22 Fruit-Filled Cakes to Make This Summer Even Sweeter
In the steamy days of summer, all we really crave are light, seasonal treats that incorporate fresh summer fruits (and pair well with a cool scoop of vanilla ice cream, if that’s your thing). Even if you’re a die-hard chocolate cake fan, we promise these unique sweets will be even more satisfying at this time of year. The best part? These recipes make enough to serve everybody at the cookout.
Carrot-Zucchini Cake with Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting
Zucchini makes a brilliant addition to carrot cake, adding a verdant note to the sweet carrot.
Raspberry, Sumac, and Almond Snack Cake
Featuring a delightfully crunchy almond topping along with the delicate sunny brightness of sumac, this cake is effortlessly impressive. And given how easy it is to whip up, it’s a perfect go-to recipe for any occasion that calls for a special treat. Lightly toasting the almond flour before incorporating it into the batter imbues the cake with a delicious toasty depth; however, if you’re in a hurry, rest assured, the overall success of the recipe is not incumbent on this step. Serve as-is or with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Glazed Lemon-Blueberry Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
Fresh blueberries and lemon juice make great flavor partners in this berry-filled bundt cake topped with a sweet and tangy citrus glaze. Garnish with fresh blueberries and ribbons of lemon rind.
Peach Cobbler Dump Cake
Pair the crowd-pleasing appeal of peach cobbler with the convenience factor of a boxed cake mix and you have this ridiculously easy dump cake. Requiring only five ingredients, this is the perfect recipe for when you need to whip up dessert in a hurry. We love the combination of peaches and almonds, but you could easily swap the sliced almonds called for with your favorite nut (pecan halves would be excellent) or eliminate the nuts altogether. Either way, one thing’s for certain—this peach cobbler dump cake will be a hit for any occasion.
Mrs. Lilien's Luau Cake
Shortcut Carrot Sheet Cake
This moist, delicious carrot cake has traditional ingredients like carrot, pineapple, and walnuts, with the addition of toasted coconut flakes to dress up cream cheese icing. The ease of assembly is the kicker here: a box mix enhanced with fresh ingredients comes together in minutes and is sure to impress guests.
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.
Orange-Olive Oil Cake with Vanilla Glaze
Strawberry Upside-Down Cake
This perfectly light summer cake comes out beautifully, either way you flip it.
Fresh Strawberry Sheet Cake
This simple, fresh strawberry cake is the perfect springtime dessert. Besides being wonderfully easy to slice and serve for a crowd, sheet cakes (like this pink beauty) are great for entertaining because they require no special cake frosting skills to look impressive.
Strawberry-Banana Pudding Icebox Cake
Strawberries add brightness to this fun take on banana pudding. Instead of the usual vanilla wafers, use graham crackers, which make neater slices. An instant hit with your family and guests, this recipe makes delicious use of the fresh strawberries you pick up at the local farmers’ market.
Tahini-Blueberry Sheet Cake With Strawberry Buttercream
Perfect for a graduation party or summer cookout, this impressive dessert offers the ease and crowd-friendly factor that we associate with a sheet cake, as well as a delightful twist of creativity and surprising vibrancy with the incorporation of tahini and fresh berries. If you have a jar of the trendy sesame seed paste hanging out in your pantry, trust us—it’s high time to go beyond hummus and welcome it into your dessert life. Tahini lends a delicious toasty quality to the tender cake while fresh blueberries dotted throughout the batter balance this nutty depth with their bright, juicy sweetness. A simple strawberry buttercream ties everything together and makes for a low-effort, eye-catching presentation.
Coconut-Carrot Cake with Coconut Buttercream
You’ve got dessert duty? We’ve got you covered with this lightly spiced sheet cake that serves a crowd and travels well too. Why choose between carrot cake and coconut cake when both flavors work so well together?
Red, White, and Blue Berry Cake
Lemon-Olive Oil Cake with Whipped Mascarpone
As this soft, fruit-laden coffee cake bakes, the pistachio streusel sinks a bit, or "buckles." If you're lactose-intolerant, feel free to swap in almond milk.
Key Lime-Shortbread Icebox Cake
Layers upon layers of fresh key lime, luscious cream cheese, and shortbread cookies make for a delicious no-bake cake with a show-stopping presentation. A thin layer of pistachios adds a crunch to each creamy, bright bite. The taste is light and sweet, making it the perfect ending to a large holiday meal. If you can't find Key limes to juice, try Nellie & Joe's brand.
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.
Blueberry-Peach Upside Down Cake
This stunning upside-down cake is the perfect, easy dessert to showcase your bounty of summer fruit. The cake is tender and moist, with just enough of a delightful toothy texture from the incorporation of cornmeal into the batter. You’ll want to use juicy, ripe blueberries and peaches for best results; however, you could use frozen fruit in a pinch—just be sure to thaw and dry throughly. A few more tips to ensure upside-down cake success: Finish incorporating the ingredients by hand, this will prevent over-mixing your way to a tough cake. Also, aim to arrange the fruit as tightly as you can in the cake pan; fruit shrinks as it cooks and you don’t want too much unadorned cake poking through. Finally, if you want to skip the cornmeal, simply swap it 1:1 with all-purpose flour (for a total of 1 1/3 cups).
More crumb cake-like and not syrupy like a crisp or crumble, a buckle is still all about the fruit. These homey, streusel-topped cakes are usually baked one of two ways. The cake batter can be spread on the bottom of the pan with the fruit spooned on top, or the fruit is stirred directly into the batter. We created a third method where half of the fruit is folded into the batter, which is then poured into the pan, and then the remaining fruit is arranged on top of the batter. As the cake bakes, the batter puffs up, then collapses, or “buckles,” around jammy pockets of fruit. Often made with blueberries, buckles became popular in the 1960s after a recipe appeared in Elsie Masterton’s 1959 Blueberry Hill Cookbook.
Strawberries-and-Cream Sheet Cake
Trust us: This simple and swoon-worthy sheet cake will be a keeper in your recipe box. File it under "Springtime Crowd-pleaser."
Aperol Spritz Cake
The delicate blance of sweet, bitter and citrus that makes the cocktail so refreshing also makes for an unusual citrus cake.