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Novice baker in need of great but not complex cake recipe

I'd like to bake my husband a delicious, decadent cake for his birthday. He loves pretty much everything but does not prefer fruit topped cakes-everything else is fair game. Thank you

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  1. If you want a chocolate cake, this Double Chocolate Layer Cake is generally a hit, and not complex to make. Can be baked in three 9-inch layers (or two plus some cupcakes) instead of 10-inch layers.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

      I made this cake a few weeks ago and it was amazing. I did three 9" layers and they came out perfectly--and the frosting is to die for. I have to admit I used plain chocolate chips for the chocolate and it was still amazing. Oh, the frosting is very rich so you don't need as thick a layer as you might with other frostings.

      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

        I frequently make this cake, or at least, I make it every time I make a chocolate cake. It is incomparable, and particularly good with the flour frosting, which is also posted on CH.

      2. This is the recipe for Amanda Hesser's almond cake. It's very easy and can be made in a food processor. Also I make it in one 9" springform pan, and flip it so the bottom is the top. This eliminates the "slump" in the center.


        1 Reply
        1. There are tons of great recipes on SmittenKitchen, http://smittenkitchen.com/. I'm a novice baker and haven't had any trouble making anything off of her site!

          1. Since you're looking for decadent, I'll second Smitten Kitchen. But if you're after something easy, I'd recommend this French Yogurt Cake: http://orangette.blogspot.com/2004/08...

            1. La Bete Noire on Epicurious is ridiculously decadent and also ridiculously easy. I generally don't even make the ganache as a topping. Can serve it with vanilla ice cream, gelato, whipped cream, vanilla creme anglaise, etc. And if you don't want to battle with aluminum foil to create a seal-tight wrap for the water bath, you can bake it in a round mold (silicone preferable), and just sit that in a baking dish and fill with water. it unmolds nicely.

              Happy Birthday to hubby!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Emme

                All wonderful suggestions-thank you. I hope to get to all of these in the coming months. But for now, I have found some great recipes on Smitten Kitchen that my husband would enjoy. Thanks again everyone.

              2. Ina Garten's Beatty's Chocolate Cake has never failed me. Sorry I'm on an iPad and can't multitasking to provide a link but if you google "Beatty's Chocolate" you'll get the link and a ton of reviews.

                Personally, I add about a 1/4 cup of dark cocoa to the icing to get a richer look. But whatever you do I'm sure you'll hear as I always do that it's moist and rich and delicious.

                1 Reply
                1. re: rainey


                  I was reading along so I thought I would post the link to Beatty's Chocolate Cake" since I keep it handy. My nephew loves this cake.

                2. this is the best chocolate cake ever if you like rich and fudgey over light and fluffy:


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: tastycakes

                    Thanks for sharing the noblepig.com site. Looks great!

                  2. http://wednesdaychef.typepad.com/the_...

                    Another great cake is the Robert Redford cake ala Maida H./NYT. I haven't baked this one in a good while but it's lovely.