What is your dream birthday cake?

lpinkmountainFebruary 1, 2013

They have a tradition where I work of making an elaborate birthday cake and celebrating birthdays. As many of you know, I have a serious birthday phobia but I am not phobic when it comes to cake. So yesterday while eating one of the most amazing cakes I have every had, (German chocolate) we started fantasizing about our dream birthday cakes. I'm not sure what I would do for mine. Maybe AnnT's apple cake recipe from the French Laundry, or Annie's lemon mousse cake, or that raspberry white chocolate coffee cake that I never get around to making . . . or . . . . I even like rainbow jello cake!! What is your dream cake?
Mine might be a layered sponge cake but I would never dare make one.

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Oh, what a great question--and so hard to answer!

Hm--Creamsicle is good--as is the Lemoncello from Bertucci's. And I love any kind of Cheesecake. A chocolate cake with raspberry filling and white chocolate mousse frosting wuld be wonderful!

But, I'll GET a white cake with white frosting that has Happy Birthday Azzalea piped onto it, from the supermarket--DH isn't too creative, and after 40 years, he STILL hasn't learned that I absolutely HATE to see stuff written on cakes--I prefer a pretty cake with just a bunch of nice flowers on it. Cards are for messages, cakes are not, IMO (I realize I'm in the minority on this one--people love having messages on cakes, for some reason).

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 6:24PM
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Oh my, what a sensitive issue birthday cakes for me are around here. The first year DH and I were married and my BD rolled around he and DS got me a fancy, chocolate mousse BD cake. They were so proud when they presented it to me so I exclaimed, "Oh, thank you so MUCH! This is the first BD cake I've had since my Mom died so many years ago." (that was true 'cause my first DH never got me a cake)

Well, those two have presented me with the same basic cake, sometimes with a raspberry layer but not always, for 30 years. I don't know how to tell them that while I love chocolate, I do not like chocolate cakes. In fact, I don't like cakes at all. And, to top it off - I dislike mousse. Usually, in early spring I start dropping hints to please stop the cakes. Nope, come July, I get another chocolate mousse BD cake.

What would I enjoy for my BD? A really good lemon pie with lard crust. Ain't gonna happen. :)


    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 6:42PM
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Tricia - I'm with you on PIE for birthdays. My husband who is all thumbs in the kitchen has a standing order to make me a pecan pie for my birthday. He can present me with cake as well, but the pie is my real birthday treat. He makes pastry from the lard I render. Isn't he a sweetie?


    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 6:54PM
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My favorite birthday cake is pie.

However, where I used to work there was a secretary who brought in a cake which was extremely moist and sweet and had fruit in it. I think it was canned fruit. Maybe fruit cocktail. It had thick, sweet frosting. It might have been cream cheese frosting. I liked that cake. It was sweet and kind of gloppy. Can anyone tell from my description what kind of cake it was?

OTOH, I would be very happy with Annie's Lemon Mouse Cake.


This post was edited by jimster on Fri, Feb 1, 13 at 19:42

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 7:01PM
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I have old cookbooks with Fruit Cocktail Cake recipes. I've never made it, but I bet there are a gazillion recipes online. There's another really moist cake that's just cake mix and canned pie filling....like cherry w/chocolate and apple w/spice.

I seldom have birthday cake...The Kid sometimes makes me cheesecake flan. DH likes rhubarb cream pie. For me it'd be a tossup between carrot-pineapple, German chocolate or Italian cream cake.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 7:49PM
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Just simple pound cake, or better yet apple pie. My DIL makes wonderful apple dumplings and she has given me those for my birthday. Yum YUM Yum! REd Velvet, German Chocolate and Italian Cream cake are at the top of my do not like cakes along with other swe-e-e-e-t, gommy (sp) rich icing cakes.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 7:51PM
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"... just cake mix and canned pie filling..."

Would that be a dump cake? I tried making one and it was not successful.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:03PM
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Deleting a dang duplicate post.

