4 Celebrity Chefs Share Cake Recipes for Our 100th Anniversary

Four food superstars. Four irresistible cakes for the Better Homes & Gardens 100th anniversary.

No anniversary would be complete without a stunner of a cake, so we asked four (yes, four!) food superstars to celebrate Better Homes & Gardens' 100th anniversary by sharing one of their favorite special-occasion cakes. Culinary legends Ina Garten, Carla Hall, Padma Lakshmi, and Jacques Pépin met our expectations with exciting flavors in layers of delicious cake. Says Jan Miller, BHG food editor, "We asked our celebrity bakers to share their best cakes for celebrating and they did not disappoint! Collectively they all shared incredibly different, delicious cakes." These gorgeous desserts are fit for a special occasion, but we don't think you need to wait for an excuse to bake any one of them. No matter which birthday cake made your magazine cover, you'll find all the recipes here.

Ina Garten's Beatty's Chocolate Cake blue background
Photo: Carson Downing

Beatty's Chocolate Cake

Dark and decadent, Beatty's Chocolate Cake is an all-time favorite of Ina Garten. The recipe, which was featured in her much-loved Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook, originally comes from a friend's grandmother, Beatty. Her next cookbook out in October 2022, Go-To Dinners, will feature a new collection of simple meals you can prep, make, and freeze ahead, or assemble at the last minute.

Ina Garten with chocolate cake slices on blue plates against blue background
Ina Garten: Getty Images. Cake: Carson Downing

The secret to Ina's decadent yet delicate cake is a cup of brewed coffee whisked into the batter. It intensifies the chocolate flavor without tasting exactly like coffee. According to the Barefoot Contessa, you'll want to use good bittersweet chocolate in this cake recipe, but not chocolate chips because they have stabilizers in them.

Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Cream
Carson Downing

Better Homes & Gardens Round Porcelain Cake Stand ($15, Walmart)

Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Cream

Carla Hall, award-winning cookbook author, former host of The Chew, and creator and host of the Say Yes! podcast baked a Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Cream that you'll want to make on repeat. Bright lemon curd folded into billowy whipped cream is a delightful contrast to deeply spiced gingerbread with strong notes of molasses and clove in this cake. The candied lemon slices add a sophisticated (and tasty) finishing touch.

Carla Hall with cake slices on purple plates against purple background
Carla Hall: Getty Images. Cake: Carson Downing

The recipe makes a 3-layer cake, but if you want to go all out and get the height of the magazine's cover image, prepare the cake recipe twice using two 9×2-inch pans to make four layers total. Read the variation in the recipe for details.

Strawberry-Cardamom and Cream cake and curtains
Carson Downing

Strawberry-Cardamom and Cream Cake

Creator of television series Taste the Nation and host of Top Chef, Padma Lakshmi put a fresh spin on strawberry shortcake with her Strawberry-Cardamom and Cream Cake. Save the cutest berries for tumbling on top. Of course, you can also dress it up with edible flowers for a showstopping finish.

Padma Lakshmi portrait with strawberry cake slice on pink plate and red background for BHG 100
Padma Lakshmi: Getty Images. Cake: Carson Downing

Padma plays with the idea of strawberry shortcake as a layer cake with a dense buttery cake, fresh berries, and cream cheese frosting fluffed with whipped cream. Padma's pro trick: Use the wrappers from the butter to grease the pans, then leave them lying flat in the bottoms of the pans instead of lining them with parchment paper.

Vanilla-Bourbon Génoise with Bourbon Buttercream white cake with gold candles and curtains

Vanilla-Bourbon Génoise with Bourbon Buttercream

Award-winning chef, TV host, and author Jacques Pépin whipped up a very special Vanilla-Bourbon Génoise with Bourbon Buttercream for our 100th birthday. And like a true culinary guide, Jacques shares all his secrets to its success.

Jacques Pépin portrait with cake slices on pink plate against pink background
Jacques Pépin: Getty Images. Cake: Carson Downing

According to Jacques, keeping the eggs, sugar, and vanilla at the proper temperature (110°F to 120°F) and dissolving the sugar entirely are key steps for getting the maximum volume when you beat the eggs in a génoise. It may seem like it takes forever, but set a timer for 10 minutes and ensure the egg mixture becomes a pale lemon color and quadruples in volume. After beating all that air into the eggs, make sure you don't deflate them. Use a light hand folding to gently incorporate the sifted flour into the beaten eggs and use a spoon to sprinkle the butter over the batter so it doesn't sink to the bottom of the bowl. Avoid overfolding.

"This was a project with a tight turnaround so it took a team of designers, artists, food stylists, and editors—and we had the best time watching it come together," says Jan.

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