Nearly every cookbook has one crowning jewel of a recipe. One big, beautiful must-try. In the case of Baked Occasions, this is that recipe. Three layers of densely spongy "very vanilla" cake are enveloped in layers of bright white frosting and coated with rainbow sprinkles. Cutting into the cake reveals more sprinkles, folded into the cake batter. The effect is childlike and utterly charming, with the innocent sweetness of vanilla providing the perfect backdrop.
'Cake' on Serious Eats
We use the rapid cooking power of a the microwave to make lighter-than-air sponge cakes that pack in the flavor of rocky road ice cream with three forms of chocolate, marshmallows, and toasted walnuts. The best part? They bake in under a minute!
The recipe combines two classic fall quick breads: pumpkin and gingerbread. It grabs the ginger and molasses from a classic gingerbread and adds just enough pumpkin for moistness without adding too much pumpkin flavor. Think of it as a really spicy variation of your favorite pumpkin bread.
A name so nice, they said it twice. In this recipe from the new Huckleberry cookbook, author Zoe Nathan layers melted and chopped dark chocolate over a foundation of cocoa powder and strong coffee to make a dark, densely delicious teatime cake. Of course, teatime can be extended to mean anytime, which is lucky for you.
This almond cake may be healthy, at least as far as desserts go, but that's just an incidental benefit. What matters most is how light, tender, and delicious it is. The secret to its success: beating the egg whites properly. Here's how.
This cake uses whole wheat pastry flour and the zest of four lemons in its base, along with hearty glugs of extra-virgin olive oil. The top is all slices of caramelized Meyer lemon, and the whole shebang is baked up in a cast iron skillet, which gives it a bit of a crust, and a lot of rustic appeal.
This chocolate bundt cake follows the inelegantly named "dump cake" method. You dump all the ingredients into one bowl, whisk, and you're done. Be sure to whisk the dry ingredients together before adding the coffee, oil, and eggs. This prevents clumping of the xanthan gum and tapioca starch. An optional chocolate or confectionary glaze finishes it off.
Indulge in a little no-bake bliss with this cheesecake from Seriously Delish. Greek yogurt is mixed in alongside cream cheese, with a little sweetened condensed milk for, well, sweetness. It's tart, creamy, but not too dense; just the kind of cake you can enjoy more than once in a while. The simple base allows for all kinds of toppings, an assortment of which are suggested. Feel free to eat it plain or switch it up entirely.
This dessert was developed for Tonia George's young daughter, who was diagnosed with Celiac disease. Not wanting to exclude her from enjoying sweets, The Ginger & White Cookbook author came up with this Middle Eastern-inspired loaf cake heavily flavored with pistachios and lemon. It's a crumbly take on pound cake, made super-sweet with the addition of a sugar and rosewater syrup.
A "tray bake" sounds like a peculiar thing, but it merely references a sweet dish baked in a rectangular container, cut into pieces—we're talking everything from brownies to fruit bars to sheet cakes. This iteration from The Ginger & White Cookbook may look to be a standard orange sponge, but that's far from the case: Ground almonds and egg form the base of the cake, with a flavorful orange purée folded into the mix.
Light layers of sponge cake sandwich bright, citrusy lemon curd in this cake from The Ginger & White Cookbook. The cakes bake up quickly and cleanly in springform pans, while the curd comes together on the stove. It's simple, but doesn't look that way, which is sure to impress a teatime guest.
There's something so sweet and homey about a simple loaf. Hardy and adaptable, it can be wrapped in plastic and kept for days, or dressed up like it is here, with a spoonful of confit and some cream. This version, from Paris Pastry Club employs Earl Grey tea along with several sorts of citrus to create the finished product. It's lovely with coffee or, of course, tea.
If the fire-breathing dragon wasn't hint enough, one bite will prove this cake is packing heat. In her recently released cookbook, Sweet and Vicious: Baking with Attitude, Libbie Summers stirs hot pepper extract into a lightly spicy batter, and spikes the cream cheese frosting with spiced pecans. The fruitiness of the pepper works well with the carrot-heavy batter, further enhanced by traditional cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves.
Quite often, the best recipes are ones that can be made on the fly, allowing for changes and adaptations. The skillet corn cake from Sweet and Vicious: Baking With Attitude is one such beast; author Libbie Summers sticks to the same cake base, but provides five fruit options, each yielding a distinctly different flavor.
Borrowing all the classic flavors of a campfire s'more, the Ideas in Food team creates a graham cracker cake that's flavored with browned butter, layered with a dulce de leche-spiked chocolate mousse, and topped with a toasted bourbon-marshmallow icing.
When you've fried, baked, and sautéed all the zucchini you can, shred some to make this chocolate cake from Mother Daughter Dishes. It's baked up in a Bundt pan, and drizzled with a chocolate glaze, to make it even richer.
This gluten-free all-day lemon cakes is one of those confections that goes equally well with a morning cup of coffee or a post-dinner, end of the day drink.
Brooklyn Blackout cupcakes from Robicelli's: A Love Story, with Cupcakes are made with enough chocolate to drown in. A base of chocolate cake is covered with chocolate custard buttercream, then dipped in a fudge glaze and sprinkled with chocolate cake crumbs. Based on the famous Blackout cake from Ebinger's Bakery, the beloved Brooklyn institution.
A traditional carrot cake recipe, bursting with spices and fresh carrot, is topped with a cream cheese buttercream and walnuts roasted in butter. The spices of the cake are set off splendidly by a dense, tangy buttercream.
This light and fluffy Italian meringue buttercream is slightly sweet and extremely workable.