70 Luscious Layer Cakes Perfect For Any Occasion

Lemon Raspberry Cake
PHOTO: CAITLIN BENSEL; FOOD STYLING: MELISSA GRAY; PROP STYLING: MISSIE NEVILLE CRAWFORD

The only thing we could possibly love more than cake? Layer cake. Think about it: layers of cake, striped with filling or frosting, and that satisfying moment when you cut into something impressive like our Strawberry Dream Cake. While we love our pound cakes and our coffee cakes, there’s just something about a layer cake that’s supremely charming.

Of course, these layer cakes would be well-suited for any celebration, from birthdays to the holidays. But sometimes, you don’t need a layer cake for the occasion—a layer cake is the occasion. We tend to err on the side of more cake, rather than less. From luscious lemon layers to jam cakes to chocolate and caramel cake recipes so rich you’ll need a nap after, we’ve collected some of our best and most impressive layer cake recipes here.

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Strawberry-Lemonade Cake

Strawberry-Lemonade Cake
JEN CAUSEY

Layers of moist lemon cake, strawberry lemonade jam, and strawberry cream cheese frosting make this four-layer cake a must for strawberry lovers. You can make the tangy homemade jam up to a week ahead of time, then pull it out of the fridge when it’s time to assemble. Use fresh berries to whip up an extra dreamy frosting.

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Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
ALISON MIKSCH; PROP STYLING: MARY CLAYTON CARL; FOOD STYLING: MARY-CLAIRE BRITTON

Our Southern secret to a moist chocolate cake? Duke’s Mayonnaise. This rich layer cake also includes strong brewed coffee to intensify the chocolate flavor.

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Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
ALISON MIKSCH; PROP STYLING: MARY CLAYTON CARL; FOOD STYLING: MARY-CLAIRE BRITTON

Our Southern secret to a moist chocolate cake? Duke’s Mayonnaise. This rich layer cake also includes strong brewed coffee to intensify the chocolate flavor.

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Mama’s German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake
SOUTHERN LIVING

Layers of fluffy, moist German chocolate cake and creamy Coconut-Pecan Frosting make this towering, triple-decker dessert an instant favorite. German chocolate cake is traditionally made with Baker’s German Chocolate, but any sweet baking chocolate will work.

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The Coconut Chiffon Cake

The Coconut Chiffon Cake
HECTOR SANCHEZ

White as a Sunday glove, coconut is the doyenne of Southern layer cakes, a masterpiece of home cookery that has crowned dining room sideboards for more than a hundred years. This towering four-layer beauty has a Coconut-Mascarpone Filling and White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.

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Sea Salt-Caramel Cake

Gingerbread Latte Cake with Vanilla Whipped Cream Frosting
GREG DUPREE; PROP STYLING: KAY E. CLARKE; FOOD STYLING: EMILY NABORS HALL

This buttermilk cake is delicious, but it’s the frosting that makes it divine. The rich caramel frosting topped with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt makes for a fancy finish. And we promise it’s not difficult to whip up—no candy thermometer required.

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Pumpkin Layer Cake With Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting

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

This wonderful fall cake comes to us courtesy of cookbook author Joy Wilson. A must-try for pumpkin pie fans, the cake layers can be made up to three days before your event. Use an offset spatula to swirl the homemade caramel into the frosting.

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Triple-Layer Chocolate-Caramel Cake

Triple-Layer Chocolate-Caramel Cake
GREG DUPREE

This creamy chocolate and caramel ganache is even better with a splash of bourbon, but it can be left out without affecting the recipe. Make the ganache a day ahead and let it cool to room temperature for the best spreading consistency. According to one reviewer, “This recipe is the bomb of all chocolate cakes…truly amazing flavor and so moist.” 

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Homemade White Cake

Best White Cake
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; PROP STYLING: CHRISTINA LANE; FOOD STYLING: TORIE COX

Whether you’re a white cake pro or layering for this first time, this is the perfect cake to serve friends and family. Gingerbread cookies and rosemary sprigs make a charming winter-time topping, but this basic white cake with Vanilla Buttercream can be made any time of year.

