Layer Cake Confidential

At last–the surprising shortcuts to spectacular home-style layer cakes are revealed.

  • Test Kitchen Secrets Revealed

    Test Kitchen Secrets Unveiled

    Finally! The experts at the Southern Living Test Kitchens share a few of their favorite tips for making flawless layer cakes in a fraction of the time. (Hint: It's ok to start with boxed cake mix.) Learn more about our show-stopping favorites from the Southern Living Homestyle Cookbook.

  • Easy Black Forest Cake
    Photo: Oxmoor House

    Easy Black Forest Cake

    Devil's food cake layers, made from a mix and embellished with chocolate and vanilla extracts and creamy milk chocolate, are sandwiched with the simplest and most luxurious stuffing of them all–ready-to-eat cheesecake filling and cherry pie filling. The cake is capped off with ready-to-spread fudge frosting and gooey chocolate-covered cherry candies. This cake puts a traditional black forest cake to shame–and it's amazingly simple to make because of all the packaged products.
  • Mile-High White Chocolate Hummingbird Cake
    Photo: Oxmoor House

    Mile-High Hummingbird Cake

    First printed in 1978, the Hummingbird Cake remains the most-requested Southern Living recipe of all time. The origin of the name is unknown, but its signature ingredients—mashed banana, pineapple, coconut and pecans—assure its continued popularity. Eight layers and a spoon-licking white chocolate-cream cheese frosting make this updated version more spectacular than the original. But it's easy as can be because of convenience products such as cake mix, instant pudding mix, and canned pineapple.
  • Chocolate Turtle Cake
    Photo: Oxmoor House

    Chocolate Turtle Cake

    Chocolate, caramel, and pecans are made to be together, and their flavors harmonize perfectly in this stunning layer cake. Devil's food cake mix with pudding plus chocolate morsels result in brownie-like layers filled and frosted with a jazzed up ready-to-spread fudge frosting. The finishing touches are turtle candies and a drizzling of dulce de leche ice cream topping.
  • Cheesecake-Stuffed Luscious Lemon Cake
    Photo: Oxmoor House

    Cheesecake-Stuffed Luscious Lemon Cake

    An over-the-top cheesecake-stuffed layer cake sounds like a lot of trouble, but not this one. We've made the most of shortcut ingredients including cake mix, canned frosting, instant pudding mix, and store-bought lemon curd. Truly a show-stopping cake, it's stuffed with frozen cheesecake, covered in the cream cheese frosting, drizzled with a bit of the lemon curd, and topped with a mound of fresh berries.
  • New-Fashioned Blackberry Chocolate Spice Cake
    Photo: Oxmoor House

    New-Fashioned Blackberry Chocolate Spice Cake

    Sweet spices plus grated premium bittersweet chocolate transform an ordinary Devil's food cake mix into an old-fashioned favorite with an indulgent twist. This cake is filled with canned blackberry filling, robed in ready-to-spread fudge frosting, and then simply dressed with fresh blackberries and a drizzling of additional blackberry filling. The chocolate and the berries take classic spice cake to a whole new level of rich flavor and sophistication.
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