This post was edited by jimster on Fri, Feb 1, 13 at 20:08

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:07PM
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I guess they also do pies for birthdays at work because one of the guys said he got pie last year and someone else got homemade cinnamon rolls. Pie is my favorite dessert and I do make myself a pie now and then if I get access to really good fruit. But I very rarely ever, ever eat cake because BF and I just can't eat one up fast enough to make it worth the trouble to make. I could maybe have one piece a week and I don't really have the freezer space. That's why they started the cake tradition at work, so we all get to have cake at least once and a while. So far I have made carrot and banana cake for BF's birthdays, I have managed to find recipes for one layer cakes for both of those. But honestly there is something marvelous about a big ol' cake!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:08PM
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Being not much of a cake lover, I would have to say PIE, like some of the others.

Not cream pie, but a fruit pie...
like cherry.
Or blueberry.
ok maybe peach.
wait, I think I prefer strawberry.
ahhh, rhubarb....that's the ticket.
Um...almost forgot about apple.
can't leave out raspberry.
Gotta stop before I run out of drool.

HOWEVER...since Annie posted that blasted lemon mousse cake I can't get it off my mind! LOL


    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:32PM
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CA Kate

I was going to answer simply "pie", but it seems most here like a B'day pie too. As to a B'day Cake: I like any kind someone makes for me.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:39PM
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Jim, no, not dump cake. We made that once at Girl Scout camp...ick. This one was just cake mix, the pie filling and a couple of eggs...makes a heavy, moist cake...not as sweet as the dump cake was. Icing was choc. chips boiled with milk, butter and sugar (or a simple glaze...I used to make them in bundt pans for bake sales. Not above using a mix when you have to make six of them, hehe.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:50PM
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Apple cider pound cake with the buttermilk/caramel sauce for me.
7 Up Cake (the pound cake kind) for DD.
Angel Food cake with caramel frosting for DH.
Ina Garten's old fashioned banana cake for DS.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:56PM
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This is a very timely topic as there are 3 birthdays looming at my house -- mine, my SIL's and my MIL's. I've been debating between pie (key lime) or cake. I unfortunately like both cake and pie, as long as they are homemade, preferably with butter :)

I often make pound cake as I have laying hens therefore plenty of eggs, I have great recipes for chocolate orange pound cake, and buttered rum, and spiced cider an oh lemon, mmm. I also like angel food cake, and spice cake is always nice, but coconut layer cake is so dreamy, and then there's chocolate cake with all the frosting choices! Peanut butter, chocolate ganache, whipped cream, buttercream.... And that Meyer Lemon Mousse Cake has me drooling, so I am going to look for Meyer Lemons at the market tomorrow.

So many choices, so little time!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 9:09PM
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There are certain cakes that I really enjoy a piece of - like chocolate w/vanilla ice cream, German chocolate, or carrot. But for an birthday cake, I tend to like something lighter, like coconut, strawberry, or lemon.

They're all good though!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 9:43PM
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Easy answer...anything chocolate, like a mousse cake, layer cake with real butter cream, cheesecake, flourless cake.

Dang, now I want chocolate.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 9:49PM
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If it werent for my daughter I wouldnt get a bd cake.See Hubbys BD was the 27th I made special dinner I went all out.Hubby on my bd the end of Feb will be away a week again.Not fair!!!!!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:24PM
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I'd probably opt for a trifle. I love custard and pound cake and fruit and the splash of sherry or something calls to me.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:25PM
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Oatmeal cookies! ! !

Not just any old oatmeal cookies,
But ones like my mother made.
Old fashioned oats, raisins, cinnamon & walnuts.
I have her recipe,
And make them for myself every now & then.

Second choice would be apple pie.
There again, like my mother made it.

I've never cared much for most cakes,
Especially if they had white icing on them.
My mother was so aggravated with me every year.
She'd ask what kind of cake I wanted,
my answer, from the time I was old enough to talk?
"Oatmeal cookies!
She'd tell me cookies aren't for birthdays,
So I'd tell her apple pie.

But what did I always get?
White cake with white icing!
Blech! ! ! !

Now I do enjoy some cakes sometimes,
But never white cake,
and NEVER on my birthday! ! !


    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:47PM
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Oh dear, what a question.

For my birthday for years my secretary made me lemon bars, which is one of my favorite desserts. I'd also be happy with another of my all time favorites, maple pear cobbler. Or creme brulee, yum.