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Butter Toffee-Pecan Layer Cake

Butter Toffee-Pecan Layer Cake
GREG DUPREE

Toffee bits and chopped pecans stud this two-layer cake. Browned butter and an option splash of bourbon or dark rum lend a special touch to the creamy toffee frosting. Decorate with toasted pecans and flaky sea salt.

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The Lane Cake

The Lane Cake
HECTOR SANCHEZ

In March 1966, Southern Living featured a recipe for the famous Lane Cake in its second issue. Our latest twist? Dried peaches (finely diced and ridiculously delicious) stand in for raisins, and the traditional meringue frosting gets a spirited makeover with a triple shot of peach schnapps.

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Eggnog Spice Cake With Bourbon Custard Filling And Eggnog Buttercream

eggnog spice cake
MONICA FARBER/SOUTHERN LIVING

Slightly boozy and decorated with a festive, zigzag frosting, guests are sure to enjoy this layered take on Christmas eggnog. Use a microplane grater to create a fine dusting of nutmeg on top. 

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The Lemon Cheese Layer Cake

The Lemon Cheese Layer Cake
HECTOR MANUEL SANCHEZ

This cake recipe doesn’t actually include cheese, but it will certainly satisfy your sweet tooth. Four citrusy layers are filled with a buttery lemon curd instead. Inserting skewers into the cake and chilling before you frost will prevent the layers from sliding.

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Peppermint Cake With Seven-Minute Frosting

Peppermint Cake with Seven-Minute Frosting
HECTOR MANUEL SANCHEZ

Peppermint-vanilla cake and fluffy pink buttercream make a merry combination in this layer cake full of Christmas spirit, but of course there are those out there who love peppermint all year long. Finish with whimsical dollops of Seven-Minute Frosting, which also get a dose of peppermint extract.

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The Jam Cake

The Jam Cake
HECTOR SANCHEZ

The origins of jam cake lie deep in Appalachia where store-bought sugar was once scarce. Cakes were often sweetened with homemade jams, filled with wild berries and mountain fruits. The payoff for the genius swap? Rich, dense cake layers with a depth of flavor sugar alone can’t deliver. This version includes pumpkin spice and Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting.

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Old-Fashioned Caramel Cake

Caramel Cake
JENNIFER DAVICK

Why mess with a classic? This old-fashioned cake will seal your reputation as a baker. The layers have the texture of a pound cake and aren’t too sweet or overpowering.

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Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake
VICTOR PROTASIO; PROP STYLING: KAY E. CLARKE; FOOD STYLING: TORIE COX

This is the ultimate recipe for Hummingbird Cake. It’s the most requested recipe in Southern Living magazine history and frequents covered dish dinners all across the South, always receiving rave reviews. Do not drain the crushed pineapple, as the juices will make the cake incredibly moist.

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Strawberry Dream Cake

Strawberry Dream Cake
PHOTO: GREG DUPREE

You’ll fall in love with this too-good-to-be-true strawberry cake. Fluffy whipped frosting made with mascarpone cheese, sugar, whipping cream, and vanilla and almond extracts is the perfect finishing touch. You’ll relish slicing into the cake to expose upright strawberries between the layers. When it comes down to the details, this sweet confection takes the cake.

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Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse Cake

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse Cake
PHOTO: J. SAVAGE GIBSON

Starting with a boxed cake mix makes this cake both easy and delicious. The recipe puts the focus on the rich peanut butter mousse, which is sandwiched between the layers and can also be used to make cake parfaits. Garnish with chopped roasted peanuts and serve with a scoop of ice cream.

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Lemon-And-Chocolate Doberge Cake

Lemon-and-Chocolate Doberge Cake
PHOTO: VICTOR PROTASIO; PROP STYLING: CINDY BARR; FOOD STYLING: TORIE COX

Black and white and lemon all over, this striped cake is a thing of beauty. We call this cake a labor of love, and it pays. You’ll get your reward when your guests ooh and aah over the results.

