Maida Heatter has been called the "Queen of Cake."

The author of nine dessert books and a member of the James Beard Foundation Hall of Fame, Heatter has earned her title over a lifetime dedicated to baking. Her best-known work, the Book of Great Desserts covers every category of dessert popular in America from tortes and pies to fried cookies, crêpes, icebox cakes, brownies, bars and soufflés. Heatter talks to the reader like an old friend, explaining her recommendations through anecdotes. The not-to-be-missed recipe is her Queen Mother cake, a flourless chocolate number with almonds that the author declares would be her pick if there were only one dessert in the entire world.