What are your favorite local/regional cakes?

What cakes are famous in your neck of the woods? Which should I make and write about? Thank you!

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67 Comments

Pegeen February 19, 2015
Oh dear. There's no cake for NJ that I know of. Someone should invent an Exit 102 cake for Asbury Park & Bruce Springsteen. My other stomping grounds are NYC and that would definitely be cheesecake.
 
Jane K. February 19, 2015
Brooklyn Blackout!
 
creamtea February 10, 2015
Blum's Coffee Crunch cake is sorely missed in San Francisco and is still widely imitated.
 
Sarah J. February 19, 2015
Have you seen or made the recipe in Valerie Gordon's book?
 
TwoAprons February 9, 2015
Bumpy Cake from Sander's in Detroit. Best.chocolate.cake.ever
 
inpatskitchen February 19, 2015
Your recipe for this looks wonderful! This is a VERY requested birthday cake in our family!
 
Patti I. February 9, 2015
I live in the New Orleans area. King Cake and Doberge!
 
Chef L. February 9, 2015
Doberge cake, New Orleans! I'm intrigued with the Alabama Lane Cake, but have never made it.
 
drshakyhands February 9, 2015
I made the Lane Cake last week in honor of Lee Harper's new book, and it was very very good. Of course, I used extra bourbon!
 
Aliwaks February 9, 2015
OH and Apple Cake- in NYC it was just Apple Cake but in Philly they call it Jewish Apple cake. My grandmother's was the best, in late summer she's add Italian plums.
 
Maedl February 9, 2015
Speaking of Apple cake, Bessie Truman popularized a recipe for an apple cake/pudding that was very popular in Missouri. I don't remember if the original recipe called for it, but we used black walnuts, which gave it a good Missouri twist.
 
Aliwaks February 9, 2015
OH and Apple Cake- in NYC it was just Apple Cake but in Philly they call it Jewish Apple cake. My grandmother's was the best, in late summer she's add Italian plums.
 
Aliwaks February 9, 2015
Oh wait one more cake- I don;t know if its NY or Philly but when I was growing up in NYC all the Italian bakeries had this cake (its my favorite Bday cake, was my wedding cake)- a Cannoli Cream cake, vanilla cake soaked in sweet rum, layered with cannoli cream and you had a choice of buttercream or whipped cream icing- the whipped cream was the way to go. OMG I want cake NOW.
 
keg72 February 9, 2015
I LOVE cannoli cake, too!
 
Aliwaks February 9, 2015
Butter Cake is a thing in Philadelphia there's a bakery in the North East that's famous for it. I bet its the same as St Louis gooey buttercake... its a yeast cake with gobs of butter/sugar baked on top, its danish/custard/buttercream...ridiculous especially if ever so slightly warm.

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Sarah J. February 19, 2015
Do you have a recipe, Aliwaks?! :-D
 
Selena February 9, 2015
The Cleveland Cassata Cake! It's the ultimate birthday/special occasion cake even after a celebratory meal. It's two light sponge cake layers with barely sweetened custard and strawberries enrobed with whisper soft cream frosting. For me, someone who bleeds chocolate, it's still the only cake I want for my birthday.
 
LE B. February 9, 2015
The better East Coast Italian bakeries will make , for holidays usually, a Sicilian Wedding Cake which is a pound cake with a ricotta filling w/ candied orange peel and chocolate bits; all glazed in chocolate. Best recipe is in the Italy book of the old Time Life Foods of the World series.
New England, and Rhode Island in particular, is known for Johnny Cakes/Hoe Cakes which are really pancakes made w/ stone ground white cornmeal (no sugar; they are savory). Boston Brown Bread, made in a can, is pretty much muffin/cake like, a molasses multi grain sweet quick bread w/ raisins.

Baked Alaska ( coined that in NYC) is a layered dessert of cake/ice cream/meringue.

Maple Spice Cake is a N.H. specialty

Quebec has "Poor man's pudding cake (pouding chômeur),
a dessert made with white cake batter and a brown sugar and cream sauce. Both parts are layered in a pan and baked until a sweet syrupy pudding with a cakey topping forms."
Wiki lists many cakes as American : Lady Baltimore cake, Angel food cake, Devil's food cake ,Banana bread/cake.
 
carlito February 8, 2015
Lithuanian layer cake (medovik) is one of the best things I've ever tasted. And beautiful to cut into!
 
