'holiday cakes' on Serious Eats

Dulces: Pío V (Nicaraguan Christmas Cake)

Pío V—allegedly named for 16th century Pope Pius V, though there are no written records or even verbal conjectures to explain the odd handle—is a Nicarguan dessert typically served around Christmastime. The name is quaint and speaks to the Nicaraguan history of Catholicism, but what I love most is that within the name are hidden another three, given that Pío V is made up of marquesote, sopa borracha, and manjar. More

Let Them Eat: Orange Cake with Mulled Wine Cranberry Jam

My Thanksgiving table isn't complete without an assortment of cranberry sauces. I like to have a basic back-of-the-bag recipe flanked by versions spiked with wine, studded with different fruits, punched up with spices and zest. The sauces are usually only perfunctorily spooned on plates, given the limited real estate, but that translates into ample leftovers. This year, I wanted to showcase the ruby red, tart cranberry sauce and give it its due by putting it on a pedestal (or cake stand). More

Let Them Eat: Orange Kiss-Me Cake

Orange Kiss-Me Cake appears in our files as "kugelhopf" though it in no way resembles the Alsatian brioche-cake delicacy. The cake is actually the very same recipe that won Ms. Lily Wuebel of Redwood City, CA the $25,000 grand prize at the second Pillsbury Bake-Off contest in 1950. Orange Kiss-Me Cake featured, naturally, Pillsbury flour and the showstopper: a whole orange, ground to a pulp in a food processor along with walnuts and raisins. More

Let Them Eat: Cake Roll with Honey Semifreddo

Peel away the layers of my delicate and complex soul and you'll discover cheap sequins and over-processed junk food near the core. Attempting a balancing act between my bipolar desires, I made a gussied-up Twinkie. Twinkie gets a makeover! Twinkie goes to prom! Here's what I did: for the springy sponge-like exterior of the cellophane-wrapped snack I substituted an orange-flavored, fluffy chiffon cake. The filling is a meringue-based semifreddo sweetened with honey and speckled with toasted sesame seeds. More

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