Layered Cakes & Tortes - Cakes - Taste of Home Cookies, Cakes, & Pies - Editors at Taste of Home

Taste of Home Cookies, Cakes, & Pies: Bake up 368 sweet sensations with three cookbooks in one - Editors at Taste of Home (2017)

Cakes

IS IT TIME FOR DESSERT? NO MATTER HOW YOU SLICE IT, EVERYONE LOVES CAKE! BAKE UP A FAVORITE WITH RECIPES THAT FIT ANY OCCASION. FROM SHEET CAKES TO LAYERED TREATS AND FROM CREAMY CHEESECAKES TO CUTE CUPCAKES, THIS CHAPTER OFFERS THE IDEAL FINALE TO BIRTHDAYS, ANNIVERSARIES AND GRADUATIONS AS WELL AS SPECIAL HOLIDAY GET-TOGETHERS.

Layered Cakes & Tortes

Foam Cakes

Party & Theme Cakes

Tube & Pound Cakes

Delightful Cupcakes

Snack & Single Layer Cakes

Cheesecakes

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Layered Cakes & Tortes


DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL OCCASION COMING UP? THESE ARE THE CAKES THAT WILL IMPRESS! MAKE A BIRTHDAY MEMORABLE WITH ANY ONE OF THE RECIPES FOUND HERE. TOWERING LAYER CAKES PROVIDE A GREAT CENTERPIECE, AND FLAVORFUL TORTES WILL HAVE GUESTS ASKING FOR MORE.

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Raspberry Lemon Layer Cake

Cooking is my favorite hobby. I love trying recipes with different flavor combinations such as pound cake with lemon curd and fresh raspberries.

—JANICE BAKER LONDON, KY



START TO FINISH: 25 MIN. ✵ MAKES: 6 SERVINGS


1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

3 tablespoons orange juice

1 loaf (10 3/4 ounces) frozen pound cake, thawed

1 jar (10 ounces) lemon curd

2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries

1. In a small bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners’ sugar and orange juice; beat until stiff peaks form. Using a long serrated knife, cut cake horizontally into three layers.

2. Place bottom cake layer on a serving plate; spread with about 1/3 cup lemon curd. Top with 1 cup raspberries and 1/3 cup cream mixture; repeat layers. Replace cake top; spread with remaining lemon curd.

3. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining cream mixture. Top with remaining raspberries; refrigerate until serving.

“I made this cake last year for my husband on Father’s Day and he requested it again this year.”

—JEDDY123 FROM TASTEOFHOME.COM

TOP TIP

Making Homemade Lemon Curd

In a heavy saucepan, beat 3 eggs and 1 cup sugar. Stir in ½ cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons), ¼ cup melted butter or margarine, and 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel. Cook and stir over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until mixture is thickened and reaches 160°. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Yield: 1 2/3 cups.

Dr Pepper Cake

Any time I have to take food anywhere, this is my favorite go-to recipe. Everyone loves it. When it is baked in layers rather than in a single layer, it will make people say “wow.” It is a crowd-pleaser!

—SHANNON PARUM VERNON, TX



PREP: 30 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 20 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS


1 package German chocolate cake mix, regular size

1 package (3.4 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix

4 large eggs

1 can (12 ounces) Dr Pepper

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

FROSTING

1 container (12 ounces) whipped cream cheese, room temperature

1/3 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup baking cocoa

3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of three greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine the cake and pudding mixes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in Dr Pepper and vanilla.

3. Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake 20-25 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.

4. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in cocoa. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until creamy.

5. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Repeat layers. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.

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Chocolate Lover’s Mousse Torte

With layer after luscious layer of creamy filling and cake, this delicious chocolate torte proves irresistible every time.

—BRENDA FISHER STELLA, MO



PREP: 40 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 15 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS


1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup baking cocoa

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/3 cups whole milk

FILLING

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

3 tablespoons cold water

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

3 tablespoons baking cocoa

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan with waxed paper; grease paper.

2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking cocoa, baking powder and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating just until combined. Transfer to prepared pan.

3. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Remove waxed paper.

4. In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand 1 minute. Heat and stir over low heat until gelatin is completely dissolved. Cool to room temperature.

5. Sift confectioners’ sugar and cocoa together. In a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Beat in confectioners’ sugar mixture and vanilla. While beating, gradually add gelatin until stiff peaks form.

6. Trim cake edges; cut crosswise into fourths. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1/2 cup filling. Repeat layers three times. Refrigerate until serving.

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BIG BATCH

Coconut Italian Cream Cake

I’d never tasted an Italian Cream Cake before moving to Colorado. Now I bake for people in the area, and this beauty is one of the most requested cakes.