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Chocolate Strawberry Cake

Chocolate Strawberry Cake
CAITLIN BENSEL; FOOD STYLING: MELISSA GRAY; PROP STYLING: MISSIE NEVILLE CRAWFORD

Skip the store-bought chocolate-covered strawberries in favor of something a little more decadent, like this Chocolate Strawberry Cake. We offer plenty of tips for creating the light, fluffy layers and pretty pink frosting. Add the berries on top just before serving.

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Blueberry-Lemon Cake

Blueberry-Lemon Cake
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; FOOD STYLING: EMILY NABORS HALL; PROP STYLING: AUDREY DAVIS

Blueberry and lemon are a match made in heaven in this three-layer cake. The sweet berries match well with tangy lemon zest and buttermilk in the layers. The fluffy frosting has more intense lemon notes.

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Lemon-Cheese Layer Cake

Lemon-Cheese Layer Cake
VICTOR PROTASIO; FOOD STYLING: RUTH BLACKBURN; PROP STYLING: GINNY BRANCH

This mile-high cake packs eight layers into one towering package. We’re guessing you don’t have eight cake pans, so we recommend baking the layers in two batches. Chill your assembled cake to set it before frosting the outside with Lemon Buttercream.

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Bourbon-Chocolate Cake With Browned Buttercream Frosting

Bourbon-Chocolate Cake with Browned Buttercream
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; FOOD STYLING: EMILY NABORS HALL; PROP STYLING: LYDIA PURSELL

This cake combines two of our favorite things in the whole wide world: bourbon and chocolate. A substantial dose of bourbon in both the cake layers and the icing imparts an oakiness to this towering cake, while the browned butter enhances the bourbon flavor.

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Mint Chocolate Chip Cake

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake
SOUTHERN LIVING

If you love everything mint chocolate, you’ll adore this cake. Fresh mint leaves instead of mint extract make it just as appropriate in summer as in winter. To extract their minty flavor, bruise the leaves, then steep the mint sprigs in hot water (for the cake layers) and cook them in butter (for the frosting).

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Chocolate Peppermint Cake

Chocolate Peppermint Cake
VICTOR PROTASIO, FOOD STYLIST: EMILY NABORS HALL, PROP STYLIST: KATHLEEN VARNER

Recipe: Chocolate Peppermint Cake

If you like Peppermint Patties, you’ll love our Chocolate Peppermint Cake. The chocolate cake layers, made with coffee, bittersweet chocolate, cocoa, and mayonnaise, are like a cross between a devil’s food cake and a chocolate mayonnaise cake. The shiny, marshmallowy Italian meringue should be made just before frosting.

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Red Velvet Layer Cake

Red Velvet Layer Cake
JENNIFER DAVICK

If red velvet is your thing, look no further than our classic Red Velvet Layer Cake recipe. Sour cream adds tanginess to the chocolate layers. Slather with our go-to recipe for Cream Cheese Icing.

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Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake With Caramel Buttercream

Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake with Caramel Buttercream
VICTOR PROTASIO; PROP STYLING: CLAIRE SPOLLEN; FOOD STYLING: TORIE COX

Stack those layers tall and don’t bother frosting the sides: you’ll want to show off all the goodness that awaits inside these layers. A short freeze allows the ganache to set over the cake layers so that the buttercream can be spread on top of it—make sure you make space for your cake in the freezer.

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German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake with Coconut-Pecan Frosting
VICTOR PROTASIO; FOOD STYLING: RISHON HANNERS; PROP STYLING: AUDREY DAVIS

Sometimes, you just want to stick to the classics, and we’ll admit, we do the classics quite well. Strong-brewed hot coffee in the batter helps to keep the cake moist and heighten its chocolatey flavor; the addition of buttermilk makes the cake truly Southern. The frosting is so thick that you won’t be able to spread it on the regular way—instead, press it gently onto the outside of the cake using a spatula.

