35 Fall Cake Recipes That Are Packed with the Flavors of the Season

Apple-Pecan Carrot Cake
PHOTO: HECTOR SANCHEZ

Fall is one of our favorite seasons. Apart from the football, the leaves changing, and the opportunity to decorate pumpkins, we appreciate that the cooler weather allows us to do one of our favorite things: bake fall cakes. There’s something special about fall baking, which lets us use some of our favorite ingredients, whether it’s apples in a glorious stack cake or pumpkin in an almost-too-pretty-to-eat cheesecake. We’ve rounded up some of our all-time favorite fall cakes for you to bake this autumn, and all are party-perfect or great to keep on hand for after-school snacks and casual drop-ins. With fall cakes this good, there’s no excuse not to try out at least a few of these recipes to take the chill off the cool evenings.

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Apple Stack Cake

Apple Stack Cake
PHOTO: VICTOR PROTASI; PROP STYLING: CINDY BARR; FOOD STYLING: TORIE COX

Recipe: Apple Stack Cake

Dried apples, sorghum syrup, and dark brown sugar give this stack cake recipe from Ronni Lundy a hearty flavor even more satisfying than a stack of hotcakes. The cake will taste better after it has cured for a couple of days, giving the layers and filling a chance to meld together. Give it a dusting of powdered sugar to make it even more delightful.

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Pumpkin Dump Cake

Pumpkin Dump Cake
MICAH A. LEAL

Recipe: Pumpkin Dump Cake

If you’re looking for the easiest cake you can make this fall, we’ve found it. Add a few ingredients to enrich your favorite pumpkin pie mix and top with yellow cake mix and loads of butter. You’ll be sneaking a slice of this rich concoction with your morning coffee.

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Pecan Pie Cake with Browned Butter Frosting

Pecan Pie Cake
PHOTOGRAPHER: ANTONIS ACHILLEOS, PROP STYLIST: KAY CLARKE FOOD STYLIST: RISHON HANNERS

Recipe: Pecan Pie Cake with Browned Butter Frosting

This one is for the pecan pie lovers out there. Marry the flavors of pecan pie with a frosted layer cake for a decadent dessert that deserves a spot on your fall baking list. The creamy browned butter frosting is truly the icing on the cake.

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Apple Pie Cake

Apple Pie Cake
PHOTOGRAPHY: CAITLIN BENSEL, FOOD STYLING: RISHON HANNERS

Recipe: Apple Pie Cake

Enjoy the flavors of apple pie without the fuss of a crust. Using a white cake mix, this confection comes together with just 15 minutes of hands-on time. Serve with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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Pumpkin Layer Cake Recipe with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting
ALISON GOOTEE; STYLING: SUZONNE STIRLING

Recipe: Pumpkin Layer Cake Recipe with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting

This irresistible recipe comes from New Orleans-based cookbook author and food blogger Joy Wilson. Homemade caramel, cream cheese frosting, and pumpkin spice cake come together to create a gorgeous layer cake that embodies the flavor of fall in every bite. The caramel is swirled into the frosting and loosely swooped on with a spatula for rich color and texture.

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Butter Toffee-Pecan Layer Cake

Butter Toffee-Pecan Layer Cake
GREG DUPREE

Recipe: Butter Toffee-Pecan Layer Cake

Browning butter and toasting pecans adds warm flavors to this vanilla cake. Bourbon, rum, or cognac can be added to the frosting for even more depth. And every bite is full of delectable toffee bits—who can resist a slice of that?

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Apple Butter Pound Cake with Caramel Frosting

Apple Butter Pound Cake with Caramel Frosting
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; PROP STYLING: MARY CLAYTON CARL JONES; FOOD STYLING: EMILY NABORS HALL

Recipe: Apple Butter Pound Cake with Caramel Frosting

Make a big batch of homemade slow-cooker apple butter and use some as the perfect filling for this pound cake, or just pick up a jar from the local farmer’s market. Throw in a few toasted pecans for extra crunch and flavor. Then use a Bundt pan, drizzled caramel frosting, and apple chips for a truly elegant cake that will wow your family.

