Cake Recipes

Parent Q&A

  • Virginia bakery applesauce cake recipe?

    (2 replies)

    We are in mourning over the closing of the Virginia Bakery still....and are desperately trying to learn to recreate their 'applesauce cake'.

    Does anyone have the recipe by chance?  Or any ideas if there might be something similar?

    Thank you!

    No recipe to offer, I’m afraid, but a similar plea: I’m not sure I can go the rest of my life never again having their giant oatmeal cookies or their amazing butter cookies. If anyone knows the owners, I’d pay a small fortune for a Virginia Bakery cookbook, as would most of my Berkeley-native friends!

    I use the recipe "Applesauce Snack Cake" from the original Betty Crocker cookbook. I've never made the sauce recipe that accompanies it. It is easy, moist, and always receives praise. I hope this helps!

    Good Luck!

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Chocolate cake recipe for first birthday cake

March 2004

I'd like to make my daughter's first birthday cake, but I don't have a recipe for a good chocolate cake. The icing will be orange-chocolate. I've heard that the cakes with coffee as one of the ingredients are pretty good. Anyone have a good recipe?

I found a great recipe on Epicurious (Double Chocolate Layer Cake) It is the best chocolate cake I have ever made at home. Don't worry if you don't have 10-inch pans. I just use 9-inch pans and pour leftover batter into a muffin pan. I'm sure it will be delicious with your orange-chocolate frosting. Joanna

Try: Mahogany Chiffon Cake It's an old, old family favorite of a friend of mine and has been their birthday cake of choice for decades now! (FYI it requires an angel food tube pan and presents beautifully. When icing it, somewhat runnier icing is better) Mahogany Chiffon Cake 3/4 c. boiling water 1/2 c. cocoa 1 3/4 c. sifted cake flour 1 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 1/2 c. vegetable oil 8 egg yolks 2tsp vanilla 8 egg whites (1 cup) 1/2 tsp cream of tartar 1 3/4 c. sugar Heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine boiling water and cocoa; cool. sift flour, soda and salt into mixing bowl. making a well, add in order; oil, egg yolks, cocoa mixture and vanilla. Beat with wooden spoon until smooth. in large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar to very stiff peaks. Do not underbeat ( a dry rubber spatula leaves a clean path). Pour egg yolk mixture in thin stream over entire surface of egg whites, gently cutting and folding in with the spatula until blended. Do not stir. Pour into 10-inch angel food tube pan. Bake 65-70 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Invert pan on bottle utnil cold. Loosen from sides of tube with a spatula. Turn pan over and hit edge sharply on table to release cake. Hope it turns out well. have a great birthday party. P.S. If you like this recipe, consider buying the awesome cookbook it comes from, called ''Yum!'' put out by El Cerrito Preschool Co-op (professionally published). 350 recipes, lots of award-winners, international stuff, desserts aplenty and kids- stuff. $12 each. Call 526-1916 to order one! Christine

I'm crazy for cake and have tried many recipes for chocolate cake and found this one from Martha Stewart to be the best. Moist, dense and oh so delicious! One Bowl Chocolate Cake Makes 2 eight-inch square or 3 eight-inch round layers Unsalted butter, for pans 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pans 3 cups all-purpose flour 3 cups sugar 1 tablespoon baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 3 large eggs 1 1/2 cups buttermilk 3/4 cup vegetable oil 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1. Preheat oven to 350B0. Butter two 8-by-2-inch round or square cake pans, and line bottoms with parchment; butter parchment, and dust with cocoa. 2. Into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, stir in eggs, 1 1/2 cups warm water, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla until smooth, about 3 minutes. 3. Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake, rotating once, until tester inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes for 8-inch layers, depending on amount of batter. 4. Let cakes cool in pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely, right side up on rack.timjean

I have a wonderful chocolate cake recipe. It's extremely easy, uses oil instead of butter, so it stays light and moist: 1 cup unsweetened cocoa 2 3/4 cups flour 2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp baking soda 2 1/4 cup sugar 1 cup vegetable oil 4 eggs 2 cups water* Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9'' baking pans. Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl. Mix all wet ingredients in another bowl. Ad wet ingredients to dry and beat until just smooth; do not overbeat. Pour evenly into pans; batter will be thin. Bake for approximately 25-35 minutes or until a clean toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. * You can substitute up to half of the water with milk, buttermilk (makes a richer cake), or even some coffee, if you choose. Liz D.

I'm not sure, but is chocolate appropriate for a 1 year old? Or perhaps the cake is for grown ups only? For baby, there is a carrot cake recipe in What to Expect the First Year. I suggest your local library.

Try the Texas Sheetcake in Joy of Cooking. So yummy and amazingly EASY. Especially because you serve it right from the pan.

I don't recommend coffee for a chocolate cake for kids. It just fuels the fire of over the top energy even more. However, I have come across a great moist chocolate cake recipe (and am looking forward to everyone else's. It's from a book called Quick Vegetarian Pleasures and its on page 215. It uses that vinegar-baking soda reaction to get its rise.....Preheat oven to 350 (and make sure it is ready cuz the batter MUST go in as soon as it is mixed). Wait 10 minutes for oven to begin to heat. Butter and flour (I like cocoa powder instead) two 8 inch cake pans. When the oven is hot thoroughly combine 2&1/4 cups unbleached whit flour, 1&1/2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, 1&1/2 teaspoons baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Pour into the bowl 1&1/2 cups WARM water, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1&1/2 teaspoons vanilla extact, and last of all 1&1/2 teaspoon white vinegar. Stir all briefly until well combined and pour into pans and get it into the oven very soon. Bake for 30 minutes or until the center tests done. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, THEN remove cakes from pans and cool completely. Yum. Yum Yum Yum

Got a great recipe for 1st birthday cake?

Oct 2002

My baby is turning one year old soon and I would like to make her a cake from scrach. It sounds more healthy to me than buying these artificial cakes from the store. I know that babies not suppose to have nuts, chocolate and honey and I am wondering if anybody can send me a great first birthday cake recipe.

I just made a carrot cake with maple cream cheese frosting for my daughter's first birthday. It was YUMMY and very easy. The recipe was in the 2001 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. If you'd like me to type it up and email it to you, just send me your email address. Liz

For both my kids first birthdays I made strawberry shortcake: white or vanilla cake, strawberries, and whipped cream. It was yummy, easy, and did the trick for the messy face photo op. Laurel

I solved the cake dilemma for the 1st birthday by buying a cake for the adult guests and children who already eat sugar. And making a whole grain muffin recipe from the back of an arrowhead mills flour bag w/o sweetner. I used grated carrots and sultanas. My child ate it with gusto that day and never again. And I found it a decent breakfast for the next few days (with a little extra jam). no sugar mama

we made a cake from scratch for our son's first birthday. we used the recipe for angel food cake from ''joy of cooking,'' with a whipped cream and banana frosting. (if you need the recipe, email and we can get it to you.) it was a wonderful yummy cake which made for a yummy wonderful mess! :) jolie

You could use the recipe for First Birthday Cake (p. 624) from the What to Expect the First Year (Eisenberg et al, 1996). It's a carrot cake (made with all healthy ingredients and no sugar) and you could simply omit the cream cheese icing. I made it for my son's first birthday and he (and we) loved it! In fact, he much preferred it over the gourmet bakery cake we had (which had lots of sugar, etc.). Hope this helps and is not too late to be useful--happy birthday!