Here, seven cakes for big celebrations and their cupcake counterparts for everyday eating.

By F&W Editors
Updated June 01, 2017

In this week’s Chefs in Conversation video, Top Chef champion Kristen Kish tackled a big question: cakes or cupcakes? We are of the opinion that both are equally delicious and appropriate for different occasions. Here, seven cakes for big celebrations and their cupcake counterparts for everyday eating.


Cake: Classic Carrot Cake with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting
Carrot cake, that 1970s favorite, gets a moist and not-too-sweet update.

Cupcake: Take 5 Carrot Cupcakes
These terrifically carroty cupcakes are topped with a tangy-sweet cream cheese frosting.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter

Cake: Crunchy Milk Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake
The genius of this layer cake is its extraordinarily crunchy filling, made with almonds, salted peanuts, creamy peanut butter, chocolate and Rice Krispies.

Cupcake: Double Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Filling
These chocolate cupcakes are filled with a creamy, salty peanut butter mixture, then dipped in a rich, silky chocolate ganache frosting.


Cake: Strawberry Shortcake with Star Anise Sauce
Strawberry shortcake is improved with a trio of ingredients—high-quality white chocolate in the batter, crème fraîche and heavy cream in the icing—which make this all-American dessert especially rich and moist.

Cupcake: Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes
The frosting for these cupcakes is made with strawberry jam, so they can be made at any time of year.

Red Velvet

Cake: Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Ice Cream
Southern red velvet cake is usually a tall layer cake, slathered with cream cheese icing and studded with pecans. Here, it’s low like a torte, the pecans are coated in caramel and the cream cheese icing is transformed into ice cream.

Cupcake: Red Velvet Spider Web Cupcakes
Perfect for Halloween, these web-topped, chocolate-frosted red velvet wonders are filled with a sweet and creamy filling loaded with chewy tapioca pearls.

Angel Food

Cake: Angel Food Cake with Three-Berry Compote
Light and fluffy angel food cake becomes more decadent as it soaks up the sweet juices from a berry compote.

Cupcake: Angel Food Cupcakes with Raspberry Swirl
These vanilla-flecked angel food cupcakes are filled with an easy homemade raspberry jam.


Cake: Lemon Cake with Lemon Frosting
This layer cake combines moist, spongy cake and frosting that’s a perfect balance between sweet and buttery.

Cupcake: Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Cream and Raspberries
Buttery lemon cream and raspberry jam are a fantastic sweet-tart-creamy duo on these spongy cupcakes.

German Chocolate

Cake: German Chocolate Cake
This super-indulgent dessert features layers of light chocolate cake and a sweet coconut-pecan frosting.

Cupcake: German Chocolate Cupcakes
For a gluten-free twist on the classic cake, use coconut flour instead of all-purpose wheat.