Baking by Flavor: A Collection of Over 250 Luscious Desserts Arranged by Flavor--From Chocolate and Vanilla to Lemon and Buttercrunch by Lisa Yockelson

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Notes about this book

  • Eat Your Books

    2003 James Beard Award Nominee, International Association of Culinary Professionals Award Winner

  • ashallen on September 20, 2019

    Out of all the cookbooks in my collection, this is the one book I've cooked (baked) through a majority of the recipes. It's an excellent collection of recipes for home-style baked goods like bundt cakes, muffins, cookies, brownies, scones and pancakes in, as the title says, a broad range of flavors. While not all of recipes match my personal favorite style (e.g., my favorite chocolate cakes are moist, dark, and intense vs. fluffy and light), they are always carefully constructed, written, and tested. I frequently make baked goods for my co-workers - I don't know how many times someone has stopped by to tell me that something made from this book was the best cookie/cake/brownie/etc. they'd ever had. So if a recipe is not in your favorite style, it will likely be in someone else's favorite style!!

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Almond butter cake

    • ashallen on September 12, 2019

      Awesome cake. Moist, tight-crumbed, buttery and excellent, multi-layered almond flavor without being cloying. Yum!!

  • Almond rusks

    • ashallen on October 13, 2019

      These biscotti have a pleasant, fine-grained texture. Despite a substantive length of time in the oven, they did not become bone-dry which was very nice. Almond flavor is pleasant, though not intense. I'm not a huge biscotti fan, but this seems like a good recipe for those who like this type of treat.

  • Almond-fudge buttercrunch brownies

    • ashallen on November 26, 2019

      Moist, very very rich, super-sweet brownies - almost more a confection than a baked good! The toffee bits is what puts them over the top on the sweetness - I'd probably cut back on them a bit in the future to suit my personal taste, but I could see fans of more candy-like brownies really loving this recipe as written.

  • Almond-sugar wash

    • ashallen on September 19, 2019

      The book this recipe is from has recipes for a series of different-flavored washes for moistening cakes - this is a great almond one. It's a super technique for moistening cakes, softening an exterior crust on a cake, and/or counteracting any bitterness that formed in the crust during baking. If you don't fully dissolve the sugar in this wash, it also adds some delicious, sugary crunch to the cake exterior!

  • Apricot oatmeal breakfast scones

    • ashallen on August 17, 2019

      The spice mixture in these scones works very nicely with the flavors of the oats and dried apricots. Nice tender texture. I prefer the apricots to be diced on the small side (~1/4 inch) so that they integrate well with the cake. I sprinkled them with coarse sugar before baking instead of using the apricot jam glaze - they were still delicious!

  • Banana and dried cranberry tea cake

    • Lepa on May 04, 2020

      I liked this cake. The flavor and texture was lovely. Like @ashallen, however, I didn't love the cake with cranberries. It's an odd flavor combination that isn't disgusting but isn't very compelling, either. I sometimes make a River Cottage spiced banana bread with cardamom and raisins and feel that flavor combination works a bit better. I used two bananas. The cake took 60 minutes to bake through.

    • PatriciaScarpin on April 14, 2011

      This cake is delicious! I never imagined the bananas and dried cranberries would go so well together.

    • ashallen on August 26, 2019

      The banana part of this cake was nice, but I didn't care for the combination with dried cranberries (personal preference) and would substitute a different dried fruit. Texture was good - moister and denser in the middle and lighter and fluffier (without being dry) around the edges. Baking time and/or temperature seemed off - it took quite a bit longer than the 55 minutes specified in the recipe to bake and I had to cover it loosely with foil during the final 20 minutes to keep the top from overbrowning. The recipe specifies baking at 375F which is higher than the 350F I'm used to for a 9x5 quick bread loaf - but it's also possible that I didn't have my ingredients at room temperature and/or that my bananas were extra-moist.

  • Banana layer cake

    • ashallen on September 07, 2019

      Good cake. Banana flavor was on the light/moderate side and texture was relatively light and soft (especially for a banana cake/bread) without being dry. It did crumble a bit when sliced. I used a light chocolate frosting but would like to try this with a very dark chocolate frosting (perhaps a ganache) and some pastry cream + banana slices sandwiched between the layers.

  • Bittersweet almond chunk brownies

    • ashallen on November 26, 2019

      Great brownies - the dark chocolate works very well with the chopped almonds and the small amount of almond extract. Co-workers liked very much.

  • Bittersweet chocolate brownies with pecans

    • ashallen on November 26, 2019

      Very good brownies. Nice moist texture. Chocolate flavor is good and strong but not so intense that you can't taste the pecan flavors which go really well with the chocolate.

  • Blueberry coffee cake

    • ashallen on August 28, 2019

      This cake had a very soft, almost delicate, texture but was still sturdy enough to support the blueberries and a plentiful cinnamon-sugar topping - I like a sturdier texture in a cake like this, but that's just personal preference. I used standard grocery store blueberries and they seemed a bit lost in the cake - not enough tartness and/or not enough berries. I'd try this again with more flavorful berries.

