Easy Celebration Cakes

Having written two cookbooks on wedding cakes, people often assume I would rather be making something lengthy and challenging. There are times for that, but I always make sure I have a couple of easy celebration cakes up my sleeve. Birthdays, office parties and other events seem to pop up all the time – often with little notice. In fact, it is such a popular subject that I am teaching a two-day course at The Baking Education Center at King Arthur Flour in Norwich, VT. Come join me for these hands-on classes on Friday June 29th and Saturday June 30th. (They have recently sold out but please try putting yourself on the wait-list). 

(Image courtesy of Melissa Punch; from The Birthday Cake Book)

This is one of my go-to cakes for such occasions: an easy chocolate cake, brushed with Kahlua (optional, but oh so tasty), espresso Italian Meringue Buttercream, topped with a rich poured dark chocolate ganache and the sides completely covered with a mixture of toffee bits and mini chocolate chips. It never ceases to draw praise and folks want the recipe…it’s so easy, they won’t believe it. I leave it to you whether you want to share it or not. Another added bonus is that this cake keeps pretty well. I often bake the cake on Day 1, storing the cake layers overnight wrapped well with plastic wrap. Assemble the cake on Day 2, refrigerate and serve on Day 3, bringing to room temperature before serving. The cake formula is very moist and the buttercream seals in all the moisture. I am sure once you make my Mocha Toffee Crunch Cake you will return to it again and again.