Just the Recipe: Pound Cake

Just the Recipe: Pound Cake

The hallmark of a pound cake is its compact, firm texture produced by vigorous beating of butter and sugar, then eggs, to create millions of tiny air cells that expand in the oven’s heat causing the cake to rise magnificently

Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie is certainly not a pie but instead is a tender two-layered cake, with a luscious pastry cream filling topped with a dreamy chocolate glaze.

Gâteau Breton. A fabulous Butter Cake from France.

Gâteau Breton. A fabulous Butter Cake from France.

I went wild over this cake when I tasted it for the first time at Bell’s, a French bistro in Los Alamos, California. Its butteriness and shortbread-like texture are what made me an instant fan. How can a cake with only four ingredients be so…

Maida Heatter’s Queen Mother’s Cake

Maida Heatter’s Queen Mother’s Cake

So here’s Maida Heatter’s most popular recipe, according to Saveur magazine: Queen Mother’s Cake. It’s a moist, light-textured, flourless chocolate cake made with finely ground almonds, butter, sugar, eggs, and semi- or bittersweet chocolate and glazed with a bittersweet chocolate ganache.  Maida published the recipe…

Granny’s Passover Sponge Cake

Granny’s Passover Sponge Cake

Substituting fine cake matzoh meal, potato and tapioca starch for cake flour will make an airy, light Passover sponge cake. Turning on the oven after the cake is placed in it insures it will rise evenly.

Christmas Apple Loaf

Christmas Apple Loaf

This terrific mildly spiced loaf cake, loaded with dried fruits and toasted nuts, gets its special taste and texture from a very thick homemade apple purée. Because it keeps really well at room temperature, this loaf is something you’ll want to have on hand for…

The Great Plum Torte Story

The Great Plum Torte Story

This classic plum torte recipe, the most requested New York Times recipe, is superb. It’s everything a European fruit torte should be: Tender, buttery, sweet, and packed with fruit.

Maida Heatter and the Half-Blood Prince

Maida Heatter and the Half-Blood Prince

Failure in a Maida Heatter recipe? Highly unusual. So I wrote Maida, telling her my woes, and she wrote back very sympathetically but said she couldn’t help me at all because she has never lived at high altitude. Missoula, Montana, where I live, is 3,400 feet above sea level.

Olive Oil Citrus Cake

Olive Oil Citrus Cake

One of my favorite recipes using extra-virgin Italian olive oil is in this citrus olive oil cake that I adapted from a recipe by Anne Quatrano in Food & Wine Magazine. I have always made this cake with a Ligurian olive oil, but I didn’t…

Topsy Turvy Caramel Apple Cake

Topsy Turvy Caramel Apple Cake

This cake makes a fine change of pace dessert for a Thanksgiving dinner. The key to the success of this cake is a preliminary cooking of the apples on top of the stove. Apples in an upside-down cake should be tender and completely cooked. No crunch, please. Firm-sweet apples, such as Cameo or Braeburn, are excellent in this cake because they hold their shape and deliver a sweetness that complements the buttery brown sugar topping. Browning the butter before combining it with brown sugar and cinnamon adds a nutty caramel flavor. This cake is best when very fresh, and it reheats beautifully the next day in a warm oven for 5 to 10 minutes.