Jul 04, 2011

United Cakes of America – Giveaway

By: Amy Atlas, in Swag

Are you all having a fun July 4th?  I’m relaxing with my entire family by the pool today and it is wonderful.  Yesterday, I was in a Border’s in upstate New York and discovered Warren Brown’s United Cakes of America book.  I’m not sure how I never saw this little treasure before.  I love, no LOVE…Warren’s first book, CakeLove.  For those who want to learn about the basics of making cakes, definitely pick up his first book.  Not only does it have fantastic recipes, but it also gives really great basic tips for learning how to make cakes.

Back to the book above.  I instantly fell in love after picking it up yesterday.  I’m always interested in learning about the history of desserts and this book has a recipe for every state in the USA.  From Bundt Cake in Minnesota {because of Nordic and Pillsbury} to Roasted Pecan Cornbread from Iowa {the nation’s biggest corn producer} to Lane Cake from Alabama, this book is filled with recipes and great history of cakes from all over the US map.  After poring over every page last night, I reached out to Warren and asked if he’d like to share a copy with you all.  He got right back to me and graciously offered a copy of the book to one of you readers.  Scroll down for the rules to enter the contest, but here’s a small peek in the meantime.

Warren breaks down the book by regions of the United States..The Northeast, The South, The Midwest, and The West…

The design of the book is really fun, too.  I can really appreciate the details of the design in this book since I’m working with my publisher on the design of my book now.  Warren played up the patriotic theme of the book with fun artwork like bald eagle emblems, stars, and maps. Below is a peek at Warren’s version of Maine’s whoopie pie.  Some say it’s from Maine, others say Pennsylvania.  Whatever it is, his whoopie pie recipe looks great.  After developing my own whoopie recipe for the book, I can always appreciate a good whoopie pie!

I also adore the narratives in his book like the “United Slice of America” narratives {including Martha Washington’s Great Cake} and American Classic recipes like American Cranberry Cobbler. Below is one of his United States of America narratives with a clever spin on the Rights of Assembly for learning how to assemble a cake.  Fun, right?

If you don’t know Warren, you should definitely check him out.  He is the host of Food Network’s Sugar Rush and owner of the famed CakeLove bakeries. His story is also very inspiring. Like me, he left a career as a lawyer to follow his passion.

Okay, back to the contest.  In order to join, mention your favorite recipe to make for July 4th and what state you are from.  We will pick a random winner and announce the winner by Friday, July 8th, 12pm EST. Ready.  Set.  Fireworks!

Photographs by Joshua Cogan and copyright by Warren Brown.  Book by Stewart Tabori Chang.


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  • Karen

    I grew up in Maryland and live in Boston now. Warren’s cakes are delicious, stopping at Cake Love is one of my favorite things to do when visiting family.

    For us, there is nothing better than cooking meat on the grill. I like to make some dry rubbed chicken with pasta salad. It’s always a hit!

  • Cynthia R.

    Mom’s potato salad…Don’t know the recipe but man it’s good. Oh and I’m from Sunny South Florida

  • Wow… I love it already 🙂

  • Cool! It’s a tough choice, but I think my favorite recipe for the 4th of July is my mom’s pasta salad. I’m from Virginia!

  • I love making strawberry shortcake and the hubs loves eating it! I make sure there’s lots of strawberry syrup to soak into the sweet biscuits!

    I’m a Michigan-der at heart but currently live in Illinois. Always loved Warren Brown’s story and hope to stop by his shop next time we’re in D.C.

  • Suzanne

    Strawberry Cake! I’m from Georgia!

  • Melissa

    I always love making a Flag Cake (sheet cake) with blueberries and strawberries. So much fun! But my step-mother makes the BEST potato salad on the planet! It’s to die for!

    I’m in Virginia (walking distance from Cake Love in Shirlington) for three more weeks until the Army moves us to Pennsylvania!

    Thanks for the chance Amy! Can’t wait to see YOUR book!

