Reviewed by Kristin
After reading Christy’s review of Vintage Cakes with those gorgeous descriptions and beautiful photograph of her Honey Bee Cake, I was inspired to look for vintage cake recipes myself. I found more in the adorably named Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories by Jocelyn Delk Adams. The author focuses on much more than just the recipes; she includes snippets of family history where her love for her grandmother (“Big Mama”) shines through. The recipes are named by level of difficulty—Grandbaby Cakes are recommended for anyone at any skill level; Mama Cakes need a little more skill and patience; Big Mama cakes are for ambitious and skilled bakers, like Adams’ own Big Mama. Additionally, Grandbaby notes are included with many of the recipes to add little tips, encouragements, and suggestions for adaptions to set your inner baking genie loose in the kitchen.
The contents are divided into sections for pound cakes, layer cakes, sheet cakes, baby cakes, celebration cakes, and seasons and holidays. From classic yellow and red velvet all the way to mango swirls in carrot cake, this cookbook has something for everyone.
I decided to try the Snickerdoodle Gooey Cake, with a few tweaks because who has butterscotch chips in their cabinet at all times? You do? Okay, not me. However, I did have peanut butter chips and there is nothing peanut butter that my family won’t eat. With a yellow cake base layer and a creamy top made from cream cheese and powdered sugar, I also threw in some extra vanilla and cinnamon. What, you measure vanilla and spices too? I’m good with estimating a generous half teaspoon. The finished product was pretty good—flavorful without being overly sweet. I may have enjoyed it even more because I baked it in my grandma’s battered and beaten 9 x 13 metal pan which she used for decades.
I believe the Lighter Lemon Pound Cake (the only “lighter” recipe included) might be next on my list. With Greek yogurt and fresh lemon juice included, that pound cake may turn into another of my family’s favorites.
Chocolate, strawberries, cinnamon, apples, cream cheese, caramel…these are just a few of the ingredients which drew me to this book. Accompany me down memory lane as you remember your own family recipes, and are inspired by the author’s modern twists on vintage cakes.