45 Delectable Cakes for Fall
Some of fall’s best flavors—we’re talking cinnamon, apple, maple, caramel, ginger, pumpkin, and more—were meant to be enjoyed as desserts. Luckily, there’s always an occasion for cake, no matter the season. Whether you’re looking for a pumpkin loaf, caramel apple cake, sweet potato pound cake, caramel buttercream, or just a seriously good piece of chocolate cake, these recipes satisfy the sweet cravings that come with cooler nights.
Salted Caramel Gingerbread Poke Cake with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
The flavors of gingerbread, salted caramel filling, and pumpkin cream cheese frosting marry to become the ultimate fall and holiday poke cake. This cake is a great snack cake or dessert and it's pretty enough to serve to guests. One taste and you're sure to bring this cake to potlucks all season long.
Apple Spice Bundt Cake with Cider Glaze
Don't be afraid to go 100% whole-grain with desserts; we use all spelt flour here with amazing results. The nutty flour boosts the taste of the butter, spices, and vanilla, unlike all-purpose flour, whose bland nature would dilute those flavors. Be sure to weigh the flour for accuracy; using too much will make the cake dry.
Sweet Potato Dump Cake
All the fall flavors you could possibly want in one simple dessert.
Bananas Foster Coffee Cake with Vanilla-Rum Sauce
Substitute extra cream for rum in the sauce, if you prefer.
Surprisingly moist, light, and springy, this almond cake is a delicious departure from the dense, rustic ones you might be accustomed to. We use six beaten egg whites to give the cake lots of lift—without the use of leavening agents, which are forbidden on Passover. Because traditional versions of almond extract and powdered sugar can contain spirits and cornstarch (respectively), be sure to seek out kosher-for-Passover versions. (You can find kosher almond extract here and kosher powdered sugar here on Amazon.) Also, check the label on your cooking spray for any ingredients that aren't permitted; you can grease the pan with mild-flavored olive oil if your cooking spray doesn't comply.
Everything you love about classic Italian tiramisu, layered into an impressive cake.
Halloween desserts definitely call for having a little extra fun in the kitchen. This kinda-cute, kinda-creepy Graveyard Cake is easy to make, fun to decorate (so recruit the kids’ help), and is sure to be a perfectly spooky centerpiece for any Halloween dessert table. Black icing transforms store-bought cookies into perfectly-sized miniature headstones for the chocolate-frosted graveyard cake. And once you’ve placed your headstones, crumble chocolate wafer cookies around each to create “dirt.” Just be sure to make each "gravesite" the serving size you want to ensure easy slicing. Disperse a few candle “lanterns” throughout the chocolaty graveyard and you have the perfect cake for a Halloween birthday party. The classic chocolate cake recipe here is decadent and moist standby, but if you’re in a pinch for time, feel free to use your favorite boxed cake mix instead. Obviously, it’s all about the decorating on for this Halloween-inspired treat.
Butter Pecan Layer Cake with Browned Butter Frosting
Nutty Browned Butter Frosting meets tender pecan cake in this showstopping three-layer dessert. When browning the butter for the frosting, pour the butter into a bowl as soon as it turns golden brown, or it will continue to cook and get too dark.
The Cheesecake Factory Original Cheesecake
Raspberry, Sumac, and Almond Pound Cake
The nuanced brightness of sumac matched with warming notes of almond and jammy raspberries takes a classic pound cake construct over the top and into pure wow-worthy territory. While it may seem like a lot between the batter and the pound cake’s raspberry-sumac glaze (especially if this is a new seasoning to you), sumac—which is the dried, powdered berries of the sumac bush—is a spice you need not be overly reserved with. Given sumac’s delicate tart flavor, a fair amount is needed here to shine within the context of the dense, buttery cake.
Lemon-and-Chocolate Doberge Cake
Upside Down Pear-and-Gingerbread Cake
This is the perfect cake for a week night treat or a casual holiday party. A layer of tender, caramelized pears tops this richly spiced skillet upside down cake. When it is time to put the batter into the pan, use an offset spatula to gently spread the batter without disturbing the layer of pears underneath.
Dark Chocolate Avocado Cake with Chocolate Avocado Frosting
This vegan cake (no eggs or butter!) is so delicious that our kids begged for more. The frosting is silky smooth, and the cake is light and loaded with chocolate flavor, and healthy fats.
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.
Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Tahini Glaze
What better fall-inspired dessert to make than this tahini-glazed pumpkin bundt cake. A medley of fragrant, ground spices enhance the rich sweetness of this incredibly moist bundt cake. Topped with a toasty, perfectly bittersweet tahini glaze, this easy to make and comforting fall dessert is the perfect centerpiece for your next dinner party, Halloween gathering, or special occasion.
This 5-star cinnamon apple cake is one of our best-ever recipes and can be served as dessert or a breakfast coffee cake. The cream cheese in the batter gives the cake lots of moisture, while the cinnamon sugar topping is dense and crumbly. The cake is best warm out of the oven, and will keep for a week after you've baked it. Toss in walnuts or pecans to the batter for an added nutty crunch.
Brown Butter Cake with Cocoa
A good bit of salt enhances all the flavors here.
Pumpkin-Spice Magic Cake
If you can't get enough pumpkin spice during fall, we have one more recipe you must try out. For our Pumpkin Spice Cake recipe, we combined silky flan with moist pumpkin spice cake and buttery caramel sauce in one incredible confection. We were inspired by a Mexican dessert called “impossible flan”. While it is not at all difficult to make, our Test Kitchen recommends using a light-colored Bundt pan for the best results. A dark-colored pan may get too hot and overbake the cake.
Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake with Caramel Buttercream
If you're looking for an easy, decadent, and oh-so-yummy chocolate fudge cake, this is the perfect recipe. The key to this layer cake’s lusciously messy look? A short spell in the freezer, which allows the ganache to set over the cake layers so that the buttercream can be spread on top of it. Make sure there is enough space in your freezer before you assemble the cake. This recipe comes in handy for birthdays, holidays, and the odd Wednesday pick-me-up.
Mini Apple Cider Pound Cakes
Finish the cakes with one of the three toppings. Toss together the Streusel Topping before you start baking. Both glazes can be prepped while the cakes cool.
Almond Cake with Orange Marmalade
Perfect Pumpkin Roll
A classic pumpkin roll is a work of art. Rich buttercream perfectly complements the earthy-sweet pumpkin in this ideal autumnal treat—add a PSL and you're set.
Gingerbread Latte Cake with Vanilla Whipped Cream Frosting
If your holiday season officially starts with a gingerbread latte, this is the cake of your coffee-loving dreams. Three layers of spicy gingerbread are brushed with Espresso Simple Syrup and then covered in fluffy Vanilla Whipped Cream Frosting.
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.
Red Velvet Peppermint Cake
Make the best of ripe bananas with this recipe for Hummingbird Cake. You'll receive rave reviews and requests for more when Hummingbird Cake is on your dessert menu.
Chocolate Bundt Cake
A 6-cup Bundt pan is smaller than the standard size. You can also use a 9-inch round cake pan.
Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze
With a rich, gooey pumpkin spice filling, buttery pecan streusel topping, and maple glaze, this fluffy and moist pumpkin coffee cake is sure to impress. Perfect for any occasion, from your next fall brunch to a Halloween party, this coffee cake is easy to make and full of toasty fall flavors. You can prepare the brown sugar-pecan streusel, the filling, and even the maple glaze in advance to make pulling this cake together even more of a breeze once you’re ready to bake. Simply prepare each element in a bowl, tightly wrap each with plastic wrap, and stash them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them. Just be sure to take the glaze out of the refrigerator as soon as you’re ready to start making the pumpkin coffee cake so that it has enough time to return to room temperature, and give it a few stirs to loosen it back up if need be.
Smith Island Cake
Sweet Potato Pound Cake
Texas Skillet Cake
Million Dollar Pound Cake
You'll need only half of this cake for each truffle recipe. Save the other half for other truffles--or just nibbling.
Boo-tiful Pumpkin Cake
Make two recipes of this pumpkin cake and create your own tasty pumpkin!
Gingerbread Cake Roll with Eggnog Cream
Made with fresh ginger, bourbon, and molasses, this dark, spicy gingerbread cake pairs wonderfully with the light and creamy eggnog filling. This cake does need to chill for at least 8 hours, so make sure you plan ahead. Dust the top of this gingerbread cake roll with powdered sugar for an extra holiday touch. When it comes to your ginger, choose clean knobs of fresh ginger root with smooth, shiny skin. Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and use it before it begins to shrivel. Remove the peel with a vegetable peeler or the tip of a metal spoon.
Susan’s Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting
On the surface, so simple. A moist, richly banana-flavored, two-layer cake with a dark chocolate frosting. No frills or fancies. No nuts, chocolate chips or chunks, no crispy bits or coconut. Just a basic banana cake with a simple chocolate frosting. And yet, in the marriage of these two tastes something extraordinary happens. It is cake alchemy.
Sea Salt-Caramel Cake
While these tender cake layers taste divine, it’s the caramel frosting that really wows. It’s outrageously rich—and doesn’t require the use of a candy thermometer. Top the frosted cake with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt for a fancy finish.
This recipe is from Odette Williams' Simple Cake, a compendium of approachable, delicious cakes for celebrating every day. Per Williams, this cake is "A not-too-sweet chocolate cake, topped with silky Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream, sprinkled with a little sea salt crunch: This is the cake you bake to help you or a loved one get across the finish line."
Caramel Apple Cake
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.
Cinnamon Roll Swirl Cake
Easy Black Forest Cake
Devil's food cake layers enriched with milk chocolate and a trio of extracts are sandwiched with the simplest and most decadent stuffing of them all--ready-to-eat cheesecake filling and cherry pie filling. Capped off with fudge frosting and gooey chocolate-covered cherries, it's a cinch to wow your guests.
Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake
We took the traditional pound cake recipe and raised it a stunning, triple-chocolate twist. This cake means business. A duo of glazes—one creamy chocolate, the other subtle buttermilk—comes together atop this dreamy confection. It’s indulgent and, we admit, so much fun to eat and serve. Chocolate enthusiasts will be over the moon for this recipe, but it has enough unexpected flavor—thanks to the addition of the buttermilk glaze—that you’ll also win over the harder-to-please dessert eaters at the table. Warning: You—and they—won’t be able to resist a second slice. Go for it. We won’t tell.
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.
Double-Caramel Turtle Cake
Apple Bundt Cake with Apple-Cream Cheese Glaze
This incredibly moist bundt cake gains its strong apple flavor from 4 cups of shredded Granny smith apples baked into the batter, as well as a concentrated apple liquid (made by reducing apple juice and apple liqueur) that is brushed over the warm cake after baking and used to create the cake’s sweet-tart apple and cream cheese glaze. Grating the apples, as opposed to chopping them into pieces, makes for more even distribution of moisture and apple flavor throughout this dense and delightful cake. While we opted to keep the spice factor simple here (to avoid overpowering the apple) with just a teaspoon of cinnamon, feel free to mix it up and add other favorite spices—such as cloves, ginger, nutmeg, or allspice. You can also swap the vanilla bean paste for 11/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract. If you can’t find apple liqueur, simply substitute apple flavored brandy or 1/4 cup more apple juice.