16 Cake Recipes From Around the World

A little less frosting, a little more sticky rice, orange blossom water, and poppyseeds

We tend to think of cake as a frosting-slathered dessert you get on your birthday, but around the world, "cake" can refer to anything from layered dough with poppyseeds to a green chiffon cake with pandan. Here, our favorite global recipes.

Semolina-Coconut Cake with Orange and Rose Waters

Semolina Coconut Cake with Orange and Rose Water (Basbousa)
This elegant cake is soaked in a fragrant lemon syrup, perfumed by flower waters. The garnish is candied rose petals sprinkled with toasted coconut. Get the recipe for Semolina-Coconut Cake with Orange and Rose Waters »Matt Taylor-Gross

Sticky Rice and Almond Cake (Nian Gao)

Nian Gao
This chewy steamed cake, with flavors of almond and caramel, is traditionally eaten for the Lunar New Year. Eat it warm or let the cake cool completely, then cut into slabs, batter with beaten egg, and fry them until crisp.Matt Taylor-Gross

Orange-Scented Olive Oil Cake

Orange-Scented Olive Oil Cake
A heady mixture of olive oil and preserved oranges flavors this moist, dense Sicilian dessert.André Baranowski

Olive Oil Quatre Quarts with Chopped Fruit

Olive Oil Quatre Quarts with Chopped Fruit
This variation on a classic French pound cake, in which ingredient quantities are determined by relative weight, uses olive oil instead of butter for a light, fresh flavor. The recipe was developed by SAVEUR contributor Nancy Harmon Jenkins, who recommends using a Polder Kitchen Scale for accurate measure.Todd Coleman

Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake
This classic German cake, a masterpiece of cherry brandy-soaked pastry engineering, improves the longer it sits.Todd Coleman

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan Chiffon Cake
Emerald green, fluffy pandan chiffon cake, beloved from Indonesia to Singapore, is a curious manifestation of America's culinary influence on Southeast Asia. In 1948 Better Homes and Gardens published a General Mills recipe for chiffon cake. Years later the recipe made its way to Southeast Asia—most likely on boxes of imported cake flour—where home cooks made a version flavored with the juice from pandan, an aromatic grass with a floral, vanilla-like flavor. By the 1970s, viridian chiffon cake was all the rage, and it's just as popular today as it was 30 years ago. See the recipe for Pandan Chiffon Cake »James Oseland

Sesame-Topped Semolina Cake with Coconut (Shwekyi Senyinmakin)

Sesame-Topped Semolina Cake with Coconut (Shwekyi Senyinmakin)
This sticky-sweet cake, made with semolina flour and coconut milk, is commonly served at holidays and special occasions in Myanmar.Laura Sant

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

Mezcal Chiffon Cake

Mezcal Chiffon Cake
Smoky mezcal and bright pomelo zest flavor this airy, eggy chiffon cake, the perfect quick dessert.Farideh Sadeghin

Semolina-Coconut Cake with Orange and Rose Waters

Semolina–Coconut Cake
This North African cake is baked with dried coconut and sweetened condensed milk and then soaked in a fragrant lemony syrup with orange blossom and rose waters. Get the recipe for Semolina-Coconut Cake with Orange and Rose Waters »Matt Taylor-Gross

Swedish "Gooey" Chocolate Cake (Kladdkaka)

Swedish "Gooey" Chocolate Cake
Chef Magnus Nilsson's wife likes to serve this beloved Swedish cake, similar to a fudgy American brownie, chilled, but it's just as good piping hot from the pan with a scoop of ice cream. Melting the butter in this recipe first and then stirring it with the other ingredients helps ensure that as little air as possible gets incorporated into the batter. The result: a gooey, more moist cake. Get the recipe for Swedish "Gooey" Chocolate Cake »Magnus Nilsson

Hungarian Plum Cake (Szilvás Pite)

Hungarian Plum Cake (Szilvás Pite)
Yogurt adds a slight tartness to this cake from home cook Mária Keresztes Kovács. While any stone-fruit may be substituted, plums—especially Italian plums—are in season well into autumn.Todd Coleman

Danish Dream Cake (Drømmekage)

Danish Dream Cake (Drømmekage)
This delightfully basic white sponge cake, encrusted with a coconut and brown sugar topping, is a dream to make and eat.Matt Taylor-Gross

Layered Strudel Cake (Prekmurska Gibanica)

Layered Strudel Cake (Prekmurska Gibanica)
Able to be assembled up to 2 days prior to baking, this multilayered pastry cake is stuffed with poppy seed, walnut, cottage cheese, and tart apple fillings. Get the recipe for Layered Strudel Cake (Prekmurska Gibanica) »Chris Court

Goan Coconut Cake (Baath)

Goan Coconut Cake (Baath)
A hint of rosewater adds sweet, floral aroma to this moist, dense semolina cake, packed with four types of coconut. Refrigerating overnight gives the semolina time to soak up the sweet coconut liquid, resulting in a softer, more tender crumb.Matt Taylor-Gross

Chocolate Chip Moon Cakes with Almonds and Spiced Fruit

Chocolate Chip Moon Cakes with Almonds and Spiced Fruit
Pastry chef Pichet Ong's whimsical spin on the classic mooncake takes inspiration from American chocolate chip cookies. He folds chocolate chips and candied fruits into a bean- and almond-paste filling and then wraps it in brown sugar-like cookie dough.Saveur