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Simple Cake: All You Need To Keep Your Friends and Family in Cake
Odette Williams. Ten Speed, $23 (192p) ISBN 978-0-39958-142-7
In this wonderfully uncomplicated collection of cake recipes, Williams, founder of kitchen apron manufacturer OW Brooklyn, conveys why she believes “cake matters.” Williams’s inviting tone permeates this essential collection of basic cake recipes (“The only ones you’ll ever really need”), and she explains that it was looking at photos after her father died that inspired this cookbook. (One photo showed a cake that her newly divorced, 30-year-old father baked for a birthday party for the young Williams.) Thirty cakes are broken down into five categories, including TLC cakes (there’s a vanilla and coconut Bundt cake for comforting a new parent) and Vacation Cakes (Summertime S’Mores and Fall Apple Skillet). Standouts include the Over the Moon Cake—a large milk-and-honey cake crescent accompanied by stars and topped with caramel sauce and vanilla whipped cream—and a company-worthy “Dining-in Cake,” composed of chocolate cake, with tres leches spooned over, and finished with a condensed-milk whipped cream and shaved chocolate. A poem, a child’s handwritten recipe, vintage photos, and “advice from this home baker to another” add intimacy to this slim collection. Thoughtful and inspiring, this fresh take on cakes should find an enthusiastic audience. (Mar.)