In my family, it isn’t Christmas Eve without a caramel cake—more specifically, one of the delicate, seven layer cakes from Caroline’s Cakes in South Carolina. Each slice of cake is a beautiful arrangement of thin layers of moist yellow cake perfectly interspersed with just the right amount of caramel icing. Decadently sweet, it’s the perfect hostess gift for the season; I freeze whatever isn’t eaten and sneak little slices throughout the weeks of winter when I need reminders of holiday cheer.

Seven Layer Caramel Cake, $48.00 at