  • Blueberry cornmeal waffles

    • ashallen on November 06, 2019

      We thought these were good, but not stupendous, waffles. Flavor was fine and texture seemed to be a bit on the dryer side for a waffle. I used a finely ground stoneground cornmeal. Cornmeal flavor was pretty light but that might be due to the brand of cornmeal I used. I used frozen "regular" (vs. wild) blueberries and kept them frozen until just before adding to the batter. They behaved well in the batter and didn't ooze blue juices everywhere. Smaller, wild blueberries would disperse more evenly through the batter than the big ones I used.

  • Brown sugar-apricot bars

    • ashallen on November 26, 2019

      Good! These are like blondies with spices, dried apricots, and coconut mixed in - rich and moist. It's good to chop the dried apricots into pretty small bits so they disperse well through the batter.

  • Butter almond pancakes

    • ashallen on November 06, 2019

      Good pancakes with a pleasant almond flavor and a light/fluffy texture. I didn't care for the slightly crunchy texture from the chopped almonds mixed into the batter - I could imagine other people enjoying it, however. Good for breakfast or with ice cream and fruit for dessert!

  • Butter layer cake

    • ashallen on July 29, 2019

      This is a nice basic vanilla layer cake - good flavor and a moist, resilient texture without gumminess. Whereas some cakes can handle cold ingredients during mixing, this one seems to be a bit more sensitive and does best when ingredients are at room temperature. It's worked successfully both as a full recipe in a 9x13-inch or 2 9-inch pans and as a half-recipe baked in an 8-inch round pan to yield a slightly thicker layer. Also works well with almond instead of vanilla extract.

  • Butter spritz cookies

    • ashallen on September 17, 2019

      Very good cookies. This recipe made a very tender spritz cookie. The taste of the nutmeg comes through but isn't overwhelming (even when using freshly ground nutmeg). I used regular granulated sugar vs. superfine sugar as specified in the recipe and was happy with the results. I think I still prefer the spritz recipe from the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook, however!

  • Buttercrunch almond tea cake

    • ashallen on September 12, 2019

      Very nice cake with a great combination of flavors. Don't overbake - flavors are best when this is kept on the moist side.

  • Buttermilk butter pound cake

    • ashallen on July 28, 2019

      Accidentally tried baking this cake in a 9-inch tube pan (vs. the 10-inch called for in the recipe). Yikes - the batter almost overflowed the pan and it required significant extra time in the oven to bake through (extra 30+ minutes), by which point the top was overbrowning and needed to be protected with foil. In the end, the flavor was fine - a bit mild. I need to try it again with the proper-size pan.

    • Astrid5555 on December 04, 2012

      Too much nutmeg for my taste (used only half already), otherwise nice, but was expecting something else from the title.

  • Butterscotch oatmeal cookies

    • jzanger on January 13, 2011

      Great flavor, especially when I substituted 1/8 tsp. ground ginger for the allspice. Next time, I would refrigerate the dough for a few hours and I would add a bit more oatmeal to the batter.

    • ashallen on September 15, 2019

      These are great cookies - the coconut, oat, walnut, and butterscotch flavors work really well together. They spread quite a bit during baking, but still had really nice chewiness which persisted well into at least the next day (at which point they disappeared...so they might have been able to stay chewy longer than a day!). I find them to be quite sweet when using the full 2 cups of butterscotch chips and prefer using ~1.25-1.5 cups.

  • Buttery chocolate frosting

    • ashallen on September 18, 2019

      This is an excellent chocolate frosting for when one wants light-medium chocolate intensity. Smooth, thick, creamy texture that doesn't form a hard crust as it sets. Adheres/molds well to both soft and firm cakes. Sweet enough to do a good job balancing out darker/more bitter chocolate cakes but not so sweet that it makes your teeth ache!

  • Cappuccino cream cheese fudge cake

    • ashallen on August 07, 2019

      This is a recipe I'd like to try again, so no rating for now. Going by touch/sight, the center seemed to need more time in the oven than specified in the recipe, but the cake ended up being drier than I like, particularly around the edges. Next time I'll take it out earlier and perhaps use a pan other than the very shiny steel springform pan I used the first time.

  • Chocolate chip butter cake

    • ashallen on August 13, 2019

      Great cake - flavorful combination of vanilla cake and chocolate bits. Both mini chocolate chips and regular-sized ones are good, but the minis do a really great job of dispersing chocolate flavor throughout the cake. Texture's moist and tender but also a bit springy (vs. mushy/gummy). Recipe calls for bleached all-purpose flour, but it's come out well with either bleached or unbleached flour.

  • Chocolate coconut cream batter pie

    • ashallen on November 25, 2019

      The author calls this treat a "pie," but I think of it as a moist brownie-cake baked in a pie plate. Flavor was great. Cream cheese topping contrasted really nicely with the chocolate layer - creamy vs. chocolate-y and lightly salty vs. sweet. I baked it longer than the 30 minutes specified in the recipe because the center seemed really gooey still, but it set up fine after leaving the oven - next time I'll take it out at 30.

