posted in Cookbook Reviews

Bake it Like You Mean It

I received this gorgeous new cookbook by Gesine Bullock Prado in the mail the other day:  Bake It Like You Mean It.  The book is full of all kinds of recipes for cakes and other baked goods that are beautiful both inside and out.  Check this out:

This is one of my favorites in the book:  Mini Berry Ladyfinger Tarts.  Can you even imagine creating something so pretty?  The author gives very specific step-by-step instructions on how to do it!

I’ve never made a rainbow cake (the round version seems like it would be crazy enough to attempt), but this one displays vertical cake pieces!  How is that even possible?  Again, the author shows you how.

This one is awfully pretty too, isn’t it?  It’s a “Pumpkin Pullman Surprise!”

And how about hearts baked into your cake?  Yeah, she shows you how to do that too.  So sweet.

If you’re a baker (or an aspiring baker), or if you’re just totally interested in how all of this fancy stuff works… you’re going to want a copy of Bake It Like You Mean It.  It’s such a great read from one of my favorite baking authors, and it’s a beautiful book to add to your cookbook shelf.  Recipes I’m excited to “attempt!”: Croissants, Brioche, Meyer Lemon & Blackberry Zebra Cheesecake, Creamsicle Cheesecake, Checkerboard Cake, Interior Heart Cake, German Chocolate Cake, and the cover recipe too!  I find recipes like this to be a great challenge that I enjoy trying to conquer.  The outcome can be so rewarding if all turns out as planned!  If not, well… you tried and probably learned a lot while doing so.

Would you like a copy of Bake it Like You Mean It?  Publisher Abram’s Books is providing a copy of the book to one lucky RecipeGirl reader.

For a chance to enter to win one copy of Bake it Like You Mean It, leave one comment below sharing something that you’ve always wanted to bake but haven’t attempted yet.
This giveaway is now closed.  The randomly selected winner is commenter #234 Yvette.  Congrats!  Thanks to all for entering!

Details:  This giveaway is open to anyone with a USA mailing address.  A winner will be randomly selected at the end of the day on Monday, March 18th, contacted via email and announced here too.  Bake it Like You Mean It is available for purchase on Amazon, and it’s in bookstores too. You can visit author Gesine Bullock-Prado on her blog: Confections of a Master Baker and  Twitter.  Amazon affiliate links are included within this post.  A copy of this cookbook was provided to me for review- all opinions shared are my own.

316 Responses to “Bake it Like You Mean It”

  1. postedMar 16, 2013 3:51 AM
    Terri A.

    I’d like to try macarons. Fun book!

  2. postedMar 16, 2013 3:52 AM
    Ann Bartman

    I’ve always wanted to bake Julia Child’s Chocolate Cake, and I’m determined to attempt it!

  3. postedMar 16, 2013 4:02 AM

    I’ve always wanted to bake and decorate a cake that’s wedding cake professional. Like with perfect icing, perfect details, just a total showstopper.

    GREAT book and I have so much respect for Gesine’s work!

  4. postedMar 16, 2013 4:21 AM

    Baklava. For some reason, I have a mental block about it.

  5. postedMar 16, 2013 4:27 AM

    I have been told it is easy but I have always wanted to try an upside-down cake. Preferably pineapple but I am open to other options. It just sounds so complicated, even though I am sure it is not too bad. The name still intimidates me.

  6. postedMar 16, 2013 4:28 AM

    I’ve wanted to attempt cinnamon rolls from scratch – hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to do so soon!

  7. postedMar 16, 2013 4:38 AM

    that looks like an amazing book!! Very impressive and almost intimidating! On average, how long does it take to make such beautiful cakes???? I have yet to try a cake within a cake such as these – I really love the idea of cutting a cake and discovering a beautiful heart inside. Since Valentine’s day I have been hoping to give it a try.

  8. postedMar 16, 2013 4:55 AM
    Jayme G.

    What a beautiful book. Thanks for the giveaway,
    I have always wanted to make a French Torte

  9. postedMar 16, 2013 5:08 AM

    i want to bake Hi-Hat Cupcakes someday. They look so neat.

  10. postedMar 16, 2013 5:13 AM

    Croissants. I’ve always wanted to try croissants, but they are so very daunting.

  11. postedMar 16, 2013 5:16 AM

    I’ve always wanted to make croissants, but I’m too afraid!

  12. postedMar 16, 2013 5:37 AM

    Hi, what a wonderful book! tx
    I’ve always wanted to bake a rainbow cake. but I’ve never found a good recipe!

