We’re always impressed by the enthusiasm of LN readers when it comes to our recipe contests. This year, we asked them to share their favorite cake recipes with us, and lo and behold, scores of delicious treats were presented by bakers excited to share their talents with our readers. The winning recipe, voted on by our panel of judges (it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!), was a Sour Cream Pound Cake. Creator Suzanne Walch will recieve a gift certificate for a Kitchens with a Mission class from L’École Culinaire.

Amana Sour Cream Pound Cake

by Suzanne Walch


1 c. butter, softened

2 c. sugar

2 eggs

1 c. sour cream

1 t. vanilla

2 c. cake flour

1 tsp. baking powder

¼ t. salt


½ c. chopped pecans

½ t. cinnamon

2 T. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a bundt pan.

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients and add to batter. In a small bowl combine pecans, cinnamon and brown sugar and set aside.

Pour half the batter into the pan. Sprinkle brown sugar filling evenly on top. Add remaining batter and bake for 55 minutes. Cool completely before removing from pan. Dust with powdered sugar.

A Taste of Autumn Cake

by georgia MACON

For cake:

2 c. brown suagr

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

½ c. vegetable oil

5 large eggs

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 t. baking soda

1 t. baking powder

1 t. cinnamon

½ t. nutmeg

¼ t. cloves

¼ t. allspice

pinch of salt

1 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour two 9” cake pans.

Separate the eggs and set the yolks aside. Whip the whites to stiff peaks and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the brown sugar and butter. With the mixer running, pour in oil in a slow, steady stream. Add the egg yolks, one at a time. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, soda, powder and spices. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Last, fold in the stiff whites. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for about 30 minutes, until cake springs back when touched. Place the cakes on wire racks and cool completely.

For apple filling:

6 or 7 Granny Smith apples

2 T. unsalted butter

½ c. brown sugar

¼ c. corn syrup

½ t. cinnamon

¼ t. cloves

pinch of salt

2 T. cornstarch

Peel, core and chop apples. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the spices, brown sugar and syrup, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the apples and salt, mix well and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dissolve the cornstarch in 2 T. water and stir into the apple mixture. Cook mixture for 10 more minutes, remove from heat, and cool completely.

For cream cheese frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

½ stick unsalted butter, softened

3 c. powdered sugar

1 t. vanilla

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, and mix until smooth. Stir in vanilla.

To assemble:

Slice both cooled cakes in half, and spread apple filling on 3 of the 4 layers. Stack the cakes, then spread the cream cheese frosting over the sides and top of the cake. Serve at room temperature and enjoy!

French Toast Cake

by Amy Miller

Cake ingredients:

1 Betty Crocker Cake Mix (Super Moist Yellow)

1 ¼ C. water

1/3 C. vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 ½ t. cinnamon

Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease two 8” round baking pans.

Prepare cake mix according to directions on box. Stir cinnamon into batter. Pour into two greased baking pans. Bake 26-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool ten minutes and then turn cakes out onto wire racks to finish cooling.

Maple buttercream frosting ingredients:

8 medium or 6 large egg yolks

¾ C. sugar

½ C. pure maple syrup

2 C. unsalted butter, softened

Grease a heat safe measuring cup. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer until they are light in color. Add the sugar and maple syrup to a small saucepan and heat on medium, stirring frequently. When the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a full boil, remove from heat and pour into the measuring cup to stop cooking. While beating the egg yolks, gradually add in the sugar mixture. Once all the mixture is added, continue to beat until cool. Last, gradually add the butter. Continue beating until frosting thickens.

Candied bacon:

4-6 strips thick-cut hickory smoked bacon

3 T. brown sugar

Heat oven to 400ºF.

Foil line a baking sheet and lay strips of bacon on the baking sheet. Sprinkle brown sugar on top and bake for about 20 minutes (or until bacon starts to brown). Turn bacon and continue baking on the second side for about five minutes or until desired crispness. Remove and blot with a paper towel. Cool, then chop finely.

To assemble:

Cut each cake in half to create layers. Layer the cake and frosting to look like a stack of French toast with frosting as the top layer. Build up a slight ridge of frosting around the top edge. Chill a few tablespoons of maple syrup and drizzle on the top and around the edges. Sprinkle the chopped bacon around the top edge. Keep refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Chocolate Cake

by Lily Hustava

1 ¾ c. flour

¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder

¾ t. baking soda

½ t. baking powder

½ t. salt

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened

¾ c. lightly packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted

1 c. buttermilk

1 t. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour two 9” cake pans.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate medium-sized bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy with an electric mixer on high (about 3 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in melted chocolate. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating just until blended. Stir in vanilla. Divide the batter equally into the prepared pans. Bake until golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. Remove pans and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate frosting:

1 stick unsalted butter (cut into 8 pieces)

2 oz. semisweet chocolate (chopped)

½ c. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 box (16 oz.) confectioner’s sugar

1/3 to 1/2 c. milk

Combine butter and chocolate in a small saucepan. Melt over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add cocoa powder and stir until completely smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer. Add confectioner’s sugar alternately with the milk, adding milk if necessary to thin. Beat until fluffy and smooth.

