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Favorite Layer Cake Recipes

by on December 30, 2011 · 19 comments

Will 2012 be the year for layer cakes? I don’t know, but I’d happily embrace that trend if it were to catch on. So let’s hope for a year of exciting and/or really good cake recipes. Until then, here’s a round-up of my favorites.

For chocolate cake, here are 9 favorites plus the 10th favorite that came later.

Nine Favorite Layer Cakes
Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Filling and Sour Cream Frosting.

Slice of Cake

Perfect yellow cake takes more attention to detail, so a lot of people just turn to cake mix, including the people at Bon Appetit, who did a taste test of favorite box cake mixes. The taste test was helpful, but by no means should you give up on making a perfect scratch yellow cake if you haven’t done so already. If your goal is to master a truly light, tight-crumbed, soft yellow cake, 2012 is the year to try one of these:

Shirley Corriher’s Yellow Cake
CI’s Yellow Cake.

If you like the idea of a homemade strawberry cake, here’s a beautiful pink, scratch strawberry cake with a cream cheese icing.

Strawberry Layer Cake

Strawberry Cake

But if you’ll take red over pink, red velvet is the way to go. This is our family’s favorite.

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake

And there’s Italian Cream Cake, easy to forget about but always a crowdpleaser.

Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream Cake

And hummingbird cakee, which is a combination of banana and pineapple.

If you’d prefer coconut with your pineapple, try this one. The seven minute icing makes it special.

Pineapple Coconut Layer Cake

Coconut Cake

People around here really like German Chocolate cake, which I make with two 8 inch layers.

Small German Chocolate Cake.

German Chocolate Cake

And for those of you who like carrot cake, this recipe is pretty reliable. I’m still trying to find a recipe similar to the one served at Gibson’s in Chicago, with lots of dark brown sugar and a crumbly texture, but this one is traditional and very good.

Carrot Layer Cake

carrot cake slice.jpg

And this one’s good too, especially if you just can’t get enough eggnog.

Eggnog Layer Cake

eggnog cake

Dreaming of summer already?  This Key Lime Layer Cake happens to be very easy.


But if you want something even easier and like using cake mix, then there’s this one, which is not summery at all.

Irish Cream Chocolate Layer Cake

Irish Cream Chocolate Cake

Those are my top layer cakes, but I’m hoping to add to the list this year.

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Published on December 30, 2011

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Cookie Sleuth December 30, 2011 at 1:44 pm

I am so hungry now!

Sue December 30, 2011 at 2:37 pm

That’s an IMPRESSIVE list!!! Better than any list I’ve seen in food magazines!

Lori @ RecipeGirl December 30, 2011 at 3:09 pm

My favorite is always red velvet, but that strawberry one is running a close second! Happy New Year, Anna! Hope to see you around at a event or two sometime this coming year :)

CindyD December 30, 2011 at 3:44 pm

You should check out the recent King Arthur blog post about the perfect homemade yellow cake.

karen December 30, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Very nice post! I have pretty much given up on yellow cake in favor of white cake. White cake seems to come out better for me.

Katrina December 30, 2011 at 4:52 pm

As soon as I saw your title and question “Will 2012 be the year of the layer cakes?” I was about to tell you that I saw a news segment that was saying it will be. But then I clicked on your link and that’s what it was, from The Today Show. You certainly have the perfect array of layer cakes to choose from here! On that note, I’m about to make a banana sheet cake for tomorrow with my tons of overripe bananas. ;)
Happy New Year!

Anna December 30, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Cookie Sleuth, I could say the same about your blog :).
Sue, really? Thanks!
Lori, Happy New Year. See ya ’round!
Cindy, will do. Their website makes my head explode (in a good way).
Karen, I didn’t mention white cake, but the recipe I like using is the one I used for the vanilla bean cupcakes.
Katrina, it’s also the year of meatloaf. Hope your sheet cake turns out. My favorite banana cake recipe is my grandmother’s sour cream cake (the one from her funeral), but I always make it as a Bundt cake so it didn’t qualify for the list.

Tracy December 30, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Wow, those look gorgeous. I’d be all for 2012 being the year of layer cakes. I was over cake balls before they began.

I'm At Home Baking December 30, 2011 at 7:05 pm

I am really wanting to try one of the yellow cakes. I have not found a homemade one I’ve ever liked so maybe I will this new year!

Carol December 30, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Oh Anna, I love layered cake. I once met a women that took the frosting off her cake and said the calories weren’t worth it. She obviously had never had good homemade frosting! That strawberry cake of your makes me happy because I was searching for a Strawberry cake recipe about 2 1/2 years ago and found your blog (the magazine recipe I had seen one in had bad reviews). I had never really seen a food blog before and now I am addicted to them! Plus that cake was great for my birthday. I need to make it again.

The Cotton Floozy December 30, 2011 at 10:10 pm

This post has prompted me to make my very first very important goal for the year 2012: EAT MORE CAKE.

Sue December 31, 2011 at 8:36 am

I’m seriously considering making one of these cakes a month during 2012. I could add three from the chocolate layer cake list and have a year’s worth of layer cakes!!

Louise December 31, 2011 at 8:57 am

One of my very favorite layer cakes is from a 1995 Gourmet. It’s a very light cake and not overly sweet. I know it as “Dominican Cake” as we can buy something very similar at our local Dominican bakeries. For the filling, I use 20 oz. of crushed pineapple and a little more than 1 Tb cornstarch. Everyone raves about this cake.
I love dark chocolate layer cakes with chocolate buttercream, but recently found “The Whiteout Cake” from “Baked:New Frontiers in Baking”. It’s a white cake, but with white chocolate frosting.

Louise December 31, 2011 at 9:02 am

I forgot to mention that in my opinion, the Dominican Cake is the perfect Yellow Layer Cake.

Martha in KS December 31, 2011 at 10:11 am

I read this article yesterday & wondered what would happen to all of the cupcake shops, some of which just popped up in KC this year. It was exciting to hear that Kansas City is finally going to be recognized for all of its wonderful restaurants. Hope everyone comes to visit my birthplace & be sure to check out the ‘burbs on the KS side too. I think I have all of the ingredients for the Strawberry Cake – off to check. Happy New Year!

Anna December 31, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Tracy, were you really all over cake balls? I’d like to hear more about that. I know Angie made them super famous, but I imagine the recipe was around long before she perfected it. I’d love to know who got the idea to mash up cake and dip it.

I’m At Home Baking — I was in the same boat until I found CI’s recipe (and Shirley’s). I think the method they use is a variation on the Two Stage mixing method.

Carol, I’m so glad you liked the strawberry cake!!

Cotton Foozy, that’s my kind of resolution.

Sue, I hope you do a monthly chocolate cake. Let me know so I can link to it for your review.

Louise, I believe the cake you linked to is the same one I mentioned above and linked to in the post.

Martha, how’s the strawberry cake coming along??? Happy New Year to you in Kansas City.

Louise December 31, 2011 at 1:06 pm

LOL — it is the same cake. Use just the cake as your yellow cake. :-)

Martha in KS December 31, 2011 at 4:27 pm

I didn’t have any Jello & only have two eggs. Will have to wait until I can get to the store. Darn! Making artichoke dip instead. Yum!

annie June 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm

devo assolutamente provare a fare questa delizia

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