HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
What's your latest food project? Get great advice

Cake you can eat with your hands?

cookingmonster Mar 27, 2012 03:41 PM

Does anyone know a good recipe for a firm, moist cake that can be eaten with your hands? I am looking for good road trip food; something not too crumb-y or messy (although we can use napkins if there are a _few_ crumbs) :)


  1. todao Mar 27, 2012 03:51 PM


    5 Replies
    1. re: todao
      cookingmonster Mar 27, 2012 03:59 PM

      Thank you, todao---I should have specified that I prefer a traditional sliced cake, though! I'm not a fan of the cake pops: I don't want to mess with rolling balls, mixing in frosting, dipping, etc.---that's a lot more work! Just something I can bake, slice, and package slices up in parchment paper or something!

      1. re: cookingmonster
        todao Mar 27, 2012 04:17 PM

        So bake it, slice it into small cubes, skewer (ice if you like) and the job is done. Rolling the cake into balls mixed with icing isn't an essential part of preparing cake pops. Cut pieces of cake with a higher density in texture hold on skewers quite well.

        1. re: todao
          cookingmonster Mar 27, 2012 04:25 PM

          Cake cubes! Good idea!

          1. re: cookingmonster
            njmarshall55 Mar 29, 2012 12:00 PM

            Isn't that the definition of a brownie?

            1. re: njmarshall55
              EWSflash Aug 11, 2012 07:24 AM

              No. Brownies are better.

    2. n
      ninrn Mar 27, 2012 03:56 PM

      That's funny, I just saw this recipe yesterday and the author specifically states it's good for road trips:
      http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/chocolate-bundt-cake-recipe.html .

      I think bundt cakes in general will hold up well to travel. I also love Maida Heatter's Chocolate Gingerbread. Tastes better the second, third or fourth day: http://dunkel.us/cookbook/html/ellen/chocolategingerbread.html .

      Pumpkin, walnut or poppyseed cake would probably work well for road trips, too. http://www.landolakes.com/recipe/1917...

      1 Reply
      1. re: ninrn
        Abby0105 Mar 28, 2012 04:08 PM

        I thought of the 101 Cookbooks cake, too. I'm planning to try it out this weekend!

      2. hotoynoodle Mar 27, 2012 04:11 PM

        any kind of quickbread will work as will the classic french yogurt cake.


        you can make all sorts of variations with flavored yogurts and added fruits. i have an orange-cranberry cake on the counter right now.

        3 Replies
        1. re: hotoynoodle
          Savour Mar 27, 2012 04:26 PM

          I was going to suggest a French yogurt cake. I use this recipe: http://orangette.blogspot.com/2004/08...

          1. re: Savour
            cookingmonster Mar 28, 2012 01:49 PM

            I've had yogurt cake on my list to try for a while now. Sounds like this is the perfect time to try it! Thanks for the links!

            1. re: cookingmonster
              hotoynoodle Mar 29, 2012 06:49 AM

              i started making that cake a few years ago, from the chocolate and zucchini blog. i use light olive oil instead of vegetable. it holds well for days and is infinitely adaptable. use different flavors of yogurt, berries, citrus zest, etc.


        2. goodhealthgourmet Mar 27, 2012 04:15 PM

          nirn beat me to it with pumpkin bread and gingerbread; add banana bread to the list as well. really anything that's moist *and* dense should hold up well for your purposes. just avoid recipes that call for too many add-ins (nuts, seeds, dried fruit) - you want a fairly uniform texture because it will be less likely to break apart or leave crumbs everywhere.

          1. c
            Claudette Mar 27, 2012 04:15 PM

            Banana bread holds up well, and even better when baked in muffin cups.

            1. f
              ForFoodsSake Mar 27, 2012 05:58 PM

              I love this lemon yogurt loaf cake......it is a little crumbly though. It would probably do well cooked in muffin liners to reduce the mess!


              1. chowser Mar 27, 2012 06:02 PM

                Pound cake and it travels well.

                7 Replies
                1. re: chowser
                  Leepa Aug 11, 2012 08:24 AM

                  There is nothing better in this world than my momma's pound cake.

