From carrot to red velvet to German chocolate, here’s the best selection of classic cake favorites.
Ono Coconut Cake with Coconut Frosting
The Tabasco Community Cookbook Awards, featured in the 2002 edition of our SAVEUR 100, celebrates people who produce cookbooks that benefit local communities and charities. This recipe is an adaptation of one from Tabasco Award winner The Tastes and Tales of Moiliili, a 1997 collection of recipes and stories from Honolulu’s Moiliili Community Center. See this Recipe Rick Lew
Lady Baltimore Cake
A traditional Southern confection, this regal dessert gained popularity through writer Owen Wister’s 1906 romance novel, Lady Baltimore. Three dreamy white layers of cake are infused with rose water and slathered with an Italian meringue frosting studded with pecans, raisins, dried figs, and candied orange peel.
Smith Island Cake
This version of the Smith Island cake comes from island resident Mary Ada Marshall. Each layer contains a sprinkling of powdered peanut butter cups, and the top is garnished with chunks of the same. See this Recipe André Baranowski
Dulce de Leche Cake
Luxuriant moistness is this dessert’s calling card. The secret to achieving the cake’s decadent texture is to poke it all over with a knife while it’s still warm, before dousing it with a rich milk mixture so that it penetrates every part of the cake’s interior. See this Recipe André Baranowski
Red Velvet Cake
According to legend red velvet cake was invented in the 1950s at Oscar’s in New York’s Waldorf-Astoria. However, Raven Dennis of Cake Man Raven Confectionary (whose recipe we adapted) claims red velvet cake originated during the Civil War, and that southern ladies made it “to keep their husbands home.” See this Recipe André Baranowski
Honoring the legacy of the Southern cook Edna Lewis, this luscious, fruit-and-nut-studded layer cake is served in Atlanta’s Watershed restaurant. We included the recipe online to accompany Christiane Lauterbach’s feature about the restaurant, which ran in our April 2009 issue.
Heaven and Hell Cake
Dallas chef Stephan Pyles’s rich, multilayered dessert of angel food and devil’s food cake, peanut butter mousse, and milk chocolate ganache should be frozen before icing is added and refrigerated before it’s sliced. See this Recipe André Baranowski
Yellow Cake with Fudge Icing
The key to making this cake’s rich icing is to stir it vigorously once it has cooled to the proper temperature.
Strawberry cake, topped with strawberry cream cheese frosting, is a favorite soul food dessert; this delicious version comes from Bertha’s Kitchen.
Pineapple Sponge Cake
This pineapple sponge cake, developed by chef Judy Haubert as a Mother’s Day gift for her mom, swaps coconut flour for the standard all-purpose. It makes for a moister crumb—as well as emphasizing pineapple’s tropical flavor—and has the added bonus of making the cake naturally gluten-free.
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
You won’t miss the flour in this rich chocolate cake, developed for us by gluten free chef Judy Haubert.
Buttery layer cake draped in caramel fudge, with its over-the-top grandeur and unapologetic sweetness, is a Southern classic.
Fresh coconut and its sweet water are the keys to this cake, passed down from pastry chef Ben Mims’ grandmother, Jane Newson.
Lemon Layer Cake
Lemon infuses this layered masterpiece in three ways: zested into the batter, in a tart syrup that get drizzled over the cakes, and in a thick lemon curd frosting.
Red Velvet Cake
Though cream cheese frosting is typically used nowadays on red velvet cake, classic whipped cream frosting makes for a more balanced sweetness.
Walnut Spice Cake
Alternating layers of white and brown spiced cake are delicious sandwiched with a rich, chocolate fudge icing.
Elvis Presley’s Pound Cake
The King was a big fan of rich sweets, and classic buttery pound cake—flavored simply with vanilla—was no exception.
Boston Cream Pie
There’s an unwavering appeal to two layers of golden sponge cake sandwiching thick custard, all topped with a glossy layer of chocolate.
Named for its light, fluffy texture and ethereal, pale crumb, angel food cake is the perfect base for a whipped cream and syrupy fruit topping.
Rum Bundt Cake
A supremely moist, boozy Southern bundt cake fitting for any holiday spread.