  13. postedMar 16, 2013 6:14 AM

    Tiramasu…but that’s not a baking thing, is it. 😀

    I’ve always wanted to bake a pie with the cute cut outs…like an apple pie with little leaves on the top. 😀

  14. postedMar 16, 2013 6:30 AM
    William Algie

    I always wanted to bake a Panettone, but I have heard that it is one of the most difficult breads to bake.

  15. postedMar 16, 2013 6:30 AM

    I want to learn how to bake croissants.

  16. postedMar 16, 2013 6:42 AM

    Macaroons look like they’d be easy but I know they aren’t. I’d still like to try them!

  17. postedMar 16, 2013 6:50 AM

    Cannoli’s I’m sure there not that hard…just have never made them! This book looks beautiful.

  18. postedMar 16, 2013 6:50 AM
    Lisa S.

    I would love to try to bake croissants!

  19. postedMar 16, 2013 6:58 AM
    Courtney G.

    I have always wanted to make a cheesecake.

  20. postedMar 16, 2013 7:01 AM
    Jess Z

    I have always wanted to make macaroons, croissants and a cake like the one above with the heart shape inside for each slice. I’ve also wanted to learn how to frost like a pro. Thanks for hosting and showcasing this book! 🙂

  21. postedMar 16, 2013 7:06 AM

    WOW! Those cakes look incredible. Hm, I’d like to bake some caneles but haven’t tried them yet. I ate them every day I was in Paris and fell in love, but you need some pretty specific equipment and ingredients to make them. Thanks for the giveaway.

  22. postedMar 16, 2013 7:09 AM

    I have always wanted to try macarons. I hear so many horror stories, I haven’t had the courage to try them yet! Not to mention I’ve never even had one before. I’m hoping to change that soon, too!

  23. postedMar 16, 2013 7:19 AM

    Wow a great book. I would love to step outside my box and make any one thing that is in this booki.

  24. postedMar 16, 2013 7:22 AM

    I’ve always wanted to make Pineapple Upside-Down Cake!

  25. postedMar 16, 2013 7:36 AM

    The cookbook and photographs look amazing! I’ve always wanted to bake a souffle but haven’t!

  26. postedMar 16, 2013 7:43 AM

    I’ve always wanted to make macaroons! They intimidate me, but I need to do it sometime!!

  27. postedMar 16, 2013 7:45 AM
    Liz B.

    I’d like to try working with puff pastry!

  28. postedMar 16, 2013 7:46 AM

    Macaroons, they are pretty as we’ll as delicious but for some reason I’m afraid to attempt them.

  29. postedMar 16, 2013 7:51 AM

    I’d like to try to make a jelly roll

  30. postedMar 16, 2013 8:00 AM
    Vicki Gensini

    I have always wanted to bake a cheesecake but have never tried.

  31. postedMar 16, 2013 8:00 AM

    Croissants! I think I may have tried them once a long time ago, but the results were not memorable.

  32. postedMar 16, 2013 8:03 AM

    Wow that is a hard question for me. I bake what I want when I want to, but the thing that I have not baked yet but would like to would be macarons. I just don’t have some of the things that I need to make then, but one day soon I will make them.

  33. postedMar 16, 2013 8:12 AM

    I’ve never been brave enough to try a souffle. The cake photos here are gorgeous! My daughter wants me to win this and make them for her!

  34. postedMar 16, 2013 8:18 AM
    Megan M

    I have always wanted to try macarons, but I heard all the horror stories and never tried.

  35. postedMar 16, 2013 8:47 AM
    Stephanie H

    Vertical layered cakes. I’ve always wanted to try that.

  36. postedMar 16, 2013 8:47 AM
    Emily S.

    I have always wanted to try making a pumpkin roll. I know to many people it seems easy but the idea of putting delicate elements together and rolling it up WITHOUT breaking or cracking? It just freaks me out! I love the name of this cookbook and would love to win it! 🙂

  37. postedMar 16, 2013 8:54 AM

    I have always wanted to try French pastries like eclairs or croissants but feel like I need more baking experience under my belt before I try!

  38. postedMar 16, 2013 9:04 AM

    I’ve always wanted to bake macarons!

  39. postedMar 16, 2013 9:18 AM

    I’d like to try something with puff pastries – something cute =]

  40. postedMar 16, 2013 9:19 AM
    Bonnie M

    I saw another comment about baklava- that’s on my to-do list, too!

