My son's beloved elephant blankie was the inspiration for the theme of his fourth birthday party. His cake, shaped like a friendly pachyderm, was a huge hit! I'm no cake decorator, but I found it fun to make. No special pans are needed, and the frosting is easily applied with a pastry bag and star tip. —Kristen Proulx, Canton, New York
This dessert makes a cool and delicious treat on a warm summer day. I bake a tender crust from a cake mix, then layer it with a cream cheese blend, chocolate pudding and whipped topping.—Pam Reddell, Linden, Wisconsin
I love blueberries and have many recipes calling for them. One of my favorites is this quick dessert. I always freeze blueberries when they are in season so we can enjoy the summery flavor of this moist, tender cake all through the year.
-Jill Evely, Wilmore, Kentucky
My husband and I have blueberry bushes in our backyard, so I developed this dessert using a basic pound cake recipe from my great-aunt. I pick and freeze the berries in 3-cup portions so I can make this yummy cake all year long.
-Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
Renee Schwebach of Dumont, Minnesota tucks a coconut filling into this moist chocolate Bundt cake. It's easy to assemble with convenience products, including a boxed cake mix, instant pudding mix and canned frosting.
"I once enjoyed a nutty chocolate-caramel cake at a teahouse," writes Deanna Richter. "I eventually happened upon a similar recipe that dresses up a boxed cake mix." The Elmore, Minnesota baker says the moist cake is a hit, especially with chocolate lovers, whenever she serves it.
These moist cupcakes from Vicki Abrahamson taste like little loaves of banana bread. "I keep ripe bananas in the freezer, so I can whip up these cupcakes whenever I need them for a bake sale or party," notes the Seabeck, Washington subscriber. "I like to top them with cream cheese frosting," she adds.
PRICKLY as it might appear, this dessert from the desert is one your guests will get their hands on in a hurry! Starting mouths watering will be the confection's deliciously moist chocolate cake—featuring a hint of mocha flavor—from crafty cook Opal Foss. A cactus plant grew out of her recipe, thanks to CT's kitchen staff. They baked the mix in loaf pans, then topped the treats with green frosting, licorice "spines" and gumdrop "flowers". You can do the same for a fun-filled birthday fiesta!