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Butter Pecan Layer Cake with Browned Butter Frosting

Butter Pecan Layer Cake with Browned Butter Frosting
VICTOR PROTASIO; PROP STYLING: MARY CLAYTON CARL; FOOD STYLING: EMILY NABORS HALL

Recipe: Butter Pecan Layer Cake with Browned Butter Frosting

Here’s another showstopping cake for pecan lovers. This impressive three-layer cake needs a permanent spot on your favorite cake stand. Pressing toasted pecans around the base of the cake will dress it up for any fall-themed party or holiday event.

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Southern Sweet Potato Cake

Southern Sweet Potato Cake
VICTOR PROTASIO; PROP STYLING: HEATHER CHADDUCK; FOOD STYLING: ERIN MERHAR

Recipe: Southern Sweet Potato Cake

Turn sweet potatoes into a decadent dessert with this recipe that’ll remind you of a cake Grandma would make. The flavor is similar to carrot cake, but much more extravagant. A rich mix of spices and brown sugar frosting make for a perfectly delightful fall treat.

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Praline Cake

Praline Cake
GREG DUPREE; FOOD STYLING: EMILY HALL; PROP STYLING: HEATHER CHADDUCK HILLEGAS

Recipe: Praline Cake

This recipe combines a light vanilla sponge cake with a topping of salty-sweet praline glaze. Even better, the praline glaze is easy to whip together and needs just five minutes of cooking in the oven. For those reasons and more, this fluffy, moist cake will have you saying “Yes, please.”

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Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Coffee Cake
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS

Recipe: Cinnamon Coffee Cake

This classic coffee cake comes together with a little stirring, pouring, and plenty of butter. Streusel is layered throughout for cinnamony crunch. Keep this cake around for guests or for accompanying a very satisfying, solo cup of coffee.

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Caramel Cake

Caramel Cake
JENNIFER DAVICK

Recipe: Caramel Cake

You’re just 15 minutes of prep time away from this old-fashioned caramel cake. On the other hand, the caramel frosting requires careful preparation in a Dutch oven, but you’ll find it worth the effort. Spread it on this simple layer cake and raise it from delicious to devourable.

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Caramel Apple Coffee Cake

Caramel Apple Coffee Cake
PHOTO: JENNIFER DAVICK

Recipe: Caramel Apple Coffee Cake

This warm cake with a gooey caramel center and a crunchy streusel topping can be enjoyed for breakfast, an afternoon treat, or after-dinner dessert. It also features Granny Smith apples, which are tart, crisp, and perfect for baking. The homemade caramel sauce takes just a few minutes to prepare and is drizzled on right before serving.

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Pumpkin Spice Magic Cake

Pumpkin Spice Cake
VICTOR PROTASIO; PROP STYLING: CLAIRE SPOLLEN; FOOD STYLING: TORIE COX

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Magic Cake

This dessert features an unusual combination of silky flan and pumpkin spice cake. For the best results, our Test Kitchen recommends using a light-colored Bundt pan. Then top with a drizzle of cajeta, a Mexican caramel sauce.

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Vintage Fresh Apple Cake

Fresh Apple Cake
PHOTO: BECKY LUIGART-STAYNER; STYLING: AMY BURKE

Recipe: Vintage Fresh Apple Cake

This recipe has continued to delight readers since it first appeared in the pages of Southern Living in 2001. The batter is loaded up with apples that lend an incredible moistness to this rustic sheet cake. To top it off, slather with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with pecans.