  • A Washingtonian here, and we’re all about the berries this time of year. I have a raspberry vinaigrette on the salad, blackberry grilling glaze on salmon, and red-white-and blue tart, which is strawberries, red currants and blueberries on vanilla bean pastry cream.

  • I live in New Jersey but grew up in rural New Hampshire, so July always reminds me of country fairs and pie contests.

    My favorite things to make for July 4th are miniature pies from scratch using a pie mold we received as a wedding present; red {cherry}, white {apple}, and blue {blueberry}. Placed in a basket with a red gingham napkin, they’re grab-n-go and always a hit!

  • Mary

    Sunny San Francisco, CALIFORNIA here 🙂
    Hot dogs with home-made ketchup + German potato salad…. yuuuuuuuuuum

  • Rena

    I love making strawberry shortcake! I’m from Illinois.

  • Jan

    Hi there and Happy 4th!!!! Favorite thing is Baked Beans – whenever we bring it EVERYONE asks for the recipe – they are even good cold! And they make the house smell SO GOOD while they bake in the oven!!!!!! Originally from New York now living in Utah :o)

  • Happy 4th, Amy! I love a light strawberry, blueberry, pound cake & vanilla custard trifle. Originally from Seattle, Washington… I now reside in sunny Southern California. 🙂 btw… the cookbook looks amazing!

  • Nicolette

    Homemade ice cream! From California w/ love 🙂

  • my favorite dessert for the fourth is apple pie. I’m from Oklahoma 🙂

  • I’m from Florida and I love strawberry cake! I also love Warren Brown!!!

    Thanks 🙂

  • betsy

    I’m from South Carolina, my favorite 4th menu would be BBQ pork, hash and rice and peach cobber!

  • jenn a.f.

    Currently live in GA but grew up in NC. I don’t usually do the cooking on the 4th, thats my husbands holiday to do the grilling. But I always insist on corn and usually try to make a new dessert every year, so no “go to” recipe for this holiday.

  • Danielle

    I’m from Idaho and I love cupcakes on the fourth.

  • Claire

    Hawaii, tropical paradise!

  • there are way too many good things to eat that i can’t pick just one! i love a meal of fresh fried chicken with cole slaw and of course, corn on the cob. and cupcakes for dessert! with sparklers!

  • Valerie Schultz

    I just finished making strawberry shortcake for our 4th of July celebration. I live in beautiful Michigan.

  • maureen

    I have made a banana cake and lemon squares. The lemon squares are what I am known for but the banana cake is running a close second because so many people love them.

  • Gabriele

    Grew up in Utah, now live in Washington. I make an assortment of new desserts every year to take to the annual block party.

  • Tonya

    Apple Cake a la mode with a bourbon vanilla sauce . . . scrumptious! That was a Floridian (Miami) favorite every year!

  • Siobhan

    What about your Irish fans??
    I can’t state which state I am from except Ireland!!
    Keen to learn about which cakes come from which states. 🙂

  • So, so so many wonderful cakes and I have to choose just one? Homemade anything is really my favorite. I make a great chocolate-mint cake, and with the hot weather we’ve had this summer, I could certainly go for a piece of that to cool me down. I live in Aurora, Illinois. :)Happy 4th of July!

  • megan

    i live in arizona, and i looove to make bbq baked beans for the 4th!

  • Lisa

    Strawberry Shortcake is the best on the 4th! I’m from upstate NY.

  • Debbie T

    Illinois…..Strawberry-Pound Cake Trifle….Yummy!!!

  • sarah

    from KY…I found a new favorite recipe just this year, sunny squash casserole

  • ShellyCake

    Hmmm….. I would have to say the American Flag cake. You know, the one that has the blueberries and strawberries and looks like an American Flag. I remember baking this cake with my Mom as a child. Oh, what fun memories!

    Thanks for the “sweet” giveaway, Amy and Warren!

  • Tres leches is always a crowd winner in Texas!

  • My favorite 4th of July treat is my grandpas homemade strawberry ice cream. It is the tastiest thing in Utah, I am sure of it.

