Ultimate Cake Recipes
Neapolitan Party Cake
This crowd-pleaser is easier than it looks. (You only make one batter.) Garnish the strawberry-frosted cake with double-dipped berries to hint at the festive stripes hiding inside.
This three-layer wonder stays extra moist thanks to butter and buttermilk. The blue-ribbon recipe is from Teresa Reese of Osceola, Nebraska.
Quick Black Forest Cherry Cake
This quick twist on the classic German chocolate-cherry cake uses boxed cake mix and cherry preserves. Don't skip the kirsch or brandy; it adds that signature Black Forest flavor.
Three-Tiered Fudgy Chocolate Cake
Buttermilk and sour cream lend moistness and tang to our old-fashioned chocolate cake. All that's missing are the birthday candles.
Combine white cake mix and Oreos for a super-easy dessert. The recipe, from a Spearville, Kansas, reader, was among the winners in a Midwest Living® chocolate recipe contest.
Key Lime Coconut Cake with Meringue Frosting
Billowy Meringue Frosting tops a moisty and buttery lime-flecked cake whose subtle coconut flavor comes from canned cream of coconut.
Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
Raspberry Swirl Angel Food Cake
A subtle swirl of fresh raspberries infuses this homemade angel food cake with light fruit flavor. Like all angel food cakes, it has no fat or cholesterol.
Carrot Pineapple Cake
No one will believe you baked this beautiful, moist cake in your slow cooker! The homemade cream cheese frosting is lusciously delicious, but you can substitute canned frosting in a pinch.
Our Best-Ever Chocolate Cake
This recipe has been perfected through the years. We think you’ll agree that it is the moistest, richest, “chocolatiest” cake ever. Of the many ways to frost it, we vote for our classic Chocolate-Sour Cream Frosting — though you can certainly use your family’s favorite.
Pumpkin-Praline Layer Cake
This nutty layer cake is a favorite dessert with Midwest Living® readers. Whipped cream tops a moist filling of pumpkin, brown sugar, pecans, butter and more whipping cream.
This tall layer cake, with a medley of flavors from nuts, fruit and spices, comes from the kitchens of Silver Dollar City theme park near Branson, Missouri. Add a sprinkling of pecans on top for even more crunch.
Lemony Prairie Cake
Mix just six ingredients, including lemon-lime carbonated beverage, to make this lovely, citrusy cake from an Alta Vista, Kansas, reader.
Tinted Angel Cake
The many colors of Kool-Aid, a Nebraska invention, give an array of choices for this angel food cake that starts with a mix. Pink lemonade Kool-Aid adds pastel prettiness and a delicate flavor to Tinted Angel Cake. The tropical punch version gives the cake flavor that's as intense as its color.
Maple Syrup Cake
Ruth Smiley of Parke County, Indiana, gave us her recipe for Maple Syrup Cake, which she makes in a fluted tube pan. We mixed up an easy maple syrup icing to drizzle over the top.
Cranberry Layer Cake
This moist white cake combines toasted pecans and refreshing orange peel with cranberries. Orange peel flavors the thick cream cheese frosting, too.
Buster Brown Cake with Delicious Icing
A Canton, Ohio, reader contributed this recipe for a favorite brown sugar cake that is often served at family gatherings.
Fresh Apple Cake
This nutty comfort cake from Sharon Buckner of Rhineland, Missouri, gets a sugary top and caramelized gooey bottom as it cooks. Don't be surprised by the thick batter; it will bake into a moist, dense cake.
Pioneer Wedding Stack Cake
This modern version of a pioneer wedding cake represents South Dakota and its prairie heritage. It's said that each guest brought a cake layer to a pioneer wedding to stack together. Our Pioneer Wedding Stack Cake is based on a simple molasses recipe with applesauce filling. The moist layers are simple, yet elegant.
For more cakes that salute the Midwest's heritage, click on the link below to "Signature Midwest Cakes."
Toasted Fennel-Lemon Cake
This moist beauty begs for a mug of afternoon tea. Fennel seeds add the faintest hint of licorice flavor, just enough to make the cake stand out from the other Bundts in the room. We like the sweeter flavor of Meyer lemons in this cake. Look for them sold in bags at large supermarkets. If you substitute regular lemons, reduce the zest to 2 tablespoons.
Fabulous Red Velvet Cake
We gussied up chocolate cake mix with sour cream and red food coloring, then crowned this cake with a white chocolate-cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut.
Spiced Pecan Sweet Potato Cake
Deborah Biggs of Omaha completes this amazingly moist dessert with Maple Whipped Cream.
Old-Fashioned Pound Cake
This recipe for an old-fashioned pound cake with a sugar-browned crust comes from a Benton Harbor, Michigan, reader, whose family eats the cake warm from the oven.
