A party without cake is just a meeting. —Julia Child

For our premier issue of our magazine, Sift, we dressed up five of our favorite classic cakes and sent them down the runway, dressed in their best.

Yes, they're beautiful. But the real seduction comes when you close your eyes and take a bite: sweet, tender, smooth, with a duet of textures dancing in your mouth. It's no wonder that cakes are the baker's choice when it's time to taste the joy of a special occasion.

King Arthur’s Carrot Cake via @kingarthurflour

First down the runway? King Arthur's Carrot Cake. Wearing Cream Cheese Frosting, of course.

Devil’s Food Cake via @kingarthurflour

Followed by deep, dark, beautiful Devil's Food Cake, draped in a lightly-pink tinted cape of Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.

Coconut Cake via @kingarthurflour

Next, a Southern Belle, tall and proud: Coconut Cake, with the recipe's coconut frosting garnished with a bit of chenille in the form of sweetened, flaked coconut.

Moist Yellow Cake via @kingarthurflour

Never underestimate the allure of pure gold. Our Moist Yellow Cake is the stuff cherished, lifelong memories are made of.

Caramel Cake via @kingarthurflour

The last tall, elegant beauty down the classic cake runway is this Caramel Cake; it's our riff on a beloved Southern specialty, with a bit of extra bling from reduced caramel syrup on top.

Even without candles or a wish written in frosting, a well-made cake is a celebration in itself. So now comes the talent portion of the proceedings: choosing, baking and frosting one of these classic American beauties.

Susan Reid
The Author

About Susan Reid

Chef Susan Reid grew up in New Jersey, graduated from Bates College and the Culinary Institute of America, and is presently the Food Editor of Sift magazine. She does demos, appearances, and answers food (and baking) questions from all quarters.