To assemble:

Frost and stack the two 9” cakes. Coat cakes with chopped milk chocolate, semisweet or dark chocolate in any combination. You may also pipe leftover icing along the top and bottom edges of the cake.

French Summer Cake

by Ellie Hock

Champagne Cake:

2/3 c. butter

1 ½ c. granulated sugar

2 ¾ c. all-purpose flour

3 t. baking powder

1 t. salt

¾ c. Asti champagne

½ t. agave nectar

½ t. almond extract

½ t. lemon zest

6 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter an angel food cake pan.

In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar.  In another large bowl sift flour, baking powder and salt. Blend into creamed mixture alternating with the champagne. Add agave nectar, almond extract and lemon zest. In a clean large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter and pour into prepared pan. Bake for one hour.


4 c. powdered sugar

2/3 c. heavy whipping cream

½ t. almond extract

juice of one medium lemon

Beat ingredients at high speed with a mixer until smooth.

To assemble:

Once the champagne cake has cooled completely, cover with almond frosting. Let the frosting set before serving. Keep cake refrigerated. 

Caroline’s Chocolate Cake

by Carole Marcum

2 ¼ c. all-purpose flour (sift before measuring)

1 ¾ c. plus 2 T. sugar

2/3 c. Crisco shortening

1 t. salt

1 t. baking soda

1 ¼ c. buttermilk

3 eggs

2 ½ squares melted unsweetened chocolate

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease two 9” cake pans.

Mix together the first six ingredients and beat for three minutes on medium speed. Add eggs and chocolate; beat for three minutes. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Frost with chocolate icing.

Chocolate icing:

1 stick butter

1/8 t. salt

16 oz. confectioner’s sugar, divided

4 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted

6 T. milk

Beat butter, salt, and one cup confectioner’s sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in chocolate; then add remaining confectioner’s sugar alternately with milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy.

Hurry Dale Cake

by Deborah Jackson, originally by Martha White

2 c. peeled and diced apples (about two)

1 c. granulated sugar

1 ½ c. all-purpose flour

1 t. baking soda

½ t. ground cinnamon

¼ t. allspice

¼ t. ground cloves

½ t. salt

1 egg

½ c. cooking oil

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Oil an 8” square pan. In bowl, cover apples with sugar and set aside until syrup forms. In another bowl, sift the dry ingredients. Blend the egg and cooking oil and add to the apples. Stir in the dry ingredients until thoroughly blended. Pour into the oiled 8” square pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Vary by adding nuts, raisins, dates, figs, coconut, etc. to your taste.

Rachel’s Pumpkin Cake

by Rachel Eilbott

¾ c. oil

2 ½ c. sugar

4 eggs

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin

2/3 c. water

3 ½ c. flour

2 t. baking soda

1 ½ t. baking powder

2+ t. cinnamon

1+ t. clove

1+ t. nutmeg

 package of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a pan. Cream oil and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly. Mix in pumpkin and water. In a separate bowl, combine remaining (dry) ingredients except chocolate chips and mix well. Stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture, a little at a time, until thoroughly blended. Then stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into greased pan and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake one hour. Cool 15 minutes before removing the pan.


5 T. margarine or butter

2 c. powdered sugar

1 ½ t. vanilla

1+ T. water for desired consistency

Melt margarine. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Add water; mix until smooth and of desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled cake. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Chocolate Brownie Cake

by Renee Schultz and Joan Wall


2 c. all-purpose pre-sifted flour

2 c. granulated sugar

2 t. baking soda

2 large eggs (beaten until light and fluffy)

1 t. salt

1 c. buttermilk

¾ c. canola oil

Preheat oven to 300ºF. Grease and flour a 9 X 13” baking dish. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix at medium speed until smooth and blended. Pour into baking dish. (This recipe works best when used in one layer rather than two.) Bake for 50 minutes. Cake is done when toothpick inserted comes out clean. Depending on the oven, you may need an additional five-minute cook time. Cool thoroughly before icing.

Cream cheese frosting:

8 oz. cold cream cheese

1 stick butter (do not use margarine)

1/8 t. salt

3 ¾ c. powdered confectioner’s sugar

½ t. pure vanilla

With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter and salt on medium-low speed until smooth and creamy, two to three minutes. Reduce the speed to low, gradually add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and beat until mixed, but make sure not to over-mix. If frosting is too dense, add milk one tablespoon at a time to make it spreadable. Frost cool cake and top with sprinkles. (Notes: We top with cream cheese frosting but it can be topped with white, chocolate or caramel icing as well.)