Crowd-Pleasing Cake Recipes

When it comes to desserts, cakes get all the attention — and for good reason! Towering layer cakes, frosted sheet cakes, buttery Bundt cakes, candle-topped birthday cakes: what’s not to love about eating two sweet treats (cake and frosting) in one?!

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Fluffy Confetti Birthday Cake

Using a blend of butter and oil for this cake makes it light but moist. With its tall layers and fluffy frosting, this colorful dish is perfect for any birthday party.

Get the Recipe: Fluffy Confetti Birthday Cake

Devil's Food Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

What's black and white and delicious all over? This double-decker chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting.

Get the Recipe: Devil's Food Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

German Chocolate Cake

This chocolatey classic is all about the coconut filling. We cook up ours like a custard so it is extra rich and creamy. Made with cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate, the cake has a light texture and subtle chocolate flavor. Semisweet chocolate is also used in the simply delicious ganache frosting.

Get the Recipe: German Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Tahini Cake with Tahini Frosting

Tahini (ground sesame seeds) is the secret ingredient in Molly’s chocolate cake. It balances out the sweetness and adds a nice, nutty flavor.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Tahini Cake with Tahini Frosting

Strawberry Poke Cake

This beloved dessert consists of not-too-sweet buttermilk cake and very lightly sweetened whipped cream. The cake tastes best only slightly chilled, so let it warm up a bit after being refrigerated as you whip the cream for the topping.

Get the Recipe: Strawberry Poke Cake

Big Chocolate Birthday Cake

Ree's four-layer chocolate cake is sure to please the chocolate lovers at every party.

Get the Recipe: Big Chocolate Birthday Cake

Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Swiss Buttercream

Valerie’s berry-topped, vanilla layer cake is elegant enough to serve for special occasions like baby showers, engagement parties or summer soiree – but easy enough to make that anyone can do it!

Get the Recipe: Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Swiss Buttercream

Red Velvet Cake

Two big, fluffy cake layers make this an especially impressive version of an old favorite. Vegetable oil is traditionally used in red velvet cake, and we add just enough to keep the layers tender and super moist without an oily taste or feel.

Get the Recipe: Red Velvet Cake

Beatty's Chocolate Cake

The secret ingredient that makes Ina's layer cake super rich and chocolatey? A cup of hot brewed coffee.

Get the Recipe: Beatty's Chocolate Cake

Spiked Mudslide Cake

This old-fashioned cake is buttery, tender and not too sweet, with a slightly dense crumb. The elegant frosting, a meringue-based buttercream, is perfumed with coffee liqueur. Make sure your butter is at room temperature, and beat it with the sugar for the full five minutes so the cake will bake up light and fully rise. It tastes best when served the day it is made.

Get the Recipe: Spiked Mudslide Cake

Strawberry Pocky Stick Cake

No master decorating skills needed to create this stunning cake. Cute, crunchy sticks encircle the cake (creating a whimsical fence), while graduated shades of pink frosting inside make it extra festive. Confetti sprinkles seal the party deal.

Get the Recipe: Strawberry Pocky Stick Cake

Rainbow Ribbon Cake

Party guests will be awestruck by the bright bursts of color on this stunning cake, but you don't have to tell them it's easier than it looks. For the rainbow effect, Sandra uses colored icing and a variety of gelatin flavors to stain the frosting and cake, respectively. 

Get the Recipe: Rainbow Ribbon Cake

Orange Poppy Bundt Cake

A Bundt emerges from its namesake pan looking gorgeous every time, and a simple glaze is all you need to make it even more delicious. The orange zest in this sweet topper adds freshness and depth to the dessert.

Get the Recipe: Orange Poppy Bundt Cake

Celebration Carrot Cake

Pineapple adds a tropical twist to classic carrot cake.

Get the Recipe: Spring Celebration Carrot Cake

Marble Cheesecake

Round out your next wine and cheese party with this sophisticated dessert. For the marbled effect, fill your pie crust with the cheesecake batter before drizzling a chocolatey, cream-based mixture on top, then swirl with a knife for your desired pattern.

Get the Recipe: Marble Cheesecake

Chocolate Cake

This cake can be made in advance, tightly wrapped and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days. Frost the cake up to two hours before serving.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Cake

Raspberry Cheesecake

A buttery, inch-thick graham cracker crust lays the foundation for Ina's creamy, lemon-spiked and raspberry-topped cheesecake.

