Modern Baking: Cakes, Cookies and Everything in Between by Donna Hay

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  • Fig and dark chocolate teardrop truffles

    • Jane on March 01, 2019

      I made these for an Oscars party so decorated with edible gold stars rather than gold leaf. They looked pretty though are more of a cookie than a traditional ganache style of truffle. The cookies and figs need to be processed to very fine crumb otherwise teardrop/fig shapes are not smooth surfaced. Not sure I’ll repeat these though others seemed to like them.

  • Chocolate meringue cake

    • Astrid5555 on November 11, 2018

      Somewhat unclear instructions. I would have had to bake the first layer much longer than the 25-30 minutes stated in the recipe before adding the meringue layer. Thus I had to overbake the cake to get the meringue layer somewhat crispy. Still ok but not great, will not make again.

  • Mocha meringue cake

    • Astrid5555 on December 10, 2018

      The star here is the mocha mousse. This is an incredibly rich but extremly delicious mousse which you want to (and will) eat on its own. The meringue adds a nice crunch, but once cut shatters into many little pieces and you end up with meringue mess plus mousse. Nevertheless this cake got rave reviews from my party guests. Will definitely repeat!

  • Bourbon sugar and pretzel truffles

    • Astrid5555 on December 10, 2018

      Wow, these truffles are an incredible boozy, salty and chocolatey combination rolled in home-made Bourbon sugar. Made half a recipe which produced 45 teaspoon sized truffles. Will definitely make again.

  • White chocolate and amaretti bundt cake

    • Astrid5555 on March 09, 2019

      I just love DH’s dump-everything-into-one-bowl-and-mix approach! Her cakes are so quick to make and still taste delicious. This one is no exception, a really great cake! As Zosia mentioned, the white chocolate taste is very subtle but still contributes to the complexity of the cake. Luckily I tried to swirl the amaretti cookie crumbs into the batter and discovered a lot of air pockets in the batter/cookie crumb mixture, so be careful to remove those.

    • Zosia on January 08, 2019

      Delicious! It didn't taste like white chocolate but it tasted different, more complex than a typical vanilla butter cake and the crumb was quite velvety, a contribution of the chocolate I think. The amaretti cookies didn't become marbled throughout, just stayed put where I had sprinkled them so next time I will add the batter in thirds with 2 layers of cookie crumbs for a more even distribution. It sliced easily and served 16.

  • Raspberry and cream angel food cake

    • Astrid5555 on May 24, 2020

      Had some leftover egg whites and mascarpone cheese and some strawberries past their prime. So I made half a recipe in a 15cm angel tin and turned it into a strawberry and cream cake. Instead of the jam I macerated my strawberries with a little bit of sugar and folded them into the mascarpone & cream filling. Since it was only the four of us I did not bother with the Italien meringue, left the sides unfrosted and used the same cream filling for topping the cake as well. Nice little spring time cake!

  • Rhubarb and yoghurt loaf cake

    • Zosia on May 06, 2019

      Buckwheat, coconut, brown sugar and olive oil made for an interesting tasting and delicious cake. The orange rind - there's quite a lot of it - and rhubarb balanced the heartiness of the other ingredients. I found it hard to determine when it was done with just a skewer because of the moistness under the rhubarb and finally used an instant read thermometer. I took it out of the oven when the internal temperature reached about 205F, after 85 minutes of baking. I only needed about 2/3 of the rhubarb for the top of the loaf and I piled the rest of it on. Next time I would chop up the extra and mix it into the batter. We really enjoyed this soft, moist cake and I would make it again. I substituted dark brown sugar for rapadura and used weight measurements.

  • Coffee and brown sugar tray cake

    • Zosia on December 31, 2018

      This is a pretty standard buttery vanilla coffee cake that replaces the streusel with instant coffee (which helps cut the sweetness) and cinnamon-brown sugar. I did like the mixing method that used only 1 bowl and a whisk but I do think it resulted in a denser cake. One I would repeat if short on time. I omitted the butter drizzle.

  • Chocolate and maple banana cake

    • Zosia on December 27, 2018

      Moist and delicious cake with a good balance of banana and chocolate flavours. The tangy ganache complemented it well but I'm not convinced the caramel was necessary. In place of self-raising flour, I used cake&pastry flour, 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Bake time was 90 minutes (20 more than the recipe states). Easily served 16.

  • Ricotta hotcakes with spiced sugar

    • Zosia on June 09, 2019

      Super light and fluffy and delicious. They are on the small side but they're fragile so it's best to keep them that way. My yield was 14.

  • Blueberry and thyme tart

    • Zosia on May 11, 2019

      Delicious. The filling combination of blueberries, lemon and thyme was lovely and the crust, which was crisp and flaky, was nicely flavoured as well. My blueberries were very sweet so I used only 1 tbsp sugar in the filling.

  • Nectarine and semolina cake

    • Zosia on August 20, 2020

      I found a small amount of semolina flour in my freezer and put it to very good use in this lovely vanilla cake. It was tender with a very fine, dense crumb - a delicious showcase for seasonal fruit. The finishing glaze added an attractive sheen to the baked fruit. I included the zest of the orange that donated its juice in the batter along with 1/2 tsp salt.

