Tag Archives: The Duchess Bakes a Cake

Bembelman’s Bakery


This is the origin story of a (fictional) hugely-popular bakery. Back in the Old Country, seven children decide to help their mama by baking bread. Like The Duchess Bakes a Cake, things quickly spiral out of control, but the flavor of this book is completely different:

“This is not just bread,” he cried. “It’s meat and potatoes!
It’s strudel and pie! It’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner all at
once! It’s apples and raisins, vodka and noodles, every taste
you ever wanted to taste, all in each wonderful bite.”

I always enjoyed this as a kid and it is now one of my youngest’s very favorites.

Caveat: Corporal punishment clearly is an option for this family, but the reference is fleeting.

Author: Melinda Green
Illustrator: Barbara Seuling

The Duchess Bakes a Cake


Her cries brought the family, one and another.
“Come girls,” said the Duke,
“Say good-bye to your mother.

“I fear an improper proportion of leaven
Is taking my dear Duchess right up to Heaven.”

Giant cakes, silly adults, bright and cheerful illustrations…  All of these are strongly in this book’s favor.  However, some of the fun for the boys may be listening to me trying to get through it.  Most of it roll trippingly off the tongue:

“You’ll all be delighted, for I’m going to make
A lovely light luscious delectable cake.”

But a few parts, particularly the names of the thirteen (!) daughters are fraught with peril.  Take a deep breath and hold onto your hats.  It is well worth the effort.

Author:  Virginia Kahl
Illustrator:  Virginia Kahl