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Buttermilk-Chocolate Cake

Buttermilk-Chocolate Cake
VICTOR PROTASIO; PROP STYLING: HEATHER CHADDUCK HILLEGAS: FOOD STYLING: TORIE COX

Buttermilk brings extra tenderness and moisture to this chocolate layer cake. The velvety smooth Swiss Meringue Buttercream has notes of almond and vanilla. We provide instructions on making magnolia or camellia cake toppers for a pretty finish.

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The Ultimate Carrot Cake

Ultimate Carrot Cake
ALISON MIKSCH

Complete with candied carrot curls, this carrot cake truly is the ultimate. The moist layers include grated carrots, pieces of Granny Smith apple, and sweetened coconut, Frost with our indulgent Brown Sugar-Cream Cheese Frosting.

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Blackberry Jam Cake

Blackberry Jam Cake
VICTOR PROTASIO; PROP STYLING: CINDY BARR; FOOD STYLING: TORIE COX

Blackberry jam brings just enough fruity tartness to sweet and spicy layers covered with slightly savory frosting. Garnish with chopped pecans or black walnuts according to your preference.

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Praline Layer Cake

Praline Layer Cake
GREG DUPREE

Praline is one of the South’s most beloved sweets, and in this show-stopping layer cake, it does not disappoint. Candied pecans add a toasty crunch to the top of the cake, while the soft layers are held together with a dark, nutty filling and a silky buttercream frosting. Pecans are great all year long, but there is something about the fall season that makes you want to bake and bake a lot.

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Chocolate-Praline Cake

Chocolate-Praline Cake
SOUTHERN LIVING

Speaking of pralines, you’ll love this candy-like frosting. This chocolate cake is off-the-charts rich, with chocolate ganache between layers and on the sides and praline on top. You can garnish with pecan halves, but this indulgent confection doesn’t necessarily need it.

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Gingerbread Cake With Stout Buttercream

Gingerbread Cake With Stout Buttercream
WILLIAM DICKEY

The bold flavor of a stout complements the spices in this German-inspired gingerbread cake. We use a gingerbread cake mix for this easy cake recipe, but no one has to know. Spread the simple buttercream icing over the cake and garnish with toasted pecans.

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Lightened Hummingbird Cake

Lightened Hummingbird Cake
SOUTHERN LIVING

We lowered the fat and calories in hummingbird cake by substituting applesauce for some of the oil and using less butter and sugar and fewer eggs. Prepare your favorite cream cheese frosting using light instead of regular cream cheese.

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Blackberry-Raspberry Truffle Cake

Blackberry-Raspberry Truffle Cake

Lavish amounts of semisweet chocolate and sour cream give rise to these luscious cake layers. No one will ever guess the recipe begins with a mix. A simple coating of coarsely chopped pecans and a handful of colorful berries will send this towering treat to the table in high style.

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Four-Layer Coconut Cake

Four-Layer Coconut Cake
SOUTHERN LIVING

Layer upon layer of tropical coconut and soft whipped cream topping make this a year-round favorite indulgence.Toast coconut shavings in the oven for an impressive finishing touch.

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Coconut-Almond Cream Cake

Coconut-Almond Cream Layer Cake
BETH DREILING HONTZAS / STYLING ROSE NGUYEN / FOOD STYLING MARIAN COOPER CAIRNS

This decadent recipe from Brooks Hamaker of New Orleans is deliciously rich as well as moist. If the tops of the layers are a little rounded, he recommends leveling them with a serrated knife. For a colorful presentation, garnish with kumquats, currants, and fresh mint sprigs.

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Chocolate Italian Cake

Chocolate Italian Cake

Finely chopped pecans and a hint of cinnamon in the Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting give this chocolate spin-off of the classic Italian Cream Cake something extra. Garnish with pecan halves for a pretty presentation, or keep it simple if you’re just ready to dig in.

