selection of cakes

8 Must-Try Cake Recipes

It’s no secret that I’m a little bit obsessed with baking cake. If I ever have a spare couple of hours I’m in the kitchen baking up some tasty treats to send with the kids to school. Over the years I’ve stumbled on some incredible recipes. With any baking journey, you’d find that there will be some disappointments. Some cakes just don’t rise the way we want them to!

However, I’ve rounded up some of my very favourite cake recipes that always go down a treat and lighten up any bake sale! Some are family recipes that I daren’t tweak, at risk of upsetting the in-laws! But, if you want to make them your own, I won’t tell 😉

Scandinavian Almond Cake

8 Must-Try Cake Recipes

A sweet Scandinavian treat that's perfect for parties and coffee mornings.

  • 1/2 c Sliced almonds
  • 1 1/4 c Granulated sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • Milk
  • 2 tbsp almond extract
  • 1 1/4 c all-purpose flower
  • 1/2 tbsp Baking power
  • 1/4 tbsp Salt
  • 1/2 c Butter or margarine

To Serve

  • Whipped cream
  • Fresh Fruit
  1. Whilst you make this cake, preheat your oven at 175 C or 350 F. Spray a 10 inch pan or a cake pan with cooking spray. Make sure it is non stick for the cake not to stick. When you have prepared the pan, sprinkle almonds on the bottom of the pan.

  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix granulated sugar, egg, milk and almond extract with a mixer on medium speed until the the ingredients are mixed together and smooth. Mix in the baking powder, flour, salt and melted butter until everything is combined together.

  3. Pour the prepared batter in to the pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the edges are looking golden brown. You could also try using a toothpick in the middle to see if it is ready. Use a wire rack for the cake to cool down. The cake can be stored for 3 days in room temperature. If you would like, serve with fruit and whipped cream.

Vanilla-Chocolate Marble Cake

8 Must-Try Cake Recipes

Classic vanilla cake recipe with a chocolatey twist in the middle

  • 3/4 cup Unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups All purpose flower
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup Granulated sugar
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 2 tbsp Pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup Whole milk
  • 1/4 cup Hot cocoa mix
  • 1 tbsp Boiling water
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160 C (325 F). Cover a cake pan with butter. In a medium sized bowl, mix together with a whisk the baking powder, salt and flour.

  2. In this part you need an electric mixer. Use the mixer to beat the butter and the sugar in a large bowl until it is starting to look fluffy. Do this for about 3 minutes. Reduce the electric mixer to low speed and mix in the eggs. As you put in the eggs one at a time, ass the vanilla extract.

  3. You can add the flour mixture and the milk mixing until it's added into the mixture.

  4. In another medium sized bowl, combine hot cocoa mix with boiling water. Add one half of a cup of batter and then mix together. One third of vanilla batter will be spooned into the prepared pan with one third of the chocolate batter. Repeat this process twice. With a butter knife, use swirling motions a couple of times. (Don't do it too much as It can appear muddy)

  5. Bake your cake until you can see that when you put in a wooden pick, it comes out clean. Bake for 70-75 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then put on a wire rack to continue to cool until it is edible.

Grandma’s Poppy Seed Cake

8 Must-Try Cake Recipes

A classic but quirky cake that will brighten up any family get-together.

  • Unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp Baking powder
  • 1 pinch Kosher salt
  • 1 cup Granulated sugar
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 3/4 cup Sour Cream
  • 2 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup Canola oil
  1. Heat the oven to 175 C (350 F) and place a rack in the middle of the oven. Butter a loaf pan and place in the oven with a baking sheet under the pan.

  2. In a regular sized bowl, mix together with a whisk the flour, baking soda and the salt.

  3. In a larger bowl, mix together the sour cream, sugar, vanilla and eggs. After all is mixed together, then add the poppy seeds and then the flour mixture.

