Whimsical Bakehouse: Fun-to-make Cakes That Taste as Good as They Look
My number 1 fav is The Whimsical Bakehouse - "fun to make cakes that taste as good as they look" by mother and daughter team Kaye and Liv Hansen
This is one book that actually lives up to it's promise. I admit I haven't tried every recipe in this book but the ones I have work every time and are completely delicious.
My favourite chocolate buttercake which I also use for cupcakes,
creamiest Italian Meringue Buttercream,
the chocolate chip pound cake for my son's recent birthday cake
and the golden buttercake I used for the Wizard of Oz rainbow cake.
I love every recipe I have tried. There are lots of colour pictures and detailed explanations on their decorating technique. Be warned however that this book does not use fondant decorations so if your looking for a book dedicated to that type of decorating grab something else.
The book is from the US so if you are Australian like me you'll need to do some converting, but I promise it's completely worth it. Just remember a stick of butter is 4oz or 114g, a US tablespoon is equal to 3 Australian teaspoons and buy a pyrex measuring cup and you should be pretty good to go.
Book I can't live without #2 is More from Magnolia "recipes from the World Famous Bakery and Allysa Torey's Home Kitchen"
More from Magnolia: Recipes from the World Famous Bakery and Allysa Torey's Home Kitchen
Yup these are the cupcakes famously featured in Sex and the City and they are simply delicious. Best vanilla cupcake and simple frosting * recipe ever....need I say more. (this is my own opinion and I know everyone has different tastes, please don't send me any hate mail, although if think you have a better recipe I would be happy for you to send me that).
OK I will say more, simple is the key to these recipes they are plain old fashioned baking, no fancy decorating tricks to deceive you, so the focus is on the taste. Other favourites from this book include black bottom cupcakes and the Cream Cheese Crumb Buns which are a little fiddly but soooo soooo worth it.
Black bottom cupcake - chocolate cupcake with choc chip cheesecake baked on the top, I know......YUM, The pic above is modified with an Oreo on the bottom.
It also has a handy conversion table in the back for temperature and weights which is super handy for us Aussies. I only wish it had more pictures, I love pictures in cookbooks and this book only has a few colour pictures included.
These books do sometimes use baking items that may not be easily found in your local grocery store, sometimes they use graham crakers or butterscotch chips etc, however you can just substitute a more easily accessible item. But all the recipes I have specified above and lots lots more that I use all the time are totally grocery store friendly.