  • Chocolate cream frosting

    • ashallen on September 19, 2019

      A delicious frosting that tastes like milk chocolate spread on a cake. Smooth, creamy texture. Holds its shape well. Don't let the melted chocolate cool too much - it needs to be a bit warm to mix well with the sugar and cream. Also, butter should be thoroughly softened - I've gotten butter lumps in the frosting when it's been too firm. I've cut the powdered sugar back to 4 cups with apparently no ill effects - the chocolate flavor seemed clearer to me with a bit less sugar. I've also made this frosting with extra chocolate which, in addition to making it more chocolatey (yum! I love chocolate!!), also made it denser and firmer (uh oh) to the point where it was better matched with firmer vs. delicate cakes - delicate cake crumbled away from the frosting, leaving an intact frosting slab behind!

  • Chocolate, coconut, and chocolate chip bar cookies

    • ashallen on November 26, 2019

      I have a very high sugar tolerance, but this type of bar cookie defeats me - it seems more like eating candy than a baked good for me! However, this is a good recipe for this type of cookie - those who enjoy sticky bar cookies made with sweetened condensed milk would enjoy this recipe!

  • Cinnamon apple cake

    • ashallen on October 13, 2019

      Very nice cake. Moist throughout each slice without any dry borders near the cake exterior. Good, balanced apple-spice flavors that are moderate vs. intense. It's not a super-sweet cake so it'd probably work well with a confectioners sugar icing drizzle. The first time I made this, I used 3.25 c grated apple as specified in the recipe and the cake was moist to the point of being kind of soggy. The next time I weighed the apple (recipe says to use 3.25 c or 21 oz) and used 19 oz - texture was great! The volume was quite a bit less than 3.25 c, though, so perhaps that's an error in the recipe or perhaps the apple needs to be fluffed up vs. packed in the measuring cup. I also used unbleached flour instead of the bleached all-purpose specified in the recipe - that might have mitigated some of the sogginess, too.

  • Cinnamon chip cinnamon cake

    • ashallen on August 02, 2019

      A very nice cake that my co-workers enjoyed. I'm not a fan of cinnamon chips, however, since all of the ones I've tried to date taste overly artificial to me. If I try making this again, I'll probably try substituting good quality white chocolate chips for the cinnamon chips.

  • Cinnamon chip scones with cinnamon-pecan streusel

    • ashallen on August 18, 2019

      These are rich, decadent, cake-like scones with piles of streusel on top. Great strong pecan and cinnamon flavors. I'm not a fan of the cinnamon chips I've tried to date - their flavor seems too artificial to me - so I'll leave them out the next time I make these.

  • Cinnamon nut crunch shortbread

    • ashallen on September 13, 2019

      This is a good recipe for those who like shortbread with a tender, somewhat sandy texture. I prefer a tougher/denser shortbread with deeply intense butter flavor so this isn't my preferred recipe. The spice mixture for the shortbread in this recipe and the nut topping were very good, however, and could probably be transferred to other shortbread recipes.

  • Cocoa banana loaf

    • ashallen on August 15, 2019

      A solid recipe. The cake itself is moderately chocolatey vs. deep/dark/bittersweet (I prefer the latter) so the chocolate chips contribute significantly to the overall chocolate flavor. Texture is dense and moist. I'd like to experiment with switching unbleached/stronger flour for the bleached flour called for in the recipe to see it'd make the cake's crumb a bit firmer/springier.

    • michalow on March 10, 2018

      This is a great recipe -- rich without being overly sweet. The inclusion of a cup of chocolate chips seems a bit over the top to me, so I use about a 1/4 cup of chopped bittersweet chocolate. With three medium bananas on hand, I came out a bit short this time, so I made up the difference with 1/3 cup pureed pumpkin-- the resulting loaf has a good texture and still tastes plenty banana-y.

  • Cocoa-chocolate chip pillows

    • ashallen on September 16, 2019

      These are like a chocolate version of a Mexican wedding cake/Russian tea cake-style cookie - tender, dense, slightly sandy texture and strong chocolate flavor. Very good!

  • Coconut and almond fudge squares

    • ashallen on November 26, 2019

      Rich brownies with a great combination of flavors and a gooey texture - very good!

  • Coconut and chocolate chip picnic cake

    • ashallen on August 20, 2019

      This is a great cake! Flavorful, moist, and a firm but tender texture. The coconut flavor is moderate, particularly next to all the chocolate chips floating in the cake. It's come out well with both the light cream specified in the recipe and with coconut milk substituted for half of the cream - the coconut milk boosted the coconut flavor a bit.

  • Coconut and oatmeal shortbread

    • ashallen on September 16, 2019

      This recipe makes a very tender shortbread with a sandy-nubbly texture (from the rice flour and oats, respectively). I actually prefer a tougher, denser shortbread and would like to try making this again with all purpose flour substituting for the rice flour. Chopping the coconut strands before adding to the dough is helpful - otherwise it can pull in longish strands from the tender cookie during eating (spaghetti effect!). Coconut, oat, and butter flavors work well together.

  • Coconut cream cheese frosting

    • ashallen on September 18, 2019

      This frosting came out runny for me - given that recipes from this author are generally very well-written, I'm guessing it was something I did, e.g., overbeating the cream cheese. I did use a hand mixer (vs. food processor) as specified in the recipe which can sometimes contribute to overbeating. I also found the frosting to be on the sweet side (even for frosting!) - it might be nice to increase the cream cheese to balance out the sweetness a bit more.

