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.

Update 1/19/23: This post lead to a dream come true for me. Dorie Greenspan is one of my favorite humans and the baker/cookbook author who has had a profound influence on my career. When she asked me to participate in her New York Times article about Baked Alaska, I gleefully accepted. Dorie had been reading about the oldest woman alive, a nun named Sister Andre, who was 117 years old at the time and had proclaimed her love of baked Alaska. Dorie flipped the colors of my baked Alaska to better represent Sister Andre’s home in France. Yesterday Dorie wrote to me again, this time to share that Sister Andre had passed away, she was 118 years old. In honor of her exquisitely long life, well lived, I made this Chocolate and Coffee Baked Alaska, using ice cream and bits and pieces from my pantry. RIP Sister Andre!

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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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Buttercream Rose Cake

Today is my best friend’s birthday and nothing short of a Buttercream Rose Cake will do. This is also the perfect cake for Easter, which is just around the corner. Creating the buttercream roses and other flowers requires a bit of special equipment and some practice, but this is just the kind of activity that relaxes me and I hope you agree. I’ll walk you through building the cake that will be the canvas for your floral top and then show you how to create the buttercream and roses. 

I have some tutorials on my Instagram page, but you can find even more information on my youtube channel (links for each step below).

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Guinness Chocolate Cake with White Knight Frosting

This Guinness Chocolate Stout Cake with White Knight Buttercream based on recipes from Zoë Bakes Cakes, was inspired by my trips to Ireland. I have had especially good fortune, which brought me to Ireland twice. In January of 2020, I spent a week seeing Ireland with my friends at Bake from Scratch magazine, Tourism Ireland and Williams Sonoma, just months before I was there with KerryGold to eat as much butter as I could and it turns out that’s a lot! 

With each trip I have fallen deeper in love with this country.

Ireland is beyond beautiful with the rolling hills of green grass and clover that fall off into the ocean and that’s just a description of the pastures where the dairy cows graze. They produce the sweetest, richest milk in the world, which makes Kerrygold’s Irish butter taste silky and creamy and glow a healthy, golden yellow. I used it make the White Knight Frosting in this amazing, Guinness infused Chocolate Cake. The recipe is below and you can see more photos of my trip in the Highlights on Instagram. 

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