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Cake contest ideas?

What type of cake would you make that would be a winner for a large crowd?

We're having a cake contest at work, and I'm having trouble deciding which of my favorites to make. I'm guessing there will be lots of chocolate entries, but that doesn't mean I won't do chocolate.

I think there might be interest in seasonal, which mostly means apples here! Pumpkins are just starting to catch on here in Denmark, and I'm pretty sure most wouldn't be impressed.

Any ideas?

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  1. Why not do pumpkin? Personally not a fan of pumpkin but easy to do in a layer cake. I'd do a sweet potato layer cake with Vanilla bean buttercream. It's also seasonal.

    1. I'm partial to the multi layer, flavor and texture type of cakes myself. As opposed to 2-4 slices of chocolate cake with frosting in between and covering.

      Maybe a crunchy base (cookie, biscuit, meringue, chocolate with Rice Krispies, etc), soft layer, cake layer, fruity layer, then cake layer. Then covered in something

      Just a thought ;) didn't really give you any flavors, just an idea of combination that others may not try.

      1. Sweet potato poundcake is delicious but maybe not visually striking enough for a contest, unless you are allowed to serve it toasted, with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel, butterscotch, or maple syrup.

        Do Danes know about carrot cake or its cousin, Hummingbird cake? Those are my favorites, the carrot in the version that includes pineapple, walnuts, coconut, and sultanas. The Hummingbird cake is banana cake with pineapple, pecans or walnuts, and coconut. These can be done in sheet pans or as layer cakes. Both have cream cheese frosting.

        1 Reply
        1. re: greygarious

          They do eat carrot cake here, but I don't think I've ever seen hummingbird. Good ideas, thanks!

        2. Cheesecake would stand out in the crowd. Is that allowed? Maybe pumpkin cheesecake.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ninrn

            I think cheesecake would be great, but probably not pumpkin. So far I haven't found many people here that like pumpkin, and we don't get the small sweet ones anyway.

          2. how much work do you feel like doing? an entremet could be impressive... some ideas... http://www.valrhonaprofessionals.com/...

            4 Replies
            1. re: Emme

              This is just the kind of cake I envisioned making. I'm willing to go all out to strut my stuff for my colleagues ;-)

              1. re: Emme

                I love the idea of the Caramelia PBJ since PBJ is so typically American (I assume OP is American--apologies for the assumption, if not) and this looks like such a sophisticated cake.

                Along the "typical' American idea, you could do a caramelized apple upside down cake:

                http://pinchofyum.com/salted-caramel-...

                1. re: chowser

                  During my first 10 years or so living here, I kept trying different "American" type of recipes on friends and colleagues, because I love when people share their own traditions with me, but it never went well and so I gave up. On the other hand, I don't try to make Danish recipes for guests either, as that doesn't go over very well either! So, I'm actually looking for something more neutral, I guess. I've only met 2 that like peanut butter so far--my husband (who has grown to appreciate it) and one other who lived in the US for years as a child.

                  1. re: Transplant_DK

                    So you've been there a while--that's different. I remember making a pb and j when I was in England and my friend couldn't stop talking about it. This was a long time ago, so I don't know if it's changed there.