The author used to keep cookies on hand for her family and guests who showed up unexpectedly. She has since realized that cakes are even easier to make - and just as well-received.
I liked that the cakes are fairly easy to make (and fairly quick, since none are frosted). Glazes are suggested for some cakes, and the author suggests what to serve with some cakes to dress them up (fruit, ice cream, flavored whipped cream, etc).
The ingredients should be in just about any grocery store with only a few exceptions (such as maple extract, coconut extract, fresh lavender leaves, and cream of coconut). Even better, most of the ingredients are likely in your cupboard and refrigerator on a daily basis so if you have only an hour's notice of a friend coming to visit, you'll have your choice of many cakes to whip up and serve warm.
The author covers a wonderful variety of flavors (chocolate, vanilla, coconut, espresso, lemon, nuts, fruit, etc.) without focusing on any single one too often. As I went through the book, I kept thinking of friends who would like one recipe or another.
There are recipes for 100 cakes and 37 are pictured.
-SNACKING CAKES: Apricot Jam Cake, Blackberry-Pecan Snack Cake, Chipotle-Chocolate Cake (with four variations), Chocolate Cherry Snacking Cake, Chocolate Malted Snacking Cake, Chocolate Gingerbread, Cinnamon Pudding Cake, Fresh Strawberry Cake with White Chocolate Chips, Graham Cracker-Chocolate Chip Snacking Cake, Hummingbird Snacking Cake, Neoclassic Gingerbread, Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cake, Super-Delicious Whole-Wheat Carrot Cake, Maple Syrup Gingerbread, Poppy Seed Cake, Sour Cream and Lemon Cake, Spiced Orange and Cranberry Snacking Cake, Stout and Chocolate Snacking Cake with Chocolate-Stout Glaze, Semolina and Yogurt Cake, and the World's Quickest Yeasted Coffee Cake.
-ROUND CAKES: Almond-Brown Butter Cakes, Apple and Cheddar Cheese Cake, Apricot and Olive Oil Cake, Chocolate Cake with Panforte Spices, Cornmeal-Almond Cake, Cream of Coconut Cake with Chocolate-Coconut Glaze, Everyday Yogurt Cake, Fig and Cornmeal Cake, Pear Cake with Sea Salt-Caramel Sauce, Honey and Walnut Cake, Zebra Cake, Apple-Walnut Upside-Down Cake, Chocolate-Caramel-Banana Upside-Down Cake, Cherry-Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake, Mango Upside-Down Cake, Orange-Almond-Caramel Upside-Down Cake, Peach-Buttermilk Upside-Down Cake, Pineapple-Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake, Classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, and Plum-Blueberry Upside-Down Cake/
-LOAF CAKES: Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Raisins, Anise Pound Cake, Chocolate-Raspberry Marble Pound Cake with Chocolate-Raspberry Glaze, Chocolate Cream Pound Cake, Citrus and Black Pepper Pound Cake, Orange Blossom Honey Pound Cake, Clove-Scented Chocolate and Apricot Loaf, Lavender and Lemon Pound Cake, Orange-Chocolate Chip Pound Cake with Sour Cream Glaze, Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Pound Cake, Nutella Swirl Pound Cake, Maple-Pecan Pound Cake, Marble Molasses Pound Cake, Rich Yellow Loaf Cake, Sweet Potato Pound Cake, Sesame Seed Pound Cake, Tea Cake, Triple Ginger Pound Cake, Walnut-Whiskey Pound Cake with Whiskey Glaze and Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Pound Cake.
-BUNDT CAKES: Applesauce Cake with Oatmeal Streusel, Banana-Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake, Black Pepper and Spice Cake with Lemon Glaze, Chocolate-Zucchini Bundt Cake, Dulce de Leche Coffee Cake, Blueberry-Cornmeal Bundt Cake, Chocolate Walnut Prune Cake, Cold-Oven Cream Cheese Pound Cake, Cream Cake, Cranberry-Walnut Bundt Cake with Maple-Espresso Glaze, Espresso-Hazelnut Bundt Cake, Hungarian Coffee Cake, Mississippi Mud Cake with Espresso-Bourbon Glaze, Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake, Orange-Ricotta Pound Cake with Marmalade Glaze, Pumpkin-Sage Ring, Pistachio-Polenta Pound Cake, Pineapple and Toasted Coconut Cake, Whole-Wheat and Honey-Nut Bundt Cake, and Peanut Butter-Sour Cream Bundt Cake with Butterfinger-Ganache Glaze.
-CRUMB CAKES: Blueberry Buckle, Cherry-Almond Crumb Cake, Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake, Cranberry Cake, Nectarine Cake with Cinnamon-Nut Topping, Coca-Cola Chocolate Cake, Coffee-Heath Bar Crunch Cake, Peanut Butter and Jelly Crumb Cake, Rhubarb Streusel Snacking Cake, and Red Grape, Polenta and Olive Oil Cake.
-ANGEL FOOD & CHIFFON CAKES: Coffee Angel Food Cake with Hazelnut-Coffee Glaze, Brown Sugar Angel Food Cake, Cocoa-Chip Angel Food Cake, Coconut Angel Food Cake, Lemon Poppy Seed Angel Food Cake with Lemon-Cream Cheese Glaze, Cinnamon-Nut Chiffon Cake, Lime Chiffon Cake, Vanilla Bean Chiffon Cake, Banana-Macadamia Nut Chiffon Cake, and Chocolate Marble Chiffon Cake.
If you like this book, you may also enjoy Coffee Cakes: Simple, Sweet, and Savory by Lou Seibert Pappas as well as Cakes from Scratch in Half the Time: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Bake Cakes Forever by Linda West Eckhardt. I prefer Cake Keeper Cakes over those two, and it is the least expensive.
This book is well-worth the price.