After years of hard work, at the very least, graduates deserve delicious desserts prepared in their honor. So let them eat cake. Specifically, we’re thinking sheet cakes and pound cakes—cakes that are easily served pre-sliced with minimal mess, and easily packaged and transported if the need arises. Beyond that, all of these crowd-pleasing desserts are garnish-friendly, so dress them up or down to suit your fancy.
We know, we had you at cream cheese, but there’s more. Sweet hints of lime are infused in both the batter and finishing glaze lending a delicate and refreshing springtime flavor to this pound cake. And that cream cheese we mentioned before? It adds a subtle richness. And with a simple dusting of powdered sugar, this cream cheese cake makes for a lovely standout on any dessert buffet table.
You can’t argue with the classic—and by “classic” we mean “ideal”—flavor combination of chocolate and peanut butter. That, paired with the party-perfect frosted sheet cake model, makes for a fantastic grad party celebration dessert. Pre-slice into squares for easy serving. Hungrier attendees can (and probably will) go for a second square.
Here’s another twist on the classic chocolate sheet cake: COFFEE. A go-to recipe for Relish reader Chantel Gardner, which she describes as her “life-long birthday cake choice,” the Black Magic Cake gets its extra jolt of flavor from a cup of strong brewed coffee. And since this is an especially moist cake on its own, the lightly sweetened whipped cream is just an optional frosting.
For a more tropical take on cake this graduation season, try coconut. This super easy dessert may begin with a boxed cake mix, but it has its fair share of homemade goodness, courtesy of made-from-scratch cream cheese icing laced with flaky coconut and chopped pecans. It’s a perfectly pretty final course, and it adheres nicely to our easy-serve graduation guidelines. Slice and arrange, and your guests will do the rest.
And finally, more chocolate. The Toll House Pound Cake is a moist, dense update on everyone’s favorite chocolate chip cookie. It goes without saying—but we’ll say it anyway—that anything dotted with Toll House chocolate chips won’t last long on the platter, so for larger grad parties this season, we wouldn’t discourage a second batch of this can’t-miss pound cake.
—By Alissa Harb