques to suit the occasion. There is a lot to be inspired by as you flip through the pages of this book and if you’re a cake lover, I suspect that this cookbook will get a lot of use in your kitchen.

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