For the longest time I’ve had a thing for really simple, but supremely tasty cakes. As a kid my mom always made a white cake speckled with sliced strawberries and covered heartily in homemade whipped cream in lieu of frosting each year for my birthday. No intricate design, no artificially colored decorations or fondants, and just as perfect as a cake comes, in my book. In college I adapted a page from my mom’s book, making homemade cakes for friends’ birthdays that were as simple as they were delicious. Admittedly, I can’t make a pretty cake to save my life. But a cake that will knock the socks off your taste buds? Now that I can do. Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to these simple yet absolutely lovely cakes. They look like the kind of cake you dive into with your friends while sipping cheap champagne in your drafty apartment, feeling gleefully grown up while doing so. In other words, they’re pretty perfect in all the ways a cake should be.