Popular Cake Flavors and Fillings: The Perfect Combinations

It doesn't matter if the guests are dieting or not, what everybody zooms in on during a baby shower is the cake. That's why it's such a source of stress for the hostess that has to choose the cake! It has to please the mommy-to-be and all the guests as well as look absolutely perfect on the big day. What to do?

The way the cake looks is usually determined by the budget and also by the theme of the baby shower. But the taste is actually more important. How disappointed guests are when the cake looks good yet the flavor inside is decidedly something else! Or, the cake is rather bland, or worse, dry as cardboard!

There are favorite cake flavors and fillings and these are usually classic ones that that stand the test of time for a reason – they work.

1. A classic combination of cake is plain yellow cake or pound cake with a fudge or chocolate ganache. Fillings for this old-fashioned favorite can be modernized with a cream of candied Seville oranges spiced up with Grand Marnier or a luscious raspberry custard spiked with Cognac.

2. Next on the list is cheesecake. Baked or gelled, your choice depends on whether you like dense or fluffy cheesecakes. Variations come in with the fillings and flavorings again. A chocoholic's dream is the French chocolate cheesecake while the purist revels in a rich New York Cheesecake, with or without chocolate chips and almonds in the crust. Modern variations offer vanilla-white chocolate cheesecake with mixed berries and an unusual green tea cheesecake.

3. Carrot cake shows up in many celebrations because of its moist, rich flavors. Varied with a dark chocolate mix sans pineapple but usually frosted with a cream cheese frosting, it remains a perennial favorite. Other fruit-based cakes like banana or apple spice are popular choices as well.

4. Chocolate cake is one that will forever remain in the top ten of favorite cakes, especially where most women are concerned. The variations now that mix in white chocolate, super dark chocolate, chocolate chip, and even flavorings like chocolate liqueur are becoming more popular with the younger and older crowds. Crowned with various frostings like marshmallow, fudge, and vanilla crème, there are enough versions to give you a different cake everyday for a year.

5. One luscious cake that is showing up more often in the northern areas is the Red Velvet Cake. This unusual and very American cake uses about a cup of red food coloring (organic cooks now use pureed sugar beets to add color) to give it that deep red hue. Usually topped with a fluffy vanilla butter cream, this is a classic Southern favorite.

6. A terrific side to the main baby shower cake is the pineapple upside down cake that has been a favorite for decades. Although it's usually not a centerpiece, you could bake it in tiny pans only big enough for a slice of pineapple and a half maraschino cherry. Presented on a tiered platter usually reserved for cupcakes, these elegant mini-cakes will become a topic for conversation.