United Cakes of America by Warren Brown reads like a cross country road trip with mandatory stops at all of the bakeries along the way. It's a state by state tour of regional cakes, ranging from the familiar—New York Cheesecake and Florida Key Lime Pie, to the lesser known—North Dakota's Oatmeal and Currant Cake, and even a little bit outlandish—Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake, anyone?
Brown breaks up the recipes into regions and explains the origin of each cake's story and how it relates specifically to the place where it came from. While many of the cakes have natural ties to the state's agricultural production (Avocado Cupcakes from California), other have beginnings that are a bit more mysterious. The Lady Baltimore Cake, a South Carolina classic, has nothing to do with the city in Maryland, but inspired the title of a romantic novel by Owen Wister.
In honor of all of the great cakes of America, and just in time for Independence Day weekend, we are giving away a copy of United Cakes of America. All you have to do is tell us about your favorite regional dessert in the comments section below. One lucky winner will be chosen at random to receive a copy of the book.
Contest will end and comments will close at noon EST, Monday, July 5, 2010. One entry per community member. Winners are limited to residents of the continental U.S. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.