  • Coconut frosting

    • ashallen on September 20, 2019

      Very yummy frosting - basically a German chocolate cake-style frosting made with walnuts vs. pecans. While applying the frosting to cake, some butter separated from the rest of the frosting and soaked into the cake. While butter-soaked cake is not necessarily a bad thing, I'm not sure whether this was an intentional effect or I did something not-quite-right when making the frosting.

  • Coconut washboards

    • ashallen on September 16, 2019

      Very good cookies with solid (but not intense) coconut flavor that's nicely complemented by the cinnamon and nutmeg. Lightly chewy and moist. There was a bit too much baking soda flavor the first time I made these and they were also a bit puffier/lighter than I like them - I've since cut back the baking soda to 1/4 teaspoon and the baking powder to 3/4 teaspoon. Also, because I love coconut flavor, I now add 1 tsp natural coconut extract. Keep an eye on these in the oven - once they start to brown a bit, the brown all the way quite quickly.

  • Cream cheese pound cake

    • ashallen on July 24, 2019

      This pound cake came out more on the light/dry-ish vs. moist/dense side for me. I pulled it from the oven a bit earlier than suggested by the recipe but it was already 207-211F in the center - next time I'll pull it even earlier. It's an impressive-looking pound cake - big and tall with a speckled top crust. Substituting an extra teaspoon of almond extract for the lemon extract I didn't have on hand worked well.

    • laurenlangston on July 03, 2017

      Uh, this is the best pound cake I've ever made.

  • Cream cheese-swirled brownies

    • ashallen on November 26, 2019

      I accidentally baked these brownies at 350F versus 325F. Despite the higher temperature, these brownies still came out well - good texture away from the very outer edges and good flavor balance between the cream cheese and the chocolate. I expect they'd be even better when baked at the correct temperature. Good brownies for those who don't want a total chocolate bomb.

  • Crystallized ginger gingerbread

    • ashallen on July 30, 2019

      This is a delicious gingerbread - moist and dense with a spicy, dark flavor. The bits of crystallized ginger scattered through the cake work very well. I used a dark unsulfured molasses (recipe calls for light molasses). Also, I didn't have a 9x9-inch square pan and baked it in a shiny 10-inch springform pan instead - the pan change is probably why it took longer to bake than specified in the recipe.

  • Double chocolate and coconut brownies

    • ashallen on November 26, 2019

      Very tasty brownies for those who love coconut - very moist and gooey when removed at the right time from the oven, but cakey and dry if cooked too long (I thought that all the moist coconut they contain might protect them more from the typical overbaked brownie's fate!).

  • Double coconut-chocolate chip-brown sugar squares

    • ashallen on November 26, 2019

      Really good. Blondie-like, but with enough chocolatey add-ins that they seem very chocolatey. Moist and slightly chewy.

  • Espresso and bittersweet chocolate chunk torte

    • ashallen on November 25, 2019

      Good, strong chocolate flavor. Dense fudgey center and cakier outer edges. Center was basically molten (though the very top surface was set) when I removed it from the oven after the specified baking time, but it set up well after cooling. Great with ice cream or whipped cream.

  • Essence of chocolate squares

    • ashallen on November 26, 2019

      Moist brownies with chocolate frosting! Very good. Despite the name, not quite as intensely chocolate-y as the "Simply Intense Chocolate Brownies" in this cookbook.

  • Fallen chocolate almond cake

    • ashallen on November 25, 2019

      Very good cake. Chocolate flavor didn't overwhelm the almond flavors. Moist and dense without seeming overly heavy. Excellent with whipped cream - would also be good with chocolate sauce or raspberry sauce.

  • Fudge cake frosting

    • ashallen on September 20, 2019

      This frosting has a great texture (smooth and dense). Flavor is dominated by sugar vs. chocolate which is great when paired with certain cake types - but choose another recipe if you want intense chocolate punch!

  • Ginger butter balls

    • ashallen on September 16, 2019

      These are like a ginger-walnut-spice version of Mexican wedding cakes/Russian tea cakes, so they're buttery and sandy-textured. Nice cookies! The cookie isn't super-sweet, so rolling them in confectioners sugar (as specified in the recipe) - a step I often skip when making this style of cookie - adds welcome sweetness to balance the spiciness.

  • Ginger cracks

    • ashallen on September 13, 2019

      Very nice spice cookies - both soft and flavorful. My current favorite molasses-spice cookie, however, is "Soft and Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies" from Cook's Illustrated which are even chewier, moister, and dark-spice flavored than these. Those who prefer less molasses, however, might like this recipe better.

  • Gingerbread waffles

    • ashallen on November 07, 2019

      These waffles have a very nice flavor that goes great with apple or pear compote (in addition to syrup and butter!).

  • Gingery pumpkin muffins with ginger-sugar sprinkle

    • ashallen on September 10, 2019

      Very nice muffins. Flavors were good and were as much about the spices as they were about the pumpkin which was on the light/moderate side. Crumb was nicely light but still moist. My favorite part was the sugar crust on top of the muffins - it had a great crackly texture and was very pretty - good technique to try on other muffins! Muffin texture was best during the first 12 hours after baking - after that the sugar crust absorbed moisture from the cake and softened and the cake seemed a bit heavier. I didn't give these a higher star rating because I personally prefer pumpkin breads that are intensely pumpkin-y and on the denser side, but this recipe is great for those who like a lighter style.