Jan W. February 7, 2015
Although technically it's an English-style steamed pudding rather than a cake, Persimmon pudding, made with American persimmons, is absolutely perfect for the holidays or autumn/winter in general. Very moist but not heavy, with a little tang balanced out by a nice warm flavor from the spices. Traditionally served hot with brandy butter or creme anglaise - it really gets you in a festive mood.
 
arcane54 February 8, 2015
Jan, you brought back fond memories of foraging in the Southern Illinois woods during my college days. American persimmons (ripe when they fall to the ground), and black walnuts made a fabulous pudding and cake. Talk about a mouthful of autumn! thank you!
 
drbabs February 7, 2015
When I was growing up in New Orleans, the now defunct Ledner's Bakery made my favorite cake--Dobèrge Torte-- a version of the Austrian Dobosh Torte. I loved it so much it was the groom's cake at my wedding. Speaking of old cookbooks, my grandmother gave me Beulah Ledner's cookbook "Let's Bake," and it contains the recipe but I've never tried it. (If you watched The Great British Baking show, you'll understand why--it's pretty complicated.) Sarah, if you want the recipes (there are 4 to complete the cake), let me know.
 
Sarah J. February 19, 2015
YES YES YES. Yes please!!
 
Rachelwrites February 7, 2015
My mom always made Italian Cream Cake although I suspect it was more southern in its roots than Italian.
 
creamtea February 6, 2015
Kentucky Blackberry-jam cake with caramel frosting!
 
Stephanie G. February 6, 2015
From Fort Worth, Texas, it's Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake, of course!
 
dinner A. February 6, 2015
Appalachian stack cake has a great story behind it: http://www.ourstate.com/appalachian-apple-stack-cake/
 
AntoniaJames February 6, 2015
Another NY Times survey of Thanksgiving holiday favorites by state reveals the South Dakota Pear Kuchen (Elsen sisters) and the St Louis Gooey Butter Cake (Clark) - recipes for both included http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/11/18/dining/thanksgiving-recipes-across-the-united-states.html ;o)
 
AntoniaJames February 6, 2015
North Caroline Pig Pickin Cake - Not a favorite of mine, but it caught my eye in this fascinating New York Times piece on Google searches for recipes by state http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/11/25/upshot/thanksgiving-recipes-googled-in-every-state.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=1#north-carolina ;o)
 
Hillary R. February 6, 2015
Not US-regional, but I love a Victoria tea cake like you can find in the UK. I wish more US coffee shops/bakeries had 'em. I'm not a frosting lover, so this is the perfect not-too-sweet treat.
 
AntoniaJames February 6, 2015
Yes, i agree wholeheartedly. Perhaps the Great British Bake Off will kindle an interest in the classic English cakes, such as the Victoria Sandwich and the rolled sponges. Great way for those of us who make way too much jam in the summer time to use some of our surplus. Plus, what's not to love about a light sponge?! ;o)
 
Ginia February 5, 2015
I had never heard of hummingbird cake until I moved to the Southeast. It is delicious, fruity (made with banana, pineapple, and coconut), subtly spiced, and best served with cream cheese frosting.
 
Sarah J. February 19, 2015
I LOVE hummingbird cake! Do you have any great recipes?
 
drshakyhands February 5, 2015
Ohhh King Cake. And Mardis Gras is the 17th! I would kill for a gluten-free King Cake recipe with dough that wasn't just a total bear to work with.
 
Chef L. February 9, 2015
Paul's bakery in Picayune, MS makes the best! They ship too.
 
Rachel C. February 5, 2015
Babka! Or I grew up eating rainbow bar cookies (like little Italian flags)... wonder if that can be translated into a cake?
 
creamtea February 5, 2015
Yup Babka. We have the remains of one in the kitchen as we speak.
 
keg72 February 5, 2015
I've bought a rainbow cookie cake here in NY -- delicious!
 
dinner A. February 6, 2015
The Amateur Gourmet blogged about rainbow cookie cake a while ago:
http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2014/07/rainbow-cookie-cake.html
 
ChefJune February 5, 2015
Down in Dallas they do a Dulce de Leche cake that I've never seen elsewhere. SO rich and decadent!
 
keg72 February 5, 2015
Not a cake, but anytime I'm in the UK, I seek out banoffee pie. It's fabulous! A traditional NY dessert, of course, is the NY cheesecake. Always delicious!
 
creamtea February 5, 2015
Agree, keg, definitely cheesecake in NY. Yum!
 
