American Classics: Bumpy Cake

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In my quest to capture American desserts, I've polled friends and relatives for favorites from their childhoods. Among Michiganders, especially those with Detroit roots, Sanders' Bumpy Cake commands some serious nostalgia points. What is Bumpy Cake? Short answer: addictive. Long answer: a Devil's Food Cake with stripes of sugary buttercream topped with "pourable fudge" frosting. Yes, pourable fudge frosting. Continue reading »

Pie of the Week: Boston Cream Pie

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Nobody seems to be able to tell me why Boston Cream Pie, which is so obviously not a pie, has that name. Yet despite the troublesome moniker, Boston Cream Pie (and its counterpart, the Boston Cream doughnut), with its layers of sponge cake, vanilla pudding, and a slick of sweet dark chocolate glaze, is awesome, or "wicked awesome" as the locals might say. So it stands to reason, wouldn't making an actual pie version be all the more awesome? Continue reading »

From Serious Eats

S. H. Fernando Jr.'s Coconut Custard Pudding

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This Coconut Custard Pudding from S.H. Fernando Jr.'s Rice & Curry is a tropical take on a caramel custard. Instead of cream or milk, this recipe calls for thick coconut milk, resulting in a rich custard full of caramelized coconut notes, accented with nutmeg and cardamom. A scattering of crushed cashews are sprinkled on just before serving to add a crunch to the creamy custard. Continue reading »

Mixed Review: New Williams Sonoma All-Natural Cupcake Mixes

There are five varieties of the new cupcake mix: vanilla bean, coconut, chocolate, meyer lemon, and red velvet ($14.95/mix). There are also four premade frostings: vanilla bean, meyer lemon, coconut, and chocolate ($19.95/24-ounce jar). I decided to try one standard mix (vanilla bean) and one of what I will call the "special flavors" (red velvet) as well as the frosting that could go on any of the cupcakes: vanilla bean. Continue reading »

Share Your Sweets: Latin American Desserts

Cinco de Mayo might be over, but the fiesta continues in your kitchens. From coconut-y trembleque to a towering tres leche cake and gooey alfajores, here are 8 desserts inspired by Latin America. Continue reading »

From Serious Eats: New York

Five Great Cheap Indian Desserts In Jackson Heights

The dazzling array of neon-colored, silver-laced Indian sweets, or mithai, is yours for the taking in Jackson Heights! Continue reading »

Bake the Book: Linzer Blitz Torte

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Alice Medrich, author of Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts, realizes that the Lizner Torte isn't all about the lattice. She's simplified this Austrian classic by making a rich, almond-based dough that comes together in the food processor and never once necessitates the use of a rolling pin. Continue reading »

Chocoholic: Chocolate "Dirt" Pudding Pots

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Whoever came up with the idea of using crushed chocolate cookies to simulate dirt on food is a complete genius. Nothing else so perfectly mimics dark, moist, peaty soil, and as a cake decorator, I've had a blast conceiving all sorts of kid's cakes with the stuff. Unfortunately, most chocolate dirt desserts are sort of trashy: layers of boxed instant chocolate pudding, Oreo cookie crumbs, Cool Whip non-dairy topping, all decorated with handfuls of squiggly neon gummy worms. I decided to challenge myself by making this mash-up with some good, wholesome ingredients and a fresh design with adult appeal. Continue reading »

From Serious Eats

British Bites: Lemon Cardamom Syllabub

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On the list of great culinary innovations that Britain has given the world, desserts would be at the top. Although trifle and pudding are the most well-known, the humble syllabub is my personal favorite. What comes down to a flavored whipped cream is made more complex by the slight curdle the cream gets from citrus, and the sweet alcohol burn given to the cream by sugar and brandy. Continue reading »

8 Must-Try Sweets at Diamond Head Market & Bakery in Honolulu

Hawaiian food has developed from a wonderful mix of native and foreign cuisines. And that doesn't just apply to savory foods, but sweets as well. One must-stop spot to experience this sweet mix is Diamond Head Market & Bakery in Honolulu. Continue reading »

Cookie Monster: Date Pecan Caps

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The last time I was at my parent's house, I decided to do a little search and rescue operation through my mother's old recipe hoard. I was in need of inspiration, and she needed someone to pull the trigger on Easy Microwave Cooking. Between a recipe for Dutch Apple Cake (keep) and Tricolor Bean Casserole (toss), I found a recipe for Baba Rum's Date Caps. Continue reading »

Let Them Eat: Mango Icebox Cake

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It may have been the '80s entertaining scene or remnants from my mother's childhood, but I remember in candid detail some rather outré desserts being served at parties at home. "Merengón" was a popular one—the large version of Floating Islands, filled with some tropical fruit-based sorbet, as was Baked Alaska, and other icebox cakes that looked exotic and kitschy. For some reason, most of these recollections take on a fading yellowish hue in my mind, like old photos in an album. Continue reading »

From Serious Eats

Fast Breads' Bottoms-Up Cinnamon-Caramel Pinwheels

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This recipe calls for a biscuit recipe as the dough, so it doesn't need that rise time. The resulting dough doesn't have the same chew as a traditional sweet bread. Instead, they're soft and fluffy like biscuits. An interesting idea, plus it means your sweet rolls are on the table in under an hour. Continue reading »