Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means it’s the perfect time to celebrate Christmas. I mean, technically, we should probably wait to throw a holiday party until December, but we all know that the Holiday season officially kicked off on November 1st. At least, that’s when it seems socially acceptable to admit that it began. The truth is that most people were probably humming “Deck the Halls” halfway through Columbus Day.

Well, the not-so-surprise twist is that I’m Jewish and don’t celebrate Christmas, but it doesn’t mean I can’t get into the Holiday spirit, especially since it’s a great excuse to bake up cakes and cookies. Conveniently, Baker’s Secret recently sent me some complimentary colored metal bakeware and encouraged me to whip up some holiday recipes. Challenge ACCEPTED.

After the jump, check out pics of my holiday cake party, starring Ina Garten’s mocha icebox cake and a banana cake with cream cheese frosting….

First off, while shopping for ingredients, I encountered this travesty. Pumpkin Milanos? We’ve gone too far.

Anyhoo, time to start Ina’s icebox cake. This grand creation requires no baking, which is a bold move for a party celebrating bakeware. Nevertheless, I need to make a mocha whipped cream, and Ina’s version requires mascapone cheese, which of course was not at the local supermarket. Time to make a substitute. According to the Internet, I just have to mix cream cheese with cream and butter. A caloric bounty for all!

Within no time, my faux marscapone is ready. It tastes just like cream cheese with cream and butter. I have no problem with this.

Ever the precisionist, I am sure to weigh out the proper amount of faux-scapone cheese for the whipped cream. The moment is fraught with equal parts tension and intrigue.

The nascent whipped cream: cream, espresso powder, Kahlua, vanilla extract, sugar, and the fake marscapone.

Soon we have this glorious, if lumpy, concoction.

Inevitable macro shot.

The Baker’s Secret pan makes its debut. I tastefully adorn it with a square of parchment paper.

Time to start the layering. This cake is meant for a round springform pan, but I’m improvising here. Also, as you can see, I am not using the recommended Tate’s Cookies, instead opting for the decidedly lower class Chips Ahoy. I like to think of it as America’s Cookie.

Slathering the mocha whipped cream over the cookies. I meant to start with a layer of whipped cream but forgot. Such are the small calamities that comprise an ice box cake.

After a few layers of cookies and cream, the cake eventually looks like this.

Time to wrap it up and stick it in the fridge for at least six hours, if not more. Check out that purdy red pan!

A Baker’s Secret teaspoon. Yes, I’m shilling, and I don’t care.

Hours later, I flip the cake out of the pan, and this is what we have. Now you can see why I wanted to start with a layer of frosting (although, this does look sort of cool).

Luckily, I have plenty of extra frosting to finish the job. It’s a Christmas miracle!

And just like that, this is now a holiday cake. I would have made it a Hanukah cake, but my local supermarket wasn’t carrying any Jewish baking decor.

Oh, and here’s that banana cake with cream cheese ice cream I had mentioned. I used the winning recipe from the cake contest I held a few years ago.

Here to assist with the cake decoration are David and Lisa.

On your mark, get set, DECOR!

And they’re off!! Let’s watch as these two transform this sheet cake into a Yuletide masterpiece!

So, basically, they made an Italian flag.

I can only imagine what flag these two would have made with Hanukah colors (probably Greece).

We have achieved holiday cake. Let the festivities begin!!!


At the very least, enjoy this groovy 13″ x 9″ pan. It’s actually very lovely in person.

Banana cake detail. Such an awesome recipe.

Hey look! More people!

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

4 replies on “ADVENTURES IN DOMESTICITY: Holiday Cakes Edition”

  1. Not sure if I would serve that cake at my next holiday soiree, but it would be great for my next Italian soccer watch party! 🙂

  2. Hi, i was wondering if i could get a recipe for the mocha cake you made please? It looks heavenly!! And I’m sure baby wouldn’t disagree with it 😉 (I’m pregnant and mocha is loved lol). Thank you and i hope you have a wonderful day!! 🙂

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