25 best cake recipes from scratch

25 best cake recipes from scratch

Ralph Smith

Let’s start here: there’s nothing wrong with boxed cake mix. It’s the secret ingredient to Ree Drummond’s Super Easy Chocolate Cake and it can even be used to make her cake cookies. But if you’re looking to improve your baking skills or just want a show-stopping dessert for a special occasion, these made-from-scratch cake recipes are sure to impress. All you need are a variety of classic homemade cake recipes, simple cake frosting or decorating ideas and a few decorating tools, plus some tips from Ree herself.

When it comes to nailing a cake recipe, Ree has a few tricks up her sleeve. First, she says buttermilk is key! “I end up with the fluffiest cakes when the recipe calls for buttermilk,” Ree says, “try replacing buttermilk with milk in your favorite recipe.” Or opt for a recipe that already uses it, like Pumpkin Leaf Cake or Chocolate Strawberry Nutella Cake. Another tip for making perfect cakes at home: don’t overmix! “The more you beat the dough, the more the gluten will develop, and the harder the cake will be!” says Ree. Whether you keep it simple with an easy sheet cake recipe or go all out with a gorgeous layer cake, these homemade cakes will make birthdays, holidays, or even weekdays extra special.

1 of 25

Chocolate ganache cake

This simple yet elegant cake is made in a single layer, so it couldn’t be simpler. It’s rich and chocolaty, with a fancy swirl of peanut butter on top.

Get the recipe.


2 of 25

Chocolate Leaf Cake

This simple cake is a Drummond family favorite! It’s perfect for almost any occasion, from birthdays to Christmas parties to school bake sales.

Obtain the recipe from Ree.

3 of 25

Coconut Layer Cake

This beautiful cake is not lacking in flavor. It contains coconut extract in the batter and grated coconut for decoration.

Obtain the recipe from Ree.

4 of 25

Crispy coffee and caramel cake

This cake is for true coffee lovers! There’s instant coffee in the cake batter and frosting for the ultimate caffeine boost.

Obtain the recipe from Ree.

5 of 25

Applesauce Cake with Maple Brown Buttercream

If you thought cakes were just for professionals, we have good news! This one-bowl cake is easy enough for all skill levels. It’s lightly spiced, moist, and delicious to serve with a dusting of powdered sugar or homemade brown butter maple glaze if you prefer.

Get the recipe.


6 of 25

Four Quarts In Lemon

If you are looking for a cake to eat at any time of the day, this recipe is for you! Its lively and lemony flavor will be suitable for brunch as well as for dessert.

Obtain the recipe from Ree.

7 of 25

Chocolate birthday cake

This festive cake can be suitable for all ages, whether you are celebrating 13 or 93! Get creative with candy fillings by using different colors depending on the occasion.

Obtain the recipe from Ree.

8 of 25

Sigrid’s Carrot Cake

This classic carrot cake recipe is so versatile, you can adjust it to suit your preferences. Turn it into a Bundt cake or even a sheet cake, but whatever you do, don’t forget the cream cheese frosting!

Obtain the recipe from Ree.

9 of 25

Tres Leches cake

The Spanish name for this cake, “tres leches”, translates to “three milks”. And that’s exactly how it’s done. The cake is dipped in heavy cream, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk to make it extremely moist.

Obtain the recipe from Ree.

ten of 25

Chocolate and Strawberry Cake with Nutella

This decadent cake is layered with goodness, layers of chocolate cake and Nutella frosting with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. Best of all, it comes together in less than an hour!

Obtain the recipe from Ree.


11 of 25

Apple cake

This cake is simple, healthy and incredibly tasty! It’s packed with fresh apples, apple butter, cinnamon, and toasted pecans.

Get the recipe.

12 of 25

Pumpkin Leaf Cake

For another spin on homemade sheet cakes, try this pumpkin sheet cake topped with cream cheese frosting. It’s perfect for pumpkin spice season or anytime the craving strikes.

Obtain the recipe from Ree.

13 of 25

Wacky chocolate cake

You don’t need a mixing bowl (or even a whisk!) to make this moist chocolate cake. Just add all the ingredients to the pan and mix with a fork. It’s really wacky and wonderful!

Get the recipe.

14 of 25

Strawberry Rosé Cake Sheet

This pretty pink sheet cake is perfect for Mother’s Day, bridal showers, or any spring/summer party. Use the rosé wine to add moisture to the cake, then pour yourself a glass with the extras!

Get the recipe.

15 of 25

Kings Cake

Sure, this colorful cinnamon ring of goodness is made for Mardi Gras…but who says you can’t enjoy it outside of the Big Easy? Don’t forget to sprinkle yours with shiny golden, royal purple and bright green popping sugar.

Get the recipe.


16 of 25

Apple cake in an iron skillet

Inverting this skillet cake to reveal the caramelized apple slices on the bottom might sound scary, but no matter how it turns out, it’s sure to taste delicious. Especially when topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Obtain the recipe from Ree.

17 of 25

A ginger cake

To balance out the warm holiday spices in this gingerbread cake, top it with a tangy cream cheese frosting that has a hint of bright lemon zest.

Get the recipe.

18 of 25

4th of July Cake

This Berry-Topped Flag Cake is as fun to make as it is to eat! It’s the perfect addition to your backyard barbecue.

Get the recipe.

19 of 25

Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake

This is the kind of cake that will make anyone smile! It’s easier than it looks because it has a layer of chocolate ganache frosting that can cover the cracks of the cake roll.

Get the recipe.

20 of 25

Pumpkin Spice Cake

This perfectly spiced, caramel-glazed Pumpkin Bundt Cake may look fancy, but it’s surprisingly easy to make. Just be sure to grease the pan well so the cake doesn’t stick.

Get the recipe.


21 of 25

Eggnog Cake

Creamy eggnog and a hint of bourbon add a nice richness to this holiday cake without being overpowering. To bake this cake to perfection, use a lighter colored pan to prevent the sides of the cake from getting too dark.

Get the recipe.

22 of 25

Pumpkin roll cake

You can make this beautiful cake using half a sheet. When it comes out of the oven, work quickly to roll the cake and avoid any cracking.

Get the recipe.

23 of 25

Confetti Snack Cake

You’ve probably seen boxes of these colorful cake mixes at the grocery store. But making a homemade version from scratch is easier than you might think. Plus, you can use any combination of nuggets you like!

Get the recipe.

24 of 25

Angel Cake

This might be the lightest and airiest cake of all! It is delicious on its own but can also be served with whipped cream and fresh fruit in the summer.

Get the recipe.

25 of 25

Red Velvet Sheet Cake

Red Velvet Cake is a classic for a reason: it’s rich, decadent, and so colorful! Using cake flour in the batter helps keep it light and fluffy.

Obtain the recipe from Ree.


Advertising – Continue Reading Below

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and uploaded to this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content on