Dutch Mocha Chocolate Cake
Cocoa powder, coffee and sour cream combine to make this moist, dark three-layer cake. The Unforgettable White Chocolate Frosting (at end of recipe) is irresistible, but if you prefer, you can use a regular butter frosting.
Pink Lemonade Strawberry Shortcake
Pink lemonade concentrate gives a summery twist to classic strawberry shortcake.
Poppy Seed Torte
This four-layer cake, with a pudding-like filling and whipped cream frosting, is the most popular dessert at the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek, Wisconsin.
Best Carrot-Pineapple Cake
Cream cheese frosting crowns a rich, moist and nutty carrot cake. Cinnamon and allspice add just the right spiciness.
Pumpkin Pie Cake
Sprinkle moist pumpkin filling with a cake mix topping for a quick and easy cake. The recipe is from Farmer's Inn in Havana, North Dakota.
Hot Cocoa Cake
Zingerman's Bakehouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan, took a basic chocolate cake and infused a little coffee and bittersweet chocolate to give it a sophisticated flavor.
Tart Cherry Half-Pound Cake
Pound cakes traditionally are made with a pound each of sugar, butter, flour and eggs. This recipe, from Chicago cookbook authors Barry Bluestein and Kevin Morrissey, uses closer to a half-pound of each main ingredient. "We've also added a bit of milk, so the cake is lighter and moister," the authors say.
Peach Cordial Mini Bundt Cakes
The memory of a childhood orchard trip inspired Melinsa Murphey of Olathe, Kansas, to create this recipe. The cakes are moist and sweet and quite generously proportioned, so you may want to serve a half-cake to each person (or bake them in muffin cups instead).
A pecan-cream cheese icing tops this cake from an Elkhart, Indiana, reader.
Lemon Butter Frosting tops a summer-perfect cake flavored with thawed lemonade concentrate.
Whoopie Pie Cake
This cake, based on trendy whoopie pie cookies, won a blue ribbon at the Minnesota State Fair. "It's hard to beat a chocolate cake with a creamy marshmallow filling and chocolate glaze," says recipe creator Karen Cope of Minneapolis.
Yellow cake mix and butterscotch-flavored pieces create an easy-on-the-cook cake from The Gourmet Grocer in Kansas City, Missouri. Make a smooth Butterscotch Frosting from cream cheese, powdered sugar and melted butterscotch-flavored pieces.
German Chocolate-Nut Cake
This cake includes broken pecans in place of flour for a dense, dark-chocolate dessert. Drizzle with our Toasted Coconut-Pecan Caramel Sauce.
Sweet Potato-Cranberry Cake
Marble chocolate and sweet potato batter for a moist, tender spice cake. The recipe comes from Patricia Polley of Columbus, Ohio. "I love this because it contains chocolate, pecans and cranberries," Patricia says. "This is my adaptation of a recipe I got from the PBS Victory Garden years ago. I changed spices and added cranberries."
White Three-Layer Butter Cake
This moist three-layer cake stars at any elegant get-together. The recipe is from an Eaton Rapids, Michigan, bed & breakfast.
Heavenly Chiffon Cake
Doris Heikes of Decorah, Iowa, enjoys bringing this dessert to potluck buffets. The tender cake is topped with Browned Butter Icing and sliced almonds or chopped nuts.
Coffee Nut Torte
Cocoa and rum flavor the soft butter frosting that crowns this airy three-layer cake from Elizabeth Varga of Barberton, Ohio. The recipe came from her Hungarian grandmother.
Chocolate-Raspberry Mousse Cake
Combine raspberries with cake mix and mousse mix for this taste-tempting (and easy) chocolate delight from a Chaska, Minnesota, reader.
Prairie State Oatmeal Cake
This moist, coconut-walnut-topped oatmeal cake comes from an Alexis, Illinois, reader, who likes to take it on family outings to Wildlife Prairie State Park near Peoria.
Broadway Cafe Apple Cake
A generous portion of chopped Granny Smith apples adds flavor and moisture to this cake. Be careful turning it out of the pan; it's a tender cake. The recipe comes from Broadway Cafe in Kansas City, Missouri.
Luscious Cranberry-Chocolate Cake
Midwest cooking school guru Liz Clark added cranberries to this recipe from a friend in Chicago who develops recipes for restaurants. The dense, chocolatey layer cake is featured in Liz's cookbook, The Cranberry Companion.
Chocolate Picnic Cake
A crunchy topping of walnuts, chocolate and sugar replaces the usual frosting on this rich and moist red-colored snack cake.
Regal Marble Chiffon Cake
This showstopping cake is our version of a special-occasion dessert that's a favorite at Amish gatherings in the Midwest.
Blue-Ribbon Angel Food Cake
This angel food cake, based on a family recipe, won a blue ribbon at Ohio's Canfield Fair. A Midwest classic, it was featured in our August 1995 issue.