30 Classic Cake Recipes You Need to Add to Your Repertoire
There is never, and we mean never, a wrong opportunity for cake, especially when it's a recipe that's stood the test of time. These cake recipes are the ones you'll keep coming back to, whether you're celebrating a birthday, holiday, friendship, or just being alive.
Banana Pudding Cake
One of our testers called this "the ultimate banana pudding in cake form." Tender laters of cake, creamy vanilla custard, and bananas come together to create a mouthwatering dessert. Warning: There won't be leftovers.
Strawberry Poke Pound Cake with Strawberry Glaze
Poke cake meets pound cake in this must-make spring dessert. A perfectly moist, dense vanilla pound cake (with a delightful hint of almond) is filled with a fresh strawberry filling—adding to the cake's tender crumb and providing the perfect fruity sweet-tart flavor balance. Finish the whole thing off with an eye-catching fresh strawberry glaze, and you have a supremely awesome cake on your hands. Be warned, if you share this pound cake with friends, you'll need to be ready to share the recipe as well.
Brown Velvet Cake
This decadently moist chocolate cake is similar to red velvet, but skips using an entire bottle of red food dye. Crumbling the cake trimmings for garnish is an easy and elegant way to decorate. Spread the crumbs out on a baking sheet and let them dry out for a while to make them easier to apply to your frosted cake.
Parsnip Spice Cake with Caramel Icing
We took a look at this old favorite and decided it was time to update it with less sugar, more whole grains, and more flavor. Instead of boiling the parsnips, we roast them to concentrate their sweetness; this allows us to use less added sugar. We also switched from refined all-purpose flour to whole-wheat pastry flour, and simplified the format to a sheet cake. It’s moist, tender, lightly spiced, and capped with an indulgent caramel-flavored cream cheese icing.
Parsnip Spice Cake with Caramel Icing
This recipe originally appeared on Cookinglight.com.
Italian Cream Cake
Pineapple-Lime Upside Down Cake
Fresh lime zest adds just enough of a zingy “something special” factor to our foolproof take on the classic pineapple upside-down cake. This easy cake is a fan favorite for good reason—it’s so simple to make and is loaded with a delicious balance of buttery-caramelized and tropically sweet flavors. Pro-Tip: Finish incorporating the ingredients by hand, this will prevent over-mixing your way to a tough cake. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for a perfect finish.
The Ultimate Carrot Cake
These layers are tender, so remove from pans carefully!
Aunt Laura's Stained Glass Cake
Deputy Food Director Whitney Wright's favorite dessert comes courtesy of her aunt, Laura Kazlo, who served it at family events.
Lady Baltimore Cake
Blackberry Jam Cake
Mama's German Chocolate Cake
The Lemon Cheese Layer Cake
Expecting a twist on cheesecake? You're in for an even sweeter surprise. These cake layers are filled with a buttery rich lemon curd instead.
Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
This vibrant pink layer cake is pure strawberry-on-strawberry goodness, with fresh strawberries going into the cake batter and frosting. One thing to note about the buttercream frosting—it is absolutely bursting with berry flavor, but is easily over-mixed. If you find you've broken your emulsion when whipping this frosting up, no worries. You can simply mix in a little more powdered sugar to restore it. That said, we love how purely strawberry-forward the flavor of this frosting is, so we'd advise being very light-handed when adding extra powdered sugar, as it will dilute the berry flavor. In our opinion, it's better to have a slightly broken frosting that tastes like strawberries than a perfectly pristine frosting that tastes like sugar.
Banana Snack Cake
Garnish this fun cake with glossy roasted bananas for a chic, modern spin, or simply gild it with the cream cheese frosting.
Lemon-Lime Pound Cake
This recipe is based on a classic Southern favorite called 7UP Pound Cake, which was created in the 1950s when the soda company suggested using its soft drink instead of other liquid in pound cake recipes. The result: one of the best, and simplest, cakes you'll ever make.
This gorgeous and classic cake is all thanks to Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina, who allowed this pineapple-banana spice cake with cream cheese frosting to become one of our most requested recipes. While there are many different variations of this delicious recipe out there now, we still stand by Mrs. Wiggins' original, indulgent creation. With a unique warm and spiced flavor and a moist banana and pineapple interior, this cake is a true Southern gem.
Lemon-and-Chocolate Doberge Cake
Million Dollar Pound Cake
Mrs. Billett's White Cake
Use a heavy-duty electric stand mixer for best results. Also, lining the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper ensures that the layers come out of the pans with ease.
Lemon-Orange Pound Cake
This recipe is from the cookbook, Stop and Smell the Rosemary, by the Junior League of Houston. This pound cake is sublime in its simplicity, but we decided to fancy it up a bit with a Bundt pan and two contrasting icings. You can leave out the yellow food coloring gel and have a cake that is just as pretty with a few extra lemon and orange slices for garnish. The Lemon-Orange Pound Cake is perfect for a bridal shower or a spring tea.
Eggnog Spice Cake with Bourbon Custard Filling and Eggnog Buttercream
This towering four-layer cake is creamy and slightly boozy. Use a Microplane grater to create the finest dusting of nutmeg on top.
Chocolate Fudge Sheet Cake With Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting
The addition of cinnamon adds a kick of “something special” to this rich chocolate sheet cake, but if you prefer, you can reduce the amount or leave the cinnamon out all together; you will simply have a delightful, classic chocolate cake on your hands. Once topped off with a decadent chocolate-cream cheese frosting, this cake is ready to please at virtually any event you bring it to.
Lemon and Vanilla Angel Food Cake
This delicate, cloudlike cake from Kristen Murray, pastry chef and owner of Maurice restaurant in Portland, is an adaptation of one from her great-aunt Crys, using rice flour for regular flour so the cake is gluten-free, with a little crunch. For best results, beat egg whites to very soft peaks so they (and the cake) can expand further in the oven.
Ultimate Coconut Cake
"Ultimate" is no exaggeration here—this cake features coconut flour, coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut sugar, coconut extract, and (of course) flaked coconut. Given this cake's incredibly moist layers, intense coconut flavor, and lighter-than-air filling, our test kitchen chefs fought over the leftovers.