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Coffee Cakes: Simple, Sweet and Savory    by Lou Seibert Pappas order for
Coffee Cakes
by Lou Seibert Pappas
Order:  USA  Can
Chronicle, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

What better accompaniment to a steaming cup of coffee, latte or Earl Grey tea than a freshly baked coffee cake? In her introduction, Pappas says, 'my joy and passion for baking coffee cakes goes back to childhood. Swedish yeast breads, sticky caramel buns, and hazelnut-laced rings were everyday breakfast fare. Chocolate marble cakes, banana loaves, gingerbread, and apple, huckleberry, or prune plum coffee cakes were luscious sweets that filled the sideboard for coffee time and dessert.'

The recipes she's collected in Coffee Cakes: Simple, Sweet and Savory will guide you in whipping up quick batter cakes, whether you crave something simple or are planning more elaborate offerings for a family get-together or party. Start with Sunday Brunch Cakes and try out recipes like Cranberry-Pecan-Orange Coffee Cake, Lemon Glazed Almond Cake Diamonds, or Sticky Pinwheel Cake. There are Everyday Morning Cakes like Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake, Cocoa Dusted Cherry Granola Cake and Cinnamon-Apple Walnut Torte. If you need ideas for Bundt Party Cakes then try Cheese-Swirled Chocolate Bundt Cake, Holiday Cranberry-Nut Bourbon Cake or Orange-Frosted Sponge Cake. Or how about scrumptious Delectable Dessert Cakes, beginning with Chocolate Almond Soufflé Cake, Marionberry-Hazelnut Cake or French Prune Plum Cake. Wait! There's even an entire chapter dedicated to Savory Picnic Cakes like Black Olive-Pine Nut Polenta Cake, Gruyere Brioche Cake, Olive-Herb Potato Fougasse or Italian Lavender Honey Wreaths.

None of the recipes are overly-complicated, time consuming or contain hard-to-find ingredients. Most of what you'll need is already in your pantry, and other ingredients should be easily obtainable at your local supermarket. Pappas also offers helpful baking tips and techniques, explains how to manage dough and tells you how to serve and store coffee cakes. A generous selection of full-sized colour photographs make this book even more appealing. Coffee Cakes: Simple, Sweet and Savory is a tasty treat of a recipe book that will satisfy anybody with a sweet tooth - and even those without.

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