  4. With a rubber spatula, fold the oil into the mixture. Move the batter to the pan you prepared and smooth out the top. Bake the cake for 50 to 60 minutes.

  5. Move the pan to a cooling rack and let the cake cool for about 5 minutes. To loosen the cake from the pan, use a knife between the sides of the cake so you can remove it. Move over to a rack and let it cool.

Southern Coconut Cake

8 Must-Try Cake Recipes

A creamy, traditional southern coconut cake to add an exotic twist to any party dessert table.

  • 5 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 2 cups White sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 tbsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Baking soda
  • 1/4 tbsp Salt
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 cup Shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tbsp Cream of tartar


  • 3/4 cup Butter
  • 1/4 cup Coconut milk
  • 3 cups Powdered sugar
  • 2 cups Shredded coconut
  1. Preheat the oven to 160 C (325 F) and grease 2 10 inch cake pans.

  2. In a large sized bowl, beat the sugar, butter, oil and the vanilla extract with an electric mixer until it is all blended. Add the egg yolks one at a time until it is well mixed together.

  3. In a different bowl, mix the, baking soda, baking powder, flour and salt . Combine all ingredients. Then, add to the butter mix. Mix in the buttermilk until it is well mixed. Make sure to fold in the coconut.

  4. Whip the egg whites in a clean bowl and cream of tartar on a high speed until it is in a stiff form. Mix in about a fourth of the egg whites with a whisk into the butter mix and then fold in the rest of the mixture

  5. Pour the batter into the cake pans and bake until a toothpick has been inserted and has come out clean. Cook for about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven after 25 minutes and let it cool for about 10 minutes before removing the cake from the cake pans. Transfer the cake to a cooking rack and let it cool completely


  1. In a large sized bowl, beat in the butter and coconut with an electric mixer until it is creamy. Add some powdered sugar and beat together until it is light and fluffy.

  2. Place one of the cakes on a plate and top with the frosting and sprinkle with one half of a cup of coconut. Place the other cake on top and frost the outside completely. Sprinkle the rest of the coconut and frosting on the sides and on top of the cake.

Apple Spice Cake

8 Must-Try Cake Recipes

This warming, comfort cake is a perfect autumn treat that the whole family will love, and ask for again!

  • 2 c All purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp Pumpkin spice
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 c Unsalted butter
  • 3/4 c Granulated sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/4 c molasses
  • 1/2 c Sour cream
  • 2 Apples
  • 1 c Heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c Sour cream
  • Cinnamon
  1. Preheat your oven at 175 C (350 F). Gently coat a square pan with some cooking spray. Like the pan with parchment paper with a 2 inch overhang on two sides of the pans.

  2. In a larger sized bowl, mix together the pumpkin pie spice, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt with a whisk.

  3. With an electric mixer, mix together the sugar and butter until the mix is light an fluffy for about 3 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time. After, you add the molasses and the sour cream. Reduce the electric mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture gradually. Mix together until it's incorporated and fold in the apples.

  4. Move the mixed batter in the prepared pan and bake for about 55 to 60 minutes or use a wooden pick to check if it is done. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Use the overhang of the parchment paper to move the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.

For Topping

  1. For you serve, take 5 minutes to make the topping. Use an electric mixer to beat the sugar and cream until it becomes soft. Add sour cream. Spread on the cake with cinnamon.

Nana’s Traditional Coffee Cake

8 Must-Try Cake Recipes

A gorgeous gooey coffee cake straight from Nana's cookery book.

  • 4 cups All purpose flour
  • 2 cups Packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup Granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cups Vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Butter milk
  • 2 tbsp Cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 175 C (350 F). In a larger sized bowl, mix the flour, granulated sugar, salt, brown sugar and nutmeg until there are no lumps left. Mix in the vegetable oil. Keep one half of vegetable oil for topping and set aside.