Jenny M. February 5, 2015
Well Danish pastry in Denmark known AS wienerbrød (wiena bread). More lokal only are drømmekage (dreamcake) a yellowcake whit a sticky suggar and coconut topping
 
Maedl February 5, 2015
Ahhh, Europe opens up all sorts of possibilities--Black Forest cherry torte, Baumkuchen from Germany, the Princess Cake from Sweden, Sacher torte from Vienna, Dobos torte from Hungary . . . .
 
amysarah February 5, 2015
You don't see Boston Cream Pie (really a cake) too much these days, but it can be pretty great.
 
nancy E. February 4, 2015
I hail from Vancouver Island and our claim to bakery fame is the Nanaimo Bar. Sweet enough to curl your teeth but fantastic.
 
Nancy February 5, 2015
no-bake bar with cookie crumb base, custard icing center, melted chocolate top...what's not to like? Vancouver gets the credit but eaten x-country and National Post newspaper found it most popular in Canada.
 
nancy E. February 5, 2015
Actually, Nanaimo gets the credit. A city on Vancouver Island where they were invented.
 
Nancy February 5, 2015
Sorry, yes,, Nanaimo. Thanks for correction.
 
arcane54 February 4, 2015
Atomic Cake was very popular when I was growing on the South Side of Chicago. It's a layer cake with various fillings: banana, chocolate and strawberry if I remember correctly - frosted with whipped cream. I asked the Hotline about it a couple of years back and then did some research (and answered my own question). Search and ye shall find....
 
Maedl February 4, 2015
Another thought: teaberry cake. I associate this with central Pennsylvania, but it may be more widespread. Teaberries are the fruit of a kind of mint and I don't remember if the cake used the dried fruit or a candy flavored with the oil.
 
sdebrango February 4, 2015
Brooklyn Blackout Cake, although they are hard to find now. Many bakeries don't make them anymore and they are wonderful.
 
Hillary R. February 6, 2015
THE BEST! But you need that 1/2 fudge, 1/2 custard filling to get it right!
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx February 4, 2015
I've heard that the official CT state cookie is the Snickerdoodle. Not sure about a cake though but this recipe is for a Snickerdoodle Cake http://www.foodiewithfamily.com/snickerdoodle-cake-with-brown-sugar-cinnamon-buttercream/
 
TobiT February 4, 2015
I grew up in Connecticut and had never even heard the word snickerdoodle - until I moved to Minnesota, where it seems to be all about the snickerdoodle! (a pretty boring cake or cookie, imho)
 
Patricia February 4, 2015
Thin cake, I meant.
 
Patricia February 4, 2015
My region has a large percentage of people of Icelandic descent, thus the Vinatarta is very popular and delicious. Layers of then cake with a prune and cardamom filling.
 
amysarah February 4, 2015
I lived in St. Louis for a bit many years ago, but still have fond memories of gooey butter cake. More local and iconic for me (dating myself here) were cakes my grandparents routinely brought: Black Out Cake from Ebinger's, and chocolate babka from their local bakery on, of course, Lydig Avenue in the East Bronx.
 
London_Eats February 4, 2015
Dundee Cake! This is the most famous cake from where I grew up (East of Scotland) - it's a light-ish fruit cake, made with marmalade and topped with rings of whole almonds. The marmalade is a nod to the fact Dundee is the home of bitter orange marmalade, made there as far back as the late 1700s.
 
Maedl February 4, 2015
Another possibility: the Smith Island cake from Maryland's Eastern Shore. I think it is an old recipe and is now the Maryland state cake.
 
smarrell February 6, 2015
Love Smith Island Cakes. So many delicate and delicious layers.
 
Sarah J. February 19, 2015
YES! I'm from Baltimore, so I have this one on the docket! ;)
 
Maedl February 4, 2015
Definitely the gooey butter cake from St. Louis. I wrote about it for American Food Roots and included the recipe: http://www.americanfoodroots.com/50-states/community-kitchen-eating-local-st-louis/
 
inpatskitchen February 4, 2015
Sanders Bumpy Cake is a Detroit tradition and is available in freezer sections of our local grocers or you can make your own:
http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/05/detroit-chocolate-bumpy-cake-with-chocolate-fudge-recipe.html
 
Sarah J. February 19, 2015
I'm going to try this one! Serious Eats has a recipe.
 
mickle February 4, 2015
It is good, very rich--serve small squares--and very easy to make
 
EmilyC February 4, 2015
Although I've never made or tasted one, I'm intrigued by St. Louis gooey butter cake. It has to be good with a name like that, right?!
 
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