We tend to think of cake as a frosting-slathered dessert you get on your birthday, but around the world, “cake” can refer to anything from layered dough with poppyseeds to a green chiffon cake with pandan. Here, our favorite global recipes.
Olive Oil Quatre Quarts with Chopped Fruit
This variation on a classic French pound cake, in which ingredient quantities are determined by relative weight, uses olive oil instead of butter for a light, fresh flavor. The recipe was developed by SAVEUR contributor Nancy Harmon Jenkins, who recommends using a Polder Kitchen Scale for accurate measure.
Pandan Chiffon Cake
Emerald green, fluffy pandan chiffon cake, beloved from Indonesia to Singapore, is a curious manifestation of America’s culinary influence on Southeast Asia. In 1948 Better Homes and Gardens published a General Mills recipe for chiffon cake. Years later the recipe made its way to Southeast Asia—most likely on boxes of imported cake flour—where home cooks made a version flavored with the juice from pandan, an aromatic grass with a floral, vanilla-like flavor. By the 1970s, viridian chiffon cake was all the rage, and it’s just as popular today as it was 30 years ago. See the recipe for Pandan Chiffon Cake »
Princess Cake (Princesstårta)
Swedish princesses Martha, Margaretha, and Astridin loved baking this smooth, vanilla cream and raspberry jam filled cake in their domestic science classes so much that their professor, Jenny Âkerstrom, named the confection after them.
Hungarian Plum Cake (Szilvás Pite)
Yogurt adds a slight tartness to this cake from home cook Mária Keresztes Kovács. While any stone-fruit may be substituted, plums—especially Italian plums—are in season well into autumn.
Danish Dream Cake (Drømmekage)
This delightfully basic white sponge cake, encrusted with a coconut and brown sugar topping, is a dream to make and eat.