Food52 is 10 years old! To celebrate a decade of all things kitchen and home, we’re rolling out our top recipes, tips, and stories for another victory lap, along with some of our very favorite memories over the years. Go on, take ‘em in!
Search for "cake" on Food52, and you'll find over 4,000 recipes. Seriously! That's not even including cupcakes and mug cakes and tortes, which add another few thousand. And we've got 'em all for good reason—how better to ring in all the birthdays and anniversaries and, well, Tuesday afternoons, than with a sweet treat?
In honor of our very own 10th anniversary (where did the time go?!), we've rounded up some of our most popular cake recipes—plus a few newcomers that will soon join their ranks in the cake hall of fame. In this epic list—hand-picked by our resident baker, Erin McDowell—you'll find something for everyone, from a towering pink beauty to a cool, chocolatey delight, and everything in between.
We hope you make one (or all!) of these showstoppers for your next celebration—just don't forget to make a wish when you blow out the candles. We know we will!
1. Ultimate Chocolate Cake
When we say chocolate, we mean chocolate—it appears (at least!) three ways in this cake to end all chocolate cakes. In baking extraordinaire Erin McDowell's latest creation, creamy chocolate custard is sandwiched between layers of tender, fluffy devil's food cake, then topped with whipped chocolate ganache and optional chocolate sprinkles (but we know they're not really optional).
2. Banana Cake with Penuche Frosting
This cake's been around for four generations in Lindsay-Jean Hard's family, and boy, we're glad it was also passed down to us. Who knew a spice-less, vanilla-less, simple-seeming banana batter could bake up to be the velvetiest, richest cake version of our favorite banana bread? It does, somehow—and the addition of a simple brown sugar frosting makes it one of our favorite cakes, period.
3. Strawberry Not-So-Short Cake
This not-so-shortcake is like if the classic summer dessert drank a magic potion from Alice in Wonderland and quadrupled in size. The best part is, it's just as easy to make as the mini-versions, like "making three giant drop biscuits and piling on whipped cream and strawberries in imprecise amounts."
4. 1-2-3-4 Cake with Raspberry Buttercream
If you can count, you can make this recipe: 4 eggs, 3 cups of cake flour, 2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of milk. A tangy raspberry frosting makes this oh-so eye-catching—and completely worthy of birthday cake status.
5. Basic Vanilla and Chocolate Cupcakes
Simple and satisfying, these classic cupcakes are just begging to be stuffed with chocolate-caramel candies and topped with thick swirls of buttercream.
6. Sour Cream Pound Cake
This recipe, in the words of community member Aaron Hutcherson, is "one of the most moist, tender, and beautiful cakes I could imagine." Tangy sour cream and whipped butter give the middle of the cake lift and lightness, while a crispy, crunchy crust develops on top.
7. Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream Cake
Who doesn't like ice cream cake? (nobody raises hand) This one's especially likeable, with a rich and chewy brownie crust and fluffy, creamy layers of coffee and sweet cream ice cream on top. All that's missing? A generous drizzle of chocolate sauce. We'll pour it on until you say "when."
8. Lemon Bar Cheesecake
It's a lemon bar! It's a cheesecake! It's your new favorite dessert! Tart-sweet lemon curd comes together with an outrageously creamy ricotta custard to create the dreamiest topping graham cracker crust ever did see. Try stopping at just a slice.
9. Coconut Caramel Sheet Cake Layer Cake
A no-fuss sheet cake, but make it fancy—by adding coconut flakes and extract to the batter before baking in two pans, then layering with sweet meringue and sweeter caramel. You can also press toasted coconut flakes along the side, for an even prettier look.
10. Gâteau De Crêpes
A beautiful, delicate, many-layered crêpe cake looks like a showstopper, but is actually quite simple; you can even make the crêpes in advance and freeze them between sheets of wax paper, thawing in the fridge until you're ready to assemble. This version by Chef Renee Erickson involves a thin swipe of fragrant orange marmalade between each pancake layer, and a lovely cloud of sweetened whipped cream to crown the very tip-top.
What's your favorite cake recipe on Food52? Let us know in the comments!