  • Heirloom chocolate cake

    • ashallen on August 31, 2019

      A good chocolate cake for those who prefer a lighter/less intense chocolate flavor. Texture is very nice - fluffy, soft, not dry and color is light/medium brown. I was able to make this as a sheet cake in a 9x13-inch pan without problems (vs.a 9-inch double layer cake as specified in the recipe) - I did reserve enough batter to bake a couple of cupcakes on the side.

  • Iced coffee chocolate layer cake

    • ashallen on September 01, 2019

      Chocolate flavor in the cake is relatively mild. Texture is pleasantly soft without gumminess. I baked this as a 9x13-inch sheet cake vs. the two 9-inch cake layers specified in the recipe. Frosted it with a Mud Cake-style frosting which was moist and added a lot of chocolate flavor to the cake slices but which also had a tendency to peel from the cake's top in slab-like chunks - I'll use a frosting that integrates better with the cake below next time (i.e., maybe I should have used the frosting recommended in the recipe!).

  • In-love-with-coconut chocolate cake

    • ashallen on August 16, 2019

      This cake has a very nice clear, dark chocolate flavor. Outer cake pieces were on the dry side after baking for the 40 minutes specified in the recipe. The cake disappeared too fast at work for me to also try a center piece (so I guess it wasn't all bad!) - so no report-out for the moisture levels in the center. Next time I'd take the cake out of the oven earlier. I did use bleached all purpose flour vs. the bleached cake flour called for in the recipe and that might have affected moisture levels.

  • Kitchen sink buttercrunch bars

    • ashallen on November 26, 2019

      Good flavors, though sweeter and more candy-like than I prefer. They seemed very gooey after baking 25 minutes as specified in the recipe. I baked them an extra 10 minutes and they ended up being a bit dry - 25 minutes is the right amount of time.

  • Lavish cinnamon brunch cake

    • ashallen on September 05, 2019

      The streusel on top of this cake was excellent and really delicious. In comparison (or maybe in an absolute sense?), the cake below it seemed a bit soft, a bit dry, and a bit dull which seems odd given the ingredients. I'd like to try it again and see if taking it out of the oven sooner helps and/or tweak the flavors/texture on the supporting cake.

  • Layered coconut and pecan bars

    • ashallen on November 26, 2019

      I have a very high sugar tolerance, but this type of bar cookie defeats me - it seems more like eating candy than a baked good for me! However, this is a good recipe for this type of cookie - those who enjoy sticky bar cookies made with sweetened condensed milk would enjoy this recipe!

  • Lemon "pouring" topping

    • ashallen on September 21, 2019

      A classic confectioners sugar drip-glaze for cakes, etc. Great lemon flavor. It's come out thin enough sometimes that it's dripped too quickly down cake sides, pooling at the bottom of the cake vs. sticking prettily on the top and sides. I've tweaked the lemon juice and confectioners sugar quantities to thicken it up. An alternative I haven't tried yet (too impatient!) is letting the glaze sit a bit before pouring to see if that helps thicken it.

  • Lemon custard filling

    • ashallen on September 21, 2019

      The flavor of this lemon custard cake filling was very nice, but I had trouble getting a good texture for use as a cake filling. The texture was thin enough that the custard largely oozed out from between the cake layers and trickled down the sides. I didn't cut the "skins" off the cake layers to expose the more absorbent cake inside but the custard was thin enough that I think it would have simply soaked into the cake vs. forming a custard layer.

  • Lemon frosting

    • ashallen on September 22, 2019

      This frosting had a good, strong lemon flavor, but the texture was thin to the point that the frosting did not hold its shape well on the cake and oozed. Perhaps there's an error in the recipe as printed? Since the flavor was really nice, I tweaked the recipe to firm up the texture by substituting 8 oz cream cheese for the 3 tbsp of heavy cream specified in the recipe. The tang of the cream cheese complements the lemon flavors well and its density gives a good structure to the frosting. I haven't experimented enough yet to figure out if less cream cheese would also do the trick.

  • Lemon layer cake

    • ashallen on September 10, 2019

      The flavors in this cake are very nice - not intensely lemon-y, but pleasantly lemon-y. Cake layers were tender but not overly delicate and were nicely moistened by the frosting and custard filling. Be aware that this is *not* a last-minute cake - it has 3 components (custard filling, frosting, cake) and the custard needs to chill 6-24 hours before use. My first try at this cake had structural issues. I was rushing and didn't bother to level the cake layers, producing a somewhat lopsided stack (recipe also doesn't suggest leveling layers). The custard filling was quite slippery and kept oozing out from between the layers - besides evening the layers out, cutting the "skin" off them would have helped them grab the custard. It's also possible the custard hadn't set properly and was therefore thinner than it should have been.

  • Lemon peel infusion

    • ashallen on September 21, 2019

      The author incorporates this lemon infusion in her Lemon Pound Cake recipe which produces a cake with great lemon flavor. It's a good, very easy technique that would be interesting to try transferring to other recipes where more lemon flavor's wanted.

