Here’s my list of 12 cakes, because there’s no better way to end the year than on a sweet note.
Hibiscus Orange Torte by Homemade by Roshan
Roshan Samtani has always loved hibiscus, and after several experiments, she finally got the perfect equation for a cake featuring this trendy flavor. She steeped hibiscus tea that she turned into syrup and mixed that with hibiscus concentrate to add color and flavor to the frosting. In between chewy meringue is orange curd made with real juice and zest, and as a crown, candied orange peel.
Bibingka Cake by Flour Pot
“It captures the spirit of a Filipino Christmas,” says baker Rhea Castro Sycip, and so this creation, which she served during the World Travel and Tourism Council held in Manila early this year, couldn’t be any more fitting for the season. Rice flour cake layers are held together by coconut buttercream, coconut panna cotta, salted egg buttercream and kesong puti crumble.
Her other holiday offerings include the Banana Tatin, a sticky toffee pudding, upside-down cake hybrid, and Food for the Gods Cheesecake with food for the gods as base and topped with medjool dates and local figs.
White Chocolate Strawberry Surprise
by The Manila Baker
Regal white on the outside but when sliced, this cake reveals hues of red. Heavenly chiffon cake covered with 28-percent white chocolate Swiss buttercream hides a layer of slow-cooked fresh strawberry filling. It’s finished with a generous topping of sliced almonds.
by The Delightful Miss Joyce
(@thedelightfulmissjoyce)This beloved brand is known for light and fluffy pavlovas. And so it’s no surprise that Joyce started offering a shareable one with a Christmas theme. A holiday rendition of the beloved Pavlova 2.0, layers of meringue with whipped cream are topped with fresh strawberries, kiwi and blueberries. It’s like an Eton Mess, only more festive and prettier in presentation.
Simply the Zest Cheesecake
I always welcome some zest in my desserts so the tangy flavor can cut through all the sweetness. This does exactly that in spades. Citrus chiffon cake and lemon cheesecake are layered together, then cloaked in a cream frosting before being dotted with dehydrated lemons.
by Chef Chele’s Kitchen
From the couple who brought us variations of Burnt Basque Cheesecake comes a line of tarts—apple, lemon and the most indulgent of the bunch, the chocolate banana. Encased in a crumbly pie base as high as a Boston deep-dish pizza, the tarta de limon, my pick of the three, has a velvety tangy custard hidden underneath a cloud of airy meringue.
Mont Blanc Tart
by Leonisa’s Kitchen
This Italian dessert usually comes in solo size, but Leonisa has created one for a party to enjoy, and like the original, it features a nut that’s enjoyed come Christmas time—chestnuts. The tart is composed of vanilla chantilly, calamansi cream, chocolate ganache and chestnut mousse, presented in its signature nest of strings.
Holly Jolly Chocolate Cake
You can’t go wrong with a good chocolate cake, but you can get extra, as proven by this holiday offering from Butternut Bakery. Rich chocolate cake sandwiches a chocolate ganache filling then is blanketed with fresh buttercream and decorated with sprinkles, golden dragees and Christmas trees made of smooth icing.
Strawberry Tres Leches Cake
by Mamma Pappot
Jessica Ho started making this layered cake two years ago but COVID, kids and school happened so she became busy. Now with more time on her hands, she brings back her creation just in time for Christmas. The cake has just the right amount of soak (doesn’t eat like a mushy wet sponge) and it doesn’t scrimp on strawberries; in fact, there are more inside.
Mini Roll Cakes
by Scout’s Honor
Scout’s Honor keeps it simple and naked this season with a line of rolls akin to a yule log. They have six variants to choose from—matcha strawberry, dulce de leche, café latte, be white chocolate, panda kaya and classic chocolate.
Butter Liqueur Fruit Cake
by Vargas Kitchen
The shape should already be a clue that this is not your ordinary fruitcake. Taking the form of a bundt, this uses butter cake as base; is studded with candied fruits such as plums, apples and cherries; and gets doused with rum and Grand Marnier. It’s a delicious twist to a Christmas classic.
by Wildflour Cafe + Bakery
(@wildflourmanila)Outside Asia, a popular sweet bread enjoyed during the holidays is the panettone from Milan. Here in Manila, Wildflour does several versions both expats and locals can enjoy: one studded with mixed fruits and nuts, another with swirls of chocolate, and the last with a hazelnut filling. INQ
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