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Bourbon-Chocolate Cake With Praline Frosting

Bourbon-Chocolate Cake With Praline Frosting

Chocolate Ganache smoothed between layers of rich chocolate cake topped with Praline Frosting and a warm Bourbon Glaze make this recipe fit for special occasions. Pierce holes in the cake so that the Bourbon Glaze can soak in. Serve alongside a warm cup of coffee or tea.

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Best Carrot Cake

Best Carrot Cake
TINA CORNETT

Make this classic favorite for a crowd and you might not have any leftovers to bring home. Adding a can of crushed pineapple and the luscious Buttermilk Glaze applied before icing make this truly the Best Carrot Cake. Use a box grater to shred your carrots so they’ll be perfectly tender.

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Brown Sugar Layer Cake With Peach Buttercream

Brown Sugar Layer Cake with Peach Buttercream
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; PROP STYLING: GINNY BRANCH; FOOD STYLING: TORIE COX

Looking for an alternative to peach cobbler? This warm brown sugar-peach cake celebrates everything we love about the Southern summertime. The frosting is made with peach puree and brown butter.

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One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; PROP STYLIST: CALEB CLARKE; FOOD STYLIST: EMILY NABORS HALL

The name says it all. Yes, you can enjoy a homemade chocolate cake without having to put the dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls. You can even use a hand mixer.

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Pig Pickin’ Cake

Pig Pickin' Cake on a blue plate
JENNIFER CAUSEY; FOOD STYLIST: RISHON HANNERS; PROP STYLIST: SHELL ROYSTER

We present to you the perfect finale to a barbecue. Layers of yellow cake are stacked with a fruity frosting of whipped topping, pineapple, vanilla instant pudding, plus pecans to form a cake that’s as unique as its name. While nobody is quite sure how the name started, the Pig Pickin’ Cake pays homage to our Southern traditions.

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Little Layer Chocolate Cake

Ivy Odom 18-Layer Chocolate Cake Still

Test Kitchen pro Ivy Odom asked for this cake for her birthday every year in South Georgia. Her family would add a layer for each year of her life. This recipe includes 18 layers, with each ultra-thin layer is made with just 4 oz. of batter.

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Gingerbread Layer Cake

Gingerbread Layer Cake
CAITLIN BENSEL; FOOD STYLING: TORIE COX

This recipe stays in keeping with traditional gingerbread ingredients and flavors, but we give it the layer cake treatment to make it feel a little more special. Then we add our special Southern spin: a rich, luscious Southern caramel frosting. This sweet and spicy cake is a holiday dessert that’s truly memorable.

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Banana Layer Cake With Caramel Icing

Southern Living Banana Layer Cake With Caramel Icing on a platter to serve with a piece cut
GREG DUPREE, FOOD STYLIST: RUTH BLACKBURN, PROP STYLIST: CHRISTINE KEELY 

This everyday cake is a fun alternative to banana bread, made richer with Caramel Icing. The icing firms up enough that you can even wrap it up for lunches. At the same time, it’s just the cake for pool parties and barbecues.

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Cranberry-Orange Cake With Orange Buttercream

Cranberry-Orange Cake with Orange Buttercream
PHOTOGRAPHER: GREG DUPREE, FOOD STYLIST: EMILY NEIGHBORS HALL PROP STYLIST: CHRISTINE KEELY

Suitable for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, or any time in between, this sweet yet zingy cake is downright delicious. Fresh or frozen cranberries are stirred right into the batter, along with fresh-squeezed orange juice and cinnamon. Garnish with orange slices and sugared cranberries.

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Bananas Foster Cake With Rum Buttercream

Bananas Foster Cake
PHOTOGRAPHY: CAITLIN BENSEL, FOOD STYLING: MARGARET MONROE DICKEY, PROP STYLING: HEATHER CHADDUCK HILEGAS

Very ripe bananas and a rum frosting give this cake a classic bananas-foster flavor. If you want to get really fancy, you can sprinkle the banana slices with a bit of sugar and brulee them with your kitchen torch. Serve with a nice cup of hot coffee.