  • Today I broke from my red, white and blue cookies and made chocolate fudge. I’m in Washington, DC. I used to live about a mile from the first DC CakeLove bakery. Now I’m about a mile from his other shop!

  • Tina

    My favorite tradition would be to make a red, white & blue “flag” cake. Each year its a bit different, but always so beautiful! I live in WA & have continued this fun tradition with my 3 kiddos. HAPPY 4TH!!

  • Judy

    I will be making it a new tradition in my home as I just baked a red, white and blue layer cake with frosting. The cake when sliced actually looks like a real flag with a blue square in the top left and red and white stripes! I am from California.

    • Amy

      Would love for you to send us some pics!!!

  • Mariee

    My favorite recipe to make is Apple Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream. Yum!
    I’m from California.

  • Allison

    anything with berries!!! I’m from Texas!! The book looks lovely!

  • Stef

    I’m from California, and love a cold berry and peach salad with basil. It goes great with anything grilled.

  • I love this cookbook so much! The design, the details and the recipes! 🙂 I posted a review this morning on my own blog and just saw your tweet about the giveaway! Hope you don’t mind that I retweeted! 🙂

  • Felicia

    My favorite recipe to make on the 4th of July is a Berry Trifle and I’m from New Jersey.

  • Jessica M

    My favorite dish to mak

  • Jessica M

    My favorite dish to make is apple pie cupcakes. I’m from KY.

  • Joan Thomas

    This year I made Martha’s Fireworks Sugar Cookies. I’m from Kansas…rock chalk!

  • Priscilla J

    My family’s favorite is my mustard potato salad with a side of smoked brisket!

  • There is nothing better than fresh grilled corn!!

    And summer is the best her in Southern Cali!! 🙂

  • Hamburgers, Corn on the Cob (husband is from Iowa), Potato salad and of course Strawberry Shortcake to finish it off. Born and raised in California, now live in Colorado with my adorable family!

  • I’m from Utah but I won’t say jello! My favorite is Grandma’s homemade ice cream during fireworks.

  • Cori

    I don’t have a July 4th “usual”. I like to BBQ anything and have corn on the cob and fresh fruit.

    I’m from Washington.

  • I love cakes! This cookbook looks like such fun. Anything festive is my favorite for the 4th!

  • Jenn

    I work on the 4th every year but LOVE to have a great piece of apple pie especially topped with ice cream, it ends my day perfectly here in Southern California.

  • My favorite 4th of July dessert would be chocolate chip cookies. I’m from Hawaii.

  • RosannaC

    Pretty simple, but I love grilling peaches on the 4th. I’m from Oregon.

  • Leslie Fay

    My favorite recipe for the 4th is new this year – honeydew lime ice pops! I’m fron Little Rock, AR!

  • Sarah W

    My favorite recipe to make for July 4th is a non dairy cheesecake that is a big hit with my entire family. I am from Brooklyn, NY.

  • Ashleigh

    Mmmmmh…nothing beats homemade hamburgers on the grill on the fourth of July! 🙂
    I’m from central Virginia!

  • Very Americana menu yesterday here on Long Island NY…

    Hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, salad, watermellon and a nice chilled & not too sweet Reisling…:)

    Pound cake with fresh berries and whipped cream finished the meal…yum!
    Looks like a great cookbook…

  • Sapphire

    Greetings from New Jersey…..homemade chocolate chip cookie-ice cream sandwiches! YUM!

  • Michele

    My mom’s 3 Bean Salad, absolutely delish! Presently from NJ.
    Fingers crossed!

  • Kim

    We either make homemade cheese cake topped with fresh sweet strawberries or an ice cream cake!

    I am from Alabama!!

  • Quyen

    BBQ – from Dallas, TX!

  • I’m from Urbana,OH. (wierd saying Urbana as we just moved from St.Paris where I have lived all my life..tis only 17 mins away) I would have to say my favorite dish to make for July 4th is Raspberry Pretzel Salad.

  • Sheila

    From Missouri: we love the flag cake from Barefoot Contessa. It is an excellent cake and the rasperries and blueberries in season are perfect. Plus it is so festive and decorates the whole kitchen!

