New Recipe: This cake baking cookbook has made pandemic life much more enjoyable

Years ago, before my son was born and life became a hamster wheel of work, errands, sporting events, and play dates, I’d spend my weekends baking. I loved to pore through recipe books and find fun treats to create from scratch. I used our 1950s-era KitchenAid mixer, inherited from my husband’s grandmother, to make cupcakes, cookies, frostings, and glazes. I took decorating classes and bought all kinds of tools to make fancy designs with icing (though I was never very good at it).

But over time, life got in the way. I baked less and less. I tossed most of the tools and even took to — gasp! — making desserts from boxed cake mixes.

Last year when the pandemic hit, I turned back to my old hobby to fill the many hours of free time I suddenly had on my hands. I used my son’s remote learning as an excuse to bake bread. (“I’m teaching him science and math!” I reasoned. “And feeding him nutritious grains!”) It became our thing, our Mommy and son time. Together we baked and ate all kinds of yummy goodies. But over time his interest waned. There always seemed to be too many steps and too much cleanup involved to sustain his interest.

Snacking Cakes: Simple Treats for Anytime Cravings (Hardcover) –

22.08Shop Now

Then, a few months back while browsing at a local bookstore, I came across Yossy Arefi’s Snacking Cakes: Simple Treats for Anytime Cravings. A quick flip through its pages and I was hooked. The book contains recipes for dozens of single-layer cakes that, as Arefi says in her introduction, “must be truly easy to make.”

I bought the book, and my son and I studied each page like we were preparing for an exam. The recipes are, as the title implies, simple. Everything goes into one bowl. Combine all ingredients with a whisk. Pour the batter into a pan, bake, and you’re good to go. There are also recipes for easy-to-make icing, if you prefer that your cake not be plain.

Snacking Cakes: Simple Treats for Anytime Cravings: A Baking Book –

18.69Shop Now

The book comprises four parts: Fruit Cakes, Warm + Toasty Cakes, Chocolatey Cakes, and Not Your Average Vanilla Cakes. Each recipe gives suggestions for baking the cakes in a variety of ways: in an 8-inch square pan, 9-inch round pan, loaf pan, skillet, baking sheet, Bundt pan, or cupcake pan. There’s even a section in the back with 11 variations of homemade whipped cream, should you prefer to have some with your dessert.

So far I’ve made the Salty Caramel Peanut Butter Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, and Almond Butter Banana Cake (as a loaf). This coming week I’m going to make the Coconut Lime Cake for my husband’s birthday.

The recipes are incredibly easy and incredibly delicious, which means I have to be incredibly careful about baking all of them in too short a time span. I’m trying to space out the baking so I’m not eating a cake a day.

Thanks to Yossy Arefi and Snacking Cakes, my son is back to being my little baking buddy. And because everything is made in one bowl, the cleanup is minimal. I’m sure I’ll eventually get back to the multi-step, mixer-reliant baking at some point, but for now, this book is all I need.

Sandra Ebejer lives in upstate New York with her husband, son, and two cats who haven’t figured out how to get along. Her work has been published in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Real Simple, Writer’s Digest, Shondaland, and others. Read more at


Source by [author_name]

Add Comment