Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake
Everyone needs a delicious coffee cake recipe in their repertoire, and this cinnamon streusel coffee cake recipe is the perfect option. Meaning "something strewn" in Old German, streusel is easy to throw together -- and then to throw on top of this sour-cream coffee cake. The sweet glaze in the recipe is the perfect coffee cake topping.
Orange-and-Poppy-Seed Sheet Cake
Full of citrus flavor, this recipe includes orange zest, sour cream, poppy seeds, and vanilla paste in the batter and orange juice in the luscious, easy icing. To serve, shower with more poppy seeds and get creative when cutting: Small and large planks, slices on the bias, and even triangles are fair game when it comes to a sheet cake.
Lemon-Meringue Sheet Cake
This burnished beauty gets its flavor from fresh lemon zest, and its stature from not-too-sweet meringue. (More than half of the sugar gets boiled into a syrup that you beat into egg whites—the result is cool, thick, and silky.) Dollop tons on top for a dramatic presentation, and if you don't have a kitchen torch, brown the peaks with a quick blast under the broiler.
Hummingbird Carrot Cake
When you give carrot cake a hummingbird-inspired spin, it really takes a slice to new heights. To capture the essence of a classic Hummingbird Cake, we stirred shredded coconut and puréed pineapple into our batter and swapped butter for oil to get a rich crumb and featherweight texture. Then we coated the classic frosting with chopped pecans and topped it with a nest of candied carrots.
Vanilla Glaze for Cinnamon-Bun Bites
Make this glaze while the Cinnamon-Bun Bites are baking. Recipe adapted with permission from "Williams-Sonoma Family Meals: Creating Traditions in the Kitchen," copyright 2009 by Maria Helm Sinskey and Williams-Sonoma, published by Weldon Owen, San Francisco.
Cream-Cheese Pound Cakes
For best results, bake these cakes at least a day before serving. Store, wrapped in plastic, for up to three days at room temperature, or freeze for up to three months.
This traditional Russian dessert is similar to a no-bake cheesecake. Dried-pineapple cutouts embellish this cake, but Martha sometimes uses jelly beans instead.
Much like its namesake flower, the daffodil cake is a cheerful sign that warmer days are ahead. Here's how it works: half of the batter is ethereal angel food; the other half is enriched with egg yolks and the zest and juice of an orange and a lemon. After layering both in a tube pan and baking, you pour the tart, citrusy glaze on top to create a dessert that will rouse your taste buds—and brighten any gathering.