30 Easy Cake Recipes That Every Home Baker Should Master

lemon snack cake with raspberry cream cheese frosting
Photo: Chris Simpson

When you need a simple dessert for a party, a birthday, or just because, turn to this collection of easy-to-make and easy-to-love cakes. From coffee cakes to snacking cakes to single-layer cakes packed with fruit, our easy cake recipes are light lifts for the baker but always deliver on flavor.

Some have a simple glazing or a cream cheese frosting; others, like bundts and our Apple-Cider Donut Cake, are so good looking straight out of the pan that no decoration is needed. We recommend giving each one a try.

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Red-Velvet Sheet Cake

red-velvet sheet cake recipe
Con Poulos

We cut back on the food coloring, but not on the flavor for this sheet cake rendition of the popular dessert. The balance of cocoa powder, butter, sugar, eggs, and sour cream gives it an almost fudge-like flavor. Swoops of tangy cream-cheese frosting finish this cake in style.

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Strawberry Shortcakes

strawberry shortcakes
Christopher Testani

These shortcakes are vanilla cupcakes—not the biscuits you might expect. They're made in one bowl, no mixer needed. Plus, you can skip frosting because you already have macerated strawberries and whipped cream to serve them with.

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Apple-Cider Donut Cake

apple cider donut cake
Jonathan Lovekin

Essentially, this is a giant cakey donut made in a Bundt pan. It's a tad healthy, too, thanks to the combination of whole-wheat flour and applesauce. The latter keeps the cake moist.

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Spiced Snacking Cake

Spiced Snacking Cake
Lennart Weibull

Easy to make and easy to love, this casual cake is spiced with cinnamon and cardamom and is as good with a cup of coffee as it is after dinner. An easy lemon glaze is all the decoration it needs.

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Lemon Snack Cake with Raspberry-Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon Cake with Raspberry-Cream Cheese Frosting
Chris Simpson

This single-layer confection skips the fuss and saves you the fun of frosting. The easy cream-cheese icing is colored by and flavored with ground freeze-dried raspberries—and you can apply it in generous swoops (then hide any flaws with fresh raspberries).

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Simple Layer Cake With Vanilla Frosting

Simple Layer Cake with Vanilla Frosting
Johnny Miller

Just the thing for birthdays or just because, this all-purpose yellow layer cake with vanilla frosting is a classic.

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Chocolate Bundt Cake

Con Poulos

This bundt cake's elegance belies its simple make-ahead preparation.

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Lemon-Olive Oil Cake

lemon olive oil cake
Paola + Murray

Extra-virgin olive oil adds moisture and a fruity flavor to this simple yellow cake. Use a mix of summer berries as a colorful topping, along with some whipped mascarpone cream.

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Plum Cake


This moist, lemony plum cake needs little more than a dusting of confectioners' sugar on top. You might want to try a dollop of sour cream, too; it makes a delicious accompaniment.

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Vanilla Pound Cake

vanilla pound cake
Reed Davis

Classic pound cake made from scratch with just six ingredients and three simple steps—is there anything better? The result is a cake that hits the sweet spot.

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Strawberry Cake


The ultimate cake for strawberry lovers, this easy, buttery treat contains a whole pound of berries—and smells as good as it tastes.

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Gingerbread Snacking Cake

Gingerbread Snacking Cake

If you love ginger, but worry that making gingerbread seems complicated, try this simpler alternative.

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Coconut-Pineapple Loaf Cake


It's simple, yes, but this tropical cake is also exciting and delicious. Toasted coconut balances the sweetness of pineapple and provides a delectably crunchy topping.

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Chocolate Pudding Cake

José Manuel Picayo Rivera

Made with just six ingredients, this delicate flourless cake has a decadent, pudding-like center.

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Banana-Pecan Cake


Here's another one-layer cake that's as easy to make as it is lovely to look at.

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Warm Almond-Cherry Cake


Frozen cherries are juicy and intense when baked into this tender cake, and they're easy enough to find at your local supermarket no matter the time of year.

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Applesauce Cake


What makes this favorite cake so delightful? It's full of apple flavor and super moist, thanks to the applesauce and honey. Plus, it's tall, good looking, and doesn't need filling or frosting.

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Blueberry-Sour Cream Pound Cake with Lemon Cream


Blueberries, sour cream, and a lemon-cream topping: These few extra ingredients and flavors make this cake all the more varied and exciting. Your guests will never guess you simply jazzed up a classic pound cake recipe.

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Cinnamon-Raisin Pound Cake with Basic Glaze


Add cinnamon and raisins to our classic pound cake recipe and you've got yourself a treat worth bragging about.

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Spiced Carrot Cake


If you can shred carrots (you can!), you can make a carrot cake. Trust us. The only thing missing from this light dessert is a guilty conscience.

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Cinnamon Coffee Cake


Meaning "something strewn" in Old German, streusel is easy to put together—and then to throw on top of this sour-cream coffee cake.

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Walnut Honey Cake


There's nothing fancy to prepare here—just one layer of cake—but the fragrant toasted walnuts and sweet honey make it extra sophisticated.

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Cherry Sheet Cake


Feed a crowd with this easy sheet cake. We used frozen cherries to make a fruit-studded cake that you can throw together even when fresh cherries aren't in season. Spruce it up with a bit of simple whipped cream, and you're set.

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Upside-Down Pecan Cake


If you like, once you zest the orange for the batter, you can cut the fruit into sections to serve alongside the moist and crunchy cake. How's that for an easy garnish?

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Orange Cornmeal Cake


Easy to make, but sophisticated, too, this is just the type of cake you'd enjoy after lunch in Italy.

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Blueberry Crumb Cake


Since the blueberries are distributed throughout the cake and the crumbs are simply scattered atop it, you don't have to worry about being a perfectionist with this recipe.

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Apple-Cinnamon Upside-Down Cake

John Kernick

Take a few minutes to arrange the apple slices in neat circles on the bottom of the pan—when the cake is baked and inverted, you'll find them decorating the top. It's as simple and pretty as that.

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Easy Chocolate Cake


It's all in the title. You don't have to be a master baker to deliver a high-quality chocolate cake for your next celebration.

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Spicy Pumpkin Bundt Cake


Show off this seasonally-appropriate and deliciously spicy pumpkin bundt cake at your next fall gathering. Once again, the bundt pan is a baker's friend; it will help you make things look perfect and symmetrical.

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Chocolate Marble Pound Cake


When chocolate meets vanilla, the result is a cake with twice the appeal. And the marble effect is so easy to recreate. All it takes is a simple swirl of the batters with a knife.

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