Yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Classic. If you ask most people what their favorite cake is, they will answer, “Yellow cake with chocolate frosting.” It’s the cake of our fondest nostalgic imaginings, bringing to mind the best birthdays of childhood.
Not my birthdays, though. I was a child of the 70’s with [...]
If you’re not familiar with the concept, icebox cake is a no-bake cake which involves pairing something crisp (like chocolate wafers, or ritz crackers, or in this case, graham crackers) with something creamy, like pudding or condensed milk, or whipped cream. For this particular icebox cake, I mixed whipped cream with some tart lemon curd and some creamy ricotta for flavor. Layered the whole thing with fresh blueberries. The crisp element absorbs the moisture from the creamy one, and gets soft, like the layer of a cake. A wonderfully thin layer of a cake, which, in the case of the graham crackers here, retains a bit of texture. Like a dacquoise. But also like a trifle. And mostly like an icebox cake. The magical transformation happens in the refrigerator, hence the name icebox cake. It’s a great dessert for summer, because there’s no need to turn your oven on in hot weather. [...]
My personal favorite take on a bunny cake (or a birthday cake, or a Sunday afternoon for no reason layer cake) is an orange layer cake with orange buttercream frosting. I love chocolate cake, and won’t turn up my nose at a good coconut cake, or carrot cake, but when it comes to layer cakes, orange cake might just be my favorite. Orange cake seems to magically straddle that divide between those who prefer what my friend Mike calls the “brown” flavors (caramel, nuts, chocolate) and those who prefer a fruitier touch. I’ve been making this particular cake quite a bit lately (layer cake happens to be a pregnancy craving) and it’s easy to throw together, with a nice orange flavor and a moist crumb. [...]
The result is a cross between a Swedish Midsummer Cake, a French Macaron or Dacquoise (the big sister to the macaron), an Australian Pavlova and my weird imagination. A very good cross. Let’s just say that four people demolished the entirety of this eight inch cake in one sitting. The edges of the meringue stay crisp, while the cream and the juicy strawberries soften the center into a creamy, light cake. It’s the very essence of summer — light and almost insubstantial, but deeply satisfying. [...]
I'm Kate, and between my day job and my home job, life is pretty full. Look around to find some of the recipes, projects, stories and tips that keep me sane on the domestic front. Read more about me here and feel free to email me with any questions or feedback!