This book is about cake and it is delightful.
Artist and author Maira Kalman recalls family cake stories and food writer Barbara Scott-Goodman provides the recipes in this perfect pairing of sweet memories and sugar and spice. The recipes include delicious standards like Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze, Coffee Cake with Streusel, and variations on classics like Yellow Layer Cake with Salt Caramel Glaze and the famous New York Times Plum Torte. A recipe for Mit Schlag (this means "with whipped cream") and Pavlova with Fresh Berries lighten up the offerings and provide a nice contrast. If you like to pull out the hand mixer, these recipes are for you!
In addition to the recipes, Maira Kalman provides cake commentary and charming family memories. My favorite illustration depicts Maira and her cousins lolling about on the cool tiles of a Tel-Aviv terrace after spending the day at the beach with her aunt. Aunt Shoshana is standing off to the side offering a plate of chocolate cake. The description reads, "There we were each given a plate with a slice of chocolate cake and a clump of green grapes. I am not sure we ever said thank you. But isn't that how it is." Yes, that is exactly how it is.
Other special moments include The Cake of Being Kind, Not Angry, The Broken Heart Cake, The Talking Cure Cake and The Cakes of People I Do Not Know. All over the world, all the time, people are eating cake. Thinking about that makes the world a bit nicer for me. I'll repeat a line that is shared at the end of the book under "What Have I Learned?" Things are much nicer with cake.