  • Cathy V

    My family always want’s macaroni salad. From PA, I live in North Carolina.

  • Jenn

    I loved Warrens show on Foodtv! I’m from Nebraska and I love an onion cut up, put in a foil pocket with some butter, salt, and pepper on the grill and cooked until it’s soft…YUM!

    Happy week everyone!

  • Richel

    I love to make red, white and blue cookies. Make your basic chocolate chip cookie recipe but add white chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate ones, about a cup of dried blueberries and a cup of dried cranberries. They are perfect! Slap some vanilla ice cream between them and you have a yummy treat for fireworks and fun! I have often made a double batch on the fourth because there are never any left!

    I’m from California and we had one toasty 4th of July!

  • Amy, when does your book come out?? Can’t wait!

  • My favorite thing to make is either bbbq beans (Bourbon BBQ) with maple syrup and bacon or pulled pork, cooked for 8 hours…on a bun with coleslaw! From Sonoma, CA!

  • Tricia

    My favorite thing about 4th of July is freshly bought corn and watermelon.
    This year due to just moving cross country, we were lucky enough to be able to do a local farm tour via hayride on Saturday.
    And we brought home lots of fresh fruits & vegetables from their farm market, and noshed on those all weekend!

  • Alexandra

    I would have to say that you can’t get any more patriotic for 4th of July than hot dogs and hamburgers with all the fixings fresh cut watermelon for dessert!

    I was born in Mass. and are currently in New Jersey.

  • Cherish

    My favorite is grilled corn or grilled pineapple! The best part about the 4th is I don’t do cooking inside. I’m from Minnesota!

  • Tami

    I love to make the standard grilled burgers and dogs with all the trimmings, chips and guacamole, and ice cold slices of watermelon.

  • beka

    from california, love making fruit trifle!

  • Laurie Underwood

    My favorite – a peach pie! Peaches are SO in right now…yum yum! Love to you from St. Louis, Missouri!

  • Lindsay

    My family LOVES the 4th of July. We have the annual party that everyone is dying to come to. My mom decorates her whole house inside and out to honor and celebrate this beautfiul country of ours and my father’s service and sacrafice in the military. My dad is the main chef on the grill. And of all the traditional foods we eat each year, I look forward to the old fashioned baked beans. Heavy on the brown sugar and bacon, the beans are a constant staple at our 4th of July parties! The recipe has bean passed down for generations and it reminds me of heritatge and history… and the 4th of July! 🙂

  • From Kansas City (MO)… bar-b-que baked beans!!!

  • I’m form california and love to decorate patriotic cookies.

  • Brooke B

    Brunswick Stew -from Georgia, living in California now

  • There’s nothing better than apple pie on the 4th of July. And I’m from Toronto but live in Utah.

  • I live in New Jersey and I am a fan of Cake Love. I would have to agree that you can’t get any more patriotic for 4th of July weekend than grilling burgers, corn hot dogs and having apple pie and fresh fruit for dessert.

  • I always make fresh donut holes for the parade in the morning and some kind of pie for the festivities later – this year it was was boysenberry – yum!

    I live in CA

  • Brendan

    My 4th of July must haves are sweet grilled corn and homemade strawberry lemonade.

    Phoenix, AZ

  • Cupcakes!!! I’m a California girl currently living in Montana.

  • Fleur-de-Lis Diva

    We always have homemade peach cobbler( grandmother’s recipe) topped with homemade vanilla ice cream( Uncle Willie’s recipe). Yummy!!! I grew up in New Orleans and live in Arlington, TX

  • Ckay

    Hi, first of all, greetings and congratulations for your Blog from Switzerland.
    I was so positively impressed from this book that I’ve already ordered one! I am looking forward to trying these USA recipes…
    Thank you for sharing the information.
    Best regards
    I’ve made baking and cake decorating my new hobby. I am far away to be good but I won’t give up and experiment and exercise….
    I’ve put some cake pictures in FB ( FB page: sweet and that’s it). Any comments or help from your side will be highly appreciated.

