From pound cake and angel food (with many variations) to genoise and streusel-topped, from comfort classics like red velvet, six-layer coconut, rich chocolate, lemon meringue, and cheesecake to sophisticated grown-up fare including chiffon cakes and tortes with luscious fruits, these 150 recipes and color photographs cover techniques, decorating, and gifting ideas for every taste and occasion, whether no-fuss or fancy.
Baking trends come and go, but cakes are timeless. From the editors and photographers of Martha Stewart Living, Cakes includes classics (German Chocolate, New York-Style Cheesecake), crowd-pleasers (Baked Alaska, Hummingbird), and cakes with unique, sophisticated flavors and embellishments (Pecan Torte with Lemon Curd, Saffron-Scented Pear Upside-Down Cake). Whether you need a birthday cake (for any age!), have bake-sale duty, want a travel-friendly coffee cake, or seek to impress at a dinner party or with a handmade gift, Martha Stewart's Cakes has more than 150 cakes plus ideas for decorating, gifting, and storing. Beautiful color photography that shows you just what you're aiming for and dozens of make-ahead tips make baking low-stress.
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About the Author
For more than twenty years, the food editors and chefs in the kitchens at Martha Stewart Living have produced dozens of bestselling cookbooks, including Martha Stewart's Cooking School, Martha's American Food, Martha Stewart's Cupcakes, Everyday Food: Great Food Fast, and Power Foods.
Read an Excerpt
These are anytime cakes, easy ones you want to whip up and keep on the kitchen counter to enjoy for breakfast, slice for snacks and lunchboxes, or serve with pots of tea. Rich pound cakes may be the most familiar, but plenty of other batters can be baked in the familiar rectangular pans, too. The loaves are also a cinch to dress up with fresh fruit, sauces, curds, compotes, or whipped cream for a plated dessert.
Light on effort, heavy on satisfaction, pound cake owes its name to the traditional ingredients—one pound each of flour, butter, sugar, and eggs—which remain essentially the same today. This batter makes a delicious classic pound cake, and it’s also the base for the variations on the following pages. A couple of tips for success: Leave the butter and eggs out at room temperature for an hour before mixing; if they’re cold, the batter will not be properly smooth. Creaming the butter and sugar thoroughly is crucial, because it gives the batter the necessary volume. Makes two 9-by-5-inch loaves
2 cups (1 pound) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
1 pound (about 3 cups) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 1/4 cups sugar (1 pound)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
Whipped Cream, for serving (optional)
Macerated Berries, for serving (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt.
2. With an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 8 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to medium; beat in vanilla. Add eggs in 4 batches, beating thoroughly after each and scraping down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in 4 batches, beating until just incorporated.
3. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Tap pans on counter; smooth tops with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 65 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 30 minutes. Turn out cakes onto rack to cool completely. Serve with whipped cream and macerated berries, if desired.
Five More Pound Cakes
Vanilla Bean–Ginger Pound Cake
Follow Pound Cake recipe, substituting seeds of 1 vanilla bean (split lengthwise and scraped) for the vanilla extract. Bake and cool as directed. For the ginger glaze: Heat 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk and 1/4 cup sliced fresh ginger in a saucepan over medium heat until milk begins to simmer. Let cool; discard ginger. Stir in 2 cups confectioners’ sugar. Drizzle over cooled cakes. Sprinkle chopped candied ginger on top.
Chocolate-Chip Pound Cake
Follow Pound Cake recipe, folding 2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips into finished batter. Bake and cool as directed. Serve cake with Chocolate–Coffee Liqueur Sauce and vanilla ice cream.
Blueberry–Sour Cream Pound Cake
Follow Pound Cake recipe, substituting 1/2 cup sour cream for 1/2 cup butter. Toss 2 cups fresh blueberries with 2 tablespoons flour; fold into finished batter. Before baking, sprinkle 2 tablespoons sanding sugar over each cake. Bake and cool as directed. Serve with Whipped Cream (lemon variation).
