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23 Essential (and Delicious) Cake Recipes

There's something special about baking a cake from scratch. Whether it's for a birthday party, brunch, holiday, snacking, or just because you're craving some chocolate, we have a cake recipe to fit every mood and occasion. And for spring and summer time, we have plenty of cake recipes that celebrate bright, fruity flavors.

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23 Essential (and Delicious) Cake Recipes
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    Classic Chocolate Cake

    Classic Chocolate Cake

    This perfectly moist and decadent chocolate cake has an intense chocolate flavor thanks to the addition of unsweetened chocolate. In 2018, Food & Wine named this recipe one of our 40 best. If you're looking for a classic chocolate cake that's easy to make and hits all the right chocolate notes, this …

    Jacques Pépin's Favorite Pound Cake

    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 …

    Basque Cheesecake

    Basque Cheesecake

    This creamy cheesecake does not need to be babied with a water bath and emerges from the oven with a dark, deeply caramelized top. This cheesecake's stunning caramelized-verging-on-burnt top lends a pleasant, toasty accent to the intensely rich and creamy interior. One bonus to making Basque-style …

    Maria Cookie Icebox Cake

    Maria Cookie Icebox Cake

    Toasty, slightly sweet Maria cookies were an after-school snack staple for Velez while growing up in the Bronx — here, she transforms those beloved cookies into an icebox cake, layered with a sweetly spiced cream filling, topped with luscious dulce de leche, and festooned with strawberries and …

    Maple-Bourbon Banana Pudding Cake

    Maple-Bourbon Banana Pudding Cake

    While this delicious, simple cake bakes, a sweet, rich sauce forms in the bottom of the dish. Slideshows: More Cake Recipes 6 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/2 cup superfine sugar 1 overripe banana, mashed 1 large egg 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking …

    Tres Leches Cake with Strawberries

    Tres Leches Cake with Strawberries

    This luscious dessert from chef Soledad Correa of Chile's Casa Silva restaurant is ideal for spring. Spiced with just a hint of cinnamon, this tres leches cake is wonderful when strawberries are in season. It's made by soaking sponge cake in condensed milk, evaporated milk, and cream. Ripe …

    German Chocolate Cake

    German Chocolate Cake

    This classic dessert is a textural delight, pairing layers of tender chocolate cake with the sweet chew of coconut-pecan frosting. With its layers of moist chocolate cake sandwiched between a toothsome coconut-pecan frosting, this recipe for German chocolate cake makes a memorable dessert. It uses …

    Plum Upside-Down Cake

    Plum Upside-Down Cake

    This pretty cake from pastry chef Joanne Chang is moist and buttery, with plenty of sweet and tangy caramelized plums on top. 3/4 cup sugar 1/3 cup water 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 1 1/2 pounds medium plums (about 6), pitted and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges 1/2 cup crème fraîche 2 …

    Molten Chocolate Cake

    Molten Chocolate Cake

    This is the original, supremely rich version of the iconic molten chocolate cake, created by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. It seems as though every restaurant in America offers a version of this amazing chocolatey cake, but the original is in a class by itself. Molten chocolate cake became famous for a …

    Best-Ever Birthday Cake

    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 …

    Carrot and Orange Cake with Sour Cream Glaze

    Carrot and Orange Cake with Sour Cream Glaze

    There’s something extremely delightful in peeling an orange to reveal the sweet and sour flesh hidden inside the fruit. It begins with the intensely aromatic essential oils that form a little cloud of scent around you. Then there’s the tingling sensation that erupts on your lips when you taste your …

    Red Velvet Cake

    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. Slideshow: More Layer Cake Recipes 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt 2 ¼ cups …

    Double Chocolate Layer Cake

    Double Chocolate Layer Cake

    Ina Garten adds buttermilk to her chocolate cake recipe to keep it moist and light. A bit of coffee in the cake and frosting keeps the sweetness in check. "This is the most fabulous chocolate cake that I've ever made," Ina Garten declared when F&W ran her recipe in 2007. The cake gets its intense …

    Strawberry Shortcake for a Crowd

    Strawberry Shortcake for a Crowd

    This is the type of dessert that invites the eater to dig in with wild abandon. Strawberry shortcake always reminds me of weekends growing up in Mississippi. Back then, my grandmother would stuff her shortcakes with fruit from her garden — blackberries, strawberries, even pitted muscadines, a …

    Vegan Peach-Almond Upside-Down Cake

    Vegan Peach-Almond Upside-Down Cake

    Juicy peaches and nutty almond meal pair up in this summery, vegan take on a classic upside-down cake. The almond meal adds a soft texture to the cake and helps it hold together as the peaches soften and sweeten during baking. To make the cake gluten-free, choose a gluten-free flour blend and …

    Cocoa Cola Bundt Cake

    Cocoa Cola Bundt Cake

    Traditional Coca-Cola cake, a staple of the American South, usually comes in the form of a chocolate sheet cake that's doused in a gooey glaze. The batter is splashed with a bit of cola, sometimes for flavor but mostly for fluff; the soda's carbonation acts as a leavening agent, similar to baking …

    Baked Alaska

    Baked Alaska

    Baked Alaska, the meringue-topped and torched layered ice cream cake is a classic restaurant dessert, often served tableside with a fiery effect. Bring the sweet treat home with this simple step-by-step method that takes advantage of creamy (and customizable) store-bought ice creams and sorbets, a …

    Honigkuchen (Gluten-Free Honey Cake)

    Honigkuchen (Gluten-Free Honey Cake)

    Inspired by German cake recipes from a 13th-century cookbook, chef Alex Hrabovsky and his wife, Reana, developed this gluten-free honey cake using almond and gluten-free flours. The buckwheat honey they call for here is what gives this cake its signature malty, molasses notes and sets it apart. The …

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