• Super Bowl Weekend Essentials: Chili & Cake!

    I’ve been on a high all week. Last Sunday we shot the Simple Cake book promo and it was an absolute blast! I dusted off that acting degree of mine, and married those performance skills with my baking ones. It was a sweet moment for me personally because it was a culmination of twenty years of work. Now I just have to figure out how to do it more! I can’t wait to share the footage with you, and I hope it inspires you to bake with abandon. 
    I’m in Sundance with Nick this weekend (scratch my eyes out) and will be tuning into the Super Bowl on Sunday. I’m wanting to see terrific Tom have yet another victory. I usually make this Chili. Start it Sunday morning so it’s good to go at kickoff. But if football doesn’t float your boat, Roma is exquisite, and this Alexander McQueen documentary is apparently amazing. And if you pre-order Simple Cake you’ll receive my Lovely Lemon Loaf Cake recipe that’s a crowd pleaser and an advance peek inside the book!
    Have a great weekend! 

  • Publisher Weekly Review

    Thank you Publisher's Weekly. I love you.  

    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.) 

  • This one is for you Australia.

    Hello from freezing Brooklyn!

    Tomorrow, January 26th is Australia Day. It's the July 4th of Down Under. So I'm sending this cake to you my beloved island, and it's peoples, who are no doubt already celebrating. This is my version of the 'Lammo' aka Lamington. It's got coconut, chocolate, raspberries, and whipped cream, and is meant to be eaten straight from the dish with old friends. You'll find the recipe in Simple Cake in the Travel Cakes chapter.

    I'm going to bake and courier one to Aussie ex-pat and legend, Laura Brown. If you haven't seen what Laura has been doing at Instyle, check it out! She is fun, hilarious, irreverent and moving the dial on how women are perceived in the media and fashion. So I think my Australian sista deserves my Lazy Lamington. 

    photo: Nicole Franzen  #simplecakebook

  • Get cake ready

    Hello ! How was your week?

    While the world seems to be falling apart, it's good to know we still have cake and bookstores!

    My beloved local bookstore, Books Are Magic just sent out their newsletter with the up and coming cookbook events. I'm very excited to share that I'll be there talking all things Simple Cake with Alison Roman April 12. If you're in New York you must come. It should be a hoot! (If you don't have Alison's book Dining In, run and grab a copy pronto.) And while you've got your calendars out, mark April 10. My friend and fellow Aussie, Hetty McKinnon launches her new fabulous book Family

    My Chocolatey Chocolate Cake awaits you this weekend.

    With love and oven mitts, as Books Are Magic signed off.


    photo: Hallie Burton

  • #mondaymorninginspiration

    Illustration: Alessandra Olanow @aolanow


  • Bowl or Beater ?

    Hello and Happy Friday!

    I had a funny exchange with an old friend this week. We debated a question as old as time; do you go for the beater or the bowl? Personally, I think it comes down to how vigilant the baker has been with the spatula as to how I make this decision. How about yourself?

    Speaking of all things cake, I've been busy working on a script and storyboard to shoot a promotion video for Simple Cake. Maybe that acting degree from my twenties might pay off after all? It's been really exciting trying to workout how I can translate and teach what's in the book to screen. I may, or may not, have to have stiff drink before they call action!

    While I contemplate my academy award winning performance this weekend, I might just be brave and take on Cliodhna Prendergast's Lemon Soufflé. Make my husband happy by cooking something meaty and delicious from the awesomely masculine Matty Matheson's Cookbook. But tonight, I'm going to be lazy and go to our local, Franks.

    Have a great weekend!



    Photos: Nicole Franzen #SimpleCakeBook