Ultimate Cake Recipes (2024)

Let our recipes inspire you with ideas for chocolate cakes, angel food cakes, Black Forest cakes, Bundt cakes, pumpkin cakes, coconut cakes, carrot cakes and other homemade treats.

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Black Forest Cake with Cloud Frosting

Ultimate Cake Recipes (1)

This simplified version of the German classic gets its fruit flavor from cherry jam and cherry juice. Beating heavy cream with cream cheese creates a beautifully light frosting that is lighter than cream cheese frosting but more stable than whipped cream.

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Brown Sugar Bundt Cake with Pecans

Ultimate Cake Recipes (2)

Channeling praline candy, this homey cake is all caramel sweetness and toasted, nutty crunch. The batter comes together fast, and there’s no icing or glaze to fuss over—just a quick sift of powdered sugar.

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Peach Upside-Down Cake

Ultimate Cake Recipes (3)

This moist cake from Rendleman Orchards in Alto Pass, Illinois, is ideal for a cookout or summer potluck.

Upside-Down Cake Recipes You'll Flip Over

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Peppermint Patty Cake

Ultimate Cake Recipes (4)

This dazzling cake boasts dark rich layers and silky Swiss meringue buttercream. That frosting is where you get the peppermint flavor, so baker Kristine Moberg of Queen City Bakery says to use a high-quality extract like Nielsen-Massey.

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Raspberry-Lemon Cakelets

Ultimate Cake Recipes (5)

Tender from cake flour and bright with citrus, this pretty butter cake will surprise you. Pair it with tea or a glass of bubbly.

Sparkling Spring Desserts

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Vanilla Crepe Cake

Ultimate Cake Recipes (6)

This cake by chef Gavin Kaysen of Bellecour Bakery in the Twin Cities will wow people with its many layers, luscious creaminess and subtle vanilla flavor.

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German Chocolate Cake

Ultimate Cake Recipes (7)

This celebration cake is a staple at Bake Chicago. It has a wonderfully fudgy, old-fashioned, homemade texture. The frosting has an unusual method that may feel initially like it's failing, but stick with it. Laced with sour cream, it's creamy and utterly delicious.

Meet Five Midwest Cake Creators (and Try Their Recipes)

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Cocoa Gingerbread with Heaven Frosting

Ultimate Cake Recipes (8)

A humble snack dresses up for company. With its nutty flavor and tiny flecks of toasted milk solids, browned butter elevates a simple cream cheese frosting to saintly levels.

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Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

Ultimate Cake Recipes (9)

Angela Garbacz, owner of Goldenrod Pastries in Lincoln, Nebraska, features recipes that adapt to gluten- and dairy-free needs in her cookbook, Perfectly Golden. This simple, sweet cake reminds her of her time in Poland.

Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes to Satisfy Any Sweet Tooth

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Apple Sour Cream Kuchen

Ultimate Cake Recipes (10)

This German-style, not-too-sweet, yeast-raised cake begs for a cup of coffee. For an extra tang, you can serve it with a dollop of lightly sweetened sour cream.

Irresistible Apple Dessert Recipes

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Chocolate Chai Bundt with Candied Oranges and Rum Buttah

Ultimate Cake Recipes (11)

Reine Keis of SweetArt Cafe in St. Louis says that the secret to vegan baking is not assuming that one plant-based alternative fits all recipes. Coconut yogurt is her power play in this recipe.

Decadent Chocolate Dessert Recipes

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Gingerbread Latte Cake

Ultimate Cake Recipes (12)

Rebekah Stuber of Bay Laurel Baking Company in Des Moines says her flavor-packed spice cakes always earn the most raves. Her secret to airy cream cheese frosting on this gingerbread cake? Folding in whipped cream.

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Poppy Seed Torte

Ultimate Cake Recipes (13)

The recipe for this four-layer cake-with a puddinglike filling, unmistakable poppy seed flavor and soft whipped cream frosting-comes from Wisconsin's White Gull Inn.

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Seven-or-So Layer Cake

Ultimate Cake Recipes (14)

This striking (and gluten-free!) cake is inspired by the Jewish bakery classic, Seven-Layer Cake. Our simplified sheet-pan method sandwiches rich mocha glaze with almond cake.

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Doughnut Bundt

Ultimate Cake Recipes (15)

Nutmeg is the secret ingredient that makes this playful Bundt taste just like a cake doughnut. (Be sure to use freshly grated nutmeg—you'll really notice the difference in flavor.)

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Carrot-Spice Cake with Coconut-Pecan Filling

Ultimate Cake Recipes (16)

Tender layers of carrot-tinted spice cake are sandwiched with a luscious coconut-pecan filling—and it's all covered in swirls of classic cream cheese frosting.

