Chocolate Cake

The Fudgy Snacking Cake That Won Your Hearts (& Our Recipe Contest)

If cake's your snack of choice, meet your chocolatey, creamy, favorite new go-to.

January 11, 2021
Photo by Julia Gartland

Our latest recipe contest, Your Best Snacking Cake, invited a huge wave of absolutely delicious-looking recipes from our community of talented cake bakers. With so many delicious entries, we really had our work cut out for us. We tested, tasted, tasted a little more (it's cake!) whittled it down, and finally decided on two finalists: Clintonhillbilly's Cinnamon-Anise Snack Cake and Jessie Sheehan's Chocolate-Carrot Snacking Cake.

How did we pick a winner? Staring down these two outstanding confections was no solution at all, but thankfully we received an huge volume of votes. It was a very close race, but a winner has been chosen. Cue the drumroll...

Your Best Snacking Cake

Jessie Sheehan's Chocolate-Carrot Snacking Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Congratulations Jessie, your cake was loved by all! We also want to congratulate our runner-up. Clintonhillbilly, your cinnamon anise cake is absolutely delicious (and everyone should make it).

Jessie is a cookbook author and longtime dessert-crafter, so we inquired a little further about what fuels her sweet creations.


Photo by Jessie Sheehan

What's your least favorite food? Beets. I basically love all food, but I definitely draw the lines at beets. I'll eat beets in borscht (with a large dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche, please...) but that's about it.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“My apologies. I lost an eye defending my country, and sometimes autocorrect gets the best of me. I suppose it should have been spelled "snark."”
— H N.

What's the best thing you've made so far this year? I think I'll go with my world's best Rice Krispie Treats with a secret ingredient: sweetened condensed milk. Rice Krispie treats are kind of my everything, and these ones are off-the-charts delish.

Tell us about your most spectacular kitchen disaster: They happen all the time, but one that sticks out is when I attempted to make Cooks Illustrated's yellow cake with chocolate frosting for my son's 8th birthday, and I added cornstarch instead of cake flour. I was flummoxed as to why the cake was so dry and cornbread-like.

What is your idea of comfort food? Mac and cheese followed by chocolate cake.

Apron or no apron? Apron!

What is your favorite food-related scene in a movie? I don't remember the exact scene, but so much delicious food is consumed in the movie Tampopo.

Who is someone you would love to cook for, and why? I'm really a baker, and not so much a cook. I would like to bake for my paternal grandmother who died many years ago. She too was a baker, but when she was alive I had not yet discovered my passion for making sweets. She always made a lemon velvet sheet cake when I visited her which I adored (despite the fact that I am team chocolate). I have developed my own version of her cake—hers came from a box—and I would love to enjoy a slice (or many) with her.

Even More Snack-Tastic Cake Recipes

Did you get a chance to try out Jessie's cake? Please let us know in the comments, and join us in congratulating her!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • MaryMary
  • Kathy
  • H Neil Morris
    H Neil Morris
  • Amy
  • Barb Shutiak
    Barb Shutiak
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


MaryMary February 27, 2021
Due to chronic back pain, I am relegated to an anti-inflammatory regime. Sugar is poison ☠️ for me. Same for sugar substitutes.Miss cake!
H N. February 27, 2021
I have a niece with an inflammatory condition, and she's been on a "no gluten, no sugar, and no dairy" diet for two years (and likes it!). She still produces some excellent baked goods.
She uses monkfruit sweetener (available from Amazon, and other sources), with what I would call good success....
Kathy January 13, 2021
Congrats Jessie! 🎉🏅👩‍🍳 You deserved the win because it’s a great cake. So many recipes to pick from and they chose the BEST!
H N. January 11, 2021
It SOUNDS great, but I have no idea what it LOOKS like, because your photographer and editor choose to only include a top-down photo of the icing. The article is about a snake cake, and you only show pics of some icing...
Kathy January 13, 2021
Go to Jessie Sheehan Bakes Facebook page. There’s is a great photo of the inside & top of the cake (with sprinkles on top) & you can see it. I would put the pic up but it doesn’t look like I can attach it. It is delicious! You can easily cut the frosting recipe in half if you think it’s too much. For me, never enough.
Amy February 10, 2021
Snack, not snake. Maybe that's where you're confused? But - yes, photos can be helpful :)
H N. February 10, 2021
My apologies.
I lost an eye defending my country, and sometimes autocorrect gets the best of me.
I suppose it should have been spelled "snark."
Barb S. February 10, 2021
I was with you until I read the last word of your comment. I don’t understand why anyone would choose to be snarky about a photo of cake. Says more about you than than the editors.
H N. February 10, 2021
I wasn't being snarky, and it wasn't about a blob of cake.
I was being ironic, and it was about someBODY who was snarky enough to feel the need to point out, and correct an obvious typo.
Barb S. February 10, 2021
Look I hate the grammar police as well. I was commenting your first comment.
Dani February 27, 2021
Thank you for your service, and for asking about the photo. Thank you to Kathy for telling us where to find one. No thanks to the editors who thought a picture of her dog (I LOVE dogs, and that's a cute one) made more sense than a better picture of the snack cake.