Toasted Coconut Pound Cake
Follow Pound Cake recipe, folding 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut into finished batter. Before baking, sprinkle 1/3 cup additional coconut over each cake; bake, tented with foil, and cool as directed. Serve with mango-lime sauce: Purée 1 chopped pitted mango, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1 teaspoon sugar, and a pinch of salt in a food processor until smooth. Stir in 3/4 cup diced mango and 1 teaspoon lime zest.
Marble Pound Cake
Follow Pound Cake recipe, omitting flour and salt, and dividing batter in half after the eggs are mixed into the batter in step 2. Mix 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt into half the batter; mix 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt into the other half. Scoop batters into prepared pan, 1/2 cup at a time, alternating plain and chocolate. Swirl with a knife. Bake and cool as directed.
Lemon Pound Cakes
Lemon-flavored desserts always top the list of favorites among Martha Stewart Living staffers—and readers, too. This one is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser, with lemon zest mixed in the batter, syrup soaked into the warm cakes, and glaze poured over the top—not to mention the beautiful garnish of candied lemon slices. Makes two 9-by-5-inch loaves
For the cakes
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
For the candied lemon slices and syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
2 lemons, sliced 1/8 inch thick or thinner, seeds removed
1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
For the glaze
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 to 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
1. Make the cakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and lemon zest.
2. With an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition; mix in vanilla. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with 2 batches of sour cream.
3. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans; smooth tops with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes (tent loosely with foil if tops begin to brown too quickly).
4. Meanwhile, make candied lemon slices and syrup: In a medium saucepan, combine granulated sugar and the water; bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add lemon slices; simmer very gently over medium-low heat, swirling pan occasionally, until slices are opaque throughout, about 35 minutes. Remove from heat; with a slotted spoon, transfer slices to a sheet of waxed paper. Stir lemon juice into syrup to taste.
5. Remove cakes from oven. While still in pans, use a wooden skewer or toothpick to poke several holes in tops. Set aside ¼ cup lemon syrup; pour remainder over cakes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool completely, about 2 hours. Turn out cakes onto rack; set rack over a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Brush tops and sides of cakes all over with reserved syrup.
6. Make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and 4 tablespoons lemon juice; add up to 2 more tablespoons juice until glaze is pourable but thick. Pour over cakes (still on rack), letting it drip down sides. Let set, about 30 minutes. Garnish with candied lemon slices.
Table of ContentsCONTENTS
Pound Cake with Variations
Lemon Pound Cakes
Blood Orange–Olive Oil Cake
Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Two-Colored-Squash Loaf Cake
Clementine–Vanilla Bean Loaf Cake
Rhubarb Tea Cakes
Pistachio Pound Cake
Pumpkin, Sage, and Browned-Butter Cakes
Cornmeal-Buttermilk Loaf Cake
Rosemary Pound Cake
Carrot Tea Cake
Chocolate-Ginger Marble Cakes
Cranberry-Orange-Walnut Tea Cakes
Bundts & Tubes
Lemon-Ginger Bundt Cake
Peaches-and-Cream Bundt Cake
Mini Rum Bundt Cakes
Chocolate Bundt Cake
Angel Food Cake with Variations
Blueberry-Lemon Bundt Cake
Allspice Angel-Food Cakes
Spiced Prune Cake
Lemon Chiffon Cake
Banana Chiffon Cake
Coconut–Rum Raisin Cake
Fresh Ginger Cake
Sour Cherry Savarins
Glazed Pecan-Raisin Cake
Olive Oil–Anise Mini Bundt Cakes
Zucchini Bundt Cake
New York–Style Crumb Cake
Ultimate Streusel Cake
Mini Almond Coffee Cakes
Cinnamon StreuselCoffee Cake
Applesauce Coffee Cake
