Layer Cakes

There's nothing quite like a fluffy, towering layer cake

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.

Strawberry Lemon Layer Cake

Strawberry Lemon Layer Cake

At New York's Milk Bar, Christina Tosi makes this towering layer cake every spring, when sweet and tiny tristar strawberries are in season. This is by no means an everyday cake, but it's worth the work that you'll put in, and worthy of a special occasion.Matt Taylor-Gross
Walnut Spice Cake

Walnut Spice Cake

Alternating layers of white and brown spiced cake are delicious sandwiched with a rich, chocolate fudge icing.Todd Coleman
Red Velvet Cake

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.Todd Coleman
Lemon Layer Cake

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.Todd Coleman
Walnut Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Walnut Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Surprisingly airy and light, this cake could have been a soufflé in a previous life. Naturally gluten-free, the batter gets its lift from egg whites, its rich stability from walnut flour, and its moistness from grated carrot and pineapple.Todd Coleman
Boston Cream Pie

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.Penny De Los Santos
Thomas Keller's coconut cake

Thomas Keller's Coconut Cake

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.Helen Rosner
Pecan Cream Cake

Pecan Cream Cake

Packed with coconut and pecans and covered in cream cheese frosting, this cake is a specialty of Georgia home cook Cile Ellis.Landon Nordeman
Lemon Curd Layer Cake

Lemon Curd Layer Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream

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.Todd Coleman
Coconut Cake

Coconut Cake

Fresh coconut and its sweet water are the keys to this cake, passed down from pastry chef Ben Mims' grandmother, Jane Newson.Todd Coleman
Caramel Cake

Caramel Cake

Buttery layer cake draped in caramel fudge, with its over-the-top grandeur and unapologetic sweetness, is a Southern classic.Todd Coleman
Lane Cake

Lane Cake

This recipe is based on one in Emma Rylander Lane's Some Good Things to Eat (self-published, 1898).Todd Coleman
Spiced Pumpkin Cake

Spiced Pumpkin Cake

A welcome addition to the holiday table, this simple frosted layer cake can be made with either canned or homemade puréed pumpkin.Todd Coleman
Smith Island Cake

Smith Island Cake

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.Landon Nordeman
Strawberry Cake

Strawberry Cake

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 »Farideh Sadeghin
Very Moist Chocolate Layer Cake

Very Moist Chocolate Layer Cake

Three velvety layers sandwiched with thick dark chocolate icing make a decadent, crowd-pleasing dessert.Todd Coleman
Lady Baltimore Cake

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.André Baranowski
Rose's Famous Caramel Cake

Rose's Famous Caramel Cake

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.James Oseland
German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake

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.André Baranowski
Yellow Cake with Fudge Icing

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.Todd Coleman
Spiced Carrot Layer Cake

Spiced Carrot Layer Cake

Orange juice and zest, cinnamon, and ginger add verve and depth to this sumptuous cake.Todd Coleman
Princess Cake (Princesstårta)

Princess Cake (Princesstårta)

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.Joel Wåreus