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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on 9 September 2012
Being an long time admirer of jane Brocket's inspirational blog, 'Yarnstorm' and already owning several of her other books, I waited in happy anticipation for this to arrive.
It is truly a baking book for the home baker. There is nothing pretentious, unwieldy or nerve-tattering about these recipes. They are well written, each with an interesting introduction; clear instructions, and (very helpfully) information about storing and keeping times for each cake. The recipes do not require special equipment or difficult-to-source ingredients.
I have baked from it twice already (it arrived yesterday) and found the recipes and baking times to be most reliable.
Each cake, slice or 'fancy' looks tempting and makes you want to reach for the mixing bowl and wooden spoon!
The book hangs together beautifully as a whole; it is clearly the work of one individual baker. I say this because so many 'celebrity' baking/cookbooks give the impression that many of the recipes have been developed by the author's 'back room team', rather than the author themselves.
Jane Brocket's trademark intellegent, accesible writing, and inspirational settings for each temptingly photographed cake are evident throughout. The quirky table ware and consistent theme of 'vintage' make this book (in common with all other books she has written) a pleasure to look through, as well as use.
A refreshing change from the ubiquitous celebrity bake book. A beautifully realised, inspirational and heartfelt book.
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on 30 September 2012
This is a brilliant cake book. I've made 3 of the cakes so far and they have been universally liked, even by my children who are notoriously fussy! The instructions are clear, the pictures are beautiful and the range of cakes is good.
I would recommend this book for anyone, beginner or established baker, because even though all the cakes are classics, it is a really nice selection to have all in one book.
So far I've made the mocha cake (best chocolate cake I've made, and the only one my children have liked), seed cake and marmalade cake. All glorious.
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on 13 January 2014
A nice book however this book is for the American market and the quantities of ingredients are in American cups not imperial and there is no page of equivalents for the UK, this lets the book down and this should be mentioned in the introduction.
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on 5 October 2012
Wonderful. I want to make every single cake in the book. Some old favourites, some cakes I had forgotton about and some new ideas for me. Vintage Cakes = Vintage Jane Brockett.
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on 17 February 2013
Our British cousins have long been known for their fine baking and Vintage Cakes: More Than 90 Heirloom Recipes for Tremendously Good Cakes contains a fair few recipes for some of the most well known of British cakes. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that when our British friends say "cakes" they do not mean exactly what we do. Yes, there are layer cakes and loaf cakes and cakes baked in a sheet pan. You'll find some cupcakes too. You will also find pancakes, banana bread, brownies, a few tarts, and some yeast raised buns, representing a nice cross-section of traditional British home baking.

Author Jane Brocket categorizes her recipes as Cake-tin Cakes, Everyday Cakes, Little Cakes, Posh Cakes, Fancies & Frivolities and Celebration Cakes. Cake-tin Cakes are cakes which will keep for several days in a tightly covered container, the kind of cake often baked in a square or loaf pan. Everyday Cakes might surprise you. While the chapter starts with Victoria Sandwich, a lovely cake made of two layers of an airy vanilla sponge sandwiched together with whipped cream and sometimes raspberry jam, you'll also find recipes for scones, Welsh cakes, donuts, banana bread and a no-bake treat called Chocolate Tiffin. Little Cakes are quick and easy-to-make treats like Lamingtons, brownies, Rock Buns (this is the same as the Rock Cakes that Hagrid bakes in the Harry Potter series) and Devonshire splits.

You'll find Posh cakes quite similar to what Americans think of as "cake". Jane has included a lovely Lemon Chiffon cake and a traditional British Battenberg cake (a pink and white checkerboard wrapped in marzipan) and a Chocolate Roulade along with a number you'll instantly recognize - Tres Leches, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Devil's Food Cake - and some vintage classics from the Continent.

Fancies and Frivolities are, like Little Cakes, mostly small cakes but these are perhaps a bit more time consuming to produce. Here you'll find Fondant Fancies (what we buy here as "petit fours" - tiny squares of cake covered in fondant icing), two different kinds of Madeleines, butterfly cakes, meringues and macaroons, while the chapter on Celebration Cakes includes recipes for Simnel Cake, Stollen, traditional Christmas Cake and more.

The book is nicely laid out and easy to read - no reading glasses required. There is a picture for each recipe.

About half the recipes in the book call for self-rising flour, something that is not always available in some parts of the US. Recently, however, I did notice my local supermarket had laid in a supply and King Arthur Flour down the road a piece has added self-rising flour to their product line, so I grabbed a bag specifically for testing a few recipes from this book. Last night I had a hankering for cake, so I baked up the very first recipe in the book, Marmalade Cake, and I must say that it is perhaps the best orange cake I've had - redolent of orange, moist, with a lovely light texture and bits of orange peel scattered throughout. I'm going to get a lot of use out of this book.

Highly recommended
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on 8 January 2013
I bought this as a present for my son who loves baking cakes. He was really pleased with it as it contains a wide variety of recipes. Am looking forward to trying some of the results next time he visits.
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on 27 November 2012
Lovely book, borrowed it from the library and just had to buy it, love the pictures and would bake 95% of the recipes. Thanks Jane you have done it again
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on 11 September 2012
Well what can I say, I myself being a big fan of tea and cake and pretty things with a vintage feel, I love this book!!
I know I will bake a lot of these cakes and the vintage table settings, cake stand, teacups, table cloths, all of it really I find a joy to look at and find them an inspiration also. Money well spent, a book I will treasure for a long time to come. Can Jane Brocket do no wrong?
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on 17 June 2013
My daughter has her own cake business and some of the recipes in here have fired her imagination for some new ideas.
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on 28 December 2013
This book offered exactly what I was looking for, a compilation of classic cake recipes that are easy to follow and are sure to deliver delicious results. The layout of the book is divided into different sections packed with recipes that are well presented and detailed, completed with mouthwatering pictures that will make you want to bake all of them! I have already tried 4 recipes during this Xmas break and the cakes have come out great, just like pictured in the book. I had already some baking books, but this was definitely a great addition to my collection. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys baking.
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