We’re Looking for Your Best Layer Cake (Again!)

A new year is often a time for reflection—and your friendly Food52 recipe contest community moderators have been doing our own sort of reflecting, and looking back at all of the past contest themes. If you are new to our recipe contests or a veteran c…

A new year is often a time for reflection—and your friendly Food52 recipe contest community moderators have been doing our own sort of reflecting, and looking back at all of the past contest themes. If you are new to our recipe contests or a veteran contestant who wants to take a walk down memory lane, check out these past contests that we loved:

But in our lookback, we were really most struck by our very first contest—Your Best Layer Cake—which, surprisingly, had only three entries! The winner was Not Red Velvet Cake with Fudge Glaze, and the runner up was Lemon Birthday Cake. If you can believe it, taking last place was a recipe that is now a beloved Food52 favorite: Chocolate Dump-It Cake.

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Make-Ahead Banana Coffee Cake

Make-Ahead Banana Coffee Cake brings coffee cake and banana bread into one bite. Prep this recipe the night before and bake it in the morning for a warm-from-the-oven holiday breakfast.  INTRO EASY BANANA COFFEE CAKE WITH BISQUICK I am a big fan of using my homemade Bisquick mix to make everything from fluffy Bisquick pancakes …

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Make-Ahead Banana Coffee Cake brings coffee cake and banana bread into one bite. Prep this recipe the night before and bake it in the morning for a warm-from-the-oven holiday breakfast. 

Maple syrup being poured over the top of a slice of banana coffee cake

INTRO

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Why Yellow Cake Is So Important to Black Celebrations

Early in my relationship with my current partner, he threw a small birthday party for me. We went to a local bakery a few days before the party to order a cake. When the baker asked what kind I wanted, I said yellow cake with chocolate frosting. The ba…

Early in my relationship with my current partner, he threw a small birthday party for me. We went to a local bakery a few days before the party to order a cake. When the baker asked what kind I wanted, I said yellow cake with chocolate frosting. The baker had no idea what a yellow cake was, and my boyfriend said that yellow wasn’t a flavor.

I strongly believed, and still do, that not only is yellow a flavor, it is the only flavor when it comes to cake. Growing up, yellow cake was the only cake served at birthday parties. It was always present in the fellowship hall after church services and was the first cake to sell out at bake sales. I started to wonder if yellow cake was a cultural touchstone in the Black community, or if I was alone in my affection.

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Pink Peppermint Christmas Ice Cream Cake.

This christmas ice cream cake is so fun and festive! Made with oreo cookies, ice cream sandwiches and a seasonal peppermint ice cream, it’s always a huge hit. Everyone loves it! Who’s in for christmas ice cream cake?! I’m raising all my hands. This cake is SO fun. Tastes amazing. Another recipe that looks pretty […]

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This christmas ice cream cake is so fun and festive! Made with oreo cookies, ice cream sandwiches and a seasonal peppermint ice cream, it’s always a huge hit. Everyone loves it!

Who’s in for christmas ice cream cake?!

christmas ice cream cake

I’m raising all my hands. This cake is SO fun. Tastes amazing. Another recipe that looks pretty darn fancy but… isn’t. It’s easy and you will love it. 

In fact, everyone will love it. 

peppermint ice cream

Layers of cookies and ice cream and chocolate, oh my. I used a pink peppermint ice cream that I found, but a peppermint bark or any other mint variety would work so well. Just wait until you bring it out for guests!

They will totally flip. 

ice cream sandwiches

I’ve been waiting almost six months to make this christmas cake! If you follow my week in the life posts, it might look familiar. Back on the 4th of July, Lacy made this cake and it was OUTSTANDING.

First of all, it looked gorgeous. It was just so pretty and enticing.

And second, it was incredible. She used mint chocolate chip ice cream which is one of my kids’ favorites. We all loved it so much!

ice cream sandwiches

Since this is my traditional christmas cake week, I knew I had to share. In years past, I’ve always shared my christmas cake on this friday. I’ve made a pink peppermint cake, a white christmas sparkle cake, a hot cocoa cake with whipped marshmallow, and last year… no cake.

Last year I made a cake that ended up being a gigantic fail. And I wasn’t feeling that great in the early weeks of pregnancy, so I scrapped it. The entire thing was VERY 2020, you know?

Oh, haha, except the jokes on us: 2021 is still almost the same? No thank you!

peppermint ice cream

ANYWAY. 

This fabulous cake comes from the NY times and it could NOT be easier. I mean, this is so incredible easy, I can hardly take it. 

The best part is that you can customize it to your liking. For example, Eddie doesn’t like the chocolate mint combo, but he loves cookies and cream. My number one choice would probably be chocolate peanut butter if we’re being honest.

But that’s what is so amazing – ANY flavor works!

pink peppermint

You won’t believe the ingredients either. It’s super simple!