—ANN BUSH COLORADO CITY, CO



PREP: 50 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 20 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 16 SERVINGS


5 large eggs, separated

1 cup butter, softened

1 2/3 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

1 1/3 cups flaked coconut

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

FROSTING

12 ounces cream cheese, softened

6 tablespoons butter, softened

2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

5 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar

3 to 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1/4 cup toasted flaked coconut, optional

1. Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of three greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.

3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Fold in coconut and pecans.

4. With clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold into batter. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.

5. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the vanilla. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar and enough cream to reach spreading consistency. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with pecans and, if desired, coconut. Refrigerate leftovers.

NOTE To toast pecans and coconut, spread each, one at a time, in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

Mint Chocolate Torte

I combined two different recipes here: the chocolate cake from my childhood and the filling from a pie I saw in a cookbook. The flavor is reminiscent of an after-dinner chocolate mint.

—NADINE TAYLOR DURHAM, NC



PREP: 30 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ BAKE: 15 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 14 SERVINGS


3/4 cup baking cocoa

1/2 cup hot water

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup milk

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

FILLING

2 cups miniature marshmallows

1/4 cup milk

Dash salt

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

2 to 3 drops green food coloring, optional

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

TOPPING

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

1. In a small bowl, combine cocoa and water until smooth; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Add the milk, mayonnaise, eggs, vanilla and cocoa mixture; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

2. Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

3. For the torte filling, combine the marshmallows, milk and salt in a small saucepan; cook and stir over low heat until marshmallows are melted. Remove from the heat; stir in peppermint extract and food coloring if desired. Transfer to a bowl; refrigerate until chilled.

4. Fold in whipped cream. Place bottom cake layer on a serving plate; spread with a third of the filling. Repeat layers twice.

5. For topping, combine chocolate chips and cream in a small saucepan; cook and stir over low heat until chips are melted. Drizzle over top and down sides of cake. Store in the refrigerator.

“I made this torte a few times, and plan on making two for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s so easy to make.”

—TRODRIGUES FROM TASTEOFHOME.COM

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Mamaw Emily’s Strawberry Cake

My husband loved his Mamaw’s strawberry cake. He thought no one could duplicate it. I made it, and it’s just as scrumptious as he remembers.

—JENNIFER BRUCE MANITOU, KY



PREP: 15 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 25 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS


1 package white cake mix (regular size)

1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin

3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup water

1/2 cup canola oil

2 large eggs

1 cup finely chopped strawberries

FROSTING

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup crushed strawberries

4 1/2 to 5 cups confectioners’ sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line the bottoms of two greased 8-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, gelatin, sugar and flour. Add water, oil and eggs; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in chopped strawberries. Transfer to prepared pans.

3. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.

4. For frosting, in a small bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in crushed strawberries. Gradually beat in enough confectioners’ sugar to reach desired consistency. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.

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Cherry Chocolate Layer Cake

Heads will turn when you bring this divine cake to the table. A luscious almond-cherry filling is sandwiched between four layers of rich, tender chocolate cake. The finishing touch is a creamy chocolate frosting. Your guests will eat every last crumb on their plates!

—VICTORIA FAULLING METHUEN, MA



PREP: 35 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 25 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS


1 cup butter, softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup baking cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

FILLING

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

6 tablespoons butter, softened

1 teaspoon almond extract

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice

2/3 cup finely chopped pecans

2/3 cup chopped maraschino cherries

FROSTING

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup baking cocoa

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup half-and-half cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate curls and maraschino cherry, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.

2. Transfer batter to two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

3. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and extract until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar and cherry juice; beat until smooth. Stir in pecans and cherries. In another bowl, combine the frosting ingredients; beat until smooth.

4. Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Place one layer on a serving plate; spread with 1 cup filling. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining layer. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. If desired, garnish with chocolate curls and a cherry. Refrigerate until serving.

TOP TIP

Layer Splitting

Using a ruler, mark the center of the side of the cake with a toothpick. Continue inserting toothpicks around the cake. Using toothpicks as a guide, cut the cake horizontally in half with a long serrated knife. Carefully remove the top half. Frost or spread the bottom half with filling as a recipe instructs and then replace the top half, cut side down.

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Pink Lemonade Stand Cake

If you love a moist and creamy cake, this is it. Lemon juice and lemonade give the layers a tangy touch, and the subtle pink frosting makes the cake beautiful.

—LAUREN KNOELKE MILWAUKEE, WI



PREP: 50 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 20 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS


1 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons seedless strawberry jam, warmed

2 tablespoons thawed pink lemonade concentrate

2 tablespoons grenadine syrup

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

3 tablespoons grated lemon peel

4 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

FROSTING

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons thawed pink lemonade concentrate, divided

Pink sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of three greased 8-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.