  41. postedMar 16, 2013 9:22 AM
    Jenn @ Icing on the Cake

    Not really baked, but I’ve always wanted to make Tiramisu. Those cakes are absolutely amazing…wow!

  42. postedMar 16, 2013 9:24 AM

    I will try croissants one day!

  43. postedMar 16, 2013 9:27 AM


  44. postedMar 16, 2013 9:38 AM
    V Weir

    I love to bake but I only stick to the basics. I would love to make the cinnamon rolls I remember from my childhood and desserts that anything but basic.

  45. postedMar 16, 2013 9:51 AM
    Susana I.

    Something with homemade Puff Pastry Dough.

  46. postedMar 16, 2013 9:52 AM


  47. postedMar 16, 2013 9:56 AM

    I’ve been wanting to make homemade poptarts for a while…also cake pops!

  48. postedMar 16, 2013 10:15 AM

    I’ve always wanted to bake a walnut torte but I’ve always steered away for layer cakes.

  49. postedMar 16, 2013 10:46 AM

    That rainbow cake just totally drew me in!! I am so ordering this from Amazon if I don’t win! I want to make an ombre cake!

  50. postedMar 16, 2013 10:48 AM
    Pam C.

    A cake within a cake.

  51. postedMar 16, 2013 11:16 AM
    Kara D

    I have always wanted to bake a zebra cake.

  52. postedMar 16, 2013 11:49 AM

    Cheesecakes! I bake everything but I’m scared of cheesecakes. ;

  53. postedMar 16, 2013 11:57 AM

    I’d like to attempt baclava sometime!

  54. postedMar 16, 2013 12:46 PM

    These desserts look gorgeous. I have always wanted to try making a “pinata” cake with something fun baked inside the cake!

  55. postedMar 16, 2013 12:49 PM


  56. postedMar 16, 2013 12:59 PM
    Alisa King

    Oh my gosh!! My peeps wouldn’t know what to think if I showed up at the next gathering with one of these cakes! Beautiful and fun!!!

  57. postedMar 16, 2013 1:01 PM

    I have always wanted to make croissants!!

  58. postedMar 16, 2013 1:05 PM
    Amy Miller

    I always wanted to make a layered cake.

  59. postedMar 16, 2013 1:20 PM
    Margie Huddleston

    Yorkshire Puddings! My husband spent 6 yrs in England years ago, and he wants me to learn how to make them. Got to get up the nerve to try this one! 🙂

  60. postedMar 16, 2013 1:31 PM

    I want to make that black and white cake on the front. Looks amazing (and super hard). Eeeee!

  61. postedMar 16, 2013 1:36 PM

    I’ve always wanted to try french macaroons

  62. postedMar 16, 2013 1:41 PM

    Wow, those are some very pretty cakes. I’m not sure I’d ever go to that much work for a cake except for maybe a birthday but they do look fun.

  63. postedMar 16, 2013 1:57 PM

    I’ve always wanted to try a french vanilla souffle but I’m pretty sure it would end up a disaster if I tried it. 🙂

  64. postedMar 16, 2013 2:32 PM

    i HAVE made the pie in a cake(the turducken of cakes) and i have made cakes with 8(or more) layers that are almost a foot tall and 18#. i would love to do a pandolce, panettone and a lemon or chocolate dacquiose. gesines book looks amazing and way too much FUN!!!!! long live baking!

  65. postedMar 16, 2013 2:43 PM


  66. postedMar 16, 2013 2:49 PM

    I’ve always wanted to make Baked Alaska and flambe it.

  67. postedMar 16, 2013 2:54 PM
    Donna Batman

    Baked Alaska

  68. postedMar 16, 2013 2:58 PM

    i want to try to make a red velvet or carrot cake with impeccable cream cheese frosting. i havent come across the ‘right’ frosting yettt.

  69. postedMar 16, 2013 3:03 PM


  70. postedMar 16, 2013 3:12 PM

    I’ve been eyeballing some macaron recipes and would love to give them a whirl at some point.

  71. postedMar 16, 2013 3:53 PM
    Mary Ann

    Anything with yeast.

  72. postedMar 16, 2013 4:06 PM
    Kim K

    Napoleons – yummmmmm

  73. postedMar 16, 2013 4:20 PM

    I have pinned a ton of recipes and want to try it, but I just haven’t gotten around to trying scones yet. Hopefully I will soon. Book looks great!