                  1. re: Leepa
                    chowser Aug 17, 2012 04:22 PM

                    Can you share the recipe? I'm always looking for more good pound cake recipes.

                    1. re: chowser
                      Leepa Aug 17, 2012 05:43 PM

                      Sure. The success of this cake depends on the creaming of the butter and then making sure the sugar is well blended and the butter/sugar mixture is fluffy and lemon colored before going on to the next step. And the nutmeg thing at the end is key. This isn't one of the fancy schmancy pound cakes you see recipes for nowadays. Just plain old fashioned pound cake.

                      2 cups cake flour, sifted
                      1 3/4 cup sugar
                      1/2 lb. butter, room temp but not melty
                      5 eggs, unbeaten
                      1 teaspoon vanilla

                      Cream butter thoroughly then add sugar gradually. Continue beating until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat throughly between each. Add flour and vanilla.
                      Pour batter into prepared stem pan.
                      Bake in stem pan 350°for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn down oven to 325° and cook approximately 30 minutes until done. After cooled and removed from pan, dust with powdered sugar.
                      HINTS: After greasing pan, dust with nutmeg before pouring in the batter.

                      1. re: Leepa
                        chowser Aug 17, 2012 05:46 PM

                        Thanks, I can't wait to try it out. I love the old fashioned pound cakes. What is a stem pan?

                        1. re: chowser
                          Leepa Aug 17, 2012 06:34 PM

                          She uses an anodized aluminum Bundt cake pan that she's had for years. I found one a few years ago in a thrift store for $2 and considered it a huge score. Now I have no excuse if the cake doesn't turn out well. But basically, a stem pan is what they now call a tube pan. Any one would do, I suppose, but I prefer the traditional Bundt pan. I've never tried a loaf pan for this recipe so I cannot attest to how that would work.

                          Edit to add: Just found this on ebay - it's the same pan exactly. It's lightweight, not the cast aluminum like you see now. It's a great pan.


                          1. re: Leepa
                            chowser Aug 18, 2012 06:01 AM

                            That makes sense--I wasn't thinking last night when I asked. I thought it would be a cool old fashioned pan but I do have bundt pans and angel food tube pans. Thanks!

                            1. re: chowser
                              Leepa Aug 18, 2012 06:10 AM

                              I'd love to hear how it comes out for you.

                2. q
                  Querencia Mar 27, 2012 06:21 PM

                  Here are two: 1) Quick Date Cake: Process in Cuisinart 1 cup dark brown sugar, 1 cup water, rind of a lemon (scrape it off with potato peeler), 1/4 tsp salt, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and 1 tsp baking soda. When this is all smooth, add 8-12 oz pitted dates and either just pulse the processor if you want chunks of dates or let it run until they are totally integrated with the batter---doesn't matter. Then add 1 cup walnuts and 1 cup flour and pulse briefly. Bake in 8 x 8 pan x 25 minutes. Doesn't need frosting and being a sponge-type cake does not crumble. 2) English Currant Cake: Cream 1/4 real butter with 1/2 cup sugar. Work in 2 eggs, grated rind of a lemon, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1 1/4 cups flour, and 1 tsp baking powder. Add 1 cup currants. Bake in loaf pan about an hour @ 350. When cool, wrap in foil for 24 hours before slicing. Slices nicely.

                  **But if you are going to be in the car, wouldn't cookies work better than cake??

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Querencia
                    cookingmonster Mar 28, 2012 01:47 PM

                    You're right, cookies are the easiest choice---I'm just hoping to expand my repertoire a bit! :)

                  2. paulj Mar 27, 2012 06:32 PM

                    How about baking the cake in single serving portions? Back in the days of cast iron wood and coal fired ovens, cook found it easier to bake cakes in cups because of the uneven heat.

                    I think Wacky cake handles well, though I haven't made it in a while

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: paulj
                      cookingmonster Mar 28, 2012 01:48 PM

                      I tried some orange wacky cake yesterday and it was very good. Not super firm, but very moist. I'd like to try some other recipes too. And single servings is a great idea! I have some tiny bundt-shaped pans, or small loaves, that might work.

                    2. s
                      sueatmo Mar 27, 2012 06:43 PM

                      I agree with the idea of a quick bread, such as banana bread. Also, brownies or blondies would be ideal for this. Or cupcakes.

