The Best of The Maya Kitchen: Cakes and Pastries

Baking your first cake? This cookbook is the perfect guide for every baking newbie or for the occasional baker.

June 21, 2011 | by Aimee Morales

Thinking of baking your very first cake? This cookbook is the perfect guide for every baking newbie or for the occasional baker. I guarantee you, this one's a winner!

                                                        The Best of The Maya Kitchen:  Cakes and Pastries

As you all should know, Maya Kitchen has a very soft and special spot in my heart. Let me brief you. When I was a little girl of maybe four or five (that’s as far as I can remember), my mom had a little baking business during the Christmas season. She baked fruit cakes, apple walnut cakes (winner!), the best ensaymadas ever, and all sorts of cookies and bars. And on occasion, she’d do orders for chocolate cakes, lemon squares, and other special requests like molo, lasagna, and other ulams. The thing is, she did it alone. And at four years old, all I can do was cream the butter and sugar for her. Enter The Maya Kitchen: The Complete Guide to Baking, the first cookbook I ever owned, I learned how to bake cookies by myself. Then as the years went by, Mama just stopped baking to become a lawyer. Nice story, eh? Anyway, nostalgia aside, holding a copy of The Maya Kitchen: Cakes and Pastries brings back so much memories.

The Maya Kitchen: Cakes and Pastries is just one of the 19 very similar and easy-to-follow cookbooks from, you guessed it, The Maya Kitchen.  All recipes inside the book have a step-by-step guide with illustrations to match, which—in my humble opinion—needs a little updating, but still useful if you ask me.  Actually, the recipes look like YUMMY magazine’s, with the ingredients neatly arranged, for example, in Caramel Butter Tarts, the pastry ingredients are separated  from filling.

Plus at the beginning of The Maya Kitchen: Cakes and Pastries, there’s a spread dedicated t o “A Selection of Useful Cookware,” featuring all the baking tools you’ll ever need in baking any or all the recipes in the book. Hard-to-follow recipes have helpful tips, and if you encounter a never-heard word, there’s a glossary of terms; and a guide on temperatures, and measurements at the back.

My personal favorites in this book are the Food for the Gods (as easy as brownies!), French Apple Pie (easy as pie and a good first lesson on kneading dough), and dark fruit cake (just like how Mama used to bake it—but Mama's had more brandy though).


The Maya Kitchen: Cakes and Pastries (P 195) is available in National Book Store branches nationwide.



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