29 Essential (and Delicious) Cake Recipes to Master Now
Honey Cake with Citrus Frosting
This tender, light honey cake with hints of coffee and orange juice, is as pretty as it is delicious. A slice covered in candied navel oranges is perfect with a cup of tea.
Buttermilk Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze
Every baker needs a go-to Bundt cake recipe. This is the ultimate buttermilk Bundt cake, nicely browned on the outside, with a soft, tender crumb.
Classic Carrot Cake with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting
A classic carrot cake is a crowd-pleaser and can work in traditional layers, in a loaf pan or even as cupcakes. Pastry chef Jodi Elliot prepares the ultimate version of the 1970s favorite: moist and not too sweet.
Jacques Pépin's Favorite Pound Cake
The French call pound cake quatre-quarts ("four-fourths") because it is made with equal parts flour, sugar, eggs and butter. Jacques Pépin's mother, aunt and cousin all have their versions. He likes to fold in candied citrus peels to make a French fruit cake; he also loves plain slices dipped in espresso.
Ligurian Olive Oil Cake
Another traditional cake style, olive oil cake is as simple as it is tasty. Ligurian olive oil is ideal in this lovely, light version because it's more delicate and buttery than many other Italian oils.
German Chocolate Cake
Sam German created the mild, dark baking chocolate called Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate in 1852; in the late 1950s, a Dallas newspaper published a recipe for German's Chocolate Cake. The dessert took the South by storm and has been a staple ever since.
Crunchy Milk Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake
The genius of this layer cake is its extraordinarily crunchy filling, made with almonds, salted peanuts, creamy peanut butter, chocolate and Rice Krispies. The silky milk-chocolate ganache frosting almost pushes the recipe over the top.
Double-Chocolate Bundt Cake with Ganache Glaze
Many Bundt cakes are heavy and buttery, but this one is surprisingly light and incredibly moist under its silky chocolate glaze. Strong-brewed coffee in the batter intensifies the chocolate flavor while cutting the sweetness.
Nutella-Swirl Pound Cake
Lauren Chattman makes this pound cake especially rich by swirling in the chocolate-hazelnut spread Nutella. She recommends serving the cake with coffee ice cream.
Cake flour is the secret ingredient in this lusciously light shortcake. Make sure that you use pure cake flour as opposed to self-rising cake flour, which is similarly packaged. This dessert is at its best within 30 minutes of assembly.
Maple-Bourbon Banana Pudding Cake
This cake is as good as a holiday dessert as it is for Sunday brunch. As it bakes it develops a sweet, rich sauce at the bottom of the dish.
Olive Oil Cake with Honey-Yogurt Cream and Strawberries
This is no featherweight spring cake: Olive oil and almond flour keep it dense and moist so it can hold plenty of juicy macerated strawberries. An infusion of lime in the cake batter and a tangy yogurt whipped cream brightens each slice.
Giant Black-and-White Layer Cake
Sometimes basic baking is best, and when it comes to layer cakes this is a great option. A giant, crowd-pleasing cake, layering light, white cake with fluffy, rich chocolate ganache is great for everyone.
Breton Butter Cake
Known as kouign amann (pronounced kween-yah-MAHN), this classic cake from Brittany is made with bread dough and butter and has a caramelized-sugar top. This easy version, prepared with store-bought bread dough or pizza dough, has been adapted from Home Baking.
Brown Sugar Cake with Ricotta and Blueberries
The chewy, dense confection is like a cross between a cake and a blondie. It’s delicious both by itself and dressed up with Ricotta Mousse and Blueberry Sauce.
Molten Chocolate Cakes
Grapefruit Cornmeal Cake
This lovely cake is flavored with grapefruit and topped with a pretty poppy-seed glaze. If there are leftovers, serve wedges for breakfast at room-temperature.
Coconut Chiffon Bundt Cake with Coconut Frosting
Joanne Chang is a master of all kinds of desserts, from elegant French to homespun American like this classic coconut cake.
Banana Snacking Cake
A snacking cake—a simple dessert meant to be eaten unadorned—may seem like an odd between-meals treat, but this version, perfectly balanced between sweet and savory, fits in just right. Made from a simple, five-ingredient batter, this cake gets its bright acidity from extra-virgin olive oil and an earthy sweetness from maple syrup. Eat this cake as-is for breakfast.
Plum Upside-Down Cake
This pretty cake is moist and buttery, with plenty of sweet and tangy caramelized plums on top. It's great for a festive dessert or weekend treat.
Triple-Cheese Cheesecake with Amaretti Crust
This killer cheesecake has a light, creamy texture and fantastic crunchy crust made from honey graham crackers and amaretti cookies. Bonus: it's a no-bake recipe.
Zebra Icebox Cake
Simple, fun icebox cake is made by layering wafers with whipped cream and refrigerating them until the wafers soften into a cake-like texture. The alternating creamy mix of mascarpone and Marsala with layers of homemade chocolate-graham wafers is finished with a fluffy espresso meringue.
Carrot and Orange Cake with Sour Cream Glaze
This elevated carrot cake from Nik Sharma is something special. Chopped pieces of dried apricots and candied orange peels give each slice of cake of spot of unexpected fruit sweetness, while the pistachios add texture to the soft cake. Serve it with a cup of warm tea or coffee to complete the experience.
Strawberry-Honey Cake with Sour Whipped Cream
This floral, honey-inflected strawberry cake from Eli Dahlin is his springy take on a sticky toffee pudding. If there’s a child in your life (or a kitchen-incompetent friend), let him or her poke the holes. The more there are, the more the honey syrup will penetrate every last bite.
Mom's Chocolate Cake
This chocolate cake is on our list of the 40 Best Ever F&W Recipes, and for good reason. The semisweet, creamy frosting hits just the right balance, but longtime F&W Test Kitchen Supervisor Marcia Kiesel says, “the original was served right out of the pan, no frosting at all, and that’s my favorite way to eat it.
Chocolate Blackout Cake
This one is for the chocolate-obsessed. Pastry star Gale Gand layers her phenomenal, high-rising cake with an intensely chocolaty custard and coats it with cake crumbs.
Best-Ever Birthday Cake
Celebrate your birthday any day with a big slice of this super-fun sprinkle cake. Sour cream adds a perfect tangy balance to the easy chocolate frosting—and gives this kid-at-heart cake a delicious grown-up twist. The key to a tender crumb is to cream the sugar and butter longer than you think—at least five minutes—to incorporate plenty of air into the batter. We love a mixture of sprinkles to top the cake for an extra-festive look.
Red Velvet Cake
This towering cake is made with deep red cake layers and lots of cream cheese frosting. Unsweetened cocoa powder and red food coloring give the cake its signature hue.
Devil's Food Snacking Cake
At NYC’s Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery, Umber Ahmad and Shelly Acuna Barbera make one of the most perfect chocolate cakes ever: It’s rich, moist and not too sweet, with a deeply chocolaty whipped ganache frosting.