Layer Cakes {My Favorite Thing to Bake}

There's something about me and cakes. I don't know what it is. Pies, tarts, biscuits, cupcakes, brownies, cookies – I'll bake them all. But imagining, baking, assembling, and sharing a layer cake is...special. And I love the idea of everyone taking a piece from one whole cake; it's a very communal, loving, focusing experience. 

Besides, layer cakes make such great canvases. There are so many elements to play with: cake, simple syrup, filling(s), frosting, decoration. I get so excited imagining a combination or an idea and reinterpreting that through the finished cake. I'm usually inspired by other desserts (gingerbread with lemon sauce, maple bacon doughnuts...) and people (my husband, The Doctor...).

Most of the cakes I've made in the past two years have been gluten-free, with the occasional dabble in vegan or paleo cakes. I love the nutty flavor and essence of a paleo cake (which I usually make with ground pecans or almonds) and the moist delectability of a vegan cake. Gluten-free cakes tend to be tricky, because I adapt my recipes from favorite wheat variations. That means substituting Cup4Cup for all-purpose flour and tinkering with other ingredient amounts until I get the result I want. 

When I decorate, I like to keep the look simple. My ideal frosting-cake ratio is three parts cake, one part frosting. Any embellishments are either piped frosting or more of what's in the cake (nuts, bacon, whole fruit...). I avoid using sugar candy or fondant simply because I think they detract from the cake/frosting texture. If it adds to the storytelling experience, I'll create a paper topper.

Favorite cakes ever: 

  • Chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting
  • Nutmeg-spiced white maple cake (made with bacon fat) with slightly-salty almond-maple buttercream and chopped bacon
  • Carrot-raisin-pineapple cake with classic cream cheese frosting
  • Gingerbread pearsauce cake with lemon buttercream
  • Sweet potato cake with maple buttercream
  • Chocolate cake with peppermint buttercream
  • White cake with lemon cream filling and vanilla buttercream