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Babycakes Covers the Classics: Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes from Donuts to Snickerdoodles Hardcover – 12 Apr 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter Publishers (12 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780307718303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307718303
  • ASIN: 0307718301
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 1.5 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 974,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ACS on 5 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
I now have both of Erin's recipe books and for the first time in years I can enjoy baking again. Some of the cakes and cookies taste better than their gluten counterparts - judging by how fast my family and friends (without allergies) lap them up. Some of the flours are a bit difficult to find in the UK so I tend to save up and buy them direct from the US every few months.
I have had to tweak the occasional recipe to get them to work, but that could be due to not always having the same make of products as in the book.
If you're looking for a life that includes cakes and baking after gluten/dairy then look no further!!

I'd love to have an ibooks version!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ChaoticDisastrous on 21 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover
I love baking a lot, ever since I was a child and once you know the recipe by hard, it's amazing what you can do. I recently went from being a vegetarian to a vegan most recently and I started eating more gluten free based foods in the middle of 2010 due to bloated-ness and tons of headaches etc. I simply love this book because it has all the things I love to eat and that I can learn to bake or make it from my kitchen and not go to a cafe or a bakery and hassle them about whether or not they have gluten free vegan cakes etc. After years of practising to cook as well as bake, I begin to realize, you are your own boss and whatever and however amount of ingredients you want to add to make something is entirely up to you. I don't fully follow everything that is based in this book, and it is all about your own instinct isn't it, whether you want it to be less sweet or not. Yes, some of the things can be pricey, but it depends where you find your sources from and how you make them too. Today, I made my own cinnamon pancakes and because it is rare to find baking sodas these days in the UK, I just use a table spoonful of gluten free self-raising flour and it still does the trick. You don't need to put agave in everything either, because there are alternatives and still vegan friendly. I don't use coconut oil in my baking as mentioned in this book, however, rapeseed oil or other kinds of oil, works just as great! A recipe book is a reference and that great magic touch in actual fact comes from you, yourself and not just from a book. Anyway, I do however recommend this book to anyone not afraid to try something different or whoever likes being creative in the kitchen :)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 92 reviews
62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
Didn't mean to write a book, but I have a lot to say! 5 Jan. 2012
By T. Eliot - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Ok, first of all, I agree to a small extent with some of the harsher reviews that this is not a perfect cookbook. HOWEVER, it's a very unique cookbook with very unique ingredients that most people aren't use to baking with. I think most of the negative reviews are much too harsh and come on, peops, at least give one of the recipes a trying before posting such negative reviews. I was disappointed to see the lack of hands on experience a lot of the negative reviewers had before posting such a review.

To address some of the negativos out there, I have to wonder what some of you guys are doing wrong. I have the first cookbook and have made over half of the recipes in it with only one recipe coming out badly (the vanilla chocolate frosting came out fine). And I do agree that Erin should have included a much better recipe that more closely matched her retail products. Not cool.

Some of the recipes are really good and others just ok, but all in all, I think it's a very good cookbook. Now on to the second cookbook...I've only made a few of those recipes so far, probably 4-5 of them, but have had absolutely no trouble whatsoever so far. I've made the plain donuts twice now because they are SOOOO good (once with the coconut oil and once I subbed canola and the result was identical...could not tell a difference). And I'm not gluten intolerant...I just like them.

Here are some tips I've found when cooking with Babycakes...none are rocket science, but again, I haven't had major issues with either cookbook :

1) Use the important products she says and be careful when substituting. The biggest difference I have seen this make is in using the coconut oil Erin recommends for the frosting versus using another brand (even a good brand). My frosting that I made from the second cookbook was amazing and very much like the bakery's version in NYC. Other things I am more liberal with subbing, such as a milk for a milk. Never had any problems here.
2) When a recipe calls for bean flours, it always tastes better when it is at room temp rather than right out of the oven like conventional recipes. For some reason the bean taste is much stronger when the baked good is hot.
3) Always set your oven timer to half the first time you make a recipe and check on it once it's halfway through. You may need to just put it in a little longer or maybe a lot, but play it safe by ensuring that you not overcook anything. Then again, hopefully you all do this anyway with any kind of recipe, since we all know that every oven cooks differently.
4) If you can tolerate regular vanilla, try buying a large (think wine bottle) jar of Mexican vanilla at a farmers market. They usually run $6-10 for real vanilla. Will save you a ton of money.
5) A few recipes to start from if you're gun shy....from book 1: the chocolate chip cookies, the spelt biscuits (so easy and great!), the blueberry muffins and the blondies (my favorite recipe...sometimes I sub butterscotch chips). I've made most of the cupcakes with great results. The vanilla, healthy hostess and carrot were all fantastic. If your vanilla icing turns out too liquidy (happened to me from using the wrong coconut oil, but still tasted great), drizzle it over your cupcakes like a mini bread pudding. From book 2: so far my favorite is the plain donuts (not the agave sweetened ones, haven't tried those). I like them with the vanilla glaze topped with toasted unsweetened coconut or rolled in cinnamon sugar.
6) If you can tolerate spelt, her spelt recipes generally come out fabulous. These are only in book 1.
7) Read her books through and through. She gives tips, utensils to use, substitution advice, product advice, etc. Pay attention to what she says she likes...ex: she really likes ultra thin, crispy cookies. I like mine more chewy. So if a recipe calls for thin and crispy, try it her way on the first batch and do a small test batch to see how it goes before trying it your way.