Cake, though? I really liked the Meyer Lemon Mousse Cake, and I adore Colleen's chocolate cake as well as the Hershey's Chocolate Cake. My favorite, though, is still Pixiestix' Hot Milk Cake with the slightly grainy caramel frosting made on the stove top with brown sugar.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 11:28PM
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I had a slice of this last year, and I'll have it again....

White cake with coconut, several layers, plus a marscapone layer, a little apricot jam between layers. It wa sto die for.

Here is a link that might be useful: CNN article about Phil's

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 12:31AM
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While there are many good choices of desserts, there's only a couple of cakes--chocolate of course-- that say birthday to me. My mother usually made me a wonderful Ice Box Cake or her Droste chocolate frosted angel food cake.

I think that the icebox cake is really my favorite. It was made in a springform pan lined with ladyfingers. The filling is made with German chocolate and is rich, but so delicious!
Thanks for asking this question, where I work birthday cakes tend come from the local grocery store and are covered in gloppy colored frosting. Now that I've brought out Mom's recipe box, I think I might have to make one of her special cakes again soon.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 1:27AM
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Actually my favorite cake for birthday would be a nice English style Christmas cake with all the fruit and nuts.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 1:38AM
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Anything WITHOUT fondant, since it seems to be all the rage now for any kind of decorated cake.

Actually, I'd rather have a nice slice of lemon icebox pie with real whipped cream on top.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 7:55AM
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"---Anything WITHOUT fondant, since it seems to be all the rage now for any kind of decorated cake. --"

And no candles please! Brings back bad memories.

A birthday party I went to, the birthday girl sneezed while she was blowing out the candles.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 8:13AM
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Funny, Dcarch, although I was expecting something like a tragic fire caused by the candles. Sneezing - eeuw.

Tricia, your story is so romantic. But why not just tell him you want something different next time, like a lemon pie? Or, make him a lemon pie for his birthday.

Jerry's birthday is in October, and it just so happens that apple pie is his favorite, so that's what he gets for his birthday. Me, I love pie, and I love apples, but I'm not that wild about apple pie.

Since I'm one of the few in my family that likes cake, we don't have it much, but I do love a good devil's food cake. So old fashioned, but so good. What I don't like is frosting.

There's a good cinnamon bar recipe in Dorie Greenspan's book that make really more of a small cake than what I think of as bars. I don't have time right now to post the recipe, but I'll do it either tonight or tomorrow if you wish. It's a nice, small cake and really good. Lpink, it might be one for you and BF since it's small. It's good to see you posting again, too. I've missed you.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 9:48AM
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I never thought about it before, but blowing out the candles on a cake, then serving it to others, is disgusting. I'm sure the tradition will live on, nonetheless.

I may be drummed out of this forum, but my favorite cake is the Buttercream Cake from the Melrose Diner in South Philadelphia. I don't know how they make that icing, but I could eat a bucketful. Usually I don't like icing very much and have been known to scrape it off. This buttercream icing tastes like it has whipped cream in it. That's the closest I can come to describing it. Yum, yum. I may have to go get one even though my birthday is several months away.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 10:11AM
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I have told them - for years, even decades. Guess I'm just not forceful enough in how I phrase it for fear of hurting their feelings. They are so proud that THEY give me a BD cake. It's something our two daughters have nothing to do with - just from the guys. So, come July you know what I'll be eating. :o)


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 10:20AM
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Lovin' this thread, so many great treats to salivate over!

I was gonna say the same thing as Sally Tricia. You need to cultivate a SWMBO image like John's wife!! :)
(She Who Must Be Obeyed!)

Anyway, at my workplace we have great bakers and they do the cakes so they can ply their trade.

So I have a couple of cakes I've been wanting to try, one is a limoncello cake, another is some kind of pistachio cake I think made with pistachio pudding mix somehow (gonna have to really search for that one). And Annie's hot milk cake has been on my "to try" list for a couple of years. Right now I'm kinda leaning towards hummingbird cake. But while searching for a recipe online I found one for something called "Pig Pickin' Cake" which also sounds good.

