OMG. Just simply OMG.

Suzi and I have a lot of cake books, and many cake decorating books. We’ve never had a book like this one. This book goes into our kitchen, on the island, and not on some shelf. This book gets used.

From its title, Icing on the Cake, you might think this is a cake decorating book. Yes, it is. And, no, it is not “just” decoration. Often a decoration book will have brilliant ideas applied to plebian cakes: a vanilla white cake, a chocolate one.

Not here. The very first recipe in the book — often a benchmark about how good a book will be — is Orange Salted Honey Cake. And the ideas march on:

Blackberry Elderflower Vertical Layer Cake [Yeah, vertical layers, not horizontal]

Lavender Blackberry Cake

Butterscotch Banana Cake

Pistachio Truffle Cake

Pink Lemonade Cake

Blueberry Galaxy Cake

Chocolate Tiramisu Cake

Chocolate Banana Pie [Yes, there are pies here, too. And macarons]

Mini Mocha Cakes

Caramel Apple Pear Pie

Gingerbread Village Cake

These recipes appear in seasonal and special occasion chapters:

  • Elegant Cakes and Confections
  • Decadent Desserts
  • Kids’ Cakes and Party Treat
  • Classic Cakes with a Twist
  • Rustic Bakes and Cakes
  • Celebration Cakes and Seasonal Sweets

You might want to leaf through this book quickly to get a survey of what is here. You can’t do it quickly. You’ll begin to salivate and be captivated.

It’s certain that the core idea of this book is outstanding cake decoration. Look at the first recipe in the book, the Orange Salted Honey Cake:

Now, you might think something like: how the heck am I ever going to do that? Well, you turn the page, and you’ll find a panel of four photographs to hold your hand. Yes, you can. Just follow the steps and take your time and this cake extravaganza can be in your kitchen. In your mouth.

To learn these decorating techniques, you can do it in baby steps beginning with these Garden Cupcakes:

That’s a rose on top. Want something else? Well, you have options for peony and dahlia and rose cupcakes. In each case, a battery of six photos show you the exact steps to fashion beauty.

Once you have done a single cupcake, what’s next. Why, of course, a garden like this Lavender Blackberry Cake:

Just to tempt, there is this Molasses Pumpkin Spice Cake:

Yes, I’m going to make this spice cake and post the recipe. In November, just in time for Thanksgiving. So, do mark your calendar and come visit this blog in a few months. Actually, I hope you visit us every day. And very actually, I totally encourage you to get Icing on the Cake, a pastry bag, some decorating tips and a whole lot of sugar and butter.

It’s okay to lick your fingers. It’s quality control.