by | Sep 15, 2020 | Food | 0 comments

One of my favorite cakes is Lavender Cake. Just substitute Pipka’s Lavender Extract for Almond Extract in the basic Almond Cake Recipe and cover the cake with Lavender Icing. Sprinkle a few lavender buds on top for a pretty cake ready for any occasion. The aroma in the house while baking this cake is heavenly.

One summer, after making over 300 cakes for my shop, I needed to add some variety to my cake baking. I started to add chocolate chips, cherries, blueberries or nuts to the batter to make a few different versions of my Almond Cake while still using the one basic recipe. Soon I was experimenting with adding other extracts, sometimes in place of the Almond Extract and sometimes just adding another flavored extract to enhance the almond flavor (like adding Cherry Extract and Almond Extract together…which turned out to be a winning combination). In the summer I substituted Lemon Extract, lemon zest for the Almond Extract and added a lemon glaze for a bright, fresh summer flavor perfect for picnics and outdoor dining. Other times, blueberries went into the Almond Cake, then served with fresh blueberries on the side..and, often, whipped cream. Oh, and for breakfast, adding cinnamon and streusel into the batter is simply delicious! Who says you can’t eat cake for breakfast!

The cover of the Pipka Almond Cake Recipe Book is a 50’s image of a pretty young woman. I call her a

” sassy baker” since she looks like she has attitude and is ready to bake dozens of cakes!

Every day I shared my new cake ideas with customers and soon they were requesting a recipe book and also sharing their own ideas of how to vary the basic recipe (my customers are always a great source of inspiration). Soon, the Almond Cake Recipe book was born. It took me weeks to design the handmade pages that we then printed on my printer at the shop. We assembled the book with added scrapbook ephemera; postcards, handmade envelopes, recipe tabs, old photos and old recipes. It’s like a little scrapbook full of love and baking ideas. The Pipka Almond Cake Recipe Book was an instant success with my baker friends and customers.

The cover images are hand glued onto chip board for a sturdy base. We use glue sticks to attach the back of the cover image and use old catalogs as a surface to work upon to catch any sticky drips. A, brayer secures the image tightly onto the chip board.

Dozens of covers are ready for assembly. Many of our recipe books go to Amazon where we have an online store. The rest we sell in the shop. It’s a labor of love and often hard to keep up.

The pages are exposed as we staple, glue and paper clip old recipes and ephemera to the pages. No two cookbooks are ever alike.

Today we have the pages printed professionally but we still hand glue each cover, front and back, bind the books in house and make all the inserts by hand. The Pipka Almond Cake Recipe Book is 70 colorful pages full of ideas and inspiration. There are over a dozen charming inserts throughout the book with blank pages for notes. There are 40 recipes and sauces to make delicious cakes using just the one basic recipe and the Pipka Almond Cake Pan. We have sold over 3,551 book to date (although we only started numbering them after the first few hundred went out) and spent thousands of hours making the inserts and assembling the pages. This little recipe book is a work of love.

I love adding found photos of people I call my “adopted families”. Each photo makes me think of who these people might be and what their stories hold. Donna has assembled most of our books and recently, to meet demand, I have been helping her. We listen to mystery audio books while assembling.

The Pipka Almond Cake is made in 1 bowl, has 7 ingredients and takes 42 minutes to bake. The cake can be frozen up to 4 months and actually tastes better after spending some time in the freezer. Bake the Almond Cake in the Pipka Almond Cake Pan, my professional pan from Germany. Because the Almond Cake is so delicious and simple to make, we encourage all of our baker friends to bake an extra cake or two and share a cake with someone in need or as a way of saying “thank you” to a person that has been kind or helpful. Home baked Almond Cake is appreciated by all. It fills not only the tummy but also the hearts of those receiving the cake. Bake. Share. Love.