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Neapolitan Party Cake

Ultimate Cake Recipes (17)

This crowd-pleaser is easier than it looks. (You only make one batter.) Garnish the strawberry-frosted cake with double-dipped berries to hint at the festive stripes hiding inside.

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Angel Food Cake with Strawberries and Elderflower Cream

Ultimate Cake Recipes (18)

To "bring the smell of the field" into this dessert, chef James Bloomfield of Traverse City, Michigan, infuses whipping cream with fresh elderflowers. Get the same effect with a splash of St-Germain.

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Modern Fruit Cakes

Ultimate Cake Recipes (19)

These super-moist cakes eat like elegant patisserie and are worth every minute of the process. Whipping up a batch to gift? Learn how to make these pretty fruit cake gift boxes for extra sparkle.

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Cafe Latte's Turtle Cake

Ultimate Cake Recipes (20)

Sheer three-layered audacity put this creation from a Saint Paul bakery in our hall of fame: buttermilk-cocoa cake, candylike chocolate frosting and creamy caramel sauce.

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Pumpkin-Spice Icebox Cake

Ultimate Cake Recipes (21)

Like the chocolate-and-vanilla retro classic, this gingery icebox cake requires some make-ahead assembly—but no baking. And it's absolutely drool-worthy.

Pumpkin Recipes We Absolutely Love

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Whoopie Pie Cake

Ultimate Cake Recipes (22)

Karen Cope of Minneapolis won a blue ribbon at the Minnesota State Fair for this stunning chocolate-and-marshmallow cake, based on whoopie pie cookies.

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Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Ultimate Cake Recipes (23)

This utterly unforgettable cake layers moist chocolate-pumpkin cake, luscious milk chocolate ganache and fluffy pumpkin-spice whipped cream. The recipe comes from Minnesota blogger Amanda Rettke iambaker.net.

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Prettier by the Pound

Ultimate Cake Recipes (24)

St. Louis pastry chef Nathaniel Reid gives pound cake a chic, patisserie-style makeover. Your trusty loaf pan never had it so good. Try Double Chocolate Pound Cake, Candied Lemon Pound Cake, Yogurt Pound Cake with Apricots and Coconut, or Hazelnut and Milk Chocolate Pound Cake.

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Chocolate Gift Cakes

Ultimate Cake Recipes (25)

These 6-inch gifting cakes are topped with a swoop of silky frosting. The recipe (which makes three cakes) comes from Minneapolis blogger Sarah Kieffer's cookbook Baking for the Holidays.

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Tres Leches Cake

Ultimate Cake Recipes (26)

A Mexican-inspired standard and guaranteed backyard crowd-pleaser, our brown-sugar sheet cake is soaked in milky syrup, chilled, then topped with whipped cream and berries.

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Coconut Cake

Ultimate Cake Recipes (27)

This three-layer wonder stays extra moist thanks to butter and buttermilk. The blue-ribbon recipe is from Teresa Reese of Osceola, Nebraska.

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Zucchini Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Drizzle

Ultimate Cake Recipes (28)

With its subtle mix of warm spices, vanilla, maple and citrus (and tangy white icing), this is no ordinary zucchini cake. The recipe comes from The Vegetable Butcher cookbook, by Cara Mangini.

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Lemonade Cake

Ultimate Cake Recipes (29)

Lemon Butter Frosting tops a summer-perfect cake flavored with thawed lemonade concentrate.

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Fabulous Red Velvet Cake

Ultimate Cake Recipes (30)

We gussied up chocolate cake mix with sour cream and red food coloring, then crowned this cake with a white chocolate-cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut.

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Toasted Fennel-Lemon Cake

Ultimate Cake Recipes (31)

This moist beauty begs for a mug of afternoon tea. Fennel seeds add the faintest hint of licorice flavor, just enough to make the cake stand out from the other Bundts in the room. We like the sweeter flavor of Meyer lemons in this cake. Look for them sold in bags at large supermarkets. If you substitute regular lemons, reduce the zest to 2 tablespoons.

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Raspberry Swirl Angel Food Cake

Ultimate Cake Recipes (32)

A subtle swirl of fresh raspberries infuses this homemade angel food cake with light fruit flavor. Like all angel food cakes, it has no fat or cholesterol.

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Pumpkin-Praline Layer Cake

Ultimate Cake Recipes (33)

This nutty layer cake is a favorite dessert with Midwest Living® readers. Whipped cream tops a moist filling of pumpkin, brown sugar, pecans, butter and more whipping cream.

Pumpkin Recipes We Absolutely Love

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Ultimate Cake Recipes (2024)
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