  74. postedMar 16, 2013 4:31 PM


  75. postedMar 16, 2013 4:31 PM
    Lisa H

    I’ve always wanted to try a rainbow layer cake, although reading these comments is giving me all sorts of challenging ideas! This book looks amazing

  76. postedMar 16, 2013 4:54 PM

    I would like to try any cake that has a “surprise” inside. And also macarons would be one to try!

  77. postedMar 16, 2013 5:00 PM

    I’ve always wanted to bake a roll cake, like a pumpkin roll. The rolling intimidates me!

  78. postedMar 16, 2013 5:01 PM

    I want to try baklava!

  79. postedMar 16, 2013 5:09 PM
    Dezi A

    I’ve just wanted to bake cream puffs. I know, they aren’t really all that hard but for some reason I just can’t motivate myself to do it…

  80. postedMar 16, 2013 5:40 PM

    I’ve always wanted to make macarons but I haven’t worked up the courage to try yet!

  81. postedMar 16, 2013 5:45 PM

    I have a jelly roll pan and have never made a jelly roll cake. I imagine there are plenty of ideas I’ve never heard of or tried in Bake It Like You Mean It. Plus, my children and I have four boys age 12 and under. Plenty of taste testers!

  82. postedMar 16, 2013 6:37 PM

    I think it would be really neat to make a croquembouche. I’ve made cream puffs before, but never a croquembouche. So far, I’ve been too nervous to try! ha ha

  83. postedMar 16, 2013 6:45 PM

    I’ve always wanted to try English Muffins. And a beautiful wedding cake.

  84. postedMar 16, 2013 7:01 PM

    That book seriously looks amazing!!! I am a huge lover of your blog and a long time follower, but the laziest of commenters. However, I can’t resist the chance to play around with this unique book! I have always been intimidated by yeast breads, oh I can make your wedding cake, pump pies out by the dozens, but, homemade bread? I just can’t deal. It’s not that I’ve never tried, it’s just that only a few times has it ever come out like…not a brick. I am determined to conquer it though!

  85. postedMar 16, 2013 7:45 PM

    Baked Alaska!!

  86. postedMar 16, 2013 7:57 PM

    Soufflé. I want to make a soufflé.

  87. postedMar 16, 2013 8:48 PM

    I’ve been wanting to try the polka for cake I’ve seen all over Pinterest!

  88. postedMar 16, 2013 9:08 PM


  89. postedMar 16, 2013 9:20 PM

    I’ve always wanted to make croissants, but haven’t yet attempted to.

  90. postedMar 16, 2013 10:47 PM

    I’d like to try an Angel Food cake from scratch.

  91. postedMar 16, 2013 11:44 PM

    I have always wanted to make a roll cake with a picture baked into it. Love the idea of all the “surprise” designs in this book.

  92. postedMar 16, 2013 11:57 PM

    This book looks amazing! Would love to try to bake a wedding cake.

  93. postedMar 17, 2013 12:09 AM

    I have always wanted to make one of those fancy lady finger type cakes like above but the lady fingers at the store have always seemed to short. I know having this book would solve my problem in what to do. I’d LOVE to have a copy of it so please sign me up for the giveaway!

  94. postedMar 17, 2013 12:15 AM

    I’ve always wanted to bake macaroons! But I’d also love to figure out how to bake shapes within the cakes, like the heart in the picture above.

  95. postedMar 17, 2013 12:29 AM
    Mary McMahon

    Believe it or not, anything with yeast. I am intimidated by the idea of just the right temperature to get the yeast to grow and then about just the right time to “punch” it down so it can rise a second time. I love the idea, not to mention the taste, of yeast baked goods, but haven’t worked up the courage to try making them–especially sticky pecan sweet rolls–yum yum!

  96. postedMar 17, 2013 12:32 AM

    The book looks gorgeous! On top of my list is macarons and a baked cheesecake.

  97. postedMar 17, 2013 12:44 AM

    dinner rolls … seems like they would be simple enough but I never seem to allow enough time when making a meal.

  98. postedMar 17, 2013 12:57 AM
    Susan C

    I really like to bake anything. But the thing I would like most, is to bake a cheesecake, that doesn’t have cracks or brown on top. That is the biggest challenge while living in Nevada.

    • postedMar 17, 2013 7:06 AM

      Why Nevada? Do you bake it in a water bath?

  99. postedMar 17, 2013 1:00 AM

    I’ve always wondered about trying Molten Lava Cakes.

  100. postedMar 17, 2013 1:04 AM
    Suzanne B

    I’ve always wanted to bake Nigella Lawson’s Clementine cake……..and I might just do that for my birthday next month. There is also a chocolate version as well……yum!

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