One bowl cakes? No stand-mixer? Yes, please, 'Snacking Cakes' cookbook!

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We have used Snacking Cakes by Yossy Arefi every weekend since we received it! I originally purchased it as a gift for a friend—but when she told me she was trying to eat healthy for 2021—I gifted Jubilee instead and kept this one for myself.

Why do we love this book?

  • Everything is mixed in one bowl—easy clean up!
  • You only need a whisk and a spatula—no stand mixer!
  • No creaming—the recipes use melted butter!
  • She includes ingredient weights—more accurate measuring.
  • Each recipe makes a 8” x 8” cake—reasonable size to eat in one weekend.
  • Recipes can be doubled, to make a sheet cake.
  • Arefi gives specific ideas on how to dress it up or vary the flavor—endless mix and match ideas.
  • Each recipe has a photo—engaging for our young chefs.

We’ve been trying to reduce our waste from food packaging and one of the biggest challenges has been the snacks I need to send to school each day. Additionally, due to new found pickiness in my children, I’ve been trying to include them in meal planning and prep, hoping it will translate to better eating (not much luck yet, unfortunately). Snacking Cakes has been an enjoyable way for us to cook together, and then little squares of unfrosted cake make a perfect nut-free snack for school! We’ve taken the recipes with 2 eggs and halved them (so each kid can make their own cake). They still coming out perfectly! 

Avid bakers may find this book too simplistic. However, I am not an avid-baker. I never have room temperature butter ready to be creamed; and though I have a stand-mixer, I hate cleaning it. For me, this is the perfect dessert book! 

We have made about a dozen of the 50 cake recipes. Our favorites include Lemony Olive Oil Cake + Lemon Glaze, Fudgy Chocolate Cake + Fluffy Chocolate Frosting, For undressed cakes, we loved My Best Carrot Cake and Swirled Jam Cake. Lemon, Currant and Rosemary Cake is next on my list, once I can convince the young chefs.

To cook all of the recipes in Snacking Cakes, you will need the following spices:

  • allspice
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • cardamom
  • cinnamon
  • cloves
  • ginger
  • ginger (crystallized)
  • kosher flake salt
  • nutmeg
  • pepper
  • poppy seeds
  • sumac
  • vanilla extract
  • vanilla bean paste*

*Make your own vanilla bean paste using our organic vanilla beans!

Other pantry ingredients to stock up on: dried currants, turbinado sugar (or some other coarse sugar), maple syrup, hazelnuts, almond flour, shredded coconut, espresso powder, freeze dried raspberries or strawberries, sliced almonds, cornmeal, pepitas, pecans, dates, pumpkin puree, cocao nibs, mint extract. And confectioner’s sugar…for all that glaze!

Snacking Cakes, paired with a whisk, is going to be our go-to gift option for kids ages 4-10 this year!

January 24, 2021 — Beth Weisberger

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