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Novice baker in need of great but not complex cake recipe

Lotus7 Jul 27, 2011 04:24 PM

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

  1. HillJ Jul 30, 2011 04:11 PM


    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.

    1. t
      tastycakes Jul 30, 2011 12:15 PM

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


      1 Reply
      1. re: tastycakes
        drewb123 Jul 30, 2011 02:12 PM

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

      2. r
        rainey Jul 30, 2011 05:08 AM

        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
          HillJ Jul 30, 2011 05:47 AM


          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. Emme Jul 27, 2011 07:43 PM

          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
            Lotus7 Jul 29, 2011 09:03 PM

            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. tempest in a teapot Jul 27, 2011 06:09 PM

            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. f
              ForFoodsSake Jul 27, 2011 05:57 PM

              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. mnosyne Jul 27, 2011 05:37 PM

                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. re: mnosyne
                  Becca Porter Jul 30, 2011 12:46 PM

                  The slump is my favorite part!

                2. Caitlin McGrath Jul 27, 2011 04:46 PM

                  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
                    escondido123 Jul 30, 2011 10:34 AM

                    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
                      roxlet Jul 30, 2011 02:18 PM

                      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.

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