Ultimate Cake Recipes
Let our 49 cake recipes inspire you with ideas for chocolate cake, red velvet cake, pumpkin cake, coconut cake, carrot cake and other delicious homemade treats.
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.
Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
Angela Garbacz, owner of Goldenrod Pastries in Lincoln, Nebraska, features recipes that adapt to gluten- and dairy-free needs in her new cookbook, Perfectly Golden. This simple, sweet cake reminds her of her time in Poland.
Cafe Latte's Turtle Cake
Sheer three-layered audacity put this creation from a Saint Paul bakery in our hall of fame: buttermilk-cocoa cake, candylike chocolate frosting and creamy caramel sauce.
Angel Food Cake with Strawberries and Elderflower Cream
To "bring the smell of the field" into this dessert, chef James Bloomfield of Alliance restaurant in Traverse City, Michigan, infuses whipping cream with fresh elderflowers. Get the same effect with a splash of St-Germain.
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.
Prettier by the pound
St. Louis pastry chef Nathaniel Reid gives pound cake a chic, patisserie-style makeover. Your trusty loaf pan never had it so good. See all his recipes here.
Peach Melba Upside-Down Cake
Hello, color! Sunny peaches and ruby raspberries dance across a tender buttermilk cornmeal cake. It's divine with whipped cream-if you're into that kind of thing.
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.
My My's Brown Sugar Pound Cake
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.
Cutie-Pie Carrot Cake
Book club meeting. Mother's Day brunch. A well-deserved raise. Cream cheese frosting is always the answer, especially when it's on a 6-inch cake that's perfectly sized for life's everyday celebrations.
Tres Leches Cake
A Mexican standard and guaranteed backyard crowd-pleaser, our brown-sugar sheet cake is soaked in milky syrup, chilled, then topped with whipped cream and berries.
Key Lime Coconut Cake with Marshmallow Frosting
Billowy Meringue Frosting tops a moist and buttery lime-flecked cake whose subtle coconut flavor comes from canned cream of coconut.
Chocolanutty Banana Cake
Dessert or coffee cake? It's up to you. A hint of orange rounds out the flavors.
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.
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.
Zucchini Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Drizzle
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.
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.
Double-Ginger Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Crystallized ginger and powdered dry ginger add welcome zing to an American classic. Fanning the pineapple like flower petals is striking, but also functional--no bare spots between rings.
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.
Country Chocolate Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting
Begging for a crown of birthday candles, this layer cake has two kitchen tricks working in its favor. Mayonnaise yields a moist crumb; sour cream keeps sugary buttercream in tangy check. (Note: This recipe makes enough frosting to fill and frost the entire cake [top and sides]. To leave the sides unfrosted as we did in our photograph, just make a half batch.
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.
Pioneer Wedding Stack Cake
This wonderfully moist and generously spiced six-layer cake is a showy spin on humble applesauce cake.
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.
Poppy Seed Torte
The recipe for this four-layer cake-with a puddinglike filling, unmistakable poppy seed flavor and soft whipped cream frosting-comes from Wisconsin's White Gull Inn.
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.
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).
Whoopie Pie Cake
Karen Cope of Minneapolis won a blue ribbon at the Minnesota State Fair for this stunning chocolate-and-marshmallow cake, based on whoopie pie cookies.
Lemon Butter Frosting tops a summer-perfect cake flavored with thawed lemonade concentrate.
Sweet Potato-Cranberry Cake
Chocolate and sweet potato batters are swirled together to make this moist, tender spice cake from Patricia Polley of Columbus, Ohio. Wrap and store the cooled cake overnight for easier slicing. (It's a great alternative to coffee cake for brunches.)
Lemony Prairie Cake
Mix just six ingredients, including lemon-lime carbonated beverage, to make this lovely, citrusy cake from an Alta Vista, Kansas, reader.
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.
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.
Best Carrot-Pineapple Cake
Cream cheese frosting crowns a rich, moist and nutty carrot cake. Cinnamon and allspice add just the right spiciness.
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.
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.
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.
Pumpkin Pie Cake
Sprinkle moist pumpkin filling with a cake mix topping for a quick and easy cake. The recipe is from Havana, North Dakota.
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.
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.