  2. Into the mixture, stir in the baking soda, buttermilk, eggs and cinnamon to the topping. Spread the batter in a greased pan and sprinkle with the topping, Bake or 45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean

Salted-Caramel Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

8 Must-Try Cake Recipes

Sweet but savoury cake fit for all occasions

  • 1 cup Dark brown sugar
  • 2 Sticks of unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp Dark rum
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup All-purpose flower
  • 2 tbsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 cup Ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Whole milk
  • 1 Medium Pineapple
  1. Coat the cooking cake pan with a regular amount of cooking spray and leave aside until needed. In a saucepan with the stove on medium heat, heat the brown sugar and add one stick of butter. Whisk every so often till the sugar has dissolved completely. Bring to a boiling point and cook till the caramel starts to thicken and turns to a dark brown colour. Cook this for about 3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in some rum and 1 teaspoon of salt. Pour the caramel into the cake pan and use swirling motions until the pan is coated. Set the cake pan aside and let it cool.

  2. Preheat the oven at 175 C (350 F). In a medium sized bowl, mix together with a whisk baking powder, the remaining salt, flour and cinnamon. In a larger bowl, mix together the granulated sugar, and the remaining butter with an electric mixer on medium until it is looking fluffy and light.

  3. Arrange the pineapple rings on top of the caramel in the prepared cake pan. Fill the spaces inbetween the rings with what pineapple chunks are leftover. Carefully pour the batter over the pineapple and smooth over the top using the rubber spatula.

  4. Bake your cake until you can use a toothpick and it comes out with no batter on it. Cook this for 50 minutes. Move pan to a rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the sides so the cake can loosen from the pan and put on a large sized serving plate.

Sour-Cream Vanilla Pound Cake with Rhubarb Compote

Dense sour-cream and vanilla cake is perfect for spring when served with a sweet-and-tart rhubarb compote

  • 2 1/2 c Sugar
  • 1/2 c Unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c Sour Cream
  • 2 Vanilla beans
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Baking soda
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 lb rhubarb
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • Whipped cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 190 C (375 F). In a bowl, mix together one and a half ounces of butter and sugar on a medium to low speed until it is light and fluffy for about 4 minutes. Add some vanilla seeds and sour cream and mix together for about 2 minutes. Add your eggs one at a time. Then, add baking soda, flour, salt and then mix together until all is combined.

  2. Pour the mixed batter in a loaf pan and sweep around in a even motion with a rubber spatula. Bake till you can use a toothpick to check if it comes out clean. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour. Move the pan to the wired rack and let the cake cool for 30 minutes and invert the pan to let the cake release. Let it cool completely on a rack for 2 hours.

  3. In a regular sized saucepan, put on medium to high heat. Bring the ginger, 2 tablespoons of water, rhubarb and the leftover sugar to boil. Put the heat to simmer and cook until the rhubarb has gone down to chunks for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the rhubarb to cool for at least 2 hours. To serve, cut the cake into 8 even pieces. Put some whipped cream on each slice.

Let me know how the cake bakes!

A lot of people are intimidated by cake recipes, but it’s actually pretty tough to mess them up. So long as you stick to the core ingredients like eggs and flour, it will rise! If you find you’ve over cooked it slightly, just use a long knife to slice off the any overly crusty layers. Your cake will be good as new underneath.

In terms of decoration, I find that less is often more with cakes. Think up a pretty simple design and you can add to it later on if you think it could be snazzier. I think it’s safe to stick to a couple of colours and some basic lettering. If piping lettering seems a bit scary, try looking for some store-bought chocolate letters. However, if you’re feeling confident, just try some basic water icing. Often, little mistakes just add to the charm and the homemade feel of the cake.

Do let me know how these recipes turn out for you. Especially if you decide to tweak them a little! I love hearing about how my bakery tips and tricks work out for others – please send in your pictures!


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Pauline is a mother of four, when she isn't cooking up new dishes for her family and friends, she likes to dine out at newly-opened restaurants (especially tapas!) and review them in her blog posts.
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