The earliest version of this book (which was the cookery writer Geraldene Holt's first work) was the result of years of baking for the WI stall in a nearby Devon market town. People soon recognised that here was a talent for writing books that helped in the kitchen and that here was a great collection of recipes that scored bullseye after bullseye. Most people's copies of this have started to fall apart after thirty years of baking. A new edition that took into account some changes in taste and some improvements in technique seemed to be called for. Prospect is honoured to have the chance to publish this reworking, not least because all my children have been brought up on its teatime treats. This is not a picture-book with recipes, although there are some textual embellishments. Cakes don't really need pictures, they need reliable instructions. These are here in spades: from tray bakes to fruit cakes, to sponges and biscuits, teacakes to scones, little morsels for a mouthful to great big Christmas specials. There has been a plethora of baking books of late, but this should not detract from the success of this most reliable and intelligent of manuals. It is not too large, it is not too small. The recipes are laid out clearly and fall conveniently to the page (a more important matter than most people think).