Get the Recipe: Raspberry Cheesecake

Snickerdoodle Cake

This nostalgic cake tastes just like the classic cookie, thanks to its light, fluffy texture and plenty of cinnamon.

Get the Recipe: Snickerdoodle Cake

Snowy Pink Coconut Bundt Cake

Feeling nostalgic for the pink Snowball snack cake? Try our giant version: a moist chocolate cake covered in sweet marshmallow topping and covered with bright pink coconut.

Get the Recipe: Snowy Pink Coconut Bundt Cake

Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake

The Italian bakery cookie's iconic almond flavor and colorful stripes are on display in this giant-sized twist on the dessert. Store-bought almond pastry filling takes the place of almond paste here, offering extra richness and a superbly moist texture.

Get the Recipe: Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake

Classic Vanilla Cake

Keep this go-to recipe in your back pocket for any celebration. The oil in the batter keeps the cake moist, and the simple American buttercream is sweet and fluffy.

Get the Recipe: Classic Vanilla Cake

Purely Pound Cake

This buttery pound cake would make an excellent addition to brunches or bake sales. For convenience, you can prepare the cake a day in advance; wrap in parchment paper before serving, as it helps the cake stay moist.

Get the Recipe: Purely Pound Cake

Billie's Italian Cream Cake with Blueberries

Ree separates fluffy layers of coconut cake with a coconut-pecan frosting and fresh blueberries. Pile the layers high for a stunning centerpiece on your table.

Get the Recipe: Billie's Italian Cream Cake with Blueberries

Gold Cake

Alton's birthday classic pairs fluffy gold cake with a sweet and airy whipped chocolate frosting –– a tried-and-true combination partygoers will love.

Get the Recipe: Gold Cake

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Mayonnaise — yes, mayonnaise — steps in for oil and butter as the tenderizer and flavor-enhancer in this retro frosted layer cake. And it does a wonderful job; no one will ever detect that it's your secret ingredient.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Chocolate-Vanilla Swirl Bundt Cake

Piping chocolate and vanilla cake batter into the swirls of a Bundt pan makes creating this beauty a breeze.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate-Vanilla Swirl Bundt Cake

Graham Cracker Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

If you've ever had a snack of graham crackers smeared with peanut butter, then this cake is perfect for you. We added graham flour and a touch of cinnamon to the vanilla cake layers for the quintessential graham-cracker flavor. It's then stacked high with creamy peanut butter frosting for a fun and nostalgic treat.

Get the Recipe: Graham Cracker Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Lemon Bundt Cake with Berry-Rhubarb Glaze

For a special occasion, dress a simple Bundt cake up with a sweet glaze.

Get the Recipe: Lemon Bundt Cake with Berry Rhubarb Glaze

Rainbow Layer Cake

This colorful layered-and-sprinkled cake has FUN written all over it! For a full effect, dye the layers to match the colors of the rainbow.

Get the Recipe: Rainbow Layer Cake

Tres Leches Cake with Dulce de Leche Frosting

This is everything you love in a traditional tres leches ("three milks") cake –– it's sweet, creamy and custardy –– but with an impressive new look and shape since it's baked in a tube pan. If you have leftover cake, be sure to refrigerate it on a rimmed plate, as some of the sweet milk mixture will run out of the cake and puddle on the plate. The next day, just spoon some of the liquid over the cake slices.

Get the Recipe: Tres Leches Cake with Dulce de Leche Frosting

Caramel Peach Upside-Down Cake

Peaches bake up on the bottom of the cake pan, caramelizing in their own juices.

Get the Recipe: Caramel Peach Upside-Down Cake

Election Cake

In pre-Revolutionary times, Election Day was almost as important as Thanksgiving is today, and it was celebrated with a rich Election Cake. You can celebrate our country's democratic process with this Bundt version, leavened with baker's yeast and filled with dried fruits, nuts, spices and a touch of brandy.

Get the Recipe: Election Cake

Lemon Cake

Ina's zesty loaf cake tastes even better the next day, so if you're having a party, it's a great recipe to make in advance.

Get the Recipe: Lemon Cake

Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

The fresh, natural flavors you get from making your own strawberry puree is worth the time. This cake and its frosting also gets its rosy hue from fresh strawberries rather than food coloring.

