Have you ever fantasized about making one of those professional looking cakes you’ve seen on tv, the net, or in magazines? You know the ones that are so pretty you almost, just almost, don’t want to eat it because it looks so nice? Well, How To Cake It by Yolanda Gampp teaches you just how to make exactly those cakes at home!
What’s How To Cake It all About?
How To Cake It was released October 24th, 2017 and is a recipe book of just that – cakes! But, they aren’t just any cakes. Inside the book, you will find the most beautiful, impressive cakes you will ever lay your little eyeballs on.
The author, Yolanda Gampp, graduated from chef’s school, but is self-taught in baking novelty cakes, having been inspired by her father, who worked as a baker. She has her own Webby Award-winning YouTube channel and has an online community of more than seven million fans from around the world! As soon as you look at her YouTube channel, you know how much enthusiasm she brings to the table with her creations. Her personality is over-the-top fun and she makes creating these super impressive cakes look too easy. She also has a website of the same name as the book – definitely check out for more inspiration and recipes.
What I think is absolutely amazing is how realistic her cakes look. If you look through How To Cake It, you’ll know what I’m talking about. There’s a ‘Toolbox’ cake and an ‘Ice Cream Cone’ cake, for example. Yes, you read that right. Cool, huh?
How To Cake It is jam packed with 21 delicious jaw-dropping cakes, ranging in various degrees of skill level from basic to more advanced. The skill level could range from little to no fondant work all the way to carving, painting and gum-paste work for the more advanced baker (i.e. not me). The cakes are also labelled from 1-3, with one being the easier cake and 3 being the more difficult cake.
I can not stress enough how detailed the step-by-step instructions and pictures are in this book. For someone like me, who is definitely not experienced in making ‘fancy’ cakes, this was SUPER helpful. All of the steps are carefully laid out and I could see what everything should look like along the way. Each recipe may cover up to 8-10 pages of content. I love that! There’s a description of each cake with a little background info and lots of finished pics too.
Recipe Tested – Rainbow Grilled Cheese Cake
This cake is rated a skill level of 1. There is no carving required, no fondant work, just a little moulding of compound chocolate to make ‘cheese’ slices. Despite ensuring that my molding compound was cool before rolling out into ‘cheese’, it did stick a little to the parchment paper so gently peel off your ‘cheese’ slices when you are finished rolling them out.
The recipe called for baking the cake component 2 hours or until a wooden skewer inserted comes out clean. I baked my cake for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, but probably could have removed at the 1 hour and 30 minute mark.
I was very surprised (in a good way) that this cake wasn’t too sweet. I mean, it is a cake after all!
This Rainbow Cheese Cake is totally doable for me. Plus, the finished product is so fun with all those pretty colours!
Other Noteworthy Recipes
I could honestly list every.single.recipe here because they are all so gorgeous. This book is like a feast for your eyes. But if I had to note a few – these are a good place to start—>
- Piggy Bank on page 150
- Gift Box on page 210
- Golden Pyramid on page 170
- Crown on page 260
Should How To Cake It Be On Your Bookshelf?
How To Cake It retails for $29.99 CDN and will put a smile on anyone’s face! I have to admit, before reviewing, I was a little intimidated to take on one of these cakes. Would I make another one? DEFINITELY! I loved the process. It was easy to follow, fun and the end result was SO worth it. I pushed myself a little bit and next time intend to tackle a skill level ‘2’ cake 🙂
Even the simple cakes in How To Cake It may require a little bit of work (but, like I mentioned, the instructions and photos are fabulous). And many of the cakes require equipment that the average person may not necessarily have on hand (e.g. nonstick mat, carving tools).Having said that, if you want to expand your baking skills (while having a fun read at the same time), get this book.
How awesome would it be to make one of these impressive cakes for a friend or family member for their birthday or special occasion? Homemade is seriously so much better than store bought and they will appreciate the kind gesture knowing that you put the effort into making something so gorgeous.
Yay! a GIVEAWAY!
The publisher has been generous enough to give away a copy of How To Cake It to one of you guys! It’s open to anyone with a Canadian address.
All you have to do to enter is comment below about the post/review and fill in the Rafflecopter form.
The winner will be drawn at random and the book will be sent directly to you from the publisher.