I am not an experienced baker at all. I would say I'm an average baker and I find most of these recipes are pretty easy. The donut recipe? I gave my husband (who is not a cook of any kind) the book the other day and told him to make them and he did the whole thing in less than 20 I wouldn't say that it is that hard.

If you like to bake or need a GF cookbook and want a healthier option for baking, this is a very good option. I have followed a lot of reviewers online about these books and most of the negative comments are about the expense of the ingredients or about the frosting recipes. Both valid arguments. But if you can get around it, it's a decent cookbook. A lot of other negative reviews are from people who haven't ever tried them. So take those worth a grain of salt.

If you're GF only (not vegan) and don't care about the health factor, I highly recommend Gluten-Free Baking Classics, but Annalise G. Roberts. She has some of the best cake recipes I've ever tasted (trumping my favorite ever bakery!), including normal baking. An absolutely phenomenal cookbook, much less expensive ingredients and worth every penny.
92 of 103 people found the following review helpful
Not exactly like the bakery-purchased products 17 April 2011
By jkd - Published on
Format: Hardcover
While I am not gluten intolerant or vegan, I have enjoyed Babycakes treats--specifically the donuts--from the Babycakes bakery in downtown Los Angeles. I have been disappointed with the homemade products. The frosting from the recipe in the first cookbook does not have the same flavor--it is less flavorful, less sweet and tastes totally different as compared to the bakery product. I eagerly tried the donut recipe as soon as my book arrived last week and the homemade donuts are different as well. The bakery donuts are really delicious and the homemade version is quite tasteless with an entirely different texture. I followed the recipe precisely! It is disappointing as it is a waste of my time and a waste of money (the ingredients are on the pricey side) to try to recreate the delicious flavors and textures of the bakery purchased products. If one has never tried these goodies from the bakery, perhaps one would be satisfied with the homemade result, but these recipes do not even come close to the bakery products in flavor and texture!
I understand that many chefs do not give the exact recipe for their items in their cookbooks. I hope this is not the case in this instance--baking gluten free is too much of a science to to try to alter the real recipe and expect decent results.
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
I never really liked donuts before 12 April 2011
By Deb Nam-Krane - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I mean, of course I liked the filled variety, like Boston or Bavarian Cream, but I never cared for the donut on its own. I know donuts are being hyped as the next big baking trend, but as a gluten-free vegan, I had no interest. Well, it took one drive through of this recipe- with the rice flour substitution, no less- to make me a believer. These are really cakey and really good. My family, most of whom already loves donuts, has nodded their approval between hungry bites.

I smiled when I saw the recipe for Madelines. I had previously perfected my own vegan Madeline recipe, but I hadn't figured out how to do it without wheat. The recipe here works perfectly. Color me delighted.

Perhaps what I like best about the book are substitutions McKenna offers. Her first book was heavy on bean flours and Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour. The recipes are delicious, but unfortunately one of my children has a problem with garbanzo beans. McKenna gives a recipe for a bean-free substitute, and it works perfectly. (I went back to her first book and made the banana bread without bean flour. Success!) She also has a simple formula for substituting agave for sugar, which is something we try to minimize in our household. It's nice to know that 1) we're not alone and 2) someone else has already come up with a solution.

For those of you who miss childhood comfort foods, this book includes not only recipes for cakes, donuts and cookies (although you will find maybe one cupcake recipe in here) but also waffles and pancakes. Best of that category, according to my household, are the Honey and Wonder Buns. I made the Pain Au Chocolat variety and had to make sure my younger children didn't eat more than their share before my older children could get to the table. I growled in frustration when I saw the Hamantaschen recipe. Could this have come out two weeks before, during Purim? Next year...

I am so happy to have this book, and I can't wait to make more from it- including the other donut variations.
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
On the fence 25 April 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like the donut recipe but it taste NOTHING like the bakery version. I'm disappointed. My donuts do not look like the light and fluffy donut illustrated in the book. I'm just not sure about the 1/4 cup of vanilla extract. I have never seen a recipe with that amount of vanilla extract before.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The donuts are the star 17 Jan. 2012
By Keep Calm Bake On - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I've made quite a few things from the book already but the donuts are the best so far.

My tips:

1) The best donut recipe is p. 120 "plain cake donut" I let cool completely and then ice with the chocolate icing (p. 123), but OMIT the salt! I let the chocolate sit for awhile, so it sets nicely when the donuts are dipped (otherwise too runny)
2) The favorite donut topping of everyone: vanilla icing with toasted coconut
3) Gingerbread pancakes are very moist (p. 31)
4) Waffles are good and freeze well (p.37)
5) Wonder buns (p. 32)- filling was way too runny but still ended up tasting good. I'd use a brown sugar/butter mixture for the filling next time.
6) Pinapple upside down cake (p.116)- So easy, moist. Can't believe how much vanilla and agave are used though!
7) pizza (p. 88)- WAY too much oil and garlic for the topping. I'd just do pizza sauce and toppings next time. I think Namaste pizza crust is way better though.
8) popcorn balls (p. 87)- ?I think there's a typ-o in this recipe- WAY too runny!(Leave out the water??). I had to bake it for awhile to get it to caramelize enough. I didn't bother with making the balls b/c it didn't work. Flavor was nice though and tasted good after I rescued it.

Overall some good and some not so good. Still worth it though.
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