Get the Recipe: Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Marble Snacking Cake with Chocolate Frosting

This cake really is the ultimate crowd pleaser, as it has something for everyone. Ribbons of chocolate are swirled into a fluffy vanilla cake which is topped with a light and airy chocolate frosting. By adding semisweet chocolate to a portion of the batter, we eliminated the need to make separate batches. The cake is perfect for a midweek snacking cake or celebratory dessert that you need in a pinch.

Get the Recipe: Marble Snacking Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Classic Cheesecake

You can't go wrong with this classic cheesecake, velvety and rich and topped with a sour cream cap for a hint of tartness.

Get the Recipe: Classic Cheesecake

Pineapple Cake Roll

This cake looks and tastes like a tropical vacation. Fresh pineapple is filled with maraschino cream, then rolled in a coconut sponge and finished with pillowy coconut frosting and cherries on top.

Get the Recipe: Pineapple Cake Roll

Chocolate Cake with Divinity Icing

Trisha spreads sweet, marshmallow icing over decadent chocolate cake for an elegant, Southern-style dessert worthy of a spot on the buffet table.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Cake with Divinity Icing

Shortcake Royale

Make a special dessert in a flash by layering prepared pound cake with berries, orange liqueur and whipped cream.

Get the Recipe: Shortcake Royale

Chocolate Coconut Cake

Giada's beautiful coconut cake starts with a shortcut and ends with a flurry of delicious, toasted coconut.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Coconut Cake

Angel Food Cake

Lighten up traditional birthday fare with Melissa's angel food cake. Toasted coconut, sour cream and orange slices make for a fresh and elegant garnish –– you won't even miss the frosting.

Get the Recipe: Angel Food Cake

Pink Lemonade Cake

This pretty-in-pink lemonade cake is ideal for your next summer party, thanks to the sweet lemony flavor in both the tender cake and fluffy, meringue-style frosting. The ombre pink layers are easy to achieve and sure to impress. If you love tangy pink lemonade and a slice of moist cake, then this recipe is for you!

Get the Recipe: Pink Lemonade Cake

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream Cake

Turn store-bought ice cream and chocolate sauce into a cake fit for a celebration with an easy homemade graham cracker crust and a torched mini-marshmallow topping.

Get the Recipe: Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream Cake

Hazelnut Crunch Cake with Mascarpone and Chocolate

Giada dolls up a chocolate cake from a boxed mix with a rich hazelnut brittle and mascarpone filling.

Get the Recipe: Hazelnut Crunch Cake with Mascarpone and Chocolate

Berry Layer Magic Cake

This cake is truly magic. You make just one batter, but after baking you end up with three distinct layers of cake, fruit and custard.

Get the Recipe: Berry Layer Magic Cake

Icebox Cake with Orange-Caramel Cream

Homemade orange-caramel sauce is used two ways in this recipe: It's folded into the whipped cream filling and drizzled over the cake.

Get the Recipe: Icebox Cake With Orange-Caramel Cream

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Finish Ina's top-rated, lemon-infused blueberry cake with a buttery streusel topping.

Get the Recipe: Blueberry Crumb Cake

Carrot-Coconut Birthday Cake

Bored of cream cheese frosting? This cake calls for a coconutty twist with unsweetened coconut milk, cream and toasted coconut flakes.

Get the Recipe: Carrot-Coconut Birthday Cake

Naked Chocolate Cake

There's no need for frosting when you use a flavorful sugar substitute — like the natural sugars found in the fruits that adorn this "naked" cake. Add to that a homemade whipped cream (where you can control the sugar) and a no-fat chocolate sauce, and you have a decadent dessert with fewer calories that will satisfy all your sweet cravings.

Get the Recipe: Naked Chocolate Cake

Carrot Cake

For an easy-to-decorate carrot cake, wrap each layer of cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The tender cake will be so much easier to work with.

Get the Recipe: Carrot Cake

Lemon and Raspberry Cream Cake

This pretty-in-pink dessert uses natural coloring from raspberries for the frosting AND the cake.

Get the Recipe: Lemon and Raspberry Cream Cake

Tie-Dye Rainbow Reveal Cake

Birthdays are made for surprises, after all — and this cake's got two of them. You'll slice it open to reveal an impressive rainbow pattern and the guest of honor's age.