Hummingbird cake
Pig Pickin' cake

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 11:28AM
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Reading these posts brought back fond memories. Years ago, when I was working at Williams-Sonoma, one of my co-workers made Ina Garten's Chocolate Ganache cake as a surprise for my 70th birthday. Maybe it was the thought as much as the cake but it was wonderful! Oh, to be young again!LOL


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 11:33AM
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Oh and I forgot to add that I have a recipe for oatmeal cake and it is also fab. Good with cake gravy too, or any type of struesel or coconut or even applesauce topping. You might like that one Rusty!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 11:44AM
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My favorite cake is also pie - Chocolate Hazelnut Bavarian Cream, and the next time I make it, I am going to sprinkle some ground coffee in it. Kevin recently bought some Kona Coffee Cream Half-dipped Shortbread Cookies at Trader Joe's that are better than any cake I've had recently.

As a child, my favorite cake was Angel-food, and I would usually make it myself because my mother thought it was too much trouble, but my grandmother would make it for me.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 4:24PM
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Every year DH makes me my favorite birthday cake, the Sachertorte from The Cooking of the Viennese Empire in the Time-Life series. Different icing,though; we like just a bitter chocolate glaze. Served with whipped cream.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 5:10PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Mom would make whatever "cake" I requested for my bday and I requested many different ones....baked alaska, lemon meringue, and my favorite lemon chiffon pie. Homemade cream puffs or choc eclairs are excellent too! But I also love chocolate mousse cake, I had a pineapple mousse cake that was OOTW! I love dirt, but without the worms. And we had this wonderful semi sweet chocolate frosting that is fab...made in a blender. It goes great on any cake that goes with chocolate. Yum!

Here is a link that might be useful: blender choc frosting

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 8:39PM
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Lpink, I love the Oatmeal cake I make,
So I'm sure I would love yours, too.

My recipe is a very old one,
it came from my husband's Grandmother.
The topping is broiled on,
and has some oatmeal & nuts in it.
It was a really good seller
When I was baking for the public.

Sadly, no one in my family knew this recipe
When I was growing up and objecting to
plain white cakes.

BTW, I've also had Hummingbird and Pig Pickin' cake.
Both are really good!


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 11:50PM
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I always asked for rice pudding for my birthday when I was a kid. I don't think I even knew what German Chocolate Cake was back then, which is now my BD favorite. I think Date Bars would be my second favorite. Hubby is yet one more pie for cake person. It's often a fresh peach pie because peaches are ripe about the time of his birthday.

Hubby, makes German Chocolate Cake nearly every year for me for my birthday. When his sister, the professional cake decorator, asked him for his recipe after she ate and obviously enjoyed a piece, he said, "you start with a 3:1 ratio of soft white wheat and oats or spelt and mill that into flour." Her eyes glazed over because she only knows how to make cake from a mix, and that was the end of him giving her the recipe.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 6:59AM
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I prefer a seasonal fresh fruit pie over any cake. But in my house, I will make any cake that is requested. I am having a birthday dinner this Friday and my friend's favorite is Red Velvet cake, so that will be done.:)

Berries and nuts one of my favorites!


    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 7:46AM
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Oh, Silvia, my mouth is literally drooling, and my jaw is in the way of my typing. I love blueberries, and that just looks amazing.

Lpink, the link to the Pig Pinkin' cake didn't work for me. What's the address?

Tricia, I still think your story is romantic.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 8:03AM
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Rusty, Hummingbird cake? Is it as tiny as a Hummingbird?

Silvia, that is a fabulous berry and nut tart.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 8:37AM
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To me birthday cake is one of two things. When I was little, my Dad always used to buy us Italian rum cakes (Florentine Pastry Shop, Utica, NY) for our birthdays. I LOVE them!

