Impressive Desserts for Special Occasions
Croquembouche with Maple Cream
With a shimmery sugar adornment, this pretty pyramid will elicit gasps of delight. One bite of the light, cream-filled puffs will garner even more praise.
Joyful Almond Cheesecake
Treat your guests to a candy bar in party attire. A longtime favorite flavor combination goes glamorous in a cheesecake brimming with elegance and candy-store appeal.
Baked Alaska with Rum Pudding Ice Cream
Ice cream in the oven is a classic contradiction, but moments under the broiler make this dessert a reality. Slice into the pretty meringue to reveal an even more striking color and flavor. Rum-raisin injects a warm, spicy kick into the stunning dessert.
The epitome of elegance, layers of almond sponge cake, coffee syrup, java-spiked buttercream, and opulent ganache fill this unassuming cake with taste that will make guests sing its praises.
Editor's Tip: Although music notes are typically piped on the cake, you can create any design to suit your occasion.
Pomegranate Pavlova with Pistachios and Honey
Cloudlike puffs of meringue and whipped cream will send guests into seventh heaven. Named to honor the grace and elegance of ballerina Anna Pavlova, the airy dessert resembles a dancer's tulle tutu.
This exquisite treat, broiled one layer at a time in a single pan, hints at all the smile-inducing pleasures of a European pastry shop. The name (pronounced bowm-KYOO-kin) roughly translates as tree cake -- an allusion to the sliced layers' resemblance to rings on a crosscut tree.
Orange-Ginger Ricotta Tart
Glossy glazed citrus garnishes this dessert, but the gleaming marmalade topper pales next to the tart's flavor. This pretty dessert is made memorable by a lightly spiced crust and a creamy filling.
Black Forest Cake Log
This starring roll deserves its accolades. Chocolate sponge cake, brandied cherries, whipped cream filling, and chocolate ganache fuse into a classic flavor combination that's guaranteed to earn rave reviews.
Editor's Tip: Shape the cake into a roll while it's still hot. If you let the cake cool, it will crack instead of bending into a beautiful spiral.
Cranberry-Vanilla Bean Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
At first sight, the cake is lovely with luscious lemon cream cheese frosting, sugared cranberries, and lemon peel. But the first slice reveals the true beauty of the classic seasonal flavors in a deliciously unexpected way.
Editor's Tip: Despite its everyday reputation, vanilla hails from an exotic source. Vanilla beans come from a tropical orchid. To use, cut a vanilla bean in half lengthwise and use a small knife to scape the seeds from the pod.
Malted Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Glaze
Your guests will feel like kids again when they bite into this soda fountain-inspired cake. Deep chocolate flavor and an infusion of malted milk powder fill this showcase dessert.
Salted Caramel Pots de Creme
Chilled to perfection and classically prepared and presented in individual dishes, this delectable custard shines in every way. A sprinkling of sea salt brings out the rich, buttery flavors in the caramel.
Triple-Mint Ice Cream Dessert
Guests will be enticed by its good looks, but the sinfully pleasing taste of this ice cream treat will capture their hearts. Minty zest and chocolate richness meld to create a refreshing favorite.
Carrot-Coconut Cake with Raisin-Rum Filling
Carrot cake bursts with dense spiciness; coconut cake contrasts with sweet richness. Layer them with a divine raisin-rum filling and top it all with a splendid coconut-curl flourish for a memorable final scene.
White Chocolate-Gingerbread Trifle
Showcase these five layers in clear glass to tantalize guests before they even taste the sublime flavors. The striking colors accentuate the tart, spicy, and sweet elements of each tier.