Cookbook Review: United Cakes of America

Being that today is the 4th of July, I thought it would be the perfect day to tell you about the newest addition to my cookbook collection: United Cakes of America: Recipes Celebrating Every State by Warren Brown (author of Cake Love).

As soon as I opened my package from Amazon, which only took 2 weeks to arrive, I was pleasantly surprised at the size and weight of the book.  Not at all what I expected for $11.98. (Not including international shipping and handling fees.)  It kind of reminds me of those heavy school books from long ago.  If only my school books had been as cute and interesting.

I love the patriotic red, white and blue Americana theme throughout.  From the cut-out in the shape of the United States on the front cover, to the state seal of an eagle holding a fork and a whisk, to the special "Slice of America" pages filled with fun facts about cake baking in America.

My favorite part of the whole book has to be the preamble written on a rolled out pie crust scroll that begins:
"We the people who love cake, in order to bake a more perfect dessert, reestablish the standard that true cake is baked from scratch..."
Because as a foodie living in a small town in Mexico, where canned and pre-packaged ingredients can be hard to find, I truly appreciate any cookbook where the recipes are made from scratch, using simple ingredients that are easy to find.  The hardest to find ingredients that I've spotted so far are canned sauerkraut and potato starch.  But that last ingredient can be substituted with cornstarch, so not really a problem after all.

The book is divided into four sections:
  • The Northeast (which also includes the District of Columbia)
  • The South (plus Puerto Rico)
  • The Midwest
  • The West
There is at least one recipe for each of the fifty states, plus recipes for American classics such as Strawberry Shortcake, Caramel Cake and Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting.  And while most of the recipes are for cakes, there are also a couple of recipes for pies, scones and pancakes.  I tried the Johnnycakes recipe last weekend and they disappeared like hotcakes.

In addition to the 7-Up Pound Cake I posted last week, there are so many mouth-watering recipes that I want to try: (just to name a few) 
  • Whoopie Pie
  • Kentucky Derby Cake
  • Coca Cola Cake
  • Roasted Pecan Cornbread
  • Coffee Buttercream 
  • Avocado Cupcakes (Hello, California!)
  • Jalapeño Cheddar Cheesecake
  • Ancho Chile Buttercream  

I think it's such a genius idea to have all of these American favorites (old and new) in one cookbook.  But I can't help but wish that there were also a United Cakes of Mexico cookbook.


*Note: I paid for this book with Hubby's money and I am not being compensated in any way for this review.  But I wouldn't mind doing so in the future.


  1. LOL, love your disclaimer. This sounds like a good book, I'd love to check it out!

  2. PLEASE tell me you're going to make the Jalapeno Cheddar Cheesecake! *mouth waters*

  3. SO!  Get busy!  And write the United Cakes of Mexico cookbook!  LOL

  4. 'disappeared like hotcakes' ... funny..... now I think that Mexican cake book is one to write...

  5. This sounds like I need this book in my kitchen!