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Hallmark’s Honey Almond Cake With Berries And Mascarpone Creme Fraiche

Hallmark Honey Almond Cake with Berries and Mascarpone
CROWNE MEDIA

If you’re a sucker for a sweet romance, you’ll want to try this cake. Developed by Hallmark, the recipe is based on a cake the characters Andrew and Kelly invent in the film “The Secret Ingredient.” Savor a slice on Valentine’s Day while watching your favorite Hallmark movies, or serve it for your next anniversary.

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Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin Cake
PHOTOGRAPHER: JENNIFER CAUSEY FOOD STYLIST: ANA KELLY PROP STYLIST: KAY CLARKE

This humble, homey pumpkin cake hits the spot during cooler fall weather. You can use canned mashed pumpkin for an easy way to speed up the recipe. The cake is delicious eaten plain, or you can whip up a quick Spiced Whipped Cream to spread over and between the layers.

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Brownstone Front Cake

Brown Stone Front Cake
ALISON MIKSCH; FOOD STYLING: ERIN MERHAR; PROP STYLING: PRISSY LEE

This cake isn’t iced on the sides, as it’s meant to have the look of stacked brownstones and mortar. The buttermilk-chocolate layer cake includes two options for frosting. Make the easy, three-ingredient Chocolate Fluffy Filling, or go for the creamy cooked frosting.

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Marbled Pumpkin Praline Cake

Marbled Pumpkin Praline Cake
IAIN BAGWELL

Don’t let the wintery white frosting fool you: There’s a very decadent cake inside. Cream cheese is swirled into the pumpkin cake, separated by layers of Pecan-Praline Filling. The whipped cream topping gets a touch of cinnamon for extra spice. Decorate according to the occasion.

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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

If you have a hard time choosing between a slice of cake or pecan pie, this dessert has your name on it.  Tender cake layers are filled and topped with a rich pecan pie filling, then enveloped with a creamy Browned Butter Frosting. Pipe frosting around the top for a pretty presentation.

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Apple Stack Cake

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

This stack cake has an apple filling that marries with the layers when allowed to cure for two or three days. Wrap it in cheesecloth and store the cake at room temperature in a dark spot. A simple sprinkling of powdered sugar is all the topping this fall favorite needs.

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Apple-Pecan Carrot Cake

Apple-Pecan Carrot Cake
HECTOR SANCHEZ

Here is fall’s answer to a carrot cake. This two-layer cake is topped with a crown of Mascarpone Frosting and swirls of Apple Cider Caramel Sauce. Caramel sauce, rather than frosting, sandwiches together the moist cake layers.

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Pink Champagne Cake

pink champagne cake
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; FOOD STYLING: ALI RAMEE; PROP STYLING: CHRISTINE KELLY

We picture this pink-frosted cake at a New Year’s party, Valentine’s Day, your best friend’s birthday—the options are endless. The batter is easily made with a cake mix, while freeze-dried strawberries give the icing a delicate hue and flavor. Raise a glass to this cake at your next occasion.

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Devil’s Food Cake With Salted Peanut Butter Frosting And Ganache

Chocolate peanut butter cake sits on a plate with two slices cut out of it.
PHOTOGRAPHER: ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; FOOD STYLING: EMILY NABORS HALL; PROP STYLING: MARY CLAYTON CARL

Boxed cake mix really can be great with a few extra touches, and we have the recipe to prove it. Our Test Kitchen called this salty-sweet peanut butter frosting “out of this world,” but the drips of chocolate ganache take it into orbit. If you’re in a pinch, you can substitute jarred hot fudge, but the homemade version is worth your time.

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Strawberry Birthday Cake

Strawberry Birthday Cake
SOUTHERN LIVING

Not just for birthdays, this cake would be just at home at a spring potluck or summer barbecue. The recipe is both simple and special, with ingredients like real vanilla bean, fresh strawberries, and a tablespoon of rum. Chilling the cake helps it hold together.

