Pumpkin Layer Cake with Mascarpone Frosting
This classic pumpkin cake from Food & Wine's Justin Chapple is perfectly moist and delicately spiced. The simple vanilla buttercream frosting gets a lovely tang from the mascarpone that's blended in.
Caramel Layer Cake
This impressive cake is encased in a fudge-like caramel frosting. Pastry chef Lisa Donovan adapted it from a recipe by Southern-cooking doyenne Edna Lewis.
Chocolate Truffle Layer Cake
The cake can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for up to 2 weeks.
Six-Layer Coconut Cake with Passion Fruit Filling
This towering dessert is made up of layers of super-moist, almost puddinglike coconut cake spread with tangy passion fruit curd, then topped with whipped cream and crispy flakes of toasted coconut.
Double-Chocolate Layer Cake
“Disappointing cakes have often been sitting out too long,” says Tom Douglas. “They should last just long enough to have the last pieces the next morning with coffee—who doesn’t love cake with coffee?”
Hazelnut-and-Chocolate Meringue Cake
This extraordinary dessert, made with crisp chocolate-hazelnut meringue and whipped cream, is simple to make. But pastry chef Daniel Jasso has nicknamed it “the beast,” because slicing it can be tricky—the meringue tends to crumble. The solution: Freeze the cake, cut it with a serrated knife and let it return to room temperature before serving.
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.
Pumpkin Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting
In this fun variation on traditional pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake spiced with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves gets frosted with a slightly tangy, super-caramelly frosting. It's delicious served cold or at room temperature.
Chocolate Blackout Cake
Pastry star Gale Gand layers her phenomenal, high-rising cake with an intensely chocolaty custard and coats it with cake crumbs.
Dulce de Leche Layer Cake
The version of Dominican cake that Scott Conant’s friends introduced him to was a white cake layered with dulce de leche filling and frosted with a very sweet meringue. In his adaptation, Conant (along with his pastry chef Gerry Minos) lightens up on the sugar in the meringue and adds a nutty liqueur to the filling and frosting, giving it an Italian flavor. The cake is a knockout, with or without the liqueur, and stellar with either homemade or store-bought dulce de leche.
Revelatory Caramel Cake
This amazing cake comes from chef Ann Cashion.
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.
Brown-Butter Layer Cake
Seattle chef Tom Douglas uses brown butter for an indulgent nutty flavor in this fun twist on a classic white cake.
Sacher torte is a classic Austrian chocolate cake layered with apricot preserves. Lidia Bastianich’s version uses the cake layers, as a thick filling between the layers and as a glaze to seal the cake before covering it in chocolate. The cake is moist and luscious on its own, but it’s also delicious served the traditional way, with unsweetened whipped cream.
Marble Cake with Chocolate Frosting
This layer cake recipe combines moist, spongy cake and frosting that's a perfect balance between sweet and buttery.
Rum-Mocha Walnut Layer Cake
Towering Coconut Layer Cake
Because Tyler Florence wanted Wayfare Tavern to feel like a century-old San Francisco institution, he researched menus dating all the way back to the Gold Rush. This cake couldn’t be more traditional: four layers of rum-brushed yellow cake filled and frosted with a light and airy, coconut-scented meringue-buttercream.
Coconut cake, a dainty dessert, was in vogue in the 1920s for ladies' gatherings. Traditionally made with marshmallow frosting, the cake was famously served to President Truman during a trip to Florida in the 1950s.
Classic Carrot Cake with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting
Carrot cake, that 1970s favorite, has a new audience at luxe restaurants like Manhattan’s Le Bernardin. Pastry chef Jodi Elliot prepares the ultimate version: moist and not too sweet.
Chocolate-Buttermilk Layer Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
This simple recipe makes two moist chocolate cakes. Stash the second one in the freezer for another day when you need a quick homemade dessert.
Double-Chocolate Layer Cake
“This is the most fabulous chocolate cake that I’ve ever made,” says Ina Garten, host of Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa. “It’s so easy and so moist and light. There’s buttermilk and a cup of coffee in the batter! The frosting is just buttercream and a little coffee.”
Mom's Chocolate Cake
This is a real old-fashioned American chocolate layer cake. It’s very moist, very chocolatey, a snap to make and best baked the day before serving. Marcia Kiesel acquired the recipe from her friend Joyce Cole, who got it from her mother.
Japanese Fruit Cake
This recipe, adapted from Dolphin Dishes: The Submarine Cook Book, published in 1952 by the New London Navy Relief Society of New London, Connecticut, has a somewhat puzzling title. Perhaps this cake was considered Japanese because it contained coconut, an exotic ingredient at the time.
Milk Chocolate Frosted Layer Cake
This cake from pastry chef Karina Gowing is perfection for anyone who loves frosting. The ultracreamy icing, which is almost like a milk-chocolate ganache, gets spread liberally over layers of light, delicate, cocoa-flavored cake.
Moody Tongue’s Chocolate Cake
This recipe is all about planning, as it’s worth every single second spent making it. It’s an epic assemblage of rich chocolate cake, tangy espresso cheesecake, nutty German chocolate filling and buttercream, all enrobed in dark chocolate ganache. No single part of it is difficult to make, and once this colossal beauty is ready to serve, it’s off-the-charts delicious and perfect for 25 people or more.