Nut-Free Christmas Cakes
Chocolate Yule Log
We've managed to transform naughty into nice with this rich dark-chocolate sponge cake filled with a delicate, yogurt-lightened whipped cream. We cut the amount of sugar in half, letting the intensity of the chocolate in the sponge cake shine—go ahead and splurge on a higher-quality bar. The thick, creamy texture of Greek yogurt complements the whipped cream quite perfectly, with a fraction of the sat fat and calories. Skip the powdered sugar dusting, and use fresh raspberries, mini pinecones, fresh pine needles, or even fresh mint to decorate. Add 1⁄4 teaspoon peppermint extract to the whipped cream filling for a cool, minty kick.
Rum-Raisin Bundt Cake
Rum-Raisin Bundt Cake proves to be the perfect cake for gift-giving. The batter makes enough for a 10-cup Bundt cake and 6 mini Bundts.
Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes
Elegant and rich, this supermoist pillow of chocolate cake gets its color and texture from the vibrant-red, naturally sweet beet. There’s nothing artificial about this dramatically hued holiday treat coated in a dense cloud of creamy white frosting. We purée the tender beet root with buttermilk and vanilla to create a luscious cream that not only adds a light, velvety texture to the cupcake but also allows us to use less sugar, oil, and butter in the batter, saving fat and hundreds of calories. You simply can’t “beet” it.
Five-Ingredient Chocolate Cakes
This gorgeous dessert uses only five ingredients—sugar, butter, eggs, cake flour, and cocoa (we don't count water, salt, and cooking spray). The chocolate sauce that tops the individual cakes is luscious, thick, and glossy, with full-on chocolate flavor. Beaten egg whites go into the cake batter for a light, airy texture.
Spiced Caramel Bundt Cake
Extreme Lemon and Chocolate Roulade
Lemon and chocolate are a lovely and lively pair in this roulade. If you prefer milder lemon flavor, you can omit the rind from the filling. Or, if you are a bold lemon lover (like Deb), don't strain the rind out of the filling—enjoy the tartness and texture it provides.
Cranberry-Orange Bundt Cakes
For a glaze that completely covers the cakes, dip the tops into glaze and swirl them around a bit to make sure the glaze coats and sticks.
Black Forest Cherry Cake
The original cake has many layers; our streamlined version is easy to assemble and doesn't sacrifice any flavor or presentation panache. The heavy cherry filling may cause the cake to sink slightly in the center once assembled, but it won't detract from the stunning presentation.
Caramel Layer Cake
Work quickly to spread the frosting on the cake before it begins to set. We call for light brown sugar in the cake to lend a subtly sweet flavor, but dark brown in the frosting to provide a contrasting rich caramel flavor that your birthday party-goers will love. You can use light brown sugar for both the cake and frosting, if you prefer.
Orange Cardamom Cake
A bright citrus glaze, drizzled on top of the warm cake, pools at the bottom of the plate, making every bite—from the first to the last—a delicious treat.
To prepare this cake a day ahead, cool completely, wrap it with plastic wrap, and store at room temperature. Frost the cake with whipped topping just before serving.
Peppermint Ice Cream Cake
Why go out and buy an ice cream cake when you can make one? The peppermint ice cream makes this cake unique, and the crushed peppermints on top make for a pretty presentation. Surprise a friend on their birthday or bring this festive cake to a Christmas party.
Fresh Ginger Cake with Candied Citrus Glaze
We fully embrace the peppery punch of fresh ginger, which gives this moist cake a surprising tingle. Kumquats offer a tart, sweet kick to the glaze drizzled over the warm cake. A bundt pan is key for presentation here.
Chocolate Chip Irish Cream Pound Cake
"This cake is even better on the second day," said reader and recipe developer Anna Ginsberg.