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Chocolate Marble Cake

Chocolate Marble Cake
GREG DUPREE; FOOD STYLING: RISHON HANNERS; PROP STYLING: CHRISTINE KEELY

We’ve taken an old favorite and made it even better. Perhaps it’s the rich and sweet cream cheese frosting, balanced by a large helping of cocoa. To make two flavors of batter, simply separate some of the mixture and stir in melted semisweet chocolate.

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White Cake With Berry-Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

White Cake with Berry-Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; FOOD STYLING: EMILY NABORS HALL; PROP STYLING: MARY CLAYTON CARL JONES

Here’s another opportunity to fancy up a box of cake mix. We provide detailed instructions for those who want to attempt the rose design. If you’d rather keep it simple, you can still enjoy the wonderful raspberry frosting.

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Yellow Cake With Malted Chocolate Buttercream

Yellow Cake with Malted Chocolate Buttercream
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; FOOD STYLING: EMILY NABORS HALL; PROP STYLING: MARY CLAYTON CARL JONES

This is made with a standard yellow cake mix, but the buttercream is something special. Malted milk powder adds the flavor of the old soda shop to chocolate frosting, resulting in a concoction that tastes like a warm mug of hot chocolate. The recipe does make enough to frost the sides of the cake if you prefer.

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Cookies And Cream Cake

cookies and cream cake
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; FOOD STYLING: ALI RAMEE; PROP STYLING: CHRISTINE KELLY

Chocolate cake and a cookie frosting go together like Oreos and a glass of milk. That’s why we paired a buttermilk chocolate cake and a delicate Italian meringue buttercream, both flecked with cookie crumbs. It’s totally fine with us if you want to add a scoop of cookies and cream ice cream.

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Lemon-Coconut Cake

Southern Living Lemon Coconut Cake
GREG DUPREE; FOOD STYLIST: RUTH BLACKBURN

This sunny cake is sure to bring a smile to your face. Our Lemon-Coconut Cake has a luscious lemon filling and a sweet cream cheese coconut frosting. Press flaky coconut around the sides for the finishing touch.

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Coca Cola Chocolate Cake

Coca Cola Chocolate Cake
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; FOOD STYLING: EMILY NABORS HALL; PROP STYLING: KATHLEEN VARNER

This family reunion favorite is worthy of any special occasion. The sour cream and soda in the batter result in a very tender crumb. To give the cake a fun and fizzy look, top it with sugar pearls of varying sizes.

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Margarita Cake

Margarita Cake
SOUTHERN LIVING

We’ve transformed the beloved summer cocktail into your new favorite dessert. Our Margarita Cake uses lime-flavored gelatin in the batter and tequila in a lime syrup that is brushed across each cake layer. Store-bought margarita mixer spikes the rich cream cheese frosting with additional flavor. If you enjoy a salty rim on your glass, feel free to garnish your cake with flake salt as well.

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Chocolate Eclair Cake

Chocolate Eclair Cake
MICAH A. LEAL

Forget whatever recipe you’ve been using—this one puts real effort into devising a cake that truly represents the beloved pastry. There are toasted pastry flecks in a buttercream covering the cake, which is filled with chocolate ganache and real pastry cream between each cake layer. That’s all topped with a gorgeous chocolate ganache that drips over the edges.

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The Red Velvet Cake

The Red Velvet Cake
HECTOR SANCHEZ

In 1989, an armadillo-shaped groom’s cake in Steel Magnolias kicked off a cult following for red velvet. The craze has continued, fueled in part by the red velvet cakes that have graced the Southern Living Christmas cover three times. In this recipe, the velvety red chocolate layers are iced with strawberry frosting.

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Lemon Raspberry Cake

Lemon Raspberry Cake
CAITLIN BENSEL; FOOD STYLING: MELISSA GRAY; PROP STYLING: MISSIE NEVILLE CRAWFORD

Lemon and raspberry work together in this stunning two-layered cake. A layer of fresh raspberries inside creates a base for the extra-thick filling. Serve at a birthday party, shower, or special summer event.