A Few Quick Cakes to Start 2021 Right

Here are the finalists for our latest recipe contest, "Your Best Snacking Cake."

January  1, 2021
Photo by Julia Gartland. Food stylist: Lauren Lapenna. Prop stylist: Sophie Strangio.

Before everyone dives into their food-related New Year's resolutions (a la juice cleanses or Whole 30) to pare down that holiday (or quarantine) weight, we offer you our two lovely finalists in our latest Contest. We asked our community members for their simple but delicious cake recipes that were one layer and came together in one bowl. If frosting was included, it had to have less than five ingredients and also come together in one bowl. Our community delivered.

Our two finalists epitomized simple, unfussy cakes that deliver on flavor and soul. We are all hoping that 2021 will bring more opportunities for impromptu dinner parties or get togethers at home with friends and family. Our snacking cake finalists will be there for you when you need them. As an added new year bonus, we are also giving an honorable mention to one additional snacking cake recipe.

1. Cinnamon Anise Snack Cake by clintonhillbilly

This cake comes together so easily you can delegate the baking to the kids while you work on dinner. The anise, cinnamon, orange, and vanilla flavors blend beautifully in cake with just the right amount of almond flour to give it a hearty texture.

2. Chocolate Carrot Snacking Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting by Jessie Sheehan

By the time your oven preheats, you can have this decadent chocolate snacking cake ready for the oven. This cake has just the right amount of chocolate, with finely grated carrots dancing in the background. Add a swoosh of cream cheese frosting and your holiday dessert is complete.

And an honorable mention for the Best Snacking Cake Contest:

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“What an honor! And to be in the company of that delicious sounding cake of Clinton Hillbilly’s! And Barbara Polichnowska’s, too! ”
— Jessie S.

Although the Winter Hazelnut and Orange Cake by Barbara Polichnowska did not meet our Food52 contest rules (she lives across the pond) her snacking cake was universally loved by our testers. This cake perfectly balances flour and ground hazelnuts for a light but flavorful crumb. The recommended unsweetened whipped cream and orange marmalade takes this recipe over the top. Best of all, the cake comes together before you can even preheat your oven. Enjoy!

Please join us in giving CLINTONHILLBILLY and Jessie Sheehan congratulations in the comments section below! If you can, try one or both of these at home, and vote for your favorite by heading over to our contest page. You have now until 12 p.m. ET on Jan. 8 to tell us which recipe you loved the most. We’ll announce the winner at 12 p.m. ET on Jan. 9.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Michelle
  • Victoria Manassero
    Victoria Manassero
  • Barbara Polichnowska
    Barbara Polichnowska
  • Jessie Sheehan
    Jessie Sheehan
  • sdebrango

Written by: Food52


Michelle January 30, 2021
will there be a 2021 Contest?
sdebrango January 30, 2021
Hi Michelle; yes there is a contest currently underway right now. Go to the contest page it’s your best restaurant inspired meal.
Victoria M. January 7, 2021
Your Louisa Cake should be listed here. That’s a crowd pleaser at my house!
Barbara P. January 3, 2021
Thank you so much, what a surprise!!
Jessie S. January 2, 2021
What an honor! And to be in the company of that delicious sounding cake of Clinton Hillbilly’s! And Barbara Polichnowska’s, too!
Barbara P. January 3, 2021
Congratulations Jessie! Looking forward to trying your recipe, it look amazing!
Barbara P. January 3, 2021
*s ;)
Jessie S. January 3, 2021
Thank you Barbara!! And to you - and I can't wait to try yours as well . . . XO
sdebrango January 1, 2021
Congratulations to the finalists
and the honorable mention as well! Happy New Year to all❤️
Jessie S. January 2, 2021
Thank you!! And so exited to be a finalist!!!
Jessie S. January 3, 2021
realized this is you, suzanne! happy new year to you, too, and thanks for all!
sdebrango January 3, 2021
Great cakes all!! Congratulations!!