"Everyone likes something warm out of the oven," says Megan Garrelts, pastry chef at Bluestem in Kansas City, Missouri. Megan and her husband (and Bluestem chef), Colby, serve this moist, not-too-sweet cake warm along with lemon sherbet. They toast any leftover cake and top it with butter and jam for breakfast.
This moist cake, topped by a generous layer of cardamom-spiced, pecan-dotted crumbs, is a fabulous gift. F&W's Kate Heddings brought one to a holiday dinner party for her hosts to serve to overnight guests at breakfast the next day--"even though I wouldn't be there to eat it!" she says. Along with the cake, she gave the Calphalon pan she baked it in, fresh-ground coffee beans and a glass container of heavy cream.