A homemade birthday cake? You bet. There are few ways to better say “I think you are pretty special” than baking someone a cake from scratch. And the best news is that if you take your time and follow the directions carefully, you’ll be turning out picture-perfect cakes from the get-go. Don’t overmix, and don’t overbake. And check out these easy tips for assembling the cake. (Have you ever heard of a crumb coat? It will change your cake-baking life.) Get ready for open-mouthed gasps of joy and lots of celebrating!
Once the weather heats up, the first thing I crave is a homemade banana split: ice cream, strawberry topping and whipped cream, surrounded by bananas covered in hot fudge. A classic for sure.
Turning that classic summertime dessert into a cake was a brilliant suggestion from a good friend who shares the same passion for those amazing flavors as I do! One word of advice: Be sure to time out your recipe. The fantastic frozen banana bites should be made ahead of time and properly chilled before you add them to the cake. You may also notice that I used a canned strawberry pie filling — this was very intentional! It really adds to the authentic banana-split flavor.
Once the cake is fully assembled, it should be eaten right away. Leftovers are not an issue, as it is so good people always want more.
If you told the childhood version of yourself that one day you’d flip for a cake filled with a vegetable, you surely would have laughed. But this tried-and-true dessert is endlessly craveable no matter how you make it. And yes, there are many ways:
As you peel back layers of winter wool, consider shedding your offset spatula from your baking arsenal too. This spring, it’s all about the “naked cake” — a low-fuss creation with exposed sides that’s perfect for the baker who simply cannot waste time on impeccably frosted edges. As much as we love a thick coat of icing, we’re just as excited by the abundance of fresh fruit now at the markets — and the myriad opportunities fruit presents for dressing up spring desserts. When diced or sliced thin, pineapple, banana and fresh berries can all double as sweet jewels for dressing up layer cakes. It would be a true gaffe to cover them up, which is why these pretty cakes are letting their middles show.
Strawberry shortcake meets strawberry-rhubarb pie in this spring dessert mash-up. No need to frost down the sides of the cake — it’s much prettier if you let the strawberries and rhubarb peak out through the center.
Easy, versatile and wildly unappreciated by the calorie-conscious, pound cake is the sweet star of bake sales and brunches alike. But no matter the audience, this old-school cake captivates with its uniquely rich and dense texture. Its name comes from the traditional recipe that calls for a pound each of flour, butter, sugar and eggs — though the name “pound cake” is now synonymous with any buttery cake prepared in a loaf pan or Bundt mold. Choose one of our crowd-pleasing recipes, then use it as a canvas for ice cream, caramel sauce, fresh fruit or glaze.
A classic pound cake should live up to its name, so don’t be surprised to see a whole pound of butter in the ingredients list of this Purely Pound Cake recipe. If you aren’t serving the cake right away, wrap it in parchment paper to help keep it moist.
No matter if you’re hosting a special-occasion dessert party or simply baking for a Tuesday night at home, cake and pie are go-to treats, and they’re guaranteed crowd-pleasers. But we want to know what it is about cake and pie that makes them so beloved. Cast your vote in the polls below to tell us what you think is the best part of each dessert.
Fluffy, sweet and sinfully easy, cream cheese frosting is a baker’s best-kept secret for elevating almost any treat from “good” to the realm of outstanding. This Cream Cheese Frosting from Food Network Kitchen is a classic, tried-and-true recipe of unsalted butter and cream cheese at room temperature, combined with powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Enjoy the frosting in its purest state, or jazz it up with different mix-ins like lemon juice and shredded coconut. Before applying it to baked goods, it doesn’t hurt to do a quick taste test to check for smoothness and the right fat-to-sugar ratio … Just remember to leave enough in the bowl to cover your cake.
Here are a few of our favorite applications:
By Beth Klosterboer
My family gathers together to celebrate someone’s birthday quite often — so often, in fact, that the parties were getting a bit mundane. To make these get-togethers a little more exciting, I began serving reveal cakes.
What’s a reveal cake, you ask? Well, when sliced, it exposes a surprise hiding inside, like the age or name of the birthday girl or boy. It’s really fun to have everyone gather around the dessert table eagerly awaiting the big reveal. The enthusiastic response to the cakes makes every party more fun.
A Bundt is the perfect cake to make when you want a beautiful showstopper without the fuss of frosting, layers or intricate decorations. It emerges from its namesake pan looking golden and gorgeous every time; a simple glaze makes the cake even more mouthwatering. But the key to a perfect Bundt is to make sure its interior is just as wonderful as the outside. With so little adornment, there are fewer ways to hide mistakes. Turns out, the secret to a light-textured, moist and flavorful cake is all in the mixing technique.
Well, to be specific, it’s all in the way you cream the butter and sugar. Sure, sweet butter, tangy buttermilk, fragrant orange zest and plenty of poppy seeds add deep flavor, but proper technique is the key to a fine, tender crumb.