                      1. l
                        Lexma90 Mar 27, 2012 06:59 PM

                        I usually eat my breakfast in the car on the way to work. I've doctored up what probably started out as a standard coffeecake (though made a bit more nutritious with the addition of items like chopped apple pieces in the batter), but the crumble that's usually on the top, I put in as a middle layer. That way, it's easy to eat in the car but still has that crunchy crumble.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Lexma90
                          cookingmonster Mar 28, 2012 01:49 PM

                          I love that idea! Layered crumble! Thank you!

                        2. m
                          mahlzeit_yumyum Mar 28, 2012 10:49 AM

                          Cupcakes? Even better because your hands don't even need to touch the cake.

                          1. n
                            nemo Mar 28, 2012 11:46 AM

                            Chocolate-zucchini quick bread, toasted coconut quick bread, syrup-glazed lemon quick bread. Recipes, if you're interested.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: nemo
                              cookingmonster Mar 28, 2012 01:46 PM

                              Yes, yes, and yes! Recipes on all, please! They sound delicious! Thanks, nemo!

                            2. m
                              MrsJonesey Mar 28, 2012 03:28 PM

                              Can't beat a good pound cake and I usually end up eating it with my hands.

                              1. chowser Mar 28, 2012 03:32 PM

                                As I think about this, I think I'd go w/ madeleines. I know you said a layer cake but it really is just a genoise.

                                1. queenscook Mar 28, 2012 03:36 PM

                                  Here's a recipe for my favorite, a very tasty banana cake:

                                  Banana (Nut) Cake

                                  1 oz. (2 T.) margarine or butter
                                  1 oz. (2 T.) canola oil
                                  1/2 c. sugar
                                  1/2 c. brown sugar
                                  1 large egg
                                  1 large egg white
                                  1 t. vanilla
                                  1 c. mashed ripe bananas (about 2)
                                  1 c. flour (whole wheat works fine)
                                  1 t. baking powder
                                  1/2 t. baking soda
                                  1/2-1 t. cinnamon (I add nutmeg, ginger, & cardamom as well)
                                  1/4 t. salt (I use 1/2 t. kosher salt)
                                  1/2 c chopped pecans, toasted or not [OPTIONAL]

                                  Preheat oven to 350.

                                  Beat margarine/butter, oil, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in bananas until well blended. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and stir until just combined. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into a sprayed 8 inch round or 8 X 8 pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. (Can also be made as cupcakes)

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: queenscook
                                    cookingmonster Mar 28, 2012 04:05 PM

                                    Oh, this looks wonderful. I love cardamom, too.

                                  2. h
                                    HillJ Mar 28, 2012 03:54 PM

                                    Angel food cake, def. agree with pound cake, honey cake.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: HillJ
                                      cookingmonster Mar 28, 2012 04:06 PM

                                      Angel food! Yes, of course---why didn't I think of that? Yum! Or any chiffon cake! Do you have a great pound cake recipe? Mine always turns out dry. And honey cake, I haven't heard of before! Do you have a good recipe?

                                      1. re: cookingmonster
                                        HillJ Mar 28, 2012 04:16 PM

                                        Sure, cookingmonster! Happy to offer a few tried & true recipes from my collection!

                                        Angel food cake: http://bakingbites.com/2005/06/the-best-angel-food-cake/
                                        Honey cake: http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/09/majestic-and-moist-honey-cake/
                                        Pound cake: http://www.joyofbaking.com/PoundCake....

                                        To keep the crumbs at bay, I refrig the individual slices wrapped in paper ahead of my driving trips.

                                    2. Emme Mar 28, 2012 05:50 PM

                                      everyone already beat me to the obvious (in my head) of Gingerbread Loaf , Pound Cake, or Date Cake.

                                      I also like to do an apple cake that's super moist due to the inclusion of applesauce. sometimes i even stir in some white chocolate coated pretzel bits for contrast... nuts provide good flavor contrast as well... my favorite to include being pistachios.

                                      another thought -- Zucchini Bread/Cake or Carrot Cake (sans frosting or bring in a separate tub for "dipping."