You need:

  • Chocolate sandwich cookies, like oreos, for the crust. I like to use more than the recipe calls for to get a thick crumbly crust. It’s delish.
  • Your favorite ice cream. Whether it’s plain old vanilla or something fancier. And you can make this wonderfully seasonal as well. Use a flavor or fruity flavor in the spring! Go full blown strawberry for summer. Pumpkin for the fall of course and then he we are – at Christmas!
  • Ice cream sandwiches. Oh yes! That’s the secret. You layer them right into the cake and they provide a fancy looking cake layer. You want the classic rectangle ice cream sandwiches.
  • Top it off with a drizzle of chocolate, of course.
  • Finally, since we’re in holiday mode, I like to add crushed candy canes or peppermints. Super fun and festive!

christmas ice cream cake

This cake really reminds me of my mom’s frozen oreo cookie dessert too! Did you ever have that in the 90s?

christmas ice cream cake

It’s HUGE that you can make this ahead of time. Make it the day or night before – that makes entertaining SO easy. It obviously lasts and just needs to be stored in the freezer. Remove it 20 minutes or so before serving so you can slice. Everyone loves it! (more…)

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Graham Cracker Cake

I am a bad blogger. While others are posting recipes for green bean casseroles, newfangled stuffing, and yet another way to improve turkey (it’s amazing how many ways there seem to be, and they just keep coming…) this year, I’m back to digging into my recipe files, finally getting around to making some of the recipes I’ve clipped over the years. This usual-sounding cake was…

I am a bad blogger. While others are posting recipes for green bean casseroles, newfangled stuffing, and yet another way to improve turkey (it’s amazing how many ways there seem to be, and they just keep coming…) this year, I’m back to digging into my recipe files, finally getting around to making some of the recipes I’ve clipped over the years.

This usual-sounding cake was one of the clipped recipes that have been patiently waiting for almost a few decades (as was the case for this chocolate hazelnut tart and these butterscotch bars), and I’m just now tackling. If a cake made with crushed Graham crackers and spicy speculoos cookies, along with butter, whole wheat flour, and flaky sea salt, sounds good to you, you’re not alone. I traveled across the Atlantic with it!

Continue Reading Graham Cracker Cake...

Cranberry Bliss Bars

If you find yourself counting down the days until you can get your hands on Cranberry Bliss Bars, this copycat recipe is exactly what you need to enjoy them at home any time of the year. I used to count down the days until I could buy the Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar. But now I …

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If you find yourself counting down the days until you can get your hands on Cranberry Bliss Bars, this copycat recipe is exactly what you need to enjoy them at home any time of the year.

Three cranberry bliss bars arranged on a white plate, with a bite taken out of one of them

I used to count down the days until I could buy the Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar. But now I have my own recipe, and honestly, it’s even better!

Cranberry is such a wonderful flavor that deserves more attention all year long. I’m not complaining about it getting its due in winter, though.

The flavors in these cranberry bars are similar to another copycat recipe of mine, glazed orange scones, as well as my cranberry orange bread and cranberry orange cinnamon rolls.

What can I say, I love the combo of cranberry and orange!

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How to Make ​​Entremet, As Seen on ‘The Great British Bake Off’

It’s the semi-finals of The Great British Bake Off on Netflix and the pressure was on for the remaining four contestants—Chigs, Crystelle, Giuseppe, and Jürgen. During the showstopper portion of the episode, the contestants were challenged to bake a sp…

It’s the semi-finals of The Great British Bake Off on Netflix and the pressure was on for the remaining four contestants—Chigs, Crystelle, Giuseppe, and Jürgen. During the showstopper portion of the episode, the contestants were challenged to bake a spectacular Entremet themed display. Bakers were given five hours to create an edible centerpiece.

“This is going to be one of the most difficult challenges they’ve ever done in the tent. It’s a delicate dessert with layer upon layer of beautiful textures and flavors,” said co-judge Paul Hollywood.

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Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Looking for a coffee cake full of fall flavors? You’ll definitely want to try this Pumpkin Coffee Cake! Packed with pumpkin and topped with streusel and a simple icing, this is the perfect cake for snacking on alongside a cup of coffee or chai. If there is one pumpkin recipe you make from My Baking …

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Looking for a coffee cake full of fall flavors? You’ll definitely want to try this Pumpkin Coffee Cake! Packed with pumpkin and topped with streusel and a simple icing, this is the perfect cake for snacking on alongside a cup of coffee or chai.

Several slices of pumpkin coffee cake, topped with drizzled icing, scattered on a piece of parchment paper

If there is one pumpkin recipe you make from My Baking Addiction (aside from my Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin Roll) it has to be this Pumpkin Coffee Cake.

Between testing it and just making it to share with friends and family, I think I’ve made this Pumpkin Coffee Cake over 5 times within the last month. And let me tell you, it might just be one of my new favorite pumpkin recipes.

