Strawberry Passion Fruit Sheet Cake

Strawberry Passion Fruit Sheet Cake Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Strawberry Passion Fruit Sheet Cake! A sheet cake may be the simplest of cakes, but done right, it can be perfectly elegant.

A special occasion doesn’t always require a piping bag (although that’s really fun too)! This classic, white cake is made Mother’s Day worthy with a big messy pile of perfect strawberries resting on passion fruit buttercream. It is super easy to put together but looks like sunshine and happiness, so no one will care that you didn’t have to work that hard. It will make the perfect dessert to bring to a party or just make you happy as you stand at the counter with a fork (which I can attest to because that’s exactly what happened right after these photos were taken). I baked the white cake from Zoë Bakes Cakes in a 9×13″ pan (instead of the layers I make in the book), covered it with my Swiss Meringue Buttercream that I mixed with fresh passion fruit (you can go with any flavor you love), and then tossed the fresh strawberries with lime zest, a touch of sugar and mint. Sometimes slathering together delicious, but simple flavors are all it takes to create something gorgeous.

Recipes found in Zoë Bakes Cakes, which is a wonderful Mother’s Day Gift IMHO, along with some flowers and maybe a blowtorch!

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Peach Rye Cake

Peach Rye Cake before baking | Photo by Zoë François | ZoeBakes

“Morning, sunshine!” That’s what this Peach Rye Cake says to me and what a joyous way to start the day. Sure, it’s cake and can be served with ice cream as a dessert too, but the rye and honey evoke more of a morning muffin vibe, so I am suggesting this with a dollop of yogurt to start your day. When King Arthur Baking Company invited me to celebrate their official name change from King Arthur Flour with a recipe, I immediately thought of Vermont (King Arthur Baking Company’s home) and my childhood memories there.

I grew up on communes in Plainfield and Glover, Vermont. Food on a commune is a constant dance, since there are so many mouths to feed. The smell of honey, baking bread and granola are some of my very first food memories. Sunshine streaming in the windows and the smell of sweetness in the kitchen  are the things I recall and what I wanted to recreate with this cake. A sun burst of peaches in a honey-sweet rye cake batter, that’s a perfect celebration. The fact that King Arthur Baking Company has changed their name to highlight all that they do for and with the baking community, beyond producing some of the very best flour, just seems natural and right.

They represent the best of the baking community and are a constant go to for tested recipes, trusted resources, and the highest quality baking products. I am honored to have worked with them throughout my baking career and overjoyed to be a part of this special moment.

And…scroll to the bottom to see the Zoë cookie King Arthur Baking Company created for me. It is hilarious and delicious. Recipes below!

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S’mores Icebox Cake

S'mores Icebox Cake recipe | Photo by Zoë François | ZoëBakes

When it is hot and muggy, but you want a dessert to impress this S’mores Icebox Cake is the exact answer. All the things one loves about the classic summer camping dessert without the fire (okay, just a bit of blowtorching, but that’s too fun to resist). Graham crackers layered with caramel cream, covered in chocolate ganache, with a sprinkle of peanuts (needed the crunch and salty bits) and then topped off with toasted meringue. No baking!

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4th of July Baked Alaska

4th of July Baked Alaska

It’s 90°F in the shade and I just can’t bring myself to fire up the oven today. So, the only reasonable thing to do is make a 4th of July Baked Alaska with homemade ice cream and top it with flaming meringue. If you don’t want to make your own ice cream, then just get your favorite store bought brand and layer them up in a loaf pan. I used strawberry, coconut and blueberry ice creams to create the red, white and blue stripes. Okay, they’re pink, cream and purple, but the intention was right and I say close enough.

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Lemon, Ricotta & Thyme Cakes

Lemon Ricotta Cakes with Thyme Recipe | ZoeBakes

I think this Lemon, Ricotta & Thyme Cakes from Benjamina Ebuehi’s book The New Way to Cake is the ultimate summer dessert. My herbs are just starting to come up in the garden and there is nothing more beautiful and fragrant than fresh herbs. I have lemon thyme in my garden and I strolled into my neighbor’s herb garden to help myself to some of her thyme. The combination is perfect in these lemony, rich cakes. If you don’t have thyme, you can try sage or rosemary (maybe use a touch less, since they are a much stronger flavor). 

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