Holiday cake recipes, plus how to win 3 new cookbooks

Mackensy Lunsford
Southern Kitchen


I hope you're enjoying this season as we slide from one holiday to the next. 

It can be overwhelming, really. After a year of scaled-down celebrations, festivities are in many ways (but not all) back full-throttle. Suddenly the typical holiday questions — what we'll cook, bake and gift — loom large once again. But what a nice thing to worry about, really. What a change of pace.

We can help you in the baking and gifting department, with help from Nashville baker, former Atlanta Journal-Constitution food editor and cookbook writer Anne Byrn. Her newsletter "Between the Layers" is full of baking tips and great Southern stories, and you can find it at

Stacy's Chocolate Chip Cake

Anne's been a regular at Southern Kitchen over the years, and this week shared with us these tips on what sorts of cakes ship well as gifts for the holidays. Stacy's Chocolate Chip Cake falls in that category.

That cake, incidentally, comes from Anne's recently released "A New Take on Cake," a terrific book that teaches home cooks how to make desserts from boxed cake mix which, I'm telling you, is a skill all time-strapped bakers should have.

You can win that and two more of Anne's cookbooks to help you develop your baking chops. For details on how to nab them, visit Southern Kitchen on Facebook @TheSouthernKitch or on Instagram @SouthKitch to find the special giveaway post. The contest begins the morning of Dec. 10.

Holiday central

We're launching our 12 Days of Cookies and Cocktails next week at Visit us starting Monday for tips on how to throw a retro Christmas party. We'll have some great punch and cookie recipes, too. Each day until Christmas Eve, we'll post a new festive cocktail and sweet holiday cookie to go with it, just like these classic Pecan Sandies.

What are your favorite cookie recipes? Tell me, or ask me anything really, at!