  • Lemon pound cake

    • ashallen on September 11, 2019

      This is a really great cake - good strong lemon flavor with an excellent kick from the lemon juice-sugar wash brushed on the cake's exterior. Texture's also very good and is simultaneously rich but light (for a pound cake). The cake's impressive-looking, too - large and high-rising. I've also tried making this as two thick 9-inch round cake layers vs. the 10-inch tube pan called for the recipe, but the texture wasn't as good - it seemed denser/chewier. I removed the layers from the oven a bit later than intended, however, and I'm sure that didn't help! I frosted the layers with a lemon cream cheese frosting which worked very well with the cake texture and flavor.

  • Lemon ricotta pancakes

    • michalow on January 12, 2013

      This will be my go-to recipe for leftover ricotta in the future. Most recipes for ricotta pancakes that I've seen require you to separate eggs and beat the whites before folding into the batter; this recipe does not. The pancakes are surely a bit denser, even chewy, but I enjoyed the texture. I really like the lemon extract in these, but next time I would add a little vanilla, as well. The headnote of this recipe caused a little confusion, as the author refers to buttermilk adding tang to the pancakes -- even though her recipe calls for milk, not buttermilk. I used a combination of both, with success, but will try all buttermilk next time.

  • Lemon tea loaf

    • ashallen on September 11, 2019

      Good cake! Lemon flavor is moderate and very pleasant. Personally I prefer more lemon intensity but this is a lighter style cake. Texture is pound cake-like but lighter. Nice level of moisture except for the very ends of the loaf which were a little dry (but I might not have been careful about having ingredients at room temperature). Loaf domed very prettily down the middle.

  • Lemon-lime cake with glazed citrus threads

    • michalow on January 03, 2013

      This is one of the more straightforward recipes in this book, and yields elegant results.

    • ashallen on September 10, 2019

      Great cake - really nice tang on the exterior from the lime/lemon juice-sugar wash and a light but moist pound cake-like texture inside. Recipe calls for superfine sugar for both the wash and the cake - I used regular granulated sugar and was happy with the results.

  • Lemon-poppyseed cake

    • michalow on April 06, 2013

      This recipe calls for lemon-scented sugar (http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/recipes/58235/lemon-scented-granulated-sugar), which must be prepared 5 days in advance.

  • Lemon-scented granulated sugar

    • ashallen on September 21, 2019

      A very easy technique for adding additional lemon flavor/scent to baked goods. This recipe makes 3 pounds of sugar but is easily adjusted to make only 1 pound.

  • Memories-of-childhood chocolate cake

    • ashallen on August 08, 2019

      As the author says in the headnotes to this recipe, this cake has a soft and somewhat pillowy texture. The flavor's also on the softer/moderate side. I took this out of the oven ~10 minutes earlier than the recipe suggested but still found the texture to be drier and more crumbly than I prefer in a chocolate cake (as you can probably tell, I prefer moist and intense chocolate cakes!). Adding frosting was helpful.

  • Mocha bars

    • ashallen on November 26, 2019

      Great brownies with a strong, but not super-intense, chocolate flavor and a melt-in-your-mouth texture.

  • Mocha chip pound cake

    • jzanger on September 27, 2010

      AH-MAZING!

    • ashallen on August 09, 2019

      Another cake I'd like to try making again - my cake tester kept emerging with what looked like uncooked batter on it so I ended up baking it 15 minutes longer than specified in the recipe. That was too long! That moisture must have been a side effect of the many, many chocolate chips in the batter which made for great, chocolate-y flavor despite being overbaked.

  • Mud cake

    • ashallen on August 10, 2019

      A chocolate cake with good chocolate flavor. The texture is on the fluffier/crumblier than I prefer - the central, moister parts of the cake were better than the outer, drier parts - definitely don't overbake. I prefer the Mud Cake recipe from the Fannie Farmer Baking Book to this recipe.

  • Mud cake frosting

    • ashallen on September 21, 2019

      This is a great fudge-style frosting - dense and thick, perfect for creating a sugary chocolate slab on top of a moist, dense chocolate cake. Chocolate flavor is solid. Since its texture is meant to be thick and dense, it can also handle the addition of some additional chocolate for a more intense flavor without compromising the intended texture.

  • Pumpkin ginger cake

    • ashallen on August 22, 2019

      I used a very dark molasses (might have been blackstrap) instead of the light unsulfured molasses called for in this recipe and I think it threw off the flavor and sweetness balance of the cake - so no rating for now. The flavors and texture were still good enough, though, to make me think this is worth trying again (with a lighter molasses!).

  • Pumpkin-almond keeping cake

    • ashallen on September 03, 2019

      Excellent cake with a delicious combination of pumpkin, spice and almond flavors. Texture is like that of rich, moist pound cake - dense in the best way!

  • Retro peanut butter cookies

    • ashallen on September 13, 2019

      Very good cookies - good peanut flavor, soft, and moist (as long as they're not overbaked!). My personal preference, however, is for a peanut butter cookie with no spices/less spice than this one has. Not that these cookies are super-spicy - I just prefer a more straight-up peanut flavor. I also like my peanut butter cookies soft vs. crispy - this recipe calls for baking the cookies at 375F which seemed too intense so I baked them at 350F instead.

