Cake Recipes

From luscious chocolate cakes to light angel food cakes and multi-tiered birthday cakes, it's a wide, delicious world of cake out there. Even if it's just a slab of simple, buttery pound cake enjoyed with a cup of coffee, there is something celebratory about eating a slice of cake. The flip side is that cakes tend to require more effort to bake than a tray of brownies or cookies, but that's no reason to worry. Our Food & Wine guide to cake includes tips from professional bakers (like starting with room temperature ingredients) to help you make an amazing dessert. We've also shared our best layer cakes, so you'll never wonder how to celebrate another birthday-plus bundt cakes, upside-down cakes, icebox cakes and more.

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Philly Fluff Cake

Rating: Unrated
A Philly Fluff Cake, despite the name, is dense, moist, and tender, with rich swirls of bittersweet chocolate and a well-browned, sugary crisp exterior. It is more similar to a pound cake than a fluffy cake, and a generous portion of cream cheese in the batter lends the cake a gentle tang, and perhaps offers a clue to half of its name. A mixture of canola oil and butter stand in for traditional shortening, still giving the cake a pleasant moisture while adding delicious buttery flavor.

Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska, the meringue-topped and torched layered ice cream cake is a classic restaurant dessert, often served tableside with a fiery effect. Bring the sweet treat home with this simple step-by-step method that takes advantage of creamy (and customizable) store-bought ice creams and sorbets, a simple, buttery pound cake, and just enough time in the freezer between layers to ensure success. Less is more when it comes to swirling the ice creams and sorbets together; for the clearest marbled effect, be careful not to over-mix and blur the flavors.

Orange-Cardamom Butter Cakes with Rose Water Icing

Rating: Unrated
Perfect with afternoon tea, these delicate Sri Lankan cakes from cookbook author Ruwanmali Samarakoon-Amunugama are light with a buttery, moist crumb and a hint of citrusy cardamom. The sweet frosting gets flavor and a floral aroma from rose water and orange blossom water from Curio Spice; a drizzle of raspberry jam thinned with orange juice adds the perfect sweet-tart contrast. Claire Cheney, the founder of Curio Spice Co., is scrupulous about sourcing. Cheney finds the best-quality spices from small farms put care into every step of the process-growing their crops organically, paying their workers a living wage, and giving back to the community.

Vegan Peach-Almond Upside-Down Cake

Rating: Unrated
This vegan cheesecake is just as creamy and tangy as the conventional versions thanks to cultured nut-based cream cheese from Miyoko's Creamery, founded by vegan visionary Miyoko Schinner. For the cheesecake base, the agar must reach a temperature of 208°F to be activated and ultimately set. Don't worry if you don't have a thermometer-just keep the lid on the pot for 3 to 4 minutes until the agar has dissolved thoroughly, and then check the texture. When the agar runs off a rubber spatula without sticking, it's ready to use.

Cornbread Tres Leches Cake

Rating: Unrated
To achieve a tres leches cake with her ideal balance of savory and sweet, pastry chef Paola Velez swaps out the classic evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk for heavy cream, half-and-half, and whole milk, mindfully adding sugar to create a balanced sweetness. The cornmeal in the cake batter gives the dessert a delicious nuttiness and a subtle crunch, made even richer with the addition of tangy labneh.

Maria Cookie Icebox Cake

Rating: Unrated
Toasty, slightly sweet Maria cookies were an after-school snack staple for Velez while growing up in The Bronx—here, she transforms those beloved cookies into an icebox cake, layered with a sweetly spiced cream filling, topped with luscious dulce de leche, and festooned with strawberries and flowers. Can’t find Maria cookies? Velez says that any variety of thin, crunchy cookie will be delicious here. Just don’t skimp on the time in the fridge; this cake tastes best when it has a night in the fridge.

More Cake

Lemon Chiffon Cake with Blueberry-Coriander Buttercream

Rating: Unrated
Pastry chef Sasha Piligian channels summer vibes to create her showstopping baked goods, like this epic layer cake. She starts with two flavor-packed components—a tart-sweet Meyer lemon curd for the filling, and a coriander-spiced blueberry jam to flavor and tint her fluffy Swiss meringue buttercream frosting. (The lemon curd and jam can be made ahead of time and stashed in the refrigerator, or you can substitute store-bought jam and lemon curd for equally beautiful results.) The addition of beaten egg whites to the batter keeps the lemon chiffon cake layers light and airy, and, for a final flourish, Piligian embellishes the frosted cake with edible flower petals, mint leaves, pools of glistening jam, fresh berries, and sliced citrus.

Moscato Pound Cake with Grape Glaze

A dream of reuniting with friends and loved ones in 2021 for a Juneteenth celebration inspired writer Nicole A. Taylor's recipe for Moscato Pound Cake with Grape Glaze. Moscato gives this cake a lighter, more tender crumb than a typical pound cake while also imparting a subtle sweetness. Freeze-dried grapes bring vibrant color to the glaze. If you like, you can substitute lime juice in place of Moscato in the glaze for a brighter pink color.

Victoria Sandwich

A buttery, vanilla-scented cake, sandwiched with sweet jam (and often whipped cream), is a British teatime classic. In this version, fresh raspberries are added to the filling as well, delivering a tart, juicy contrast to the sweet jam. Be sure to take the time to cream the butter and sugar thoroughly—that essential step provides lift and good structure to the cake.