Recipes that take the cake for romantic desserts

You know that the way to your mate’s heart is through his or her stomach, right?  Whether it’s Valentine’s Day or a romantic anniversary or significant birthday, the Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) are on board to help celebrate.  The first choice would be to observe the occasion with a romantic getaway at one of your favorite DINE inns.  Each one can add just about anything you need – from wine, bubbly or sparkling cider to chocolates, fresh flowers or even cake! But if you can’t make it to one of these 12 New England distinctive inns, perhaps do the next best thing.  Celebrate your occasion with a romantic dessert, and what is better than a lovely cake for the occasion?

DINE innkeepers know that these recipes “take the cake” for the way to your mate’s heart.  If you can’t celebrate your occasion or holiday at a DINE inn, make a little piece of DINE at home with one of these recipes, sure to please.

We’ll start with this ever-so-easy, yet luscious cake that’s sure to impress from Gateways Inn.

Chocolate Cherry Cake from Gateways InnGateways Easy Black Forest Cake recipe:


1 pkg Devil’s Food Cake Mix

1 can Cherry Pie Filling

3 eggs

1/3 cup Vegetable Oil

1 pkg Dark Chocolate Instant Pudding

Whip Cream

Optional: Maraschino cherries for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a 13×9 Pyrex.
  • Whisk eggs in a large bowl.
  • Stir in dry cake mix, cherry pie filling and oil and carefully mix by hand until blended being careful not to smash the cherries.
  • Spread in pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  • Next Make the pudding according to directions for pie filling using milk or 1/2 & 1/2.
  • Let it stand for about 10-15 minutes until thickened.
  • Spread over cake.

When serving cut into squares, top each one with a dollop of fresh homemade whipped cream and a Maraschino cherry. Enjoy!

If your mate is a choco-lover, this cake from Chesterfield Inn  is sure to make the heart start pounding…literally.

Chesterfield Inn Chocolate Tissimo Cake  


20 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

1 lb. unsalted butter

14 oz. granulated sugar

15 eggs, separated

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tblsp. Grand Marnier


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Melt chocolate in double boiler. Cool slightly.
  • Cream butter and sugar. Add cooled chocolate mixture.  Blend well.
  • Add yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and Grand Marnier.
  • In separate bowl, beat egg whites just until stiff, but not dry. Fold egg whites into chocolate-egg-butter mixture until completely incorporated.  Reserve two cups of batter.  Keep reserved batter covered, at room temperature.
  • Butter and then sprinkle with sugar, the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Pour remaining batter into pan.
  • Bake for 55 minutes. As cake cools, it will sink in middle.  When cool, spread reserved batter in depression in center.

Makes one 10-inch cake.

One of man’s favorite cakes in the world is a carrot or pumpkin cake.  This easy recipe from Rabbit Hill Inn makes it quick to deliver a cake that’s sure to please

Rabbit Hill Inn’s Easy Pumpkin Cake

Easy Pumpkin Cake from Rabbit Hill InnIngredients to Yield 1- 9×13 cake:

2 cups pumpkin

4 eggs

1 cup salad oil

3 cups sugar

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cloves

½ tsp ginger

2 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup water


  • Mix the sugar, oil, and eggs until well incorporated.
  • Add the pumpkin and water and continue to mix.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix until blended well.
  • Bake at 325°F for about 20 minutes.
  • Check for doneness by inserting a thin knife or skewer through the middle of the cake. When the knife comes out clean, the cake is done.

Ice with your choice of butter cream or cream cheese frosting.  Cut into small squares to make petit fours.

You simply can’t go wrong with an ice cream cake, if you’re not sure of his/her favorite cake flavor.  Here’s one from the Chesterfield Inn that’s sure to make you a favorite and impress that mate!

Mocha Crunch Ice Cream Cake from Chesterfield Inn


Mocha Crunch Ice Cream Cake from Chesterfield InnMocha Sauce

1 ½ cups water

½ cup sugar

2 ½ Tablespoons instant espresso powder

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

6 Tablespoons butter


3 cups crushed Oreo cookies

¼ cup melted butter


2 pints chocolate ice cream

2 pints coffee ice cream

¾ cup chopped Heath bars


  • For sauce: Cook water, sugar and espresso in heavy sauce pan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  • Add chocolate and butter. Stir until butter and chocolate are melted and the sauce is smooth. Cool completely.
  • For crust: Butter a 9-inch spring form pan.
  • Mix 2 cups crumbs and butter in a medium bowl.
  • Press firmly into bottom of the pan. Freeze until firm.
  • For filling: Soften chocolate ice cream until spreadable. Spread in pan.

Freeze until firm.

And while it’s not exactly a cake, it is a totally romantic dessert.  How about a heart-shaped red velvet whoopie pie?  What could be more perfect for a sweet ending to a romantic dinner? This one comes from Champney’s Restaurant at the Deerfield Inn.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pie from Deerfield Inn

Red Velvet whoopie pies from Deerfield InnIngredients for the whoopie pies:

2 tsp cocoa

2 ounces red food color

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vinegar

¾ cup Crisco

1 ½ cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp salt

3 cups flour

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup buttermilk


  • Mix cocoa and food color and set aside
  • Mix baking soda and vinegar: set aside.
  • Combine Crisco, sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla. Mix in cocoa and food coloring. Blend in flour and buttermilk.
  • Add baking soda and vinegar. Drop on cookie sheet and make them the size of small cookies. Bake 325 degrees for 8 to 10 mins.

Ingredients for the filling:

1 16 oz tub of vanilla frosting.

1 16 oz of marshmallow fluff

3 cups powdered sugar


  • Mix together the filling ingredients and sandwich in between the Whoopie pies. To make them really romantic, cut the pies into heart-shapes and then sandwich the filling!

Visit the 12 Distinctive Inns of New England by clicking below on links that will take you directly to each of their websites where your next New England romantic getaway can be reserved. We’re quite sure that any of these New England inns will take the cake for your next romantic getaway.

In Vermont:  Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford & Grafton Inn in Grafton.

In Rhode Island: Cliffside Inn in Newport

In Massachusetts:  Harbor Light Inn in Marblehead, Gateways Inn & Restaurant in Lenox, Deerfield Inn in Historic Deerfield and Captain’s House Inn in Chatham on Cape Cod.

In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic

In Maine:  Captain Jefferds Inn in Kennebunkport & Camden Maine Stay Inn in Camden.

In New Hampshire:  Manor on Golden Pond in Holderness & Chesterfield Inn in West Chesterfield