The month before Christmas can sometimes feel like a write-off; the mornings are dark and cold, and you’re buying presents, saving cash and mocking up menus for the big day. This November, why not cheer yourself up by baking a fabulous cake, just because? Here are five celebration cakes that you’ll want to make even if there’s nothing to celebrate. Let’s face it: getting this far through 2020 is reason enough.
This decadent cake was invented at Brooklyn bakery Ebinger’s during the Second World War and named to commemorate the blackouts that protected the neighbourhood’s navy yard. Ebinger’s closed its doors long ago, but the iconic cake lives on. It’s a light and fluffy chocolate number, traditionally filled with American ‘pudding’, or as we have it in the UK, custard. It stands tall and looks especially gorgeous when sliced as it has lashings of creamy filling and makes use of three sandwich tins.
If a loved one’s birthday falls in Scorpio season, we know you need a showstopper to mark the date. Momofuku Milk Bar’s birthday cake certainly is that: a multi-layered, plan-ahead piece of baking that will keep even the hardest-to-please birthday person on side.
Milk Bar is the brainchild of pastry chef Christina Tosi. Tosi’s creations often hark back to childhood, and her birthday cake is no different, with notes of vanilla laced through the funfetti layers and a topping of cream cheese frosting. It’s fiddly and takes hours to make — buckle up, because you have to make a soak, an icing, a crumb, not to mention several layers of cake — but trust us: it’s worth it.
This rich, dark cake has a delectably moist crumb and uses a killer combination of bitter chocolate and sweet, syrupy preserved cherries for a classy update on the black forest gateau. You’ll require an exceptionally high quality saucepan to bring the ingredients to a slow, steady boil as well as three eight inch non-stick tins. The recipe says the decorative truffles are optional but we reckon they’re a vital finishing touch; try going all out and making your own.
If you’re after a looker, this beautiful pink ombre cake is the one; it just so happens that it tastes great, too. Combining the beloved almond and raspberry flavours of a bakewell tart, it’s ultra light, stands three layers high and offers an excellent excuse to show off your piping skills.
Another perfect birthday cake, this one brings sweet, summery flavours to the dreariest of winter days. The combination of elderflower and lemon is a classic for a reason: the soft floral and piquant citrus complement one another perfectly. This cake uses natural yogurt and milk to keep it moist and calls for edible flowers for decoration. You can keep it on trend by making half the amount of frosting and part-icing the layers for a ‘naked’ look.
Take a photo of your beautiful bakes and tag us in them on Instagram @circulonuk - we can’t wait to see!