                                      1. a
                                        angelsmom Mar 28, 2012 06:37 PM

                                        Fig Bread...


                                        1. Jpan99 Mar 29, 2012 10:22 AM

                                          Wacky Cake, the original snack cake!

                                          Wacky Cake
                                          Make it and bake it all in the same pan!

                                          1 ½ cups of flour
                                          1 cup of sugar
                                          3 tablespoons cocoa
                                          1 teaspoon baking soda
                                          ½ teaspoon salt
                                          6 tablespoons vegetable oil
                                          1 tablespoon vinegar
                                          1 teaspoon vanilla
                                          1 cup cold water

                                          Place all dry ingredients into a sifter and sift directly into an ungreased 8-inch square pan. Make three wells in dry ingredients. Pour oil into one hole, vinegar into second hole, and vanilla into third hole. Pour cold water over all and stir with a fork until well blended. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Let cake cool completely in the pan. Cut into squares to serve.

                                          1. mattstolz Mar 29, 2012 12:44 PM

                                            wouldnt changing the form be the easiest for this? just make your favorite cake recipe in a cupcake tin, or a doughnut tin, or into zeppole, or mini bundts, or (ugh) cake pops

                                            also, i know its not a cake, but i think that homemade poptarts, hand pies, etc would be perfect for road trippin!

                                            1. l
                                              laurachoc Mar 29, 2012 07:10 PM

                                              What about whoopie pies? They are essentially cake with a layer of frosting in the middle. If you wrap them individually in plastic wrap (it's the only way I package them) they are perfect road trip food.

                                              1. o
                                                oldfashionedcook Mar 29, 2012 07:28 PM

                                                My favorite cake for eating by hand is pound cake. I found out recently that the recipe my family uses is from The Original Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Published in 1896!! Old, but delicious!! Also, not cheap, or low fat/calorie ;)

                                                1. n
                                                  nemo Aug 11, 2012 09:29 AM

                                                  cookingmonster: Didn't see your request until today. I make all of these in mini tin foil pans for gifting. Hope you see this.

                                                  Here's the recipe I use for the coconut cake.

                                                  The only notes I made to myself were:
                                                  -- definitely toast the coconut
                                                  -- warm milk and butter in microwave at 25-second intervals, 4-6 times
                                                  -- 2 tsp coconut extract, in addition to the vanilla
                                                  -- omitted the rum because didn't have
                                                  -- turn pans at 15-minute intervals, check at 35-40 minutes

                                                  There are lots of chocolate-zucchini tea bread recipes online. I can't remember which one I used! I know I seeded the zukes and shredded them on the large hole of a 4-sided grater. I don't think I squeezed them, but YMMV.

                                                  Sweet Lemon Bread

                                                  1-1/2 cups AP flour
                                                  2 tsp baking powder
                                                  1/2 tsp salt
                                                  3/4 cup butter, room temp
                                                  1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
                                                  3 large eggs
                                                  3/4 cup milk (I sub plain yoghurt, same amount
                                                  )2 Tbs lemon juice
                                                  Grated rind of 1 large lemon
                                                  3/4 cup chopped almonds or pistachios (optional)


                                                  1/4 cup granulated sugar
                                                  Juice of 1 large lemon

                                                  Preheat oven to 350. 9x5x3 pan greased or sprayed. Sift dry ingredients together.
                                                  Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add dry ingredients
                                                  to the butter mixture alternating with the milk (or yoghurt). Stir in lemon juice and
                                                  zest. Fold in nuts, if using. Pour into pan. Bake one hour and test. Leave in pan
                                                  and place on wire rack. Combine the sugar and lemon juice. Stir until the sugar
                                                  dissolves. Make tiny holes in the top of the loaf with a toothpick or skewer. Pour
                                                  the glaze over the top, giving time for it to soak in. Allow to set 15 minutes.
                                                  Remove from pan and finish cooling on rack.


                                                  -- this makes 3-4 mini tin foil loaf pans. turn at 15-minutes
                                                  intervals. check at 35-40 minutes.
                                                  -- the foil pans are good for gifting. pour glaze over and leave in pans.
                                                  -- if I have lemon oil, I add a dash of that as well

                                                  Show Hidden Posts