Growing up and moving away from home, finding the rum cake that I wanted became more difficult. So carrot cake with cream cheese frosting became the substitute. I have since found a local place that makes excellent rum cake (Nino's Bakery, Syracuse, NY). I'm a happy camper. Now I can have my rum cake and eat carrot cake too!:-)

The DH doesn't care for cake though. However he loves brownies. For his birthday I make chocolate turtle brownies or chocolate raspberry brownies.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 9:08AM
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This is crazy but ever since I was about 16 I have loved white cake with white icing. It has to have a touch of almond in both. You know, like the traditional wedding cake. I have told everyone for years that this is my favorite but no one ever makes one for me. Don't understand, I guess it's too simple.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 9:19AM
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Karen, and Tricia, a birthday girl should get what she wants. :-)


This post was edited by sally2 on Sun, Feb 3, 13 at 9:29

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 9:28AM
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Many years ago my mother always made a plain yellow cake with chocolate icing, and it was gone in no time. Am not a cake maker, but this thread is encouraging and has made my mouth water.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 10:01AM
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Because my mother only baked chocolate cakes as a general rule, I always asked for a white cake with white icing for my birthdays as a child. Now I prefer Zuppa Inglese, which is a genoise brushed with sherry and split into thin layers, and filled with thick creme patisserie before frosting all over with whipped cream.
When I have had to take in a large cake for my birthday I make a variation of the Zuppa Inglese, leaving out the strawberries and flavouring one layer of creme patisserie orange, one lemon and one lime. It goes over well.
DH prefers cherry cobbler for his birthday and his sister asks for my lemon meringue pie. His mother doesn't care for cake, so for her birthdays I make meringues (her favourite) with whipped cream and apricot sauce. For celebrations the meringues get built into a tower like a croquembouche.
One fun birthday cake I made for a friend who thought it would be amusing to have a cake that looked like a Black Forest cake and tasted like lemon meringue pie. So after experimentation I tinted the cake to look chocolate but be plain, and the lemon filling to look like cherry. The frosting was a meringue-type frosting. It was really fun seeing everyone's reaction when they tasted it because I am well known in our circles for Black Forest cakes :-)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 11:59AM
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Thank you Sally and Dcarch.

Last night we went to Roy's Hawaiian fusion for a birthday celebration, I ordered for dessert a mango cobbler and coconut ice cream, it was so good!. The birthday cake that came for free was a molten lava chocolate cake...


    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 4:05PM
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Silvia that blueberry tart is to die for! Blueberry pie is just about my favorite thing but only when I can get fresh MI blueberries to make it with!

Sally here's the link to the Pig Pickin' cake, it is on the "Serious Eats" Web site.
That one seems like a really fun recipe, much better than one where you just add pudding mix to a boxed cake mix.

Now I keep dreaming about cakes. I sure do love those European spongy ones layered with the cream and fruits. And the boozy fruity ones too, and of course the chocolate ones! And I also like the rustic ones like oatmeal cake or apple cake.

Now while perusing for that pistachio cake recipe, I see that Rose Levy Beranbaum has a "Heavanly Cakes" cookbook which I might just have to get someday, or Dorrie Greenspan's baking book. I make her banana bundt cake as my go to on that style of banana cake.

Hummingbird cake is banana pineapple cake with pecans. That one I might actually get around to making because we almost always have brown bananas on hand since BF must eat a banana every day so he buys gads of them. I'm always looking for new and creative ways with bananas. . . . now if that's not an open invitation for EJ I don't know what is!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 4:56PM
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I made a banana chocolate chip cake and frosted it with a chocolate buttercream today for my MIL's, my SIL's and my birthdays. It was pretty good!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 5:44PM
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OK, mabel, which one is you?


    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 6:50PM
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I think that's mabel on the right :-)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 9:19PM
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Such yummy photos! Mabel's is the cutest, ever!


    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 2:35AM
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Banana chocolate chip, ANOTHER one of my favorites. You gals look GREAT!! That cake looks so good!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 7:45AM
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I just realized I never posted that recipe I promised. I've made it many times, and it always is a hit. It's a nice size cake if you don't want gobs of cake.

Cinammon Squares

from: Baking, From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenpan

For the Cake

1 1/4 cups plus t tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, or 1/2 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line the bottom with parchment or wax paper. Place the pan on a baking sheet.

To make the cake: Stir 2 tablespoons of the sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon and the espresso together in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, the remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar, the baking powder, salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients over the flour mixture and gently whisk until you have a homogenous batter. Now, using the whisk or a rubber spatula, fold in the butter with a light touch, just until the butter is absorbed. You'll have a smooth, satiny batter.

Scrape half of the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the chocolate over the batter and smooth the top again. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan; a thin knife inserted into the center will come out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it rest for 15 minutes before un-molding it onto another rack. Peel off the paper, invert it onto the first rack, and cool to room temperature right side up.

