Rose Levy Beranbaum: Rose’s Heavenly Cakes

Did Rose Levy Beranbaum leave something out of The Cake Bible?

Apparently she did.

Rose’s Heavenly Cakes (Wiley 2009) is a huge, well-crafted book that updates her original The Cake Bible, and introduces many new cakes. Rose’s approach has also changed. If The Cake Bible is technical and proficient in why cakes work they way they do, Rose’s Heavenly Cakes is about baking great cakes:

Today, my goal in baking is to translate the chemical into the practical–taking my understanding of how ingredients in a cake batter work to reach my idea of the ultimate taste and texture style. (p. xiv)

If you own The Cake Bible, you’ll want to get Rose’s new book as well. This is the kind of book that students of cake baking will call their new bible.

It is fall and apples are at their best, so start with the first recipe in Butter and Oil Cakes. Apple Upside-Down Cake (p. 9) a cake version of a Tarte Tatin, with caramel poured into the bottom of the cake pan and apples and batter on top. The cake is served with a Bourbon Whipped Cream (p. 11). Rose provides volume and weight measurements in both pounds and grams so you can use this book wherever you go.

If you are looking for a moist cake without any frosting or fruit, Rose includes Whipped Cream Cake (p. 29) that includes no butter but plenty of heavy cream, or Golden Lemon Almond Cake (p. 37) that Rose suggests as a gift cake. Rose explores international cakes, like Gateau Breton (p. 69) and English Gingerbread Cake (p. 75) and then has recipe after recipe of divine chocolate cakes.

The other chapters in the book cover Sponge Cakes, Mostly Flourless Cakes and Cheese Cakes, Baby Cakes, and finally Wedding Cakes. The headnotes for the recipes include not only information on how to serve the cakes, but also how long they last, and how much better some of them taste the day after they are made – if any cake is left over. A photograph showing the finished cake accompanies every recipe, and a few show Rose performing the most difficult steps. But Rose’s recipes are so well written and complete that you will feel Rose is giving you a private class.

2 comments on “Rose Levy Beranbaum: Rose’s Heavenly Cakes
  1. Rose Levy Beranbaum says:

    thank you juliette for this beautifully crafted review!


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