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Easy Cake Recipe to Pop my Cherry With... [moved from Los Angeles board]

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Hi Chowhounds,

My best friend's husband's birthday is next week. I want to make him a cake. But I've never made anything but cheesecake, banana bread and cookies--all of which have never failed. What's an idiot proof cake recipe that will ease me into the world of cakemaking?

P.S. He's been clean and sober for a year...so I want to celebrate this, not push him over the edge

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  1. If you would consider a flourless cake, David Lebovitz swears this one is idiot proof, just as you said: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2007/01/...

    1. Simplest regular-type chocolate cake in the world, and tasty too -- Amazon chocolate cake:
      http://cookeatshare.com/recipes/amazo...
      Use coffee as the liquid if you like. Made this for the fam and all loved it.

      1. Awesome: a string of birthdays coming up--mom's just round the corner in August--so these will do quite well. I ended up popping my cupcake cherry with martha stewart's red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting recipe. They were a hit and I'm excited to get over my intimidation of baking!

        1. I like Ina Garten's Lemon Yogurt Cake. I've been doing a variation, creaming butter with the sugar instead of using oil at the end. That's because one day I wanted to make a yogurt cake, saw the recipe, and had no oil, but had butter on hand. It's like a pound cake. This is my version, sans the lemon (easy enough to put in) For flavorings like vanilla, almond, lemon, etc, put that in after the eggs, with the yogurt.
          1/2 c. butter
          1 c. sugar
          Cream together, add, one at a time:
          4 regular eggs (she uses 3 large, I think)
          add:
          1 c. yogurt
          Sift together and stir in:
          1 1/2 c. flour
          2 tsp. baking powder
          1/2 tsp salt
          Very easy, and quite adaptable.

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