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Fancy Cake Recipe

I'm looking to bake a cake for my SO's birthday. I'm looking for something interesting/sophisticated, WITHOUT CHOCOLATE, with some interesting flavor, maybe with nuts or liquer or fruit? I'd love any and all suggestions. Oh, BTW smaller cakes are better since we won't be serving a crowd. Thanks!!

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  1. I would make the "Beehive Cake" @ the Food Network site, it's a favorite for fancy looks AND flavor,
    or a Coconut Cheesecake (I have a recipe if you're interested.)

    1. The beehive cake looks great and I might end up making it. But still just looking for more ideas so I'm bumping this up. Maybe something Austrian like a torte?

      1. I recently made a cake for a friend's birthday that was not necessarily fancy, but was very tasty. It was 2 layers of yellow cake with a layer of lemon curd and raspberry jam mixed together as the filling between the layers and frosted with cream cheese frosting. I skipped this part since I forgot to buy them at the store, but I had been planning to arrange fresh raspberries on the cake to make it prettier.

        1. I saw a beautiful cake in a Martha Stewart magazine with poppyseeds and grapefruit. it was all in layers and looked so pretty. Never did try that one...

          1. My favorite celebration cake is a dacquoise, which is basically a meringue with part of the sugar replaced by ground nuts. Most recipe specify ground almonds or ground hazelnuts. You bake it in pans, then sandwich the layers with something nice and rich. One favorite of mine is simple whipped cream, sweeetened a little, with fresh or frozen raspberries. The combination of toasty nuts, cream and raspberries is delightful.

            1. I thought of this when I first read your post, but after taking another look at it, I thought it looked like a LOT of work. But since you posted again, well, here 'tis. Burnt Almond Torte


              1. For something simple, Italian Cream Cake is good. It has pecans and coconut.


                You can make it look fancy by how you decorate it.

                1. I made an english toffee cake for a party a few weeks ago using a recipe provided by TorontoJo for inspiration:
                  It was really impressive looking (important for birthday cakes!), sort of like a composed english trifle. I think the liquor really made it...

                  1. I love red velvet. Saveur just had a great recipe for one (you can find it on the website) with crushed pecans on the side. I make it at least once a month. Made it for Christmas and it was elegant and gorgeous.

                    1. Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread done in loaf pans for maximized gooey topping... epicurious

                      Tyler's Ultimate Cheesecake foodtv.com

                      1. I don't know if you have the relatively new Tartine baking book, but there is a Passion Fruit Lime Bavarian in it that sounds great. Description: lime-moistened sponge with passion fruit Bavarian topped with sweetened cream and coconut.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: emily

                          That is an amazing cake, I have had it from the Bakery. It is my favorite cake.

                          1. re: emily

                            I don't have that book but I'd love to make the passion fruit bavarian....

                          2. cranberry upside-down cake, made with sour milk or buttermilk -- the tang is fabulous

                            1. how about a cake with pistachios and cardamon?


                              if you want a buttery cake this might not be for you, but it's light and really different, and if you've made other cakes it's not that labor intensive, except maybe the petals.

                              1. White Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake
                                This is a wonderful cake to make if you are familiar with making the components, genoise etc. (I referenced Julia Child for technique.) It is a bit involved but so lovely. It has white chocolate,not really chocolate and it really doesn't register as a chocolate type item. The raspberry and creaminess is what registers.

                                It is sophisticated and not overly sweet like some cake. Definately for a special occasion and it will be a production to make it, but well worth it.

                                1. I'm reporting back. Thank you so much for all these wonderful suggestions. I definitely want to try some in the future. In the end SO chose a somewhat-simpler cake, an almond orange torte with orange sauce and marsala from epicurious. It was quite tasty though the presentation was much more plain. I am particularly intrigued by the dacquoise suggestion.

                                  1. If this is to your taste, a Baba au Rhum comes to mind! My family loved Ina Garten's recipe (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...) and kept raving about it. It wasn't my all time favorite cake, but I bake constantly and I know my favorite tastes. However, it sounds like it might fit your quest :) P.S. You need a small tube pan or bundt pan, not the full sized one.