2. In a small bowl, whisk the first five ingredients until blended. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and lemon peel until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beating well after each addition.

3. Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.

4. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat butter, cream cheese and lemon peel until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar and 1/3 cup lemonade concentrate. If necessary, refrigerate until spreadable, up to 1 hour.

5. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Brush 1 tablespoon lemonade concentrate over cake; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Repeat layers. Top with remaining cake layer; brush remaining lemonade concentrate over top.

6. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Decorate with sprinkles. Refrigerate until serving.

FOR CUPCAKES Make batter as directed; fill 24 paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake in a preheated 350° oven 16-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Prepare the frosting as directed, omitting 3 tablespoons lemonade concentrate for brushing layers; pipe or spread frosting over tops. Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes.

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BIG BATCH

Mocha Hazelnut Torte

I make this cake on special occasions and birthdays because it’s so amazing in appearance and taste. The mild hazelnut and coffee flavor combination is impossible to resist and definitely adds to the overall deliciousness of the cake.

—CHRISTINA POPE SPEEDWAY, IN



PREP: 35 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 25 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 16 SERVINGS


3/4 cup butter, softened

1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups 2% milk

FROSTING

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup Nutella

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 to 4 tablespoons 2% milk

1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of two greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.

3. Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.

4. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat butter and Nutella until blended. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to reach desired consistency.

5. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1 cup frosting. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup hazelnuts. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost top and sides with remaining frosting. Sprinkle with remaining hazelnuts.

NOTE To toast nuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

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Southern Lane Cake

I just love this impressive and festive cake and so do my dinner guests. With the fruit filling and topping, it’s reminiscent of a fruit cake but so much more delightful!

—MABEL PARVI RIDGEFIELD, WA



PREP: 40 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 20 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS


6 large egg whites

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup 2% milk

FILLING

6 large egg yolks

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, cubed

1/4 cup bourbon

1 tablespoon grated orange peel

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup raisins

3/4 cup flaked coconut

3/4 cup chopped pecans

3/4 cup coarsely chopped red candied cherries

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped and sweetened

1. Line the bottoms of three greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper; set aside. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

2. In another large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Transfer to prepared pans.

3. Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.

4. For filling, combine egg yolks and sugar in a large saucepan. Add butter; cook and stir over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture thickens (do not boil). Remove from the heat. Stir in bourbon, orange peel and salt. Fold in the raisins, coconut, pecans and cherries. Cool.

5. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with a third of the filling. Repeat layers twice. Frost sides of cake with whipped cream. Refrigerate until serving.

TO MAKE AHEAD Cake can be made a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

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Red Velvet Marble Cake

I watched my grandma prepare her red velvet showstopper many times for family get-togethers. The fluffy butter frosting perfectly complements the flavor of this gorgeous cake.

—JODI ANDERSON OVERBROOK, KS



PREP: 20 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 30 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS


3/4 cup butter, softened

2 1/4 cups sugar

3 large eggs

4 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 3/4 cups cake flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

3 tablespoons baking cocoa

4 1/2 teaspoons red food coloring

FROSTING

1 cup butter, softened

9 cups confectioners’ sugar

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2/3 to 3/4 cup 2% milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of two greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vinegar and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.

3. Transfer half of the batter to another bowl; stir in cocoa and food coloring into one half until blended. Alternately drop plain and chocolate batters by 1/4 cupfuls into prepared pans, dividing batter evenly between pans. To make batter level in pans, bang the cake pans several times on the counter.

4. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

5. In a large bowl, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to reach a spreading consistency. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.

Rich Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

For an elegant holiday dessert, try this. The combination of mocha cake and peanut butter filling will satisfy every sweet tooth at your table.

—TAMMY BOLLMAN MINATARE, NE



PREP: 35 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ BAKE: 25 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS


2 cups sugar

1 cup 2% milk

1 cup strong brewed coffee

1 cup canola oil

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup baking cocoa

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

FILLING

1 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

FROSTING

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups marshmallow creme

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate curls

1. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, milk, coffee, oil, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, cocoa, coffee granules, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into sugar mixture until blended.

2. Transfer batter to two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

3. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

4. For filling, in a large bowl, beat butter and peanut butter until blended. Add confectioners’ sugar; beat until smooth.

5. For frosting, melt peanut butter and chocolate in a microwave; stir until smooth. Cool. In a large bowl, beat butter and chocolate mixture until fluffy. Add the marshmallow creme, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. If necessary, refrigerate until frosting reaches spreading consistency.

6. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with filling. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Garnish with chocolate curls. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

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BIG BATCH

Carrot Cake with Pecan Frosting

My husband constantly requests this homey, old-fashioned version of carrot cake. It’s perfect for special holidays like Thanksgiving.

—ADRIAN BADON DENHAM SPRINGS, LA



PREP: 35 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 40 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 16 SERVINGS


1 cup shortening

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

1 can (8 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple, undrained

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups shredded carrots (about 6 medium carrots)

FROSTING

1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line bottoms of two greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.

2. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pineapple. In another bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in carrots.

3. Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.

4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until blended. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Stir in pecans.

5. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate until serving.

“The best tasting carrot cake I’ve ever eaten! It is simple yet has an excellent crumb, texture and taste.”

—MELEL1717 FROM TASTEOFHOME.COM

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BIG BATCH

Ladyfinger Ice Cream Cake

No one will believe you didn’t fuss when you bring out this delightfully layered cake. On a hot summer day, it will melt all resistance to dessert—one cool, creamy slice at a time.

—BARBARA MCCALLEY ALLISON PARK, PA



PREP: 25 MIN. + FREEZING ✵ MAKES: 16  SERVINGS


2 packages (3 ounces each) ladyfingers, split

3 cups vanilla ice cream, softened

1 jar (16 ounces) hot fudge ice cream topping

1 package (8 ounces) toffee bits

3 cups chocolate ice cream, softened

3 cups coffee ice cream, softened

1. Arrange ladyfingers around the edge and on the bottom of a 9-in. springform pan coated with cooking spray.

2. Spoon vanilla ice cream into prepared pan. Top with a third of the ice cream topping and toffee bits. Freeze for 20 minutes. Repeat layers, using chocolate and coffee ice creams (pan will be full). Freeze overnight or until firm.

BIG BATCH

Lemon-Filled Coconut Cake

One of my co-workers brought this cake to a luncheon almost 40 years ago. It was so delicious that I asked for the recipe, and she shared it. I have baked it ever since, and it’s always a hit!

—JACKIE BERGENHEIER WICHITA FALLS, TX



PREP: 35 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 25 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 16 SERVINGS


1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups 2% milk

FILLING

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 cup water

4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

1/3 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons butter

FROSTING

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large egg whites

1/3 cup water

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups flaked coconut

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.

2. Transfer to three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

3. For filling, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and water until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from the heat.

4. Stir a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat; gently stir in lemon juice and butter. Cool to room temperature without stirring.

5. Place one cake on serving plate; spread with half of the filling. Repeat layers. Top with remaining cake.

6. For frosting, in a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, egg whites, water and cream of tartar. With a portable mixer, beat on low speed for 1 minute. Continue beating on low over low heat until frosting reaches 160°, about 10 minutes.

7. Transfer to a large bowl; add vanilla. Beat on high until stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes. Frost top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with coconut. Store in the refrigerator.

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Cherry Cola Cake

Cherry cola and marshmallows make a zippy chocolate dessert that is even better when topped with vanilla ice cream.

—CHERI MASON HARMONY, NC



PREP: 30 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 25 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS


1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup butter, cubed

1 cup cherry-flavored cola

3 tablespoons baking cocoa

2 large eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

FROSTING

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme

2 tablespoons frozen cherry-pomegranate juice concentrate, thawed

Fresh sweet cherries with stems

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of two greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper. Divide marshmallows between pans.

2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar and baking soda. In a small saucepan, combine butter, cola and cocoa; bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened.

3. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk and vanilla until blended; add to flour mixture, whisking constantly. Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. (Marshmallows will float to the top.)

4. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.

5. For frosting, in a small bowl, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in marshmallow creme and juice concentrate on low speed just until blended.

6. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread top with 1 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer; spread with remaining frosting. Decorate with cherries.

NOTE To frost sides as well as top of cake, double amounts for frosting.

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BIG BATCH

Three-Layered Carrot Cake

My mom loved carrots so much that she put them in various dishes at least five times a week when I was growing up. Her specialty was a homemade carrot cake that was requested for every special occasion. When I made this for her 70th birthday, she cried with each bite.

—PAULA MARCHESI LENHARTSVILLE, PA



PREP: 1 HOUR + COOLING ✵ BAKE: 20 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 16 SERVINGS


6 large eggs, separated

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup orange juice

1/3 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme, optional

2 cups finely shredded carrots (about 4 medium)

1 cup chopped pecans

FROSTING

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon grated orange peel

1 tablespoon orange juice

8 to 8 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1. Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of three greased 8-in.-square baking pans with parchment paper; grease the paper.

2. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk orange juice and sour cream. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugars and orange peel until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. If desired, beat in thyme. Add flour mixture alternately with orange juice mixture, beating well after each addition.

3. With clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter. Gently fold in shredded carrots and pecans.

4. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.

5. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, orange peel and juice until blended. Gradually beat in enough confectioners’ sugar to reach desired consistency.

6. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate until serving.

NOTE To decorate cake with carrot ribbons, use a vegetable peeler to shave one large carrot into long ribbon-like strips. Reserve four of the longest strips for sides of cake; roll up remaining strips to make curls for the bow. Arrange long and rolled-up strips on a paper towel-lined baking sheet; let dry 30-45 minutes before placing on cake. Decorate frosted cake with carrot ribbons just before serving; if desired, add fresh thyme sprigs.

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BIG BATCH

Marvelous Marble Cake

Pound cake and chocolate make the best marble cake. After putting together these ingredients, I developed this recipe after about five tries. It is now a staple dessert at all my parties and a nice treat with a good cup of coffee.

—ELLEN RILEY MURFREESBORO, TN



PREP: 45 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 20 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 16 SERVINGS


4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

3 tablespoons plus 1 1/4 cups butter, softened, divided

2 cups sugar

5 large eggs

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips, optional

FROSTING

3/4 cup butter, softened

6 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 to 2/3 cup 2% milk

2 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1. In top of a double boiler or a metal bowl over barely simmering water, melt chocolate and 3 tablespoons butter; stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

2. Preheat oven to 375°. Line bottoms of three greased 8-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.

3. In a large bowl, cream remaining butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition.

4. Remove 2 cups batter to a small bowl; stir in cooled chocolate mixture and, if desired, chocolate chips until blended. Drop plain and chocolate batters by tablespoonfuls into prepared pans, dividing batters evenly among pans. To make batter level in pans, bang the cake pans several times on the counter.

5. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.

6. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat butter until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to reach desired consistency.

7. If cake layers have rounded tops, trim with a serrated knife to make level. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Cool slightly.

8. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Repeat layers. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost the top and sides of cake. Drop cooled chocolate by 1/2 teaspoonfuls over frosting. Using a large offset spatula, smear chocolate to create a marble design in frosting.

“I love this cake, the presentation is perfect for a marble cake. The taste is 5 plus stars.”

—JELLYBUG FROM TASTEOFHOME.COM

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BIG BATCH

Maple Walnut Cake

My beloved grandpa made delicious maple syrup when I was a child, and whenever I make this cake, I am reminded of him. The recipe honors his memory and has proved to be a favorite with family and friends.

—LORI FEE MIDDLESEX, NY



PREP: 45 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 15 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 16 SERVINGS


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon maple flavoring or maple syrup

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

CANDIED WALNUTS

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

FROSTING

2 cups unsalted butter, softened

5 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon maple flavoring or maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 to 1/2 cup half-and-half cream

3 tablespoons maple syrup, divided

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of three greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the maple flavoring. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating after each addition.

3. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake 11-13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks. Cool completely.

4. For candied walnuts, in a large skillet, melt butter. Add walnuts; cook and stir over medium heat until nuts are toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir in maple syrup and salt; cook and stir 1 minute longer. Spread on foil to cool completely.

5. For the frosting, in a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Beat in confectioners’ sugar, maple flavoring, salt and enough cream to reach desired consistency.

6. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1 cup frosting. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup candied walnuts and drizzle with 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Repeat layers.

7. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake. Top with remaining walnuts and syrup.

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Strawberries & Cream Torte

Enjoy this festive strawberry summer treat that is one of my mom’s favorites. It wows guests every time, yet it is simple to make.

—CATHY BRANCIAROLI WILMINGTON, DE



PREP: 25 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 15 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS


2 large eggs, separated

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup 2% milk

ASSEMBLY

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Additional fresh strawberries

1. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°. Line the bottoms of two greased 8-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, beating well. Beat in vanilla.

3. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Transfer to prepared pans.

4. With clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add remaining sugar, beating on high until sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until soft peaks form. Spread over batter in pans.

5. Bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pans on wire racks. (Cake layers will be thin.)

6. In a large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Loosen edges of cakes from pans with a knife. Carefully remove one cake to a serving plate, meringue side up.

7. Arrange sliced strawberries over top; sprinkle with sugar. Gently spread with half of the whipped cream. Top with remaining cake layer, meringue side up; spread with remaining whipped cream. Top with whole strawberries. Refrigerate until serving.

“I made this torte for Easter dinner. Lovely and tasty! A winner all around.”

—GAILARDITH FROM TASTEOFHOME.COM

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