Sally Sue doesn't have any open parties

Anyone else out there love to watch “The Great British Baking Show”?

During the pandemic, it became a nightly Netflix binge for my husband and me. I mean, it’s hard not to feel a little better about the world when you’re watching kind-hearted home bakers make all kinds of biscuits, pastries and cakes.

Confession: I’m still not quite sold on meat pies yet. But there’s something pretty sweet about rolling up your sleeves for a fun and friendly competition with people who love baking as much as you do.

So earlier this spring, I was really excited when Tastefully Simple kicked off “National Pound Cake Day” with a special recipe contest. The prize: a whole year’s worth of desserts! And lucky me, I got to make a few of the finalist recipes in my very own kitchen.  

Here’s a closer look at the winning recipe, along with a couple of the runner-up finalists!


classy mini lava cakes

Classy Mini Lava Cakes

You’ll love these decadent mini cakes, filled with a creamy chocolate center. A shortcut version of traditional lava cakes, this quick and easy recipe features chocolate kisses as a hidden melty surprise inside each little cake.

Congratulations again to Jess Elliot, the winner who created these simple and blissfully rich little beauties!

Now let’s be clear: competition was heavy. (Because of all the POUND cakes … get it? Yes, I’ll show myself out.) But truly, special thanks to all of you who submitted all kinds of delicious ideas!

Since there were so many wonderful submissions, today we’re spotlighting a couple of the runner-up recipes, too.

Recipe Finalists
#1: Chocolate Hazelnut Baby Cakes

Here’s how to make one of my personal favorites, created by Jacki Pitkow.

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 325°F. In large bowl, combine 1 package Classy Chocolate Pound Cake Mix, 1 cup water and ¾ cup melted butter.

Chocolate Hazelnut Baby Cakes

Step 2: Divide batter among the wells of a Silicone Bar Pan or 1 (12-count) greased muffin tin until each well is half-full. Dollop ½ teaspoon chocolate-hazelnut spread (i.e., Nutella) onto each one. Fill with remaining batter.

Chocolate Hazelnut Baby Cakes

Step 3: Bake 30 minutes or until fully baked. Cool completely. Before serving, add a little schmear of additional chocolate-hazelnut spread onto each mini cake. Top with canned chocolate frosting. You can also garnish ‘em with chopped hazelnuts, almonds or pecans if you’d like. Voila!

Chocolate Hazelnut Baby Cakes

So dark and decadent, these luscious little chocolate cakes are perfect for Nutella lovers. My kids loved them, too, especially with glasses of ice-cold milk! See the full recipe here >

 #2: Almond Breakfast

Cake for breakfast? I’m in. Check out this finalist recipe, courtesy of Marlena Laney.

Almond Breakfast

Your whole family will love this dreamy coffee cake, dotted with sweet preserves and little cubes of cream cheese. The best part: it’s topped with crunchy granola and sliced almonds, brushed lightly with melted butter before baking. Perfect for breakfast or brunch! See the full recipe here > [hyperlink with Almond Breakfast recipe]

Looking for a little more baking inspiration? Remember, you can always find all kinds of additional cake recipes on Tastefully Simple’s website, too.

Special thanks again to ALL of you who shared your cake recipes and ideas with us this spring. In the words of my beloved binge-worthy baking show … you’re all “star bakers” in my book!

– Jen