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Favorite Make Ahead Cake for Christmas?

sfcitygirl Nov 27, 2007 01:11 PM

My husband and I are cooking Christmas dinner, and I would like to make a yummy, classic dessert. I tested out Roy Finamore's chocolate cake from Tasty this weekend. It was absolutely delicious, but tasted the best the day it was made.

Do you have any suggestions for cake recipes that I can bake the day before and then frost on Christmas? And would I store the cake in the fridge? Or is it OK to leave out?

I love cookbooks so I'm happy to pick up something new for the perfect cake.

And if cake is a terrible idea, I'm open to other suggestions too. Just nothing too wacky - my grandpa doesn't like "funny food". :-)

Thanks so much for your help!

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  1. Honey Bee Nov 27, 2007 01:17 PM

    Jfood recently posted about a chocolate cake he made that tasted better the seond day. You can search for it--the title of the thread was something about a chocolate cake needing chocolate.

    I also found that the much praised Elvis cake was better the second day. Not elegant, but tasty.

    1. Pat Hammond Nov 27, 2007 01:20 PM

      A wonderful holiday cake is Nigella's Clementine cake. It's true that it is better the second day. Read through to see if you think grandpa would think it wacky. Even I can make this cake and that's saying something!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Pat Hammond
        yayadave Nov 27, 2007 06:24 PM

        Didn't this cake get a lot of discussion on these boards a year or two ago?

        1. re: yayadave
          Pat Hammond Nov 28, 2007 06:12 AM

          Yes, I believe it did!

          1. re: yayadave
            Pat Hammond Nov 28, 2007 06:32 AM

            Here's one from last year: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/282043

            1. re: Pat Hammond
              yayadave Nov 28, 2007 09:00 AM


        2. marthadumptruck Nov 27, 2007 01:24 PM

          I may make a cheesecake for Christmas. No need to frost and it tastes better if it's sat around for a day or so. I don't know if you could call cheesecake a "classic" Christmas dessert, however.

          I've had good success with the cheesecake recipe from Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours.

          1. leanneabe Nov 27, 2007 01:49 PM

            It's not really a show stopper, or a baked cake, but the Nabisco icebox cake (with the chocolate wafer cookies) is pretty good. You can make it in the log as the recipe on the box describes or you can make little individual cakes (4-5 wafers per "cake"). It has to soften overnight, so it's certainly best made the day before. I swear I've seen it somewhere on this board, but I've also used this recipe:

            I've made it with the coffee cream and with vanilla cream, but you could also do a peppermint one and garnish with crushed candy canes. It comes out as thin layers of softened cookie with light whipped cream in every bite.


            1. foxy fairy Nov 27, 2007 02:13 PM

              I keep mentioning this one -- but it's perfect for the flavor you describe. You make this in a loaf pan -- but if you want a deep rich moist chocolate cake (to serve with ice cream, rather than frosted) go for Nigella's chocolate loaf cake in Domestic Goddess. YUM. Better with age, like gingerbread. I couldn't believe how I was going crazy over it - I don't usually get into sweets, even. This is the kind of cake that I wish I could serve to my grandpa, if he were here this Christmas ;) because he always loved a fantastic chocolate cake.

              I just made a more "traditional" chocolate cake over the weekend and it couldn't even compare with Nigella's.

              2 Replies
              1. re: foxy fairy
                sfcitygirl Nov 27, 2007 04:02 PM

                Thank you all for your suggestions - I really appreciate it! So many fantastic ideas, of course. I love Chowhound! Happy holidays. :-)

                1. re: sfcitygirl
                  foxy fairy Nov 27, 2007 04:09 PM

                  Now the fun part: the trial run, right?! I imagine a happy chowhound sitting surrounded by all kinds of chocolate cakes and cheesecakes and other goodies, sampling.... ;) Happy holidays to you, too!

              2. m
                MakingSense Nov 27, 2007 05:22 PM

                Christmas is a perfect time for Red Velvet Cake. The deep red color against the snow white frosting looks great. I use green trim on the cake at Christmas.
                My family likes it better the day after it's made and prefers it cold. I use Mama's classic recipe which is a denser cake than some modern renditions so that really works well.
                Paula Dean's recipe is a good one and looks pretty foolproof if you don't already have one you like. I think Alton Brown has one too.

                1. v
                  violabratsche Nov 27, 2007 08:26 PM

                  I keep reading about this Bacardi Rum Cake that keeps well for more than a day or 3 and more, well covered. It sounds like something that'd be great, preparing a few days in advance, when things are a little quieter. Has anyone made this cake? Input, please? Thanks.


                  1. Emme Nov 28, 2007 12:13 AM

                    I recommend it so frequently, baked in loaf pans, the Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread (on Epicurious).

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Emme
                      chowser Nov 28, 2007 09:50 AM

                      I love gingerbread cake the next day. It gives the fresh ginger a chance to meld. This is a festive looking gingerbread cake, too, and incredibly moist. Chocolate covered gingerbread cake:


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