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Cakes - Coffeecakes

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This is a favorite of mine. It was inspired by a yellow cake I tasted at a high school bake sale.

A recipe that seems to appear all over the Internet but alas with some strangely consistent errors. Here is my version – right as rain and as delicious as a cinnamon bun but without yeast or effort. Anyone see my favourite 9 by 13 inch pan?

 What could be cozier than a cinnamon toast rendition of a decadent cheesecake?  If you had cinnamon chips you could add a few to the batter. 

Moist, golden, boldly laced in cinnamon, this cake is a winter brunch and coffee klatch classic. Actually, it is a variation of a cake from my first book. I raved about how great it was and then testers got to it. One would have success; one …pure failure. I could not fathom it. It was the easier, best cake in the world! I began to think this cake was haunted. I cursed it. Then I meticulously went over it - making sure things were really clear and now, everyone has success and all tasters agree - this cake is incredible. Make this cake by hand - using a wire whisk, preferably, or in a food processor – it is really is a low rent, labour-wise, bit of baking.

Got milk? This is one of those retro affairs. The classic cake-on-a-stainless-steel-pedestal. A luscious American yellow layer cake with chocolate icing. The combination of mostly butter with a touch of shortening makes this a great birthday cake, sheet cake or cupcake for it is rich, moist and especially tender of crumb.

Finally, a light, moist golden batter that makes perfect cupcakes. No need to turn to a mix.This is also suitable for sheet cakes, and birthday cakes. You can also try this recipe with cake flour one day, if you want them a touch even more tender. The trick with great cupcakes is using butter but also - don't use too much food colouring in the icing. Easy does it. These freeze amazingly well and are as good in mini cupcakes as they are as they regular, muffin-sized models. These feature the regular homemade cupcake frosting. However, for the best, real icing pastry chefs use, find, borrow or steal white fondant (it is soft and comes in pails or bags and decorating places or bakery supply places have it). You whip fondant pound for pound, with unsalted butter. Add extracts and tints as you like. But this is that amazing frosting everyone adores. It has no grit or crusty surface; it stays soft, it pipes on like a dream and it is the difference between a yawn and ohyoumadecupcakes' and "Wow! Cupcakes!!!!".

Chocolate is more than cake. It is health food: chocolate makes for great chemical changes in brain and body and as a mood-picker-upper, it is no less than a tonic. In simple English, it is feel good food. This is one of those big, fat, layer cakes that stands tall, cuts clean, and eats moist and flavorful. 

This is moist, buttery, and a little less dense than a traditional pound cake but richer than a quick bread. Sliced in big hunks, this is just what you'd expect to find in a great deli, at the cash, beguiling you to add it to your tab, just as you're rationalizing the pastrami sandwich and fries you're taking to-go.

Cinnamon sticky buns made with a velvety, buttermilk sweet dough which puffs up into moist, huge, sticky buns. Not everyone is mad for chocolate; some of us swoon for cinnamon.


Mad About Madeleines, A Little History About a Little Cake *
Where Love, as well as Content Meets Form......

Read a Madeleine Love well as make the classic recipe
These are sophisticated (but easy to make) little snack cakes, French style- somewhat like a mini cupcake/poundcake.  You just need a madeleine mold for these. These wee cakes were immortalized, according to culinary legend, by Marcel Proust. Proust wrote of these "plump little cakes called petites madeleines".  But I think there is another story here that is far more fun and romantic. Check out Madeleines, a Story of Cake and Love
You can also check out a great blog with a super madeleine photo at


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