Need a Go-To Cake? 5 Easy Recipes to Make Your Own

go-to cake: n. A deceptively simple cake, often single-layer, made over and over, usually from memory, always for last-minute affairs. Repeatedly pleases crowds. Does not require special ingredients (see: marzipan).

What? You don't have one? Ok, steal one of these.We started thinking about a go-to cake after reading a post over at Sweet Paul. He makes a chocolate cake with only six ingredients that lends itself well to all sorts of toppings- fresh fruit, ice cream, whipped cream, or simple powdered sugar.

Our go-to cake is similar. It's a chocolate ganache cake from Barefoot Contessa Parties that bakes in one pan and is always a hit. A go-to cake should be just that: something that looks more difficult than it is, something you can whip up when you're tired, something you know will turn out well.

Here are some candidates to try out:

1. Chocolate Pound Cake with Peanut Butter Glaze, from Martha Stewart. We're starting with a bang here. Pound cakes are always foolproof bets, but the peanut butter glaze puts this over the top. Over the top and into our mouths as soon as possible, thank you very much.

2. Sweet Paul's Easy Chocolate Cake. The cake that first got us thinking about our go-to. This sounds quick and rich.

3. Nantucket Cranberry (or Blueberry) Pie. We love the hint of almond in this cake, and you can use frozen fruit.

4. The No-Mixer, One-Bowl Cake Recipe. A simple, buttery cake that can be customized a dozen different ways. We love the idea of layering it with jam.

5. Orange Cornmeal Cake, from Martha Stewart. Most of us have cornmeal hiding in our cupboards. This also calls for olive oil (mmm). The only fresh thing you need is an orange.

So those are our suggestions. What are your favorite go-to cakes?

Related: Classy and Irresistible: 8 Very Tempting Bundt Cakes

(Images: MarthaStewart.com; Sweet Paul; Elizabeth Passarella; Sarah Rae Trover)

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