  • Upside-down maple and pear muffins

    • Zosia on January 04, 2019

      I liked the idea of these; the light spice flavour was nice but I found them too sweet thanks to the maple syrup and the texture was oddly gummy. I made 9 muffins in a regular tin (I used an extra half pear for the additional slices) with a bake time of 18 minutes.

  • Yoghurt and passionfruit syrup cake

    • Zosia on December 28, 2018

      Lovely, fine-crumbed vanilla pound cake with a sharp passionfruit glaze to liven it up. I replaced the self-rising flour with 260g cake&pastry flour, 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt.

  • White chocolate and rhubarb jam drops

    • Zosia on May 09, 2019

      These spread quite a bit and weren't as dainty as I expected but they tasted fantastic with the tart jam a delicious contrast to the sweet cookie. I changed the order of things and shaped the dough before refrigerating, adding the jam just before baking......perhaps that played a role in the excessive spread or perhaps it was result of Canadian vs Australian ingredients.

  • Salted honey and apple tarte Tatin

    • raybun on February 11, 2019

      I kept the apples (Granny Smiths) whole, as opposed to slice, and I’m glad I did as they would probably have disintegrated otherwise. Used smoked Maldon sea salt and a flavourful honey- delicious!

  • Chocolate, banana and malt tarte Tatin

    • raybun on February 11, 2019

      I couldn’t find malt extract (used 1/4cup maple syrup) or beer nuts (made my own, thanks Google). Absolutely delicious!

  • Salted chocolate brownie cookies

    • raybun on February 11, 2019

      Incredible! Fudgy centres, crisp exterior. Smoked Maldon sea salt sprinkled on top gave these 5 stars.

    • sosayi on February 02, 2020

      We also loved these. Really rich and fudgy, easy to make, and the salt is lovely to finish. I’d make them again anytime.

  • Caramel and cardamom kisses

    • raybun on February 28, 2019

      I didn’t have the patty pan required so used a madeleine tin which was shallow enough. Then slathered them with the caramel & some pistachios. Made it work without buying a new pan!

  • Mixed spice and raspberry slice

    • raybun on February 11, 2019

      I made these into muffins, baked for 20 minutes. Tasted delicious.

  • Upside-down chocolate, hazelnut and pear cake

    • lou_weez on April 02, 2020

      This was sooo good. Not too chocolate-y or sweet. I used almond meal instead of hazelnut.

  • Banana and coconut three-milk cake

    • lou_weez on November 04, 2018

      A great alternative to the stock-standard banana cake.

  • Glazed chocolate bundt cake

    • lou_weez on August 29, 2020

      Super easy and delicious. A hit with all the family.

  • Chocolate mousse cake

    • lou_weez on April 20, 2019

      This was a decadent dessert, not too chocolatey sweet. I couldn't believe how good it looked when I took it out of the tin and though it used quite a few bowls, it was easy enough to make.

  • Pineapple and ginger upside-down cake

    • BasicStock on March 12, 2019

      This came out looking quite impressive. There is a video on Donna's website on how to arrange the pineapple in the bottom of the pan. Maybe our pineapples are smaller, but I needed a whole pineapple, not a half as indicated by the recipe. The cake is really moist and light, and the ginger flavour really complements the pineapple. I might have over-reduced the syrup, as I would have liked to have more to pour over the cake when I served it. Might try making some more syrup with some pineapple juice, sugar and ginger root. Will definitely make this cake again.

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Reviews about this book

  • Eat Your Books by Jenny Hartin

    Brilliant, show-stopping desserts can be yours in this beautifully photographed bible to baking.

    Full review
  • Kitchn

    ...this book is over four pounds! Not so surprisingly...this cookbook is an ode to baking in every way, shape, and form and features over 250 recipes for all things sweet.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 1460756711
  • ISBN 13 9781460756713
  • Published Oct 23 2018
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 400
  • Language English
  • Countries United Kingdom, United States, Australia
  • Publisher HarperCollins
  • Imprint Fourth Estate

Publishers Text

Donna Hay, Australia's bestselling, favourite and most trusted cook, brings you one of her most beautiful books yet: Modern Baking, with over 250 mouthwatering recipes for cakes, biscuits and all kinds of divinely delicious sweet treats.

Donna says - "I find there's something truly enchanting about baking. From the way ingredients change as they're whisked and whipped, to the joy that a warm slice of cake can bring - it's always been my first love in the kitchen. Even though I'm a classics girl at heart, I'm forever adding on-trend twists to my sweet recipes and I want to share them with you. This book is what I like to think of as my modern baking bible. Inside are more than 250 recipes - my all-time favourite essentials, plus some super-smart shortcuts for when life gets crazy busy. I've also included plenty of better-for-you treats, made with wholesome raw ingredients, for a touch of balance. Be it chewy cookies, the fudgiest brownies, dreamy meringue or creamy iced desserts, let these modern sweets bring a little magic into your kitchen."

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