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America’s heartland, its Midwestern states, can lay claim not only to hot dish casseroles and amber fields of grain, but also to a hearty dessert tradition brought over with a rich immigrant heritage. German, Scandinavian, Polish, French, and Italian families baked their way to the American Midwest, instilling in it pies, breads, cookies and pastries that manage to feel distinctly American.

Author Shauna Sever began her culinary career in sunny Los Angeles before leaving her flip-flops behind, and resettling her family in her home state of Illinois. As she stretched her wings in her new Midwestern kitchen, she developed what she calls the 5 tenets of Midwest baking: Bake Big, Bake Easy, Bake with Purpose, Bake from the Past, Bake in the Present. Artisan profiles and interviews round out 100 recipes: Rhubarb Swedish Flop, Streuselkuchen, Secret-Ingredient Cherry Slab Pie, Apple Dapple Cake, Scotch-a-Roos and more, custom-designed to make any kitchen feel like a Midwestern home.