The December issue of Southern Living is renowned for the fabulous "big white cake," as our staff knows it, that always adorns its cover. Whether it's a lavish extravaganza, such as Red Velvet-Peppermint Cake, or a one-pan wonder, such as Cream Cheese-Coconut-Pecan Pound Cake, these recipes represent the very best of the season. In fact, many of you make it a tradition to bake these luscious confections each year to share with family and friends, allowing us to be part of your important meals and gatherings. Here, we offer nine of our most extraordinary cakes as our gift to you. So pick one out, preheat the oven, and bake yet another holiday memory.
2 dozen small fresh boxwood sprigs
3 dozen sour cherry candies
Glazed Tangerine Segments
Sugared Fruit Ribbons
Puttin' on the Glitz
Any flavor of pound cake that pairs well with coconut can be decorated like our Cream Cheese-Coconut-Pecan Pound Cake using these easy instructions.
Powdered Sugar Glaze: Stir together 2 cups powdered sugar, 3 Tbsp. milk, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract until smooth, adding another 1 Tbsp. milk, if necessary, for desired consistency. Makes about 1 cup.
Sugared Rosemary: Microwave ½ cup corn syrup at HIGH for 10 seconds or until warm. Brush 10 to 12 rosemary sprigs lightly with corn syrup; sprinkle evenly with granulated sugar. Arrange in a single layer on wax paper. Use immediately, or let stand at room temperature, uncovered, for up to 24 hours.
Sugared Cranberries: Bring ½ cup sugar, ½ cup water, and 1 cup fresh cranberries to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring often, over medium-high heat. (Do not overcook; cranberries should swell and just begin to pop.) Remove from heat, and drain. Toss cranberries with ¼ cup granulated sugar, and arrange in a single layer on wax paper. Use immediately, or let stand at room temperature, uncovered, for up to 24 hours.
Use the small disposable foil pans, available at the supermarket, for Praline-Pecan Cakes; the shiny surface (which reflects heat away from the pan) and the shorter bake time ensure the praline coating doesn't overbrown. Be sure to generously butter the pans before sprinkling with chopped Praline Pecans. We used about ¼ cup softened butter to grease 9 (5- x 3-inch) foil pans.
Unveiling Our Next Cake
Don't miss this year's tempting offering featured on the cover of our upcoming December issue. Like the gems featured here, it's sure to impress.
"Our Most Showstopping Cakes Ever" is from the Home for the Holidays 2007 issue of Southern Living