    • Ckay

      Sorry I forgot to say that we do not celebrate the 4th of July in Switzerland, but if we would I’d bake a carrot cake from the Argovian part of Switzerland. Is a cake with zero fat (no butter, no oil) and it’s great.
      Should somebody want the full recipe, I’ll be pleased to post it.

  • Rachel

    Cherry Crisp has always been a fourth of July staple at our house in Colorado!

  • Here in Utah, our family loves to make ice cream sundaes! Big bowls of our favorite toppings like peanut butter cups, snickers, m&ms, jr. mints and of course magic shell!

  • Genevieve

    4th is my fave holiday! hamburgers in Texas!

  • Gotta have baked beans and homemade ice cream on the 4th.
    I’m from California via Colorado.

  • Rian

    Berry trifle (in Michigan!)

  • Laura

    I love potato salad on the 4th ~ Idaho

  • Jennifer

    My Colorado family traditionally does BBQ on the July 4th and this year was no exception. We always have to make my mom’s famous ribs. She boils them for at least an hour before putting them on the grill with the “Show Me” BBQ sauce they special order online from an old professor at the University of Illinois (dad’s college). They always wind up fall off the bone tender and have the Kansas City sweet to them. We also tend to make Strawberries and Cream type desserts!!!

  • Beth

    I made an ice box cake with chocolate graham crackers and dressed it with fresh raspberries and blueberries. It was a big hit.

  • On the 4th, I love frozen watermelon balls rolled lightly in sugar, and different flavored cakes and frosting in jars!!!!!!!!!

    Michelle Torres
    [email protected]

  • Laura Peterson

    After a day at the beach in Southern California my family loves fruit pizza

  • Sylvia

    My favorite recipe would be BBQ ribs using my sister’s secret sauce…they’re the bombdiggi! I am from the great state of TEXAS.

  • Although I now reside in Idaho (and love it!), I am a South Dakota girl. 4th of July was always about being in the hometown parade, fireworks, and the local American Legion Auxiliary baked good auction. My grandma always managed to end up with the top paid item. I like to have her lemon bars on hand for friends and family that stop by to join the celebration.

  • Paula

    Fresh strawberries, blueberries cake and whipped cream…hmmmm
    Shot heard round the world…Massachusetts

  • Our favorite summer/4th of July/Bastille Day recipe is the classic French (sorry, out of state selection!!) CLAFOUTIS. Cherries in a rich custardlike cake is the staple of summer in my country and everyone I make it for (in NJ where I live)always loves it!!

  • Stacey Bode

    I would LOVE this book! I’m always looking for new things, and my family LOVES to know the history of things.

  • My favorite recipe to make and share with my family is strawberry pudding cake. We spend the day in Vermilion, Ohio!!

  • Kimiko

    I’m from California, and we always have a fresh fruit tart.

  • Kristy

    From Texas and love to make blueberry cobbler. Yum!!!

  • Squeep! This book is so perfect for our patriotic household. We always make Red White and Blue jelly shots and Juicy Lucy Burgers filled with American Cheese.

  • I love to make layered ice cream cakes for the fourth of July! Its a nice refreshing dessert! I am writing this from Maryland, but just returned from Upstate New York myself and a wonderful visit to Letchworth State Park. It is a natural beauty with 3 enchanting waterfalls! Spent Independence Day white water rafting with my husband and two boys! A first for all of us. What a fun and memorable day!

  • Dana

    Hello! We love to grill on the 4th of July here in North Carolina! Also, fresh squeezed lemonade is a must. Love your blog and all of your wonderful ideas!

  • This looks like a wonderful book — thanks for the opportunity to win!

  • Darn it! I was so excited, I forgot to mention that I’m in Indiana and my favorite 4th of July recipe is red white and blue decorated cupcakes!

  • Julie

    Potato Salad! from North Carolina!

  • An apple pie. I’m from the state of France 😉

  • By the way, who’s the lucky winner of this coveted book? I didn’t see the announcement…

    • Richel

      I know I could not find who won either.