All About Cake
By Christina Tosi
(Clarkson Potter; $35)
I’d love to hang out in the kitchen with Christina Tosi. After spending time with her new book, All About Cake, I get the feeling that she has a blast when she’s baking. Her playful enthusiasm and joie de vivre come through loud and clear in her text. For example, when Tosi, of Milk Bar fame, is making a banana cake, she specifies “rrrrrripe bananas” in the ingredient list. Her birthday cake for a crowd isn’t just any cake: It’s Baller Birthday Sheet Cake. Tosi’s Rhubarb-Elderflower Pound Cake is glazed with Rhubarb-Elderflower Goo. Her cupcake recipes make a dozen—“plus a few more just in case”—because who doesn’t want to sample right away?
If the charming humor of All About Cake doesn’t grab you, then the imaginative recipes and flavor profiles will: Compost Pound Cake, a cake version of Milk Bar’s popular cookie; Corn and Blueberry Sheet Cake; Chocolate Chip-Passion Fruit Cake Truffles; and Pancake Layer Cake. I was intrigued by the Molasses-Rye Bundt Cake, so I baked one and brought it to an event. It was devoured before I got a chance to try it—and I think that’s a good sign.