Michelle Matile from Cranston, RI, won runner-up in our 2011 White Cake Contest with her recipe for Tiramisù Layer Cake.
Meet Runner-Up Michelle Matile
Meet Runner-Up Michelle Matile
| Credit: Photo courtesy of Michelle Matile

Michelle has been making her Tiramisù Layer Cake for the past few years and always gets hounded for the recipe. "I love traditional tiramisùs, but it never looks as pretty as a layer cake that you can decorate," she says. Fortunately, her entry–hands down the tastiest of the many takes on tiramisù we ran across during judging–offers the best of both worlds. Read on to learn about her inspiration for the cake and get the recipe.

Q: Where did you grow up? Have you always lived in Rhode Island?
I have always lived in Rhode Island. I grew up in North Providence.

Q: Tell us about your family.
I am currently married with no children. I bake a lot for family gatherings. My parents and brothers love dessert. While my husband likes dessert he does not love it like the rest of my family and me.

Q: What made you decide on tiramisù for a holiday layer cake?
I love tiramisù! A regular tiramisù does not look as pretty as a layer cake that you can decorate.

Q: Is it sentimental to you? Why?
I am just happy everyone loves this dessert. I will be making it for years to come.

Q: How many times did you make this cake before entering the contest? Did you have any tasters?
I have been making this for the past few years and have been asked several times for the recipe. It seems to be a crowd favorite. Everyone is shocked by how easy it is to make.

Q: Any other attempts before you submitted this particular cake?
This is my first contest attempt.

Q: What's the first thing you did when you found out you were a finalist?
Told my husband and my mom.

Q: How do you plan to spend your prize money?
My husband and I are currently working on our home. We bought a fixer-upper and any money goes straight to that.

Q: Other than cake, what's your favorite holiday dessert?
Anything chocolate and peppermint bark ice cream!

Q: What's your favorite childhood memory during the holidays?
In general, Christmas Eve. It is a big family potluck holiday with aunts, uncles, cousins, and laughter.

Q: What's your most memorable holiday disaster?
Dropping a cake I had just finished on the floor!

Q: What do you usually leave for Santa on Christmas Eve?
Haven't left anything for Santa in years.

Q: Anything else we should know about you?
I love to bake. Baking and desserts are a great way to start family traditions.