The Perfect Cake
From Simple to Showstopper, 240+ Approachable Recipes.
Cakes are the all-occasion dessert—the center of attention at birthdays, holiday celebrations, and dinner parties and the most welcome brunch, after-school, or teatime snack. America’s Test Kitchen’s first all-cake cookbook, The Perfect Cake, is the definitive guide to any cake you crave, from classic anytime Pound Cake (“The recipe is genius and worth the price of the book.” —The Wall Street Journal) to a stunning and impressive Blueberry Jam Cake with brilliant ombré frosting.
In addition to foolproof recipes are features that make towering 24-layer Hazelnut- Chocolate Crêpe Cake as approachable as Applesauce Snack Cake. Sidebars include step-by-step photography for cakes with more advanced techniques like piping the ribbons of frosting that help give beautiful Rhubarb Ribbon Cake its name. Our years of test kitchen knowledge on the art and science of baking cakes provide all the tips and tricks you need for executing perfect cakes every time.
Some of the recipes you’ll find inside:
Patriotic Poke Cake
We used a simple white cake as our base; it was tender and flavorful but also had enough structure to handle a syrup soaking.
Smith Island Cake
Many recipes for the sleek ganache-like frosting include milk, but we used heavy cream to give the frosting more body for supporting the cake's many layers.
Olive Oil-Yogurt Bundt Cake
Baking our cake in a Bundt pan made for a refined presentation, and we found that an easy-to-make lemon glaze (with a touch of tangy yogurt) further transformed this modest everyday cake into an elegant dessert.
Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling
For a final bit of decadence, we spooned ganache onto the cupcakes before baking, giving them a truffle-like center.
"Pound Cake made with hot melted butter and a food processor? I’ve never made an easier, more delicious pound cake! The recipe is genius, and worth the price of the book."
- Alice Medrich, Wall Street Journal
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Test Kitchen Tips:
The toothpick test is the gold standard for determining doneness of cakes, but with sheet cakes it’s important to also use other cues given in the recipe; because of the cake’s large surface area, it may take a few tests to determine doneness. Use the baking times as a guide and refer to visual cues.
Professional Piping: Rosettes
Use a closed star tip and hold the bag perpendicular to the surface of the cake. Slowly pipe out the frosting while directing the tip in a tight, circular motion, then top piping and pull bag straight away from the cake. You can top rosettes with a garnish if desired.
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