This simple baking hack will help you get the most out of every cake you make

www.salon.com
3 min read
fairly easy
Skip the layers and dress up your one-pan cake with a decadent boiled cocoa or cream cheese peanut butter frosting
Layer cakes are overrated. There, I said it. Sure, if it's your birthday or your wedding day, something tall makes an impression. But cake doesn't need to be a special event with candles and songs, nor does it need to be an Instagram-worthy work of art.

As far as I'm concerned, cake belongs on the table after a run-of-the-mill Taco Tuesday, after sushi takeout or when it's 4 p.m. and you just feel like a simple lift to brighten the day. And I believe one of the main obstacles people have to home baking is that it seems an overwhelming production. That's why I think you should liberate yourself from two-pan tyranny. It's time to break up with layer cakes.

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I don't recall when, exactly, I realized that you get plenty of mileage off a single-story dessert, but I suspect it was the first time I first made Depression cake. The one bowl wonder was effortless to make, satisfying and pleasingly short. Soon after, I found myself making a traditionally-sized cake recipe and thinking — duh — layers aren't mandatory. I let the cakes cool, decorated one half, wrapped the other in foil and chucked it in the freezer next to its best friend: ice cream. BOOM, I suddenly felt like I'd doubled my family's dessert options.

Whether you hail from a layer…
Mary Elizabeth Williams
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