This group might be the inspiration you need to form a sit-and-sample-awhile chapter of your own.

By Laura Kostelny
November 18, 2020
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Once every few months—the frequency has slowed somewhat due to Covid—a chapter of the Southern Living Cake Club convenes in a northern suburb of Austin, Texas. Clad in matching “Cake Club” t-shirts and clutching culinary carrying cases, a cabal of five brave bakers comes together to fulfill their mission of making, tasting, and engaging in deep discussion about every single one of the 30 Southern Living Vintage Cakes That Deserve a Comeback during the course of a year.

The most recent gathering began as they all do—pleasantries were exchanged, wine was poured, and cakes were carefully transferred from carriers to stands. There were, of course, a few pandemic-related adjustments (pre-meeting testing, no hugs, gift bags bearing custom-made masks), but the purpose at hand remained unchanged. The meeting was eventually called to order, and after oohing and aahing (and, in some cases, heavily sighing) over each and every dessert, the five women (plus two alternates) sat down and got down to the business of having their cake talk and eating it, too.

Coffee Baba au Rhum

Baker’s Take
“I love the way it turned out, but the best part was scoring the ‘Jubilee’ Bundt pan at Nichols Dry Goods in DeQuincy, Louisiana,” says Kelly, a school psychologist who likes to go deep on her desserts.

Serves You Right
It’s a stunner– the ideal choice for a holiday brunch.

Perfect Musical Pairing
Coffee House on XM Radio

Pearl of Wisdom
"Sifting flour and cleaning every crevice of the fancy Bundt pan takes time."

Comment From a Club Member “This isn’t bad, Kelly!” exclaimed the on-the-record, full-blown coffee hater

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Lemon Cheese Layer Cake

Baker’s Take
“It’s supposed to have four layers. As you’ll see I only have three,” says Rachel, a teacher who feels the need to be honest even when no one will be the wiser. “That being said, all three layers are delicious.”

Serves You Right
The citrus flavors make it a great choice for Easter lunch or a summer soiree.

Perfect Musical Pairing
New country—try KASE 101 on IHeartRadio

Pearl of Wisdom
“Juicing the lemons and oranges by hand is not fun. Take it from me: Buy a juicer.”

Comment From a Club Member
“It’s my favorite,” says Yadi, a member of the club who hails from Colombia. “All the citrus balances out the sugar.”

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The Little Layer Chocolate Cake

Baker’s Take
“You better be coordinated to make this cake. Once you start, the race is on,” says Kathy, who trains for marathons when not consuming cakes.

Serves You Right
It’s a showstopper, so it deserves a special occasion like a family birthday party or holiday gathering.

Perfect Musical Pairing
The Modern Folk Music channel on Amazon Music

Pearl of Wisdom
This cake is 18 layers! Measure out everything, and set it up in stations in the areas where you’ll need it (stovetop, standing mixer, etc.), and maybe have a friend or family member nearby for when things go sideways.

Comment From A Club Member
“She was very grouchy when she was making it, but I am very happy eating it,” says a club member who happens to also be Kathy’s sister.

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Credit: Courtesy of the Southern Living Cake Club

Coconut Chiffon Cake

Baker’s Take
“This is the easiest cake I’ve made so far. I actually had all the ingredients on hand except for the coconut,” says Rowena, the designated cake cutter and by far the most experienced and professional baker in the club.

Serves Your Right
Most people associate tropical flavors with summer, but it’s also appropriate for Christmas because of the palette and texture.

Perfect Musical Pairing
"Da Coconut Nut" by Ryan Cayabyab

Pearl of Wisdom
"Be gentle when folding! Overmixing will deflate the egg whites, and you’ll end up with flat cakes and not enough to fill four pans. Also, loosen the sides of the cake pans immediately after taking them out of the oven—chiffon cakes shrink as they cool." (Again, the most professional of the gang.)

Comment From a Club Member
“That’s a lot of coconut, but I really like this cake,” says a woman who, in addition to disliking coffee also detests coconut.

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Credit: Courtesy of the Southern Living Cake Club

Fudge Cake

Baker’s Take
“This used to be served in wax paper at Lowery Motor Court in Greenville, Mississippi,” says Kim, a teacher, who likes to serve up a slice of history with her baked goods. “It would be adorable to serve it that way, and finished off with baker’s twine.”

Serves You Right
It’s ideal for a Southern Baptist “dinner on ground”—an after-service gathering—or really a potluck of any kind.

Perfect Musical Pairing
The Sweet Dreams soundtrack

Pearl of Wisdom
"If you want nice, crisp corners, make sure to square your parchment paper in the four corners of the pan. If the paper is sloppy, the corners will be, too."

How Sweet It is
"It’s super quick and easy—no mixer is needed, and cleanup took maybe 10 minutes."

Comment from the Club
“Heated up and served with ice cream?” says a sampler. “This would rule.”

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