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Pumpkin Pie Cake

Pumpkin Pie Cake
MICAH A. LEAL

Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Cake

This genius recipe allows you to enjoy the best parts of a cake and pumpkin pie all in one dessert. Pumpkin pie is layered over a graham cracker crust, and then topped with yellow cake and nuts that melt right in to absorb the flavors. Just like pumpkin pie, you can serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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Auntie’s Apple Cake

Auntie’s Apple Cake
PHOTOGRAPHER: JENNIFER CAUSEY FOOD STYLIST: ANA KELLY PROP STYLIST: KAY CLARKE

Recipe: Auntie’s Apple Cake

This recipe feels like the classic cake your great aunt is bound to bring to a fall family reunion. Any fresh baking apple will do, but pink lady, Granny Smith, or honeycrisp are the best options. And of course, the praline frosting makes this cake just as sweet as that favorite aunt.

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Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Sweet Potato Pound Cake
JENNIFER DAVICK

Recipe: Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Try this sweet potato pound cake, a twist on traditional pound cake that features nutrient-rich sweet potatoes. The cake is quick to whip up and requires no icing or adornment. You can bake it in a simple tube pan or in two 8-inch bread pans.

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Caramel Apple Cake

Caramel Apple Cake
PHOTO: HECTOR SANCHEZ

Recipe: Caramel Apple Cake

If you’re looking to shine the spotlight on the apples you picked at the local orchard, this cake will make a show-stopping centerpiece that’s almost too pretty to eat. How you arrange those apples is up to you, but the caramel sauce is obligatory.

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Mexican Chocolate Pudding Cake

Mexican Chocolate Pudding Cake
BRIAN WOODCOCK

Recipe: Mexican Chocolate Pudding Cake

Cinnamon, red pepper, and chipotle give chocolate a spicy take for fall. Sliced almonds add a crunch to the fudgy cake. This one definitely requires a scoop of ice cream.

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Pumpkin-Spice Bundt with Brown Sugar Icing and Candied Pecans

Pumpkin-Spice Bundt with Brown Sugar Icing and Candied Pecans
PHOTO: JENNIFER CAUSEY

Recipe: Pumpkin-Spice Bundt with Brown Sugar Icing and Candied Pecans

This gorgeous cake incorporates canned pumpkin and spices for harvest flavor. Make sure to spoon the icing over the cake while it’s still warm for the best results. Top with homemade candied pecans for a Bundt cake that’s sure to impress your guests.

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The Ultimate Carrot Cake

Ultimate Carrot Cake
ALISON MIKSCH

Recipe: The Ultimate Carrot Cake

What makes this the ultimate cake? Perhaps it’s the addition of chopped apples and shredded coconut to the batter, or it could be the garnish of Candied Carrot Curls. The moist and tender carrot cake is also stacked three layers high and frosted with Brown-Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting.

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Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake

Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake
ALISON MIKSCH

Recipe: Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake

This cake means business. A duo of glazes—one creamy chocolate, the other subtle buttermilk—comes together atop this dreamy confection. And the recipe includes a touch of espresso to complement the chocolatey batter.

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Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
PHOTO: JENNIFER DAVICK

Recipe: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

This rustic dessert, baked in a cast-iron skillet, is a real crowd-pleaser. The flavors of the caramel and pineapple meld into a gooey topping you can’t get enough of. Use a spoon to drizzle any excess syrup over the slices when you serve.

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Chocolate-Mayonnaise Cake

Chocolate-Mayonnaise Cake

Recipe: Chocolate-Mayonnaise Cake

If you’ve never known the glory of a mayonnaise cake, you’re in for a treat. The staple ingredient yields an ultra-moist crumb and keeps the sugar from taking over your taste buds. Top with a light and creamy Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting.

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Cranberry-Apple-Pumpkin Bundt

Cranberry-Apple-Pumpkin Bundt
IAIN BAGWELL; STYLING: HEATHER CHADDUCK

Recipe: Cranberry-Apple-Pumpkin Bundt

This centerpiece-worthy cake blends together the flavors of all our favorite fall fruits. The fruit mixture is spooned into the center of the Bundt. The topping on this cake—a maple glaze with sugared pecans and pumpkin seeds—will make your guests ooh and ahh.