For the frosting:

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

To make the frosting: Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and fit the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, stirring gently and often, just until they melt. Be careful not to overheat the mixture so much that it thins out; the chocolate should be smooth very shiny, thick land spreadable. (If it thins, leave the frosting at room temperature for a bit, until it thickens a little.)

Using an offset metal icing spatula or table knife, spread the frosting in generous sweeps and swirls over the top of the cake. Allow the frosting to set at room temperature, then cut the cake into 9 squares, each about 2 1/2 inches on a side.

My note: This is one cake I do like the frosting on, but it's good without it, too, if you just want to eat the cake and not wait to make the frosting, lol.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 9:11AM
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Colleenoz is correct, I'm on the right -notice my eyes are on the cake, not looking at the camera!

The cake was a big hit with all, we just have a couple of pieces left for dinner tonight. I posted the recipe on my cooking blog if you want to try it. It was delicious, and I am curious to see how it fares a day later.

edited to correct typo

Here is a link that might be useful: Banana cake

This post was edited by mabeldingeldine on Tue, Feb 5, 13 at 15:29

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 11:16AM
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I'm okay with cakes - only with ganache, never buttercream or fondant - but if I had to choose, it would be the passionfruit souffle with passionfruit granite from Olivar in Seattle, WA. Possibly the finest dessert I've ever had the pleasure of eating in six decades of focused dessert exploration.

For my DH it would be the classic Rigo Jancsi from the Time-Life series Cooking of Vienna. No fake RJs need apply. If the recipe doesn't call for cooking the chocolate whipping cream down by 1/2 (which takes about an hour of constant stirring), it's not authentic. I hate making this cake as it dirties up every pan in the house and takes hours. But it is amazing...2" high, 8" square of intense chocolate lusciousness. Not even Cocolat's famed Triple Chocolate Mousse cake can match it.

My niece, a very fine baker herself, would list without hesitation the Chocolate Cabbage Cake I made for her more than 25 yrs ago. I guess it made quite an impression on her! It is from Judith Olney's classic "Joy of Chocolate" (long out of print). A photo from the cover, showing the cake, is below.

It is actually quite a simple cake. Make an angelfood or spongecake, tear it into pieces, mix with whipped cream and fresh fruit (raspberries were suggested and what I used). Pack it into a 2-qt mixing bowl as a mold.

Melt chocolate and coat raw cabbage leaves. You want both large and small leaves. The leaves will soften and are then removed. Turn the cake mold out onto a serving plate, so you have a nice half-round.

Stack the chocolate leaves carefully around the cake, using the smaller leaves first, then the larger ones. Decorate the platter with whatever you like.

Note: I found the recipe grossly underestimated the amount of chocolate needed. I broke several leaves, and it took more chocolate than expected to cover the larger leaves. I ended up using three times the amount of melted chocolate chips; had to run to the store to get more so I could finish it off!

But it did LOOK spectacular, I admit. Not being a chocoholic, I preferred the cake, with just a few pieces of chocolate broken up as garnish. Most of the leaves go to waste, but I figured a bag or two of chocolate chips wasn't going to break the bank. If you want to be thrifty you could always remelt the leaves and make chocolate covered nuts or chocolate chunk cookies.

Cookbook cover: Chocolate Cabbage Cake by Judith Olney, 1982

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 12:19PM
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Black Forest for me. No cherry pie filling, has to be home made with Montmorency cherries.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 3:05PM
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So glad to see others select pie for their dream BD cake. So a tart apple pie would be my first choice. If it had to be cake I would want a coffee cake with fruit.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 3:49PM
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That is an amazing looking cake. It seems the cabbage would flavor the chocolate. Is that not so? Why couldn't you re-melt the chocolate and use it again for the cabbage leaves? I'm guessing it has to do with how the recipe works?


