Our Most Impressive Cakes
Lots of layers, decadent icing, and fabulous fillings bring the drama with these impressive cakes. Looking to make a statement at your next party or event? Look no further, these cakes have arrived.
Confetti Flower Cake
It may be hard to believe that this stunning layer cake could taste as delightful as it looks, but trust us on this one… it’s well worth cutting into. We create an all-natural “fun-fetti” look for this Confetti Flower Cake with edible flower petals flecked throughout the moist and delicate vanilla layers. Covered in a light, fluffy strawberry frosting (and a few more garnishing edible flowers for good measure), this wow-worthy confetti cake is the perfect centerpiece for your next special occasion—be it a birthday party or a wedding shower.
Best Carrot Cake
Truly our best-ever carrot cake recipe, make this classic favorite for a crowd and you might not have any leftovers to bring home.
Pistachio Raspberry Cake
This rich and decadent cake is covered with crushed pistachios which offer a wealth of texture and a pop of color and flavor.
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.
Strawberry Dream Cake
This cake almost looks too amazing to be real! With this cake, anyone can be a champion baker. Strawberries offer an impressive pop of color and flavor to this decadent cake that would be perfect for a backyard party.
Coconut Cream Cake
This towering beauty combines delicate fluffy icing with bold coconut flavor. Look for packaged coconut shavings in your grocer's natural foods section.
The Lane Cake
More than 100 years ago, Emma Rylander Lane of Clayton, Alabama entered the annual baking competeition at the county fair in Columbus, Georgia. She took first prize. The cake came to be known as The Lane Cake, and gained literary fame in 1960 when it was featured in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. In March 1966, Southern Living featured the cake in its second issue. Here, it stands with a peachy makeover and an unforgettable meringue frosting.
The Red Velvet Cake
The origin of red velvet cakes came about from the result of baking soda interacting with natural cocoa and other acids in the batter. Through the years, the red velvet craze has only continued, fueled in part by the red velvet cakes that have graced the Southern Living Christmas cover three times.
Butter's Vanilla Cake
This decadent layer cake is covered with a rich buttercream frosting.
Thanks to Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina, this pineapple-banana spice cake with cream cheese frosting became one of our most requested recipes. We still stand by Mrs. Wiggins' original, indulgent creation.
Everything you love about classic Italian tiramisu, layered into an impressive cake.
Butternut Squash Spice Cake
Watch out, carrot cake. An intriguing mix of spices, plus coconut sugar for subtle sweetness, put this butternut squash cake over the top. (And did we mention the bourbon?)
The Ultimate Carrot Cake
This cake doesn't receive the title of "Ultimate" for nothing! This cake is stunner, and is just as beautiful as it is delicious. The layers of the cake are tender, so remove from pans carefully.
Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake
Topped with a chocolate and buttermilk glaze, this decadent cake is truthfully a chocolate lover's dream.
Rainbow Layer Cake
We've taken the beauty of a rainbow and captured it in a cake. Don't worry, we can't stop staring either.
Caramel Apple Cake
This cake is topped with sauteed apple slices and drizzled in a delicious Apple Brandy-Caramel Sauce.
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.
Spice Cake with Coffee Toffee Crunch
This towering spice cake, garnished with chunks of coffee-flavored toffee, makes a luscious centerpiece for the holiday dessert table.
Better Than Sex Cake
This ten ingredient cake features generous helpings of Heath candy bars.
Rainbow Sprinkle Cake
The perfect cake for a birthday party, this sprinkle cake is festive, fun, and amazingly tasty.
The Jam Cake
The origins of jam cake lie deep in Appalachia where store-bought sugar was once scarce. Cakes were often sweetened with homemade jams, filled with wild berries and mountain fruits to deliver a rich, dense cake with a depth of flavor sugar alone couldn't deliver.
Mama's German Chocolate Cake
The Coconut Chiffon Cake
Coconut is the doyenne of Southern layer cakes, a masterpiece of home cookery that has crowned dining room sideboards for more than a hundred years. Purists sing the praises of simple but divine, opting for coconut water-doused cake layers and dreamy swirls of meringue. With this latest creation, we opted for a thick and rich filling.
Smith Island Cake
Create a show-stopping holiday cake by icing each beautiful layer with decadent Chocolate Ganache icing.
Perfect Chocolate Bundt Cake
Intensely chocolatey and incredibly moist, this is truly the perfect chocolate bundt cake—and undoubtedly, a chocolate lover’s dream. The cake’s rich chocolate flavor is enhanced with the addition of coffee in the batter and coffee liqueur in the glaze. Be sure to coat the inside of your bundt pan with either shortening plus a thin layer of flour or baking spray (which is nonstick cooking spray that contains flour) in order to ensure that your cake comes out clean and easy.
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).
Corn Flour and Orange Blossom Chiffon Cake
"If cornbread were transformed into a sweet, moist, fluffy golden cake, this would be it," says Medrich. She tops it here with whipped cream and crème fraîche, and curls of candied orange zest.
Texas Sheet Cake with Fudge Icing
Somehow, Texas claimed the sheet cake as its own in the mid-20th century, perhaps because of the pecans, an ingredient that grows in abundance throughout the Lone Star State. The defining element is its shape--and, of course, the icing, which has to be heated and poured on the warm, just-out-of-the-oven cake. The result is a rich, chocolaty treat that's iconic in Texas.
Red Velvet-White Chocolate Cheesecake
This gorgeous, festive cake marries two favorite holiday cake flavors: red velvet and cheesecake. The cake features layers of white chocolate cheesecake alternated with red velvet cake layers, topped with white chocolate frosting and candy "leaves".
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.
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.
The Lemon Cheese Layer Cake
Looking for bright and fresh cake? This luscious lemon cake delivers just that and much more, featuring a creamy smooth filling and a sweet lemon-orange buttercream frosting.
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.
Classic Boston Cream Pie
If you’re looking for the best Boston Cream Pie recipe out there, consider the search complete. Despite the name, this classic dessert lands among the most divine cake constructions we can imagine: Delicate pastry cream sandwiched between two fluffy vanilla cake layers, all topped with a decadent cap of chocolate ganache. Vanilla bean paste, which we call for in this recipe, saves bakers the hassle of scraping beans from the pod, while still delivering a similarly powerful depth of vanilla flavor. Not to mention, grabbing a jar of the paste (from supermarkets like Whole Foods or on Amazon) is a far better value than purchasing vanilla pods and definitely an ingredient we’d encourage home bakers to try. That said, if you already have vanilla extract in your pantry and are ready to start baking, the extract will work just fine!