P.S. If you think you’d love to give this recipe a try yourself, go ahead and Pin! Thanks, you guys! XO
Rainbow Grilled Cheese
For the Pound Cake
- 2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp table salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter -at room temperature
- 6 ounces cream cheese -at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs -at room temperaturee
For the rainbow 'cheese'
- 1.5 recipes Yo's Modeling Chocolate (see below) -gel food colourings: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple & pink (or your choice)
- 1/2 recipe Yo's Simple Syrup (see below)
- unsalted butter -softened
Rainbow Grilled Cheese Pound Cake
- Day 1: Prep It Make the pound cake: Preheat the oven to 350F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 x 3.5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Sift together the flour and salt and set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, begin to cream together the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla on low speed. Turn the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy.
- Return the mixer to low speed and continue to mix as you add the eggs, two at a time, mixing well after each addition. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until fully incorporated.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread so that it is smooth in the pan. Bake for about 2 hours, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, rotating the pan halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely in the pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Next make "rainbow cheese": Make the modeling chocolate according to the recipe. Before it cools and solidifies, divide the melted chocolate mixture evenly among seven small bowls. Dye the mixture in each bowl a color of the rainbow - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and pink (or any shades you'd like). Let the chocolate cool to room temperature, then cover and let stand overnight. See below for full instructions under 'Rainbow Cheese (Yo's Modeling Chocolate)'.
- Day 2: Cake It Remove each colour of modeling chocolate from its bowl and gently knead it before flattening it with your fingers as you would with fondant. On a non-stick mat or board, using a small non-stick rolling pin, roll each piece into a sheet 1/8 inch thick and a little more than 4 inches square. Stack the colour one on top of the other in the rainbow colour order. Chill for about 30 minutes, or until the stack is firm.
- Cut through your stack of colours to make thin slices. If the stack is soft when you start to slice it, put it in the refrigerator until firm before continuing to slice. Arrange two slices side by side, with the rainbow showing, on a sheet of parchment paper. Top with a second sheet of parchment and roll them out until they form one slice that is slightly larger than 4 inches square. Repeat with the remaining slices, then chill the slices again until firm.
- Cut out perfect 4-inch squares to resemble cheese slices. Stack the rainbow cheese squares between small squares of parchment paper so that they look just like pre-sliced cheese
- Remove the pound cake from the pan. Brush simple syrup (recipe below) on the top crust of the cake so it doesn't crack when sliced. (This is still cake, even though it looks like bread). Using a serrated knife, trim off the ends, then cut eight 1/2 inch thick slices from the cake.
- Generously butter one side of each cake slice. Assembly the rainbow grilled cheese cake just as you would a savoury grilled cheese: lay one slice of pound cake buttered side down, top with two slices of rainbow modeling chocolate cheese, then finish with another slice of pound cake (buttered side up) on top.
- Get a frying pan nice and hot over medium heat and fry the sandwiches until golden brown on each side, flipping with the pancake turner.
- Cut each sandwich in half and watch the rainbow cheese ooze out. Serve hot and melty! Now you can say that you've caked the rainbow!
Rainbow Cheese (Yo's Modeling Chocolate)
- Put the compound chocolate and corn syrup in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water).
- Let the chocolate melt a bit, then stir gently with a spatula to combine the ingredients. Stir until smooth and homogenous.
- If you're coloring the modeling chocolate different colors, transfer it to separate bowls and stir in food colorings before the chocolate cools.
- Let cool to room temperature, then cover the bowls with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature overnight.NOTE - Remember, you need 1.5 x the ingredients listed below in 'Recipe Notes' for this particular cake recipe.
Simple Syrup (Yo's Simple Syrup)
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. NOTE - Remember, use half of the ingredients listed below in 'Recipe Notes' for this particular cake recipe, so 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water.
- Let cool completely, then cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
For Yo's Modeling Chocolate (NOTE - you need 1.5 x this for this cake recipe)
-12 ounces white chocolate compound chocolate (not white chocolate chips)
-1/2 cup light corn syrup
-Gel food colorings (as specified above)
Yo's Simple Syrup (NOTE - you only need half of this for this particular cake recipe)-
-1 cup sugar (plus one cup of water)
Tools required for this recipe:
-9 x 5 x 3.5 inch loaf pan
-7 small bowls
-Nonstick mat or board
-Small non-stick rolling pin
-Ruler or fabric measuring tape
Title: How To Cake It
Author: Yolanda Gampp
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Acknowledgement: Excerpted from How To Cake It. Copyright © 2017 Yolanda Gampp. Published by HarperCollins Canada. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
Copyright: Copyright © 2017 Yolanda Gampp
Published by: HarperCollins Publishers
Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of How To Cake It by Yolanda Gampp, but not otherwise compensated. All opinions, as usual, are my own.