Meyer-Lemon Coffee Cake
Mini Cherry–PecanStreusel Loaves
Sticky Buckwheat Cake
Almond-Berry Coffee Cake
Rich Chocolate Cake
Vanilla Sheet Cake with Malted-Chocolate Frosting
Breton Butter Cake
Lighter Chocolate Cake
Walnut–Olive Oil Cake
Honey Cake with Pears
Chocolate and Hazelnut Meringue Cake
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Coconut Cake with Tropical Fruit
Molten Chocolate Cakes
Chocolate-Coconut Sheet Cake
Almond Semolina Cake
Chocolate Cherry-Stout Cake
Chocolate-Coconut Sheet Cake
Almond Torte with Pears
Banana Pecan Cake
New York–Style Cheesecake
Cheesecake withPoached Apricot Halves
Lemon-Swirl Cheesecakewith Variations
Blood-Orange No-Bake Cheesecake
No-Bake Spiderweb Cheesecake
Maple Cheesecake withRoasted Pears
No-Bake Cheesecakeswith Pomegranate
Striped Ice-Cream Cake
Chocolate–Peanut ButterIcebox Cake
Mint Chocolate–Chip Cake
Chocolate, Banana, andGraham Cracker Icebox Cake
Chocolate Baked Alaskas
Raspberry Ice-Cream Cake
Frozen Espresso Cheesecake
Chocolate-Hazelnut Ice-Cream Cake
Gingerbread Icebox Cake
Cakes with Fruit
Cranberry Upside-Down Cake
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Stone Fruit Upside-Down Cakes
Mandarin Orange-and-Vanilla Upside-Down Cake
Apple Pie Upside-Down Cake
Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake
Olive-Oil Cake with Red Grapes
Plum Skillet Cake
Peach and Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake
Blackberry Cornmeal Cake
Gingerbread-Pear Upside-Down Cake
Chocolate-Cherry Upside-Down Cakes
Buttermilk Cake withChocolate Frosting
Chiffon Cake withStrawberries and Cream
Coconut-Pecan Cake with Milk Chocolate Ganache
Candied-Pecan Cake with Browned-Butter Pears
Tender Lemon Cake
Red Velvet Cake
Chocolate Truffle Cake
Citrus–Poppy Seed Cake
One-Bowl Chocolate Cakewith Mocha Buttercream
Lemon Meringue Cake
Pumpkin Layer Cake
Vanilla Layer Cake
Apple-Ginger Stack Cake
Devil’s Food Cake
German Chocolate Cake
Raspberry White Cake
1–2-3–4 Lemon Cake
Chestnut-Chocolate Layer Cake
Almond-Orange Layer Cake
Coconut Layer Cake
Black Forest Cake
Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is what we have grown to expect from Martha Stewart and her team. There is a great variety and lots of pictures. Just last night I made the mini almond coffee cakes on page 99....delicious and the recipe made just 6 individual cakes...perfect for a family of two. The recipes use many pantry items so you are not going crazy looking for an ingredient you will seldom use. The only reason I am not giving 5 stars is that the book is a paperback and I much prefer a hardback book. For contents it deserves 5 stars.
What can I say...it is Martha Stewart! While there are some cakes in here that I would never cook, other people would. I have already made a few and they taste out of this world! It has very good pictures and straight-forward instruction. Good book!
Lots of fantastic recipes and variations on the basics. Glad I ordered it!
I checked out this cookbook from the library. I have made the mini rum bundt cakes which were delightful. There are many more recipes I would like to try, so I will be purchasing this book.
One of my go to books. I love Martha's cookbooks.
This book is well written, and the ingredients are easy to get. The whole family loves it!
Love this book! Mother's Day weekend, I treated myself to two cookbooks (both non-Martha Stewart books). What was I thinking? The moment I began flipping through pages in hope of finding the "right recipe", I could feel sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. To rectify my disappointment, I ordered two Martha Stewart cookbooks: cakes and cookies -neither disappoint. Lesson learned. Thanks Martha!
Got this book as a gift and have tried 3 cakes so far - one pound cake and two Bundt cakes. All were heavy dry and not very tasty in spite of using good name brand ingredients. Even tried an extra egg in the last one. About two thirds of each cake wound up in the garbage. What a waste! I asked for this book and will try a few more recipes. But I hope for better results. My advice? Get if from the library first.
Buy this book if you love cake and seeing yummy delisousnes. Cake is personely my favorite food.