New This Month

Cakes for Any Occasion

  • Photos by Ngoc Minh Ngo
  • Recipes by Shira Bocar, Sarah Carey & Greg Lofts

Whatever moment you’re celebrating -- whether it’s Mother’s Day, a birthday, or a bouncing new baby -- make one of these stunners and invite everyone to take a sweet bite out of life.

Feed a Crowd

Confetti Cake with Vanilla Frosting

This extra-moist sheet cake is great for little and big kids alike -- and it will be the talk of the block party or bake sale. Creamy vanilla frosting is topped with jumbo sprinkles, which are fun and easy to make: Pipe long, thin lines of icing on parchment, let them dry, and break them with a spatula to create “shards.” Use small pieces in the batter to amp up the funfetti factor. We went for orange and pinks, but customize your colors as you wish -- say, with college hues for a graduation bash.

How to Make Your Own Sprinkles

Julia Child once said...

A party without a cake is just a meeting.

Surprise!

Chocolate-and-Vanilla Zebra Cake

With striking stripes hiding beneath a thick coating of glossy chocolate frosting, this dessert is fitting for a guest caught wildly off guard -- and is surprisingly simple to pull off. The pattern is created by alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batters in the center of the pans. For the strongest contrast (and even richer flavor), use a dark cocoa powder, like Valrhona.

Pistachio Cannoli Cake + Grasshopper Dome Ice Cream Cake

Naked, or non-iced, cakes are always crowd-pleasers. Still, we can’t help but accessorize our cannoli cake with chocolate and crushed pistachios. The batter for this dense Italian pastry-inspired treat is flavored with orange-flower water and more pistachios, and the ricotta filling is laced with candied orange zest and semisweet chocolate.

Next, the ice cream cake gets all grown up in our sleek spherical version. It’s baked in a heatproof bowl, hollowed out, and filled with mint-chocolate-chip ice cream. The finishing touch: a crisp, shiny chocolate shell. We predict it’ll be gone right after “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” ends.

Go High

Vanilla Sponge Cake with Strawberry-Meringue Buttercream

A light-as-air chiffon cake is wonderful to make for Mother’s Day -- or to receive. It incorporates three pounds (yes, three pounds) of strawberries, equally divided between the layers, the ethereal whipped frosting, and the sugar-dusted pile on top. To create the vertical stripes of buttercream, just use a small offset spatula.

Serve Up Special

Carrot Cake with White-Chocolate Frosting

A rose is a rose is a rose -- except when it’s the exquisite exterior of a carrot cake. (And everyone has a friend who adores carrot cake.) White chocolate adds structure -- and sweetness -- to the cream-cheese frosting, which helps the circular ruffles hold their shape. The only tool you need is a pastry bag fitted with a standard petal tip.

Fete a Friend

Citrus Mousse Cake with Buttercream Frosting

If you want to delight on sight, bake this tangy lemon cake with layers of lime mousse for a pal’s birthday, bridal shower, or big promo. The white buttercream frosting is an ideal blank canvas for a sprinkling of sugar pearls, meringues (you can make or buy them), and a scattering of edible blooms. Everyone will think you hired a pro.