This Pumpkin Coffee Cake is super easy to put together and it is perfect for holiday entertaining, potlucks, or as a delicious dessert throughout the week. The flavors actually deepen after it’s baked, so in my opinion it’s even better the day after it’s made.

Serve it up with a piping hot cup of coffee or tea and you pretty much have the perfect fall breakfast!

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cranberry pecan bread

Last week, in a continued effort to get my fridge back to inbox zero after it was groaning under the weight of the extraneous contents of a few shoots here this fall, I decided to take my surplus of cranberries, oranges, and pecans and turn th…

Last week, in a continued effort to get my fridge back to inbox zero after it was groaning under the weight of the extraneous contents of a few shoots here this fall, I decided to take my surplus of cranberries, oranges, and pecans and turn them into a cranberry bread. Except — wait — I don’t have a recipe for cranberry bread. Why did you guys let me go 15 years without a cranberry bread recipe on this site? How did I go 1300 recipes deep in the archives and never find my forever version of one of most classic late fall recipes everyone deserves in their repertoire? Let’s fix this right now.

cranberry bread-01cranberry bread-02cranberry bread-03cranberry bread-04cranberry bread-05cranberry bread-06

Along the way to this final cranberry bread — which yes, predictably required purchasing more cranberries, pecans, and oranges for testing and retesting, as if I’d misunderstood the assignment — two things happened that shocked even me.

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Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew Icebox Cake.

This pumpkin icebox cake has all the flavors of my favorite fall coffee! An espresso layer with a pumpkin layer and graham crackers makes this super delicious and so easy. A perfect Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving dessert! Now this is a cake I can get behind.  Oh my gosh. Yes that title is a mouthful but […]

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This pumpkin icebox cake has all the flavors of my favorite fall coffee! An espresso layer with a pumpkin layer and graham crackers makes this super delicious and so easy. A perfect Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving dessert!

Now this is a cake I can get behind. 

pumpkin cream cold brew icebox cake

Oh my gosh. Yes that title is a mouthful but it is really all necessary. Take the favorite pumpkin cream cold brew and turn it into an icebox cake? Like a super easy cake that doesn’t require baking?!

OKAY. I’m here for it. 

whipped pumpkin cream

This reminds me of my pumpkin white chocolate mousse pie from last year, but it may be even easier. And if you’re into coffee, better? The jury is still out!

layers of espresso and pumpkin cream

It’s no secret how much I absolutely love the pumpkin cream cold brew drink. It is just SO GOOD. Last year I made a version with coconut cream and it’s delish to make at home. I love how the cream layer of the drink is so light and rich at the same time. 

layers of graham crackers on pumpkin cream

So when my cousin Lacy came up with this idea I was 100% sold. She thought of the espresso layer and the pumpkin layer and it sounded incredible. So we got to work! And after a few tests, we nailed it. The creamy icebox cake that you can prep a full day ahead of time with hints of espresso and pumpkin both. Not too sweet. Light and decadent at the same time, just like the drink that I love!

pumpkin cream cold brew icebox cake

The flavor is so spot on. If you love pumpkin and coffee, you’re going to freak.

pumpkin cream cold brew icebox cake

Here’s how the icebox cake goes down:

  • Layers of graham crackers make up our “cakey” layer. Yes, crackers! In icebox cakes, crackers or cookies are used for the layers, which then turn soft and cakey as the cake sits in the fridge. I love using graham crackers here because they are a very neutral flavor with everything else we have going on. However, you could even do oreos… or gingersnaps! Oh yes.
  • I like to make two layers here for our cake. Sort of like how the pumpkin cream cold brew has a cold brew layer and then a cream layer. The first layer is cream, mascarpone cheese and espresso powder. The second layer is pumpkin and cream. All whipped together, all layered to perfection! 
  • The cake really needs to be refrigerated overnight. You can get away with 4 to 6 hours, sure. It will be set and taste delicious, but the graham crackers won’t be soft and cakey yet. They will be crunchy. To be honest, I don’t mind the crunchy texture! But at the same time, it won’t slice nicely. You can use a spoon and scoop it out if you choose to do it that way.
  • For super perfect slices, you can put this in the freezer for about an hour. Despite the name, icebox cake doesn’t actually go in the freezer! It goes in the fridge. But if you want it to be a little firmer, throw it in the freezer for that hour or so. Not much longer. 
  • I like to sprinkle mine with some crushed graham crackers or cinnamon! For the perfect topping.

pumpkin cream cold brew icebox cake

This makes the best Friendsgiving dessert. It is easy, even though it does require two bowls. All you do is layer some fluffy cream and refrigerate the whole thing.

It doesn’t have to look perfect when sliced. You can use a spoon to scoop it out instead! No on minds, because it tastes like heaven.

Cake + coffee is the best combo ever. (more…)

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