This vanilla cake is anything but basic—the tang of buttermilk adds interest, while brown sugar bumps the earthy vanilla notes. Christina Tosi uses it as the base for her towering, masterful Strawberry Lemon Layer Cake. Get the recipe for Vanilla CakeMatt Taylor-Gross
When we talk of summer desserts it’s easy to learn hard on the virtues of pie, cobblers, crisps, and their brethren—those dishes that overflow with fruit and stain shirts with both plumbs and aplomb. But summertime cakes are a beautiful thing, baked on the weekend and enjoyed for breakfast or snack or dessert throughout the days that follow. These, too, are an excellent foil for the season’s ripest produce and freshest flavors. And they get along handsomely with ice cream, too.
So bake a cake this weekend, be it stuffed with plums or lined with a bright lemony filling, and leave the pie for another day.