Contest Winners

The Stunning Layer Cake That Won Our Hearts (& Recipe Contest)

Let's give a round of applause to this highly creative confection.

April 11, 2022
Photo by Photo by MJ Kroeger: Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog: Prop Stylist Molly Fitzsimons.

Our latest contest theme, Your Best Layer Cake (Redux), was a trip down memory lane, taking us back to the first Food52 recipe contest. We wanted our community of talented bakers to give us their most creative and delicious layer cakes and they did not disappoint.

With such an amazing array of cakes it was difficult to narrow things down, but after happily testing and tasting, we selected two delectable confections. On the one hand, Antonia James' Coffee Mascarpone-Filled Fudgy Olive Oil Cake with Almond Praline Mascarpone Topping is a creamy, dreamy, fudgy cake with a crunch from the almond praline. And on the other, GML's Pistachio Cake with Confiture Ispahan and Strawberry Swiss Buttercream is an elegant, creative, moist and tender pistachio cake with confiture Ispahan that is utterly delicious.

Determining a winner is never an easy task, especially with two amazing recipes. But thanks to our awesome community, who cast their votes to help us out, we have a winning cake. Cue the drum roll....

Your Best Layer Cake (Redux)

Pistachio Cake With Confiture Ispahan & Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Congratulations, GML—your cake was loved by all! We are excited to learn more about you and your winning recipe in the Q&A below. We want to congratulate the runner up AntoniaJames, whose Coffee Mascarpone-Filled Fudgy Chocolate Cake with Almond Praline Mascarpone Filling was also absolutely delicious.

Get to Know GML

What's your least favorite food?

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“In all, sharing cake with loved ones is something I'm sure we're all especially looking forward to this summer :)))) A side-note GML: any chance that Aisha Momaney would give permission for you to share that cream cheese frosting recipe? I have tried several and am always disappointed with what I end up with..... ”
— Nancy H.

Fast food burgers. In my mind, they’re an insult to American cuisine. Also…green bell peppers. I can’t even be in the room if they’re being chopped.

What is the best thing you've made so far this year?

This cake, of course!

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.

There are so, so, so many. My first attempt at French meringue buttercream is noteworthy. The meringue evaporated away overnight and I woke up to a very ugly cake sloppily slathered in just slightly sweetened butter.

What is your idea of comfort food?

Anything with the magic combination of butter, cream, sugar, and flour. So basically, any cake, cookie, muffin, or biscuit. I whip up a mug cake or bake a single muffin a couple of times a week. Cake just never disappoints.

 Apron or no apron?

Pink apron, always.

What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?

All the scenes in The Big Night. All that gorgeous authentic Italian food. I think about that timpano all the time and have my eye on a Food52 recipe for it.

Who is someone you'd love to cook for, and why?

 Once I brought a slice of cake to Aisha Momaney, the pastry chef at Gravitas, one of my favorite D.C. restaurants. Her carrot cake frosting is so spectacular, so I messaged her on social media and she very kindly shared her recipe. I admit, it’s a little weird bringing food to a restaurant, but I was proud and wanted her to taste her frosting on my cardamom cake. I really love the way she elevates basics and adds clever, thoughtful flourishes that make her desserts so memorable. She put streusel on the side of a cake once. Brilliant!

We hope you had a chance to make GML's delicious cake! You can congratulate her and our runner up AntoniaJames in the comment section.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Bevi
  • annmartina
  • Nancy H.
    Nancy H.
  • sdebrango
  • boulangere
I have loved to cook for as long as I can remember, am self taught learning as I go. I come from a large Italian family and food was at the center of almost every gathering. My grandfather made his own wine and I remember the barrels of wine in the cellar of my grandfathers home, I watched my mother and aunts making homemade pasta and remember how wonderful it was to sit down to a truly amazing dinner. Cooking for me is a way to express myself its my creative outlet. I enjoy making all types of food but especially enjoy baking, I live in Brooklyn, NY, and I share my home with my two dogs Izzy and Nando. I like to collect cookbooks and scour magazines and newspapers for recipes. I hope one day to organize them.


Bevi April 12, 2022
Congrats fo GML, and a big Thank You to Suzanne for all the work you and your team of community members do to keep the contests alive and well. It is so appreciated.
sdebrango April 12, 2022
The cake is gorgeous and delicious as is AJ’s. Thank you so much we love the contests and they are such an important part of what makes us a community ❤️❤️❤️❤️🥰🥰🥰🥰
boulangere April 17, 2022
Deep congratulations to you, Suzanne, for resurrecting Contests. Clearly, the best cake won.
sdebrango April 17, 2022
Thank you, Megan and Marina and I are so excited to see the
Contests re invigorated!! Thank you for submitting that beautiful and delicious cake. ❤️❤️❤️
AntoniaJames April 18, 2022
The BFCC should have been a finalist. I feel like a bit of an imposter in the company of the contributors of the other great cakes in this contest. ;o)
sdebrango April 18, 2022
There were many cakes that stood out and Cynthia’s BF cake was amazing as was your delicious cake. All well deserved accolades for delicious, creative cakes with well written recipes. Everyone is a winner in my book.
AntoniaJames April 18, 2022
Suzanne, you are so sweet - one of many reasons why we all love you so much. ;o)
sdebrango April 19, 2022
annmartina April 11, 2022
I have made Stanley Tucci's family recipe for timpano twice and it is absolutely worth it
Nancy H. April 11, 2022
Thank you for the gorgeous inspiration, ladies!! Both of these creations look amazing - I love that the chocolate cake has this really intriguing combination of ingredients..... and just-happens-to-be gluten-free to boot :))

Anything with rose water is a thumbs-up for me, GML - the description of that confiture alone is mouthwatering! In all, sharing cake with loved ones is something I'm sure we're all especially looking forward to this summer :))))

A side-note GML: any chance that Aisha Momaney would give permission for you to share that cream cheese frosting recipe? I have tried several and am always disappointed with what I end up with.....
GML April 11, 2022
The secret was way more salt than you'd think. A brick of cream cheese, stick of butter, powdered sugar and a whole tsp (!) of salt.
GML April 11, 2022
And creme fraiche & vanilla paste.
Nancy H. April 11, 2022
Thank you so much, GML! By the way, I had to look up Ispahan and learned something today - lychee, raspberry and rose is just the most fabulous-sounding combination of flavours and one that I can't wait to try :))
Anita April 15, 2022
Any chance for measurements and quantities for the cream cheese frosting?