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Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake

Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake
JENNIFER DAVICK

Recipe: Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake

Test Kitchen Professional Pam Lolley combined the flavors of three holiday favorites—pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and cheesecake—to create this luscious holiday dessert. Or, if you prefer, substitute mashed sweet potatoes for the pumpkin. Cheesecake can be baked and refrigerated for up to two days before serving.

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The Jam Cake

The Jam Cake
HECTOR SANCHEZ

Recipe: The Jam Cake

This jam cake combines the reminder of summer’s bounty with the flavors of fall. The moist batter includes blackberry jam, cocoa, pumpkin pie spice, shredded apples, and toasted pecans. The caramel flavor in the cream cheese frosting is provided by cans of dulce de leche.

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Praline Layer Cake

Praline Layer Cake
GREG DUPREE

Recipe: Praline Layer Cake

This cake highlights one of the South’s most beloved sweets. The recipe is all about the pralines, from the touch of pecan liqueur in the batter to the toasted pecan filling between the layers to the candied pecans on top. The dark, nutty filling is balanced out with a light buttercream-and-brown-sugar frosting.

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Amanda Mack’s Apple-Almond Spice Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Amanda Mack’s Apple-Almond Spice Cake with Brown Butter Frosting
GABRIELA HERMAN

Recipe: Amanda Mack’s Apple-Almond Spice Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

This cake from Amanda Mack’s family bakery combines cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cardamom for a hearty dose of spice. Chunks of apple and sliced almonds add texture, while shredded apple provides plenty of moisture and apple flavor. Pile the cake high with apple chips and toasted almonds, or simply drizzle on the Brown Butter Frosting.

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Cranberry Upside-Down Cake Recipe

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake
OXMOOR HOUSE

Recipe: Cranberry Upside-Down Cake Recipe

This easy upside-down cake recipe is perfect for holiday events or a fall-themed dinner party. First, the cranberry topping is poured into a slow cooker. Then a simple batter using a poundcake mix is poured over top. Leave it to cook for two hours, invert the cake onto a platter, and serve with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream.

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Ocracoke Fig Jam Cake with Buttermilk Glaze

Ocracoke Fig Jam Cake with Buttermilk Glaze
ALISON MIKSCH; FOOD STYLING: ERIN MERHAR; PROP STYLING: PRISSY LEE

Recipe: Ocracoke Fig Jam Cake with Buttermilk Glaze

Here’s something delicious you can do with those extra figs you harvested this fall (not to worry, a nice jar of fig jam from the store will work just as well). The cake batter also incorporates warm spices and savory walnuts. The pleasant tang of a simple buttermilk glaze is the perfect finishing touch for this fig jam confection.

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Pecan Spice Cake with Caramel-Rum Glaze Recipe

Pecan Spice Cake with Caramel-Rum Glaze
JENNIFER DAVICK; STYLING: HEATHER CHADDUCK HILLEGAS

Recipe: Pecan Spice Cake with Caramel-Rum Glaze

No one needs to know how easy it was to make this Bundt cake loaded with pecans and spices. A splash of rum makes the cake seem even more festive, but you can also skip it and use more cream. Set out on your prettiest cake stand for the guests to admire.

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Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Pumpkin Crunch Cake
MICAH A. LEAL

Recipe: Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Every layer of this rustic-looking cake incorporates some form of pumpkin. This dessert is as moist as a velvety piece of pumpkin bread, with tangy cream cheese frosting and salty pumpkin seed crumble to complement the straightforward sweetness of the cake. The crumble is roasted separately and sprinkled over top.

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Apple-Pecan Carrot Cake

Mascarpone Frosting
HECTOR SANCHEZ

Recipe: Apple-Pecan Carrot Cake

There’s no such thing as “too much” when it comes to this hearty Apple-Pecan Carrot Cake. Top a decadent crown of Mascarpone Frosting with swirls of Apple Cider Caramel Sauce and a scattering of pecans. Serve immediately for some satisfied lip smacking.