From luscious chocolate cakes to light angel food cakes and multi-tiered birthday cakes, it’s a wide, delicious world of cake out there. Even if it’s just a slab of simple, buttery pound cake enjoyed with a cup of coffee, there is something celebratory about eating a slice of cake. The flip side is that cakes tend to require more effort to bake than a tray of brownies or cookies, but that’s no reason to worry. Our Food & Wine guide to cake includes tips from professional bakers (like starting with room temperature ingredients) to help you make an amazing dessert. We’ve also shared our best layer cakes, so you’ll never wonder how to celebrate another birthday—plus bundt cakes, upside-down cakes, icebox cakes and more.
Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
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Bûche de Noël with Mascarpone Cream and Dark Chocolate Ganache
A few smart moves make this Bûche de Noël a cut above the rest. Allowing the cake to cool while still rolled helps prevent cracking. Mascarpone stabilizes the whipped cream filling so that it can chilled up to overnight without weeping. Butter and corn syrup in the ganache keep it smooth and glossy. And stirring slivered toasted almonds into the ganache frosting gives it a “tree bark” look and adds contrasting texture to the silky filling and tender cake.If you’d like to make Meringue Mushrooms to decorate the cake, feel free to bake them up to 3 days ahead.