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The Food52 Winter Games Heat Up with the Swooshiest Cake Event

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Readers, ready your forks: It's time for the next event in the Food52 Winter Games, our Olympics-inspired food face-off series. So far, we’ve seen carbs versus carbs in the Triple-Loop Noodle competition, and after this match-up we've got one very cheesy conclusion in store.

The temperatures outside may be chilly, but in the kitchen the games are heating up. Our next event is a crowd favorite: The Swooshiest Cake. Get ready to cheer your heart out for your favorite competitor confection, because only one can snag the gold. Let’s get to know the participants:

Chocolate Cake with Tahini Buttercream Moguls

Photo by Julia Gartland

Moguls are a series of bumps set in the snow of a ski course (holler if you had to look that one up, too!). They're meant to challenge freestyle skiers, forcing them to turn and jump their way down the mountain. However, in this sweet twist on the Olympic competition, we’re not after speed—we’re after finesse. Swoops of creamy, nutty tahini buttercream swirl and dip over a rich yet fluffy chocolate cake. Let’s just say we wouldn’t want to be skiing our way down this steep slope. However, we would definitely take one for the team (pun intended) and eat our way through a slice or two, possibly in record time.

Chocolate Cake with Tahini Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Cake with Tahini Buttercream Frosting

Joanna Sciarrino Joanna Sciarrino
Serves 12–16

Chocolate Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

Tahini Buttercream

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds
Go to Recipe

Rich Lemon Cake with Swoopy Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

Photo by Julia Gartland

Is this the most ethereal slope we've ever seen? Or is it luscious swirls of tangy, citrusy frosting? Piled high atop dense layers of lemon cake, the cream cheesy concoction is sure to score mondo points with powder hounds. Whipped until fluffy, its subtle lime flavor complements the almost fudge-like lemony interior. But will it take home the gold? Medal or not, we'll likely rip through it in no time.

Rich Lemon Cake with Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

Rich Lemon Cake with Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

Joanna Sciarrino Joanna Sciarrino
Serves 12–16

Lemon Cake

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/4 cups sugar
  • 6 lemons, zested
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons dark rum

Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 16 ounces (1 lbs) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
Go to Recipe

Which cake & frosting team do you want to take home the gold? Cheer for your favorite in the comment section!

Tags: Dessert, Winter, Pop Culture