At her celebrated bakery Lael Cakes, Emily Lael Aumiller creates stunning special-occasion cakes that are as pleasing to the taste buds as they are to the eye—and they’re also all vegan and gluten-free! As more people are becoming aware of their dietary restrictions, Emily’s exquisite cakes provide a solution that leaves everyone happy while dismissing the idea that vegan and gluten-free desserts are by nature unattractive. Pure Artistry includes recipes for staple cakes (like Mexican Chocolate, Lemon-Poppy, and Classic Red Velvet) plus icings and fondant, how-tos on cake construction, and information on necessary ingredients and tools. The truly extraordinary feature of the book is the gorgeous cake designs, which are organized by mood—classical, classical whimsy, modern, and modern whimsy. These teach the reader foundational decorating techniques, like making sugar flowers, while inspiring bakers with photography that is gorgeous enough to stand on its own.
Aumiller's goal of creating "edible art" (that just happens to be vegan and gluten-free) is apparent in this graceful collection divided into two sections: Recipes & Techniques and Aspects of Cake Design. The author's years of baking without the likes of eggs and milk led her to years of experimenting in search of successful "stable" cakes, and readers will benefit from her research into alternative ingredients such as gluten-free flours, unrefined sugars, and plant-based fats. Detailed information on tools and decorating leads to cake recipes centered on Mexican chocolate, coconut, and ginger. The highlights of the book are the often intricate and always lovely cake decorations; how-to sections give step-by-step photos for painting and stenciling adornments, sculpting feathers, and creating and applying a chevron pattern. Photography by Volo captures the artful creations in full-page spreads: "Gold in Chaos" is a three-layer cake that appears to defy gravity, and "Pleated Angels," a wedding dress inspired cake, boasts pristine "folds." This title is both inspirational and enjoyable to browse.