Get the Recipe: Tie-Dye Rainbow Reveal Cake

Passion Fruit Cheesecake

This creamy cheesecake is made with Greek yogurt and topped with tart passion fruit.

Get the Recipe: Passion Fruit Cheesecake

Cappuccino Magic Cake

One simple batter separates into three distinct layers in this amazingly easy cake. Be sure your eggs are at room temperature and that your beaters and bowl are super clean.

Get the Recipe: Cappuccino Magic Cake

Hazelnut-Mocha Dacquoise

The rich chocolate ganache complements the airy layers of whipped cream and meringue in this French-inspired cake.

Get the Recipe: Hazelnut-Mocha Dacquoise

Lemon-Lime Pound Cake

From the tender pound cake to the sweet glaze, Ree transforms a typical Bundt into a zesty, citrusy treat.

Get the Recipe: Lemon-Lime Pound Cake

Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

We were aiming for a moist and tender classic yellow birthday cake here, and that's what you'll get with this super-easy cake mix made with familiar pantry staples. Put together a batch or two to store away for those days when you're in a homemade-cake mood. Just add eggs, oil and vanilla and you'll be ready to go. 

Get the Recipe: Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

Do-It-All Cake Batter

Here's a go-to cake recipe you can keep in your back pocket: An all-purpose vanilla cake that'll please any crowd, and can also be effortlessly transformed. The flavor possibilities are endless. We've provided five great ideas: chocolate cake, lemon poppyseed cake, coffee cake, confetti cake and raspberry jam swirl cake. You simply add ingredients to the basic batter for a new flavor profile without major swaps or substitutions. We tried making the cake with whole milk, but after extensive testing, we found that buttermilk gave the cake better flavor and a lighter, more tender crumb. It doesn't get easier than this!

Get the Recipe: Do-It-All Cake Batter

Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix

If you have five minutes, you have time to make this cake mix. Then when you are craving a moist, cocoa-rich chocolate cake, you just have to mix it with eggs, vanilla and oil in a bowl, no machinery required. It's as easy as using a boxed mix, but it's homemade. 

Get the Recipe: Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Whether you serve it as a birthday dessert, at a holiday get-together or after Sunday dinner, Ree’s 5-star upside-down cake is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser. Food Network fans rave that the cake is “very easy and foolproof” and that they’ll “definitely bake it again”.

Get the Recipe: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Brown Butter Cake with Spiced Chocolate Ganache and Dulce de Leche

Kardea’s heavenly brown butter cake includes three layers of vanilla and dulce de leche — plus spiced chocolate ganache to top it off!

Get the Recipe: Brown Butter Cake with Spiced Chocolate Ganache and Dulce de Leche

Churro Loaf Cake

This Mexican churro-inspired cake has all the elements of a perfect churro—sugary crunch, hints of cinnamon, a light vanilla crumb and dark chocolate sauce. It's a great make-ahead dessert that you coat with cinnamon sugar and drizzle with chocolate sauce just before serving. A few bites and you'll feel like you've been transported to a churreria!

Get the Recipe: Churro Loaf Cake

Texas Sheet Cake

This cake is a chocolate lovers dream! A tender chocolate sheet cake is covered in a warm chocolatey, pecan frosting, making this an easy dessert that comes together in a flash. Slice into squares and serve at large family gatherings year-round.

Get the Recipe: Texas Sheet Cake

Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Snack Cake

Sweet rice flour, all-purpose flour and a healthy amount of sour cream combine to create a rich, plush cake with a moist and structured crumb. Baked in a versatile 8-inch square pan and generously studded with melty semisweet chocolate chips, this snackable cake is simple but surprisingly decadent, a reminder that at the end of the day, cake should taste good and be a joy to eat. Enjoy a homey, comforting slice with your fingers or a fork — there are no rules here. 

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Snack Cake

Vanilla Wacky Cake

The “wacky” in the title refers to breaking all the rules of baking. Born out of necessity during the Great Depression, this cake swaps out the expected milk, butter and eggs—which were expensive and hard to find at the time—for water, oil and vinegar. And, yet, through some smart kitchen science, the cake still comes out fluffy, light and not a bit dry. You can mix up the batter right in the baking pan (no bowl required!) with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. This is a vintage hack that feels like a new classic.

Get the Recipe: Vanilla Wacky Cake