These easy cake recipes prove that baking a cake doesn’t have to be a big production.
Cake has always been my jam, ever since I was a kid watching a schoolmate pop adorable little cakes out of her Easy Bake oven. Alas, my mom refused to buy me one, insisting I crack open a Betty Crocker cookbook and learn how to use a real oven—thus setting me on the path to becoming a pastry chef. While I loved making fancy-pants creations at work, I almost always baked simple cakes at home.
Let’s face it, sometimes we just want cake, and these easy cake recipes provide ways to satisfy those cravings any time of the day or night. Many of them are one-pan deals—from streusel-topped skillet coffee cake with warm spices to Texas sheet cake with fudgy glaze and chewy, coconutty Filipino rice cake. We also have foolproof recipes for angel food and olive oil cakes that will appeal to beginners and pros alike. So, crank up those ovens and let us eat cake!
This one-pan ode to fall is the love child between a hearty muffin and nutty, streusel-topped coffee cake, with pumpkin pie and blondie vibes thrown in.
Get Recipe: Pumpkin Skillet Coffee Cake With Streusel Topping
A 10″ cast iron skillet is the ideal vessel for this fudgy no-mixer-required chocolate cake slathered in milk chocolate frosting (all you Reese’s lovers can opt for peanut butter frosting instead). It’s just the right size for a small family dessert.
Get Recipe: Chocolate Skillet Cake With Milk Chocolate Frosting
There’s no rule that says this Southern classic has to be tall layer cake. Puréed banana and pineapple gives this moist, hearty cake a tropical twist, while tangy cream cheese frosting provides an appropriate amount of richness.
Get Recipe: Hummingbird Skillet Cake
What happens when you just stop fighting gravity and let the blueberries sit at the bottom? You end up with skillet-size “muffin” masquerading as gorgeous upside down cake with a bejeweled blanket of sweet juicy berries that makes a delectable breakfast treat.
Get Recipe: Upside-Down Blueberry Muffin
It doesn’t get any easier than Stella’s foolproof one-bowl method of achieving a perfectly buttery, tender crumble-topped cake that’s sure to have you lingering over your morning coffee.
Get Recipe: Easy One-Bowl Coffee Cake
No Texas barbecue—or any large gathering for that matter—is complete without a big slab of fluffy chocolate cake gloriously drenched in a fudgy glaze and showered in toasted pecans.
Get Recipe: Texas Sheet Cake
Although deceptively simple, this tender, fluffy sheet cake has a bold flavor profile thanks to molasses and a heady mix of ginger, black pepper, Chinese five-spice powder, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon—deliciously offset by tangy, rich cream cream frosting.
Get Recipe: Gingerbread Sheet Cake
Executing that perfect swirl of jammy filling is actually pretty easy if you follow Stella’s method for making a flavorful stable sponge that you can roll effortlessly without a hint of cracking. Once you get the technique down, any combination of cake flavors and fillings will be a snap.
Get Recipe: Old-Fashioned Jelly Roll
Classic Chiffon was the very first cake I learned how to bake from scratch as a kid, from a vintage 1950s Betty Crocker cookbook my mom bought at a garage sale. Stella’s update makes for an even lighter, airer cake that can be paired with any number of frostings and fillings, including her super-thick and fruity food processor whipped cream.
Get Recipe: Classic Chiffon Cake with Vanilla Chantilly
Like its cousin chiffon, angel food cake is all about simplicity, a light, airy texture, and, best of all, versatility. The technique for whipping the egg whites is the same as the one for basic angel food—here, Stella swapped out plain sugar for natural maple sugar to match the cooler seasons.
Get Recipe: Maple Angel Food Cake
Olive oil takes the spotlight in this ridiculously moist and tender cake that’s so easy to make, it needs to be in every baker’s repertoire. Neutral flavorings in the cake allow you to play with different types of olive oil.
Get Recipe: Olive Oil Cake
Adding high-quality pistachio oil elevates the basic olive oil cake, while orange zest and orange flower water enhance the pistachio aroma.
Get Recipe: Pistachio Cake
Once again olive oil is the secret ingredient that keeps this easy-to-make chocolate cake impossibly moist, while also providing fruitiness and astringency that complements the cocoa. Whole wheat flour also adds toasty notes.
Get Recipe: Dairy-Free Chocolate Cake
In my opinion, this is hands down the easiest cheesecake to bake—and arguably one of the most delicious. There’s no crust to fiddle with and no water bath. You mix the batter, pour it into a parchment-lined springform pan, sprinkle on some sugar, and bake at high heat. To quote Ina Garten, “How easy is that?”
Get Recipe: Basque Cheesecake
Traditionally a Christmastime treat in the Philippines, Yana Gilbuena’s version of bibingka, or Filipino rice cake, is baked in a banana leaf-lined cast iron pan and topped with caramelized young coconut.
Get Recipe: Bibingka (Filipino Rice Cake)
Want the flavors of apple cider doughnuts without all the mess and effort of frying? This buttery, warmly spiced bundt cake has all the fall apple-y, cinnamon sugar goodness and none of the hassle.
Get Recipe: Apple Cider Doughnut Cake
For this Americanized spin on a traditional Sephardic cake, Cathy Barrow adds grated apple to the nut-based cake and soaks it with an Applejack- and ginger-infused syrup instead of the classic one flavored with rose blossom. Outside of Passover, this makes for a wonderful gluten-free dessert any time of year.
Get Recipe: Apple-Ginger Tishpishti (Gluten-Free Almond and Walnut Cake)
Elizabeth Barbone offers up an easy gluten-free version of a classic chocolate bundt cake by swapping out regular flour with a combination of rice flours and tapioca starch.
Get Recipe: Easy Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
This not-too-sweet lemony cake has a delicate texture and brightness from plenty of lemon juice and zest. Finish it off with either a simple syrup glaze or a powdered sugar icing.
Get Recipe: Gluten-Free All-Day Lemon Cake (With a Choice of Two Toppings)
Honey replaces refined sugar in this variation on a traditional Galician tarta de Santiago. Made simply with only a few ingredients and no flour, this lovely gluten-free almond cake is a great dessert for passover, but it’s one we have no problem enjoying all year long.
Get Recipe: Honey-Vanilla Almond Cake
Chocolate and chestnuts are a holiday match made in heaven. Here, a touch of bourbon gives the mild chestnut flavor a boost.
Get Recipe: Flourless Chocolate-Chestnut Torte
All you need to make this gooey chocolate cake for two is a whisk and spatula. No need to unmold—just dig in with a couple of spoons.
Get Recipe: Molten Chocolate Cake
Pears and almonds are an unbeatable combination. The cast iron gives this cake a crisp bottom and sides, while the center remains soft.
Get Recipe: Ozark Pudding Cake
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