  • Simply intense chocolate brownies

    • ashallen on November 26, 2019

      These are one of my favorite brownies out of all the brownies I've ever made. As the recipe title says, very intensely chocolatey - they almost taste like they have alcohol in them. Dense, fudgey texture - just the way I like it! Recipe specifies cake flour and superfine sugar, but these have turned out great with unbleached all purpose flour and regular granulated sugar, too.

  • Soft coconut oatmeal cookies with dried fruit

    • ashallen on September 15, 2019

      Richly flavored cookies - like eating very rich granola - butter, coconut, spices, walnuts, cherries, cranberries, apricot + oats!! The oats tie the textures of all the add-ins together. The dried fruit helps make the cookies very moist and soft - be sure to use fresh, moist dried fruit, otherwise the fruit doesn't add as much moisture to (or absorbs moisture from?) the surrounding cookie and makes it drier.

  • Sour cream fudge cake

    • ashallen on September 03, 2019

      Another good chocolate cake from this author for those who prefer a light/moderate chocolate flavor and a light and soft texture.

  • Sour cream ginger keeping cake

    • ashallen on July 31, 2019

      This is a great cake - great flavor and a texture that's both moist and relatively light for a buttery tube-pan cake.

  • Spice cake

    • ashallen on August 03, 2019

      This cake was drier than I expected, with a slightly powdery texture, even though I removed it from the oven once the center reached 202F. It also fell a bit in the center - that might have been because my first doneness check was both too early and perhaps too long out of the oven. The flavor was duller and less sweet than I'd expected. The suggested frosting for the cake ended up being important for adding moisture, sweetness, and interest. Next time, I'll try removing it from the oven earlier, using unbleached vs. bleached flours, substituting butter for the shortening, and using super-fresh spices.

  • Spice ripple keeping cake

    • ashallen on July 30, 2019

      This is a really delicious cake with a dense (in a good way), buttery texture and a well-balanced mix of spices. Keeps well over multiple days.

  • Spiced banana breakfast loaf

    • michalow on March 28, 2019

      Nice texture and not too sweet. I adjusted the spices (swapping cardamom for cinnamon, omitting cloves), used white whole wheat for half the flour, and skipped the ripple. Needed an extra 15-20 minutes of baking time. I was skeptical about the instruction to let this bread "ripen," but it was definitely better on day two. I might bump up the salt a bit if I do this again -- I found I wanted butter on this, which I usually don't with banana bread, and I think that was mostly about adding a salty element.

    • Lepa on August 21, 2019

      This is not too sweet and the spice is lovely - my kind of cake! Mine cooked in 55 minutes.

    • ashallen on September 08, 2019

      I really liked the flavors in this banana bread from the spice mixture and cinnamon-nut ripple. However, something went wrong with the texture of my loaf - it came out a bit gummy and dense. I did use previously frozen bananas and unbleached flour vs. bleached flour and might not have allowed the bananas to warm up enough after thawing. Definitely worth trying again given the good flavor.

  • Spiced pumpkin and chocolate chip tea loaf

    • ashallen on September 04, 2019

      Before making this recipe, I was skeptical of the the combination of pumpkin and chocolate - not any more! Really great cake. Dense, rich, moist, smooth and very flavorful. And for those who aren't interested in chocolate, the author suggests various nut and/or dried fruit substitutes which would also work very well (dates!) - but the chocolate is great.

  • Sugar and spice breakfast cake

    • ashallen on September 12, 2019

      I need to try this again. I overbaked it somewhat and the cake part ended up being a bit dry which also dulled the cake flavors a bit, I think. The very thick blanket of streusel on top of the cake, however, was very delicious even with the overbaking.

  • Sweet almond and chocolate chip drop biscuits

    • ashallen on August 29, 2019

      These are like big, soft cookies in a biscuit-like form - very tender and delicious. I'll probably tweak the sugar and almond extract levels upwards a bit during future bakes.

  • Sweet blueberry breakfast biscuits

    • ashallen on August 15, 2019

      These are great pastries - tender, moist and flavorful. They definitely have more of a cake-like than a flaky baking powder biscuit-like consistency - the bonus is that they stay tender and delicious for a few days after baking.

  • Tropical carrot and coconut cake

    • ashallen on September 12, 2019

      Great cake. Very similar to the carrot-coconut-pineapple cake in the King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary cookbook, but this one has a lighter crumb while still being nicely moist. I love the flavor combination in this type of carrot cake. Great with cream cheese frosting but also delicious enough on its own to eat without frosting.

  • Truffled chocolate-walnut brownies

    • ashallen on November 26, 2019

      Great brownies!

  • Turtle squares

    • Couture911 on September 20, 2010

      I won a local bake-off using this recipe.

  • Ultra-cinnamon pound cake with macadamia-spice ribbon

    • ashallen on September 09, 2019

      This cake's flavors were pleasant but milder than I expected based on the ingredient list. It'd be good to try it again with fresher spices and a nut other than macadamias - perhaps pecans or walnuts - because the technique of layering a nut-spice mixture inside a cake is generally a great one. Texture was on the lighter/fluffier/drier side for a pound cake - I prefer denser/moister pound cakes and so it'd be good to see what could be adjusted on texture, too...

