From lemon to coconut to German chocolate, there's nothing quite like a fluffy, towering layer cake. It only takes a little extra effort to build up a single-tiered cake, and the result feels so much more festive. These layer cake recipes are perfect for birthdays, special occasions, or just everyday desserts. See 4 tips for baking layer cakes »
We love coconut. Smothering a moist yellow cake with a coconut meringue is decadent enough, but adding coconut milk and desiccated coconut to the batter certainly doesn't hurt. Coconut's sweetness pairs well with other flavors—it's a vital ingredient in a classic German chocolate cake, and we like to sprinkle it onto a walnut carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting.
Texturally, even a great cake can be a little one-note. Nuts and dried fruits are great for mixing things up. Our pecan cream cake takes chopped nuts and adds them directly to the cake. Lane cake, on the other hand, spreads the add ons between the layers—it's filled with an icing containing raisins, coconut, and pecans before being capped with a billowy meringue.
It wouldn't be a cake collection with a little chocolate overload. Our Very Moist Chocolate Layer Cake is a simple, old-school crowd pleaser. The cake itself has a glorious, velvety crumb and is swathed in a rich chocolate icing.
Find a cake for any occasion in our collection of layer cake recipes.
This vanilla cake is anything but basic—the tang of buttermilk adds interest, while brown sugar bumps the earthy vanilla notes. Christina Tosi uses it as the base for her towering, masterful Strawberry Lemon Layer Cake. Get the recipe for Vanilla Cake
Alternating layers of white and brown spiced cake are delicious sandwiched with a rich, chocolate fudge icing.
Though cream cheese frosting is typically used nowadays on red velvet cake, classic whipped cream frosting makes for a more balanced sweetness.
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.
There’s an unwavering appeal to two layers of golden sponge cake sandwiching thick custard, all topped with a glossy layer of chocolate.
Thick Italian meringue is sandwiched between moist layers of cake, which is topped off with sweetened shredded coconut in this recipe from chef Thomas Keller.
Silken white chocolate buttercream frosts a tender yellow cake layered with rich lemon curd in this recipe from the restaurant Rye KC in Leawood, Kansas.
Fresh coconut and its sweet water are the keys to this cake, passed down from pastry chef Ben Mims’ grandmother, Jane Newson.
Buttery layer cake draped in caramel fudge, with its over-the-top grandeur and unapologetic sweetness, is a Southern classic.
A welcome addition to the holiday table, this simple frosted layer cake can be made with either canned or homemade puréed pumpkin.
Our recipe for this towering dessert, featuring eight layers of buttery yellow cake with chocolate-fudge icing, was inspired by a decadent version served at Becca’s Smith Island Cakes in Tasley, Virgina.
Strawberry cake topped with strawberry cream cheese frosting is a favorite soul food dessert; this delicious version comes from Bertha’s Kitchen in North Charleston. Get the recipe for Strawberry 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.
This buttery cake slathered with rich caramel icing has earned local fame on Chicago’s South Side—it’s one of our favorites to make for special occasions.
This decadent triple-layer dessert takes its name from German’s Sweet Chocolate, a product that’s not German at all: the versatile baking chocolate was created by an American baker named Samuel German in 1852. Get the recipe for German Chocolate Cake »
The key to making this cake’s rich icing is to stir it vigorously once it has cooled to the proper temperature.
Swedish princesses Martha, Margaretha, and Astridin loved baking this smooth, vanilla cream and raspberry jam filled cake in their domestic science classes so much that their professor, Jenny Âkerstrom, named the confection after them.