    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 9:20AM
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Good thread. As a kid, my DM would always make my favorite Maraschino Cherry Cake. Now, I really prefer a white on white cake (same as Lakemayor).

mabeldingeldine, I will pin your Banana Cake today on Pinterest and will see how it goes, it has a nice homespun look and for me it's all about the flavor rather than looks.
I don't see a way to follow your blog, I'd like to.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 10:06AM
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I'm with cookie8 -- Black forest cake. I made this one last year for my sister's 50th, with fresh chopped cherries in a cream cheese frosting in the middle. I had hoped to use cherries from our tree, but it finished producing cherries two weeks before the birthdate.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 10:46AM
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Nancy I'll have to look and see if I can change a setting to allow followers on that blog. I mostly use it as an archive for recipes so I post fairly irregularly. My primary blog documents my gardening habit.

We had the last 2 pieces of cake last night, and the banana flavor was more pronounced and the cake seemed moister, perhaps pulling moisture from the frosting? Anyway, it was still delicious and will certainly be made again when a cake is needed.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 3:34PM
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Pie, cake, pie, cake - I can't decide. My dad loved pie - ate a piece a day for 84 years. For his 80th birthday, we had 12 different pies, and a token cake.

Now you've got me fantasizing about amazing cakes I've consumed. Once at a workplace around 1981, someone who dabbled in catering on the side made a chocolate Grand Marnier cake that was to die for. It was a chocolate-y, liquer-y concoction formed in a bowl, with mousse and all kinds of sinful ingredients. I think the recipe was in Woman's Day or Family Circle (believe it or not). I saved the recipe and will post it, if I can find it and if anyone is interested.

Best wedding cake I ever ate had a strawberry filling between melt-in-your-mouth cake (genoise??) and delicate icing.

I love spice cake with caramel icing - the kind where you boil brown sugar and milk for just a couple minutes, then add 10X sugar and butter.

I actually prefer to make my own birthday cake, but DH thinks I'm crazy and would prefer to go out and buy one. One year, I made what I think must be my all-time favorite birthday cake - sour cream chocolate fudge with sour cream chocolate fudge icing. If memory serves me correctly, it was a recipe that Ann T. had posted.

Oh, how could I forget carrot cake with cream cheese icing! No, no - THAT is my favorite birthday cake...

Did someone mention cinnamon rolls? I could totally do those instead of cake, too!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 5:18PM
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Re the chocolate cabbage, sally2 asked "It seems the cabbage would flavor the chocolate. Is that not so? Why couldn't you re-melt the chocolate and use it again for the cabbage leaves?"

No, the cabbage doesn't flavor the chocolate. The actual cabbage leaves soften almost immediately and you can peel them off the chocolate very easily. They might be useful for soup, or maybe making cabbage rolls.

I mentioned you could probably re-melt the chocolate and use it again. I just chose not to. I am not a chocolate fanatic, just have some family members and friends who are. Me, I'm happier with strawberry shortcake!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 5:19PM
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Having spent well over 20 yrs. baking cakes for family, friends and clients, I'd have to say, Baklava is my favorite birthday dessert, not cake. Is that weird?


    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 5:37PM
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This is kind of mundane give the spectacular favorites posted, but here is what I have wanted for years from our town's most famous restaurant and finally got last year.
Bern's has a huge dessert room with booths made of redwood wine casks.

Chocolate-Chocolate-Chocolate: Classic layers of our chocolate cheese pie, chocolate cheesecake, and milk chocolate mousse on a dense chocolate crust. served with fresh whipped cream and milk chocolate shavings.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bern's Steak House

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 6:28PM
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Bob thanks for posting that photo of the black forest cake. That is a beautiful thing! I've been dreaming about it for days, lol! Someday I have got to try making a cake like that!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 7:42PM
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I would like anything from a good bakery. My birthday sometimes falls on Thanksgiving and mostly just before or after. I have had my share of supermarket turkey shaped cakes and cakes with pilgrims. I used to ask for ice cream cakes as a kid because they at least had ice cream and usually weren't awful.....The worst was when I was 16. I wanted something grown up and beautiful. My sister talked my boyfriend and my parents into going to a amusement/arcade park for a surprise. The place was a castle themed park called Camelot. All the kids at my school called it "scam-a-lot" I was horrified. When the girl brought out the cake badly frosted and with day glow icing clowns and balloons I asked them to get it boxed and we went home to have ice cream instead. At least none of my friends saw it all. No I am not stealing this from the show Golden Girls. This actually happened to me!

