Marian Keyes Saved by Cake


Saved by Cake by Marian Keyes is one of the prettiest cook books I have ever seen and it is definitely the funniest cook book I’ve read.

Saved by Cake, as the title suggests, is all about baking, so it is exactly my kind of book. I’ve made a couple of the recipes and can highly recommend Zeny’s Banoffee Cupcakes, which are banana cupcakes (or patty cakes, if you’re old school Australian) with caramel in the middle. Yum. The Ultimate Chocolate Brownies were really, really good too.

This is exactly the right kind of cook book to read in bed on a lazy afternoon when you have no intention of actually cooking anything. (The next best way to spend an afternoon when you’re not actually baking).

The book is called Saved by Cake because the author, Marian Keyes was having a nervous breakdown. She turned to baking as a way of passing time and to give her something to focus on.

I look forward to my baking sessions knowing that no matter how busy and complicated my working week has been, making biscuits or cake is going to relax me. There is the pleasure of thinking about what to make, laying all of the ingredients in a row on the kitchen bench in preparation, and the best bit – the enjoyment of mixing and rolling and flattening and stirring. There is also the joy of tasting what you have made and then the sense of achievement which comes from feeding others something delicious that I have made.

Saved by Cake is girly. The pages are light pink (the ultimate feel good, pretty colour) and the recipe titles are swirly. The photos are absolutely gorgeous, pretty floral tablecloths and lovely china, and as for the baked goods, OMG. Everything looks good, even the Beetroot Cake. There are quite a few recipes with ingredients or combinations which I would not have imagined, but there are also quite a few recipes that you wouldn’t have to make a special trip to the shops to buy exotic ingredients to make.

The best thing about the book though are the author’s introductions to each recipe. Marian Keyes is funny. My favourite laugh out loud bit in this book is in her introduction to Quick and Easy Chocolate Fudge Pudding, where Marian warns fellow cooks to use a deep casserole dish based on her own experiences of having used too small a dish. “Poor Himself had a terrible job cleaning up after it.” I don’t care if that story is true or not, but I love the idea of He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers (my version of Marian’s Himself) cleaning the oven after my cooking – priceless. Sadly in my household it would never happen, but the thought of a husband, anyone’s husband in fact, cleaning the oven makes me really happy.

I’ve got a list of recipes that I intend to make from Saved by Cake, happy days ahead.