Martha Stewart's Cake Perfection: Six Inspired Recipes from Our Founder's Latest Book
From an easy snacking cake and soft serve-inspired cupcakes to a show-stopping coffee confection, these delicious cake recipes from Martha's latest cookbook are a good reason to celebrate.
A must-have for cake lovers everywhere and for bakers both novice and experienced, our founder's latest book, Martha Stewart's Cake Perfection: 100+ Recipes for the Sweet Classic, From Simple to Stunning ($28, amazon.com), is inspiring and delicious. It's an authoritative guide from Martha Stewart herself with more than 100 recipes for tiers and tortes, batters and buttercreams, and sheet cakes and chiffons. Teaching and inspiring like only she can, Martha demystifies even the most extraordinary creations with her guidance and tricks for gorgeous cakes. Consider it your new manual for everything cake related.
Here we share six delectable recipes from the book. There's an easy and irresistible snacking cake flavored with cardamom and cinnamon that's right for anytime of day. The Naked-Fruit Chiffon Cake is just the thing for a special dinner, birthday, or anniversary—it looks spectacular but it's easy to put together because there's no frosting to wrangle. A simple whipped cream filling sandwiches the layers and a tangle of fall fruits decorates the top.
Of course we're also sharing some over-the-top desserts, recipes that are truly Martha-level. If that's what you're interested in, try the Soft-Serve Peanut Butter Cupcakes, which are topped with a mound of frosting and then dunked in a chocolate glaze. And there's Coffee Feather Cake, a soaring layered creation decorated with "feathers" of white, milk, dark, and café-au-lait chocolate. It's perfection indeed.
Recipes reprinted from Martha Stewart's Cake Perfection: 100+ Recipes for the Sweet Classic, From Simple to Stunning, by the editors of Martha Stewart Living, to be published October 13, 2020, by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
Copyright 2020 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, LP. Photographs copyright 2020 by Lennart Weibull. Photograph of flourless chocolate‑date cake copyright 2020 by Marcus Nilsson.
Naked-Fruit Chiffon Cake
When you layer airy chiffon cake with lightly sweetened whipped cream, a few tumbles of fresh fruit are all it takes to create a dessert fit for a Roman banquet. A warm berry sauce simmered down from blackberries, sugar, and lemon juice gets spooned on top; then halved figs, plums, and Seckel pears, along with Concord grapes and more blackberries, complete the striking still life.
Next-Level Plum Upside-Down Cake
The ruby finish on this beauty comes courtesy of thinly sliced ripe plums, which caramelize in the bottom of a skillet with brown sugar and butter. Shingle the rounds tightly in the skillet (they'll shrink in the oven as they cook), then pour a light, vanilla-scented batter on top and bake until the cake springs back when pressed. Give it 20 minutes, and it's ready for its reveal.
Spiced Snacking Cake
Specks of fragrant cinnamon and cardamom enliven this snacking cake, which is meant to be eaten any time of day. As the batter bakes, whip up a tangy glaze of confectioners' sugar, whole milk, and lemon zest and juice, plus flecks of scraped vanilla-bean seeds to enhance the warm vibe. Spread it all the way to the corners of the pan with an offset spatula, and let it sink in for 30 minutes before declaring the whole thing up for grabs.
Coffee Feather Cake
Coffee infuses this soaring confection's layers (separated by a rich mascarpone filling) as well as its whipped-cream coating. For the avian accent, melt white, milk, and dark chocolates, then stir a spoonful of milk chocolate into half of the white chocolate to create a fourth, café-au-lait color. Form the swooshes on sheet pans, let them harden in the refrigerator, and press them onto the sides in an ombré pattern that goes up, up, and away.
Flourless Chocolate-Date Cake
A purée of bourbon and plump Medjool dates suffuses this divinely intense dessert; it gets swirled into both the batter and the caramel glaze. Bittersweet chocolate (look for 70 percent cacao), Dutch-process cocoa powder, and a dash of ground cinnamon also level up the flourless base. Run the caramel through a sieve so it's super-silky, then pour it on top, using an offset spatula to coax it over the edges. Finish with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and whipped cream.
Soft-Serve Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Everyone will scream for this twist on soft-serve dunked in a chocolate shell. To fashion these cupcake flourishes, divide a batch of buttercream frosting in two, stir creamy peanut butter and a pinch of kosher salt into one half, then scoop them into separate pastry bags. Snip the ends, wedge them both into yet another pastry bag, and squeeze gently as you form two-inch-tall swirls. Chill the frosted cakes while you make a semisweet-chocolate glaze; after it cools to room temperature, carefully dunk them. Chill 10 more minutes, and cue the nostalgia trip.