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Jul 14, 2008 02:03 PM

Your best birthday cake.

Hi, I'm ISO your best birthday cake recipe. The person I'm making this for is not a huge frosting fan (Strange I Know..), so I need a cake that tastes amazing on its own. I don't particularly care if it's chocolate or vanilla, or what-have-you, as long as it's amazing. Please help. Thanks.

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  1. I"m not a big fan of really sweet frostings either. I prefer just some lightly sweetened whipped cream, maybe iwth a little flavor. Anyway, my husband made me this Persian Love Cake the year it was on hte cover of BA. We loved it...we've made it several times since then and always get very favorable comments.

    This and the coconut lime cake my sister made me this year (sorry don't have her recipe on hand) are the best birthday cakes I've ever had.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ziggylu

      Oh, another cake I love is Ina Garten's lemon cake. If your friend likes lemon this could be a winner. No frosting, just a lemon glaze.

      I also love the olive oil cake in Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Italian Cooking. I dust it with a bit of confectioner's sugar and serve with macerated berries.

    2. there's a difference between not-a-huge-frosting-fan and a frosting hater. If this person hates frosting, I'd go for a cake which doesn't need any, or just gets a light sifting of icing sugar over the top. Otherwise, something where the frosting isn't a key player.

      The frosting-less cake which comes to mind is the chocolate souffle cake from Gourmet.
      mine doesn't look like the photo, btw - higher, more cake-like. And I often skip the sauce, it's so good by itself, with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on the side (optional). But you MUST make it the day before (not the day of), so the flavours can develop.

      1. From 365 Chocolate Desserts (actually a much better cookbook than the kitchy title would imply). It's nice and moist - probably from the boiling water. I usually ice it with chocolate buttercream, but a drizzle of chocolate glaze or a dusting of powdered sugar would work fine. I also like to add a little almond extract, for a different twist.

        Blackout Cake

        1 ½ sticks (6 oz) butter, softened
        3 cups sugar
        3 eggs
        2 tsp vanilla extract
        4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
        3 cups flour
        3 tsp baking soda
        ½ tsp salt
        ¾ cup buttermilk
        1 1/3 cups boiling water
        chocolate ganache

        Preheat oven to 350º. Grease 3 9-inch round cake pans. Dust with flour. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until well blended. Add chocolate and beat 1-2 min.
        Mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to chocolate mixture in 2 additions alternately with the buttermilk. Beat until well blended. With mixer on low speed, add boiling water and beat until smooth. Batter will be thin. Pour into prepared pans.
        Bake 35-40 min, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool 10-15 min, then unmold onto racks and cool completely. Ice with ganache. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

        1. White Chocolate Macadamia Praline Cheesecake

          1. Definitely don't need frosting on the Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread - and it's better to make ahead so the flavors have time to marry and deepen.