I had another cake disaster for my graduation. My sis and I got the freshest ingredients and made a cake from a cake bible cookbook from the library. I had spent a week prior making frosting roses for this masterpiece had saving them in the freezer. We made the cake and tasted the trimmed off parts it was fantastic! The next day we frosted it and that evening when the family tried it it was so dry no one wanted to eat it. After that I always ordered a cake from the European bakery I love in Pasadena.

The other cake fail I was involved in was my cousin's wedding. She knew I could do frosting flowers well so she asked me to come over and decorate her wedding cake. She wanted me to use this lavender icing she made. I decorated the whole thing and we set it by the window. After an hour into the reception, the purple icing in the sunlight faded to blue and was melting a little. My part of the family was out drinking and laughing on the grass. My cousin's husband's family was inside being shocked at the drinking going on outside. The cake suddenly started to lean and lucky her husband's brother was sitting close by and grabbed for it. The top 2 tiers were saved but the lower ones crashed. She didn't put in any supports inside. But, great sport that she is, she just laughed and served her husband's family the upper layers and our family the toppled ones. We didn't mind a bit. She's a great gal and can laugh through anything. One of the weddings I can say I really enjoyed. Sliding color changing cake and all.

Please no one get a bright colored cake for a birthday. At my granddad's 90th, my aunt ordered a NASA themed cake with dark blue icing. My Grandad worked in the space program after being in the air force during WWII. Everybody had a dark blue tongue and blue teeth. All these old people with blue lips and teeth!

I love a simple cake with almond extract and some fresh ripe strawberries or peaches and whipped cream. I had a fantastic cake once made with 4 different pastel fruit flavored layers and also a very good Black Forest cake by a Belgian pastry chef who used to have a bakery in my city but has now retired. I'm too wary to try a special cake again but I love to make pies and decorate cupcakes with fresh flowers.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 9:04PM
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I have a reputation of loving anything chocolate. However, after many years of getting ooey, gooey layer cakes with soft chocolate icing, I put my personal requests in. My daughter is a fabulous scratch baker and makes a fantastic tri-colored layer cake with hard chocolate icing. Filling is usually seedless raspberry jam. That's usually my first choice. She also makes a "Hostess Cupcake" type cake - from scratch, also, that is fantastic. Just the right ratio of chocolate cake, hard chocolate icing and creamy filling.

I have the same book as jkom has, "The Joy of Chocolate," but I have to admit I don't think I've ever opened it, although I have drooled over the cover. I guess it's time to open it, doncha think? ;-)


    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 10:02PM
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This thread can seriously induce cake cravings! Seriously!

For many years my MIL made me a gorgeous, tall German Chocolate Cake every year for my birthday - bless her heart! It was always delicious and she knew how much it meant to me.

Sometimes at work a dear soul will bring in a homemade pound cake when my birthday rolls around. That's always nice as a good plain pound cake is one of my favorites.

One year some friends had me over for dinner on my birthday. They cooked something on the grill and had fresh vegetables and salad which was all delicious. She had asked me what kind of cake I wanted, but I asked for homemade ice cream. I just adore homemade ice cream and would have been happy just to have had only ice cream for my birthday dinner!


    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 10:59PM
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Giggling at Kitty's description of all the old folks with blue lips and teeth. Funny. One time my brother drank food coloring and had a blue mouth for days. He saw my mom putting it into cake icing and presumed that was how it would taste -- like icing. Boy, did he get a surprise.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:05PM
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dedtired, can you imagine....that was maybe the last time some of those relatives might have seen each other and had pictures taken. We had a great time and my grandad loved it but that blue icing was awful.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:28PM
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My mother's dark chocolate mayo cake, no frosting with an ice cold glass of whole (gasp) milk dispensed from a cafeteria milk dispenser so it's a tad frothy on the top. Sigh........

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:53PM
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Oh, mine would be Schaum Torte - do you know what that is? It was my mom's "special" holiday dessert growing up but it's touchy and pretty much impossible to make at altitude - and my DH has tried!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 7:16PM
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Looks just like a pavlova, blueiris. Have you tried stablising the egg white with a little cream of tartar?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:49PM
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