Ultimate Cake Recipes
Let our recipes inspire you with ideas for chocolate cake, red velvet cake, pumpkin cake, coconut cake, carrot cake and other delicious homemade treats.
Vanilla Crepe Cake
This cake by chef Gavin Kaysen of Bellecour Bakery in the Twin Cities will wow people with its many layers, luscious creaminess and subtle vanilla flavor.
Peppermint Patty Cake
This dazzling cake boasts dark rich layers and silky Swiss meringue buttercream. That frosting is where you get the peppermint flavor, so baker Kristine Moberg of Queen City Bakery says to use a high-quality extract like Nielsen-Massey.
German Chocolate Cake
This celebration cake is a staple at Bake Chicago. It has a wonderfully fudgy, old-fashioned, homemade texture. The frosting has an unusual method that may feel initially like it's failing, but stick with it. Laced with sour cream, it's creamy and utterly delicious.
Related: Meet Five Midwest Cake Creators (and Try Their Recipes)
Chocolate Chai Bundt with Candied Oranges and Rum Buttah
Reine Keis of SweetArt Cafe in St. Louis says that the secret to vegan baking is not assuming that one plant-based alternative fits all recipes. Coconut yogurt is her power play in this recipe.
Related: Decadent Chocolate Dessert Recipes
Tender from cake flour and bright with citrus, this pretty butter cake will surprise you. Pair it with tea or a glass of bubbly.
Related: Sparkling Spring Desserts
Gingerbread Latte Cake
Rebekah Stuber of Bay Laurel Baking Company in Des Moines says her flavor-packed spice cakes always earn the most raves. Her secret to airy cream cheese frosting on this gingerbread cake? Folding in whipped cream.
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 cookbook, Perfectly Golden. This simple, sweet cake reminds her of her time in Poland.
Cocoa Gingerbread with Heaven Frosting
A humble snack dresses up for company. With its nutty flavor and tiny flecks of toasted milk solids, browned butter elevates a simple cream cheese frosting to saintly levels.
Seven-or-So Layer Cake
This striking (and gluten-free!) cake is inspired by the Jewish bakery classic, Seven-Layer Cake. Our simplified sheet-pan method sandwiches rich mocha glaze with almond cake.
Nutmeg is the secret ingredient that makes this playful Bundt taste just like a cake doughnut. (Be sure to use freshly grated nutmeg—you'll really notice the difference in flavor.)
Apple Sour Cream Kuchen
This German-style, not-too-sweet, yeast-raised cake begs for a cup of coffee. For an extra tang, you can serve it with a dollop of lightly sweetened sour cream.
Carrot-Spice Cake with Coconut-Pecan Filling
Tender layers of carrot-tinted spice cake are sandwiched with a luscious coconut-pecan filling--and it's all covered in swirls of classic cream cheese frosting.
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.
Modern Fruit Cakes
These super-moist cakes eat like elegant patisserie and are worth every minute of the process. Whipping up a batch to gift? Learn how to make these pretty fruit cake gift boxes for extra sparkle.
Angel Food Cake with Strawberries and Elderflower Cream
To "bring the smell of the field" into this dessert, chef James Bloomfield of Traverse City, Michigan, infuses whipping cream with fresh elderflowers. Get the same effect with a splash of St-Germain.
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.
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.
Pumpkin-Spice Icebox Cake
Like the chocolate-and-vanilla retro classic, this gingery icebox cake requires some make-ahead assembly—but no baking. And it's absolutely drool-worthy. Our short video shows how to assemble the cake.
Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
This utterly unforgettable cake layers moist chocolate-pumpkin cake, luscious milk chocolate ganache and fluffy pumpkin-spice whipped cream. The recipe comes from Minnesota blogger Amanda Rettke iambaker.net.
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.
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.
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.
Chocolate Gift Cakes
These 6-inch gifting cakes are topped with a swoop of silky frosting. The recipe (which makes three cakes) comes from Minneapolis blogger Sarah Kieffer's cookbook Baking for the Holidays.
This three-layer wonder stays extra moist thanks to butter and buttermilk. The blue-ribbon recipe is from Teresa Reese of Osceola, Nebraska.
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.
Chocolanutty Banana Cake
Dessert or coffee cake? It's up to you. A hint of orange rounds out the flavors.
Related: Rise and Shine Breakfast Breads
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
With its subtle mix of warm spices, vanilla, maple and citrus (and tangy white icing), this is no ordinary zucchini cake. The recipe comes from The Vegetable Butcher cookbook, by Cara Mangini.
Lemon Butter Frosting tops a summer-perfect cake flavored with thawed lemonade concentrate.
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.
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.
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.
Related: Divine Slow-Cooker Desserts
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.
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.
Pioneer Wedding Stack Cake
This wonderfully moist and generously spiced six-layer cake is a showy spin on humble applesauce 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.
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).
My My's Brown Sugar Pound Cake
Patty's grandmother sifted together the flour and baking powder three times before adding them to the batter. We had good results just whisking them together. This recipe comes from Patty Pinner's cookbook Sweets.
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.
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.
Related: Pumpkin Recipes We Absolutely Love