  • Vanilla bean cream cake

    • ashallen on August 05, 2019

      A very nice cake. It has a soft, fine, tender crumb that's lighter than that of a typical pound cake (even though it looks like a pound cake!). Nice level of vanilla flavor.

  • Vanilla bean shortbread

    • ashallen on September 13, 2019

      This recipe produces a shortbread with a very tender and somewhat sandy texture. Personally I prefer a denser, sturdier shortbread so this isn't one of my preferred shortbread recipes - I could imagine others enjoying this particular style, however.

  • Vanilla cream waffles

    • ashallen on November 06, 2019

      These are delicious waffles. They have wonderfully bright and clear vanilla flavor and a texture that's simultaneously creamy, moist, and light. Delicious and refined enough to be used as a dessert waffle. They go really well with fruit toppings with some acidity in them (e.g., lightly sugared fresh strawberry or fresh peach slices).

  • Vanilla layer cake

    • ashallen on August 07, 2019

      Very nice vanilla cake. Works well as a cake layer but flavor is also good enough to eat the cake on its own without frosting. In addition to the cake flour called for in the recipe, I used unbleached all purpose flour vs. the bleached all purpose that's specified. Cake texture was a bit "squishy" - next time I'll try the bleached all purpose and see what that does.

  • Lemon-sugar wash

    • ashallen on November 25, 2019

      Great way to add extra lemon flavor and a lightly crunchy sugar crust to the exterior of cakes or muffins!

  • Simply intense chocolate brownies with chocolate chips

    • ashallen on November 26, 2019

      These are one of my favorite brownies out of all the brownies I've ever made. As the recipe title says, very intensely chocolatey - they almost taste like they have alcohol in them. Dense, fudgey texture - just the way I like it! Recipe specifies cake flour and superfine sugar, but these have turned out great with unbleached all purpose flour and regular granulated sugar, too. Adding chocolate chips (or even better, bittersweet chocolate chunks) just dials up the chocolate intensity factor further!

  • Ultra-lemon cake

    • ashallen on November 25, 2019

      Excellent cake - light texture, moist, and good lemon flavor. While the cake part isn't intensely lemony, the lemon glaze and lemon icing are strongly flavored and add great tang and flavor to the exterior which then carries through to the rest of the cake as you eat it.

  • Butter rum cake

    • ashallen on November 25, 2019

      Very good cake with a really nice buttery rum flavor. Texture was lighter than that of a pound cake. Personally, I really like a denser, pound cake-like texture, but co-workers enjoyed the cake very much.

  • Rum pound cake

    • ashallen on November 25, 2019

      Great cake! Interior is moist and the top gets lightly crisp and buttery during baking. Good balance between the delicious coconut and rum flavors. I usually chop up the shredded coconut before adding to the batter to avoid any coconut-spaghetti effects during eating.

  • Spice scones

    • ashallen on December 18, 2019

      Just OK - definitely edible, but I've made other scones I've liked much better. I used Ceylon cinnamon - stronger, spicier cassia cinnamon would have been much better since these were less flavorful than expected. Texture was so-so. They had some dry/sawdusty vibe when baked to 200F. I tried pulling one earlier (~192F) but it was a bit gummy - and also still seemed kind of dry! I mixed these much the same way I've mixed other scones I've liked, but I usually use unbleached flour vs. the bleached flour specified for this recipe. Author emphasizes kneading dough sufficiently - maybe I handled these too lightly? Note that recipe specifies making more than enough cinnamon-sugar topping to thickly blanket scone tops. I probably won't try making these again since their flavor didn't grab me.

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Reviews about this book

  • Dolly Bakes

    If you enjoy a little baking experimentation, this is the book for you. It gives you the building blocks needed to create a great tasting cake but something that's suited to what you like.

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • Sour cream ginger keeping cake

    • Dolly Bakes

      ...rest assured this cake is nothing short of awesome!...The cream gives it a light feathery texture, something which is difficult to achieve in a bundt as their crumb is usually quite closed & moist.

      Full review
  • ISBN 10 0471361704
  • ISBN 13 9780471361701
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Nov 12 2002
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 656
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher John Wiley & Sons

Publishers Text

2003 IACP Award Winner! Bread and Baking Category!


Flavor is the very essence of fine baking, the source of wonderful tastes and aromas that tempt the palate and delight the senses. In this volume, Lisa Yockelson shares flavor-boosting secrets that can make virtually any recipe burst with new vigor and freshness. This book reveals concepts and techniques for using eighteen basic ingredients--including chocolate, vanilla, apricot, and lemon--to pyramid flavor, layer by delicious layer.


Two hundred and sixty carefully selected recipes inspire readers with ideas for animating many old favorite recipes that may have become more old than favorite. For example, a dormant pound cake springs to life as the author scents sugar with vanilla, creams butter with vanilla bean scrapings, and beats egg yolks with a double-strength vanilla extract...dark chocolate brownies become richly sensuous as chopped nuts, lightly coated with cocoa powder and confectioner's sugar are added to a creamy batter.


Clearly written, easy-to-follow instructions make the book a joy to read and use in the kitchen, while 118 photographs give visual expression to techniques and eighteen color-plated presentations.



Other cookbooks by this author