9x13 Cake Recipes So Good You'll Never Make Another Layer Cake

Pineapple Angel Food Cake I
Photo: FoodFan

Layer cakes have their place. The higher the layers, the better the presentation for birthdays and anniversaries. But single-layer 9x13 cakes are quicker and easier, and more ideal for gatherings like potlucks, picnics, and backyard barbecues where people serve themselves (and not everyone is a skilled cake cutter). The no-fuss 9x13 cake deserves a bit more credit, however, than just being easy to serve or quick to frost. These rectangular cakes can do a lot of things layer cakes can't: have a perfect ratio of frosting to cake, hold hidden layers of fruit, and absorb luscious milks and cream. They're also much easier to store and transport if you need to take that cake somewhere outside of your kitchen. Here, we gathered some of our top-rated 9x13 cake recipes for any occasion. You'll find classics like tres leches and dump cakes, as well as fun options like banana snacking cakes and more.

01 of 25

Wacky Cake

Wacky Cake IV

What's so wacky about this cake? This chocolate 9x13 cake is made by pouring dry ingredients into the pan, then adding the wet ingredients and stirring in the pan. That's right, no bowl. Now that is crazy!

02 of 25

Mom's Sponge Cake

Mom's Sponge Cake

This light and fluffy cake is made in a 9x13-inch pan instead of a shaped Bundt pan or fluted pan (though plenty of home cooks say in the reviews that's what they used). But made in a rectangular pan, this cake is great for cutting squares or even rounds for however you prefer to serve it.

03 of 25

Apple Cake

Apple Cake IV

For a perfectly thick cake, a 9x13 pan is preferred to several round pans, which can make cakes thinner and chewier as they cook. But in this pan, and with this apple cake recipe, the rectangular pan is ideal for getting the batter done without leaving the apples crunchy. "Keep coming back to this recipe it is such a nice cake and so easy to make. Good way to use up extra apples," writes home cook Patc33.

04 of 25

Texas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake III

Texas sheet cake is usually made in a rimmed jelly roll pan or sheet pan, but recipe contributor Bron made this in a 9x13 cake pan so you don't have to worry about the flaky frosting rolling off onto your cabinets (and floors, speaking from personal experience).

05 of 25

Tres Leches (Milk Cake)

Tres Leches (Milk Cake)

You'll need the tall sides of a 9x13-inch pan to hold this cake and all its parts (cake, filling, and topping) which includes four milks (whole milk, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream). The milks sit in the pan and soak into the cake for a decadent sweet unlike any other.

06 of 25

Coconut Cream Cake

Coconut Cream Cake II
Sherry McQueen

"This coconut cake is amazing! The only change I made with this recipe, is using only egg whites. It turned out super moist and pure white. I store it in the refrigerator which makes it taste even better! Serve chilled! Yum!!" writes recipe reviewer Jan.

07 of 25

Grandma's Blueberry Buckle

blueberry buckle on a white and blue plate
Deb C

If anyone knows the magic of a 9x13 cake recipe, it's grandmothers, and as this Grandma-approved recipe proves, there's almost no type of cake you can't make in this rectangular pan. A "buckle" is a traditional cake baked with fruit and topped with streusel. As the cake rises, the streusel causes the cake to "buckle" which results in a rugged cake that's old-fashioned and grandma-approved.

08 of 25

Yellow Cake Made From Scratch

Yellow Cake Made from Scratch

The classic yellow cake is perfect for birthdays, holidays, office parties, and more. To make it easier to carry (and to decorate), make it in a 9x13 pan, turn it out on a cutting board, and cover with your own frosting.

09 of 25

Pineapple Angel Food Cake

Pineapple Angel Food Cake I

A 9x13 cake made with just three ingredients? Sounds like a dream cooked up in baked goods heaven. This angel food cake recipe starts with a boxed cake mix and only needs pineapple juice and crushed pineapple to complete it.

10 of 25

German Sweet Chocolate Cake

German Sweet Chocolate Cake I

Make a 9x13 version of German chocolate cake, and you won't have to fuss over layers of frosting and swirls of chocolate ganache again. It'll just be a really good cake that's ready to eat even faster — and one that's perfect for the church luncheon because you don't have to worry about cake layers slipping and sliding off your cake stand.

11 of 25

The Original Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

The Original Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

When you can't decide between a cake and a cookie, make a cookie cake! This version is made in a 9x13 pan because it's a bit denser and thicker than mall cookie cakes (which are made in sheet pans usually). Reviewers suggest you use the toothpick trick to determine if the center of the cake is cooked before removing it from the oven. Some cooler ovens may need more time.

12 of 25

Oma's Rhubarb Cake

slice of rhubarb cake on a white plate

Similar to a buckle, this rhubarb cake is made with a ribbon of rhubarb throughout the 9x13 cake, and a streusel topping finishes it off. This is a great way to try rhubarb if you're unfamiliar with it, or if you're just looking for another way to use up a garden's worth in the spring.

13 of 25

Aunt Anne's Coffee Cake

Aunt Anne's Coffee Cake

Most coffee cakes are made in Bundt pans or tube pans, but this coffee cake is made in a 9x13-inch pan to keep things easier. The result is a thinner coffee cake (you could double if you like a thicker cake, as some reviewers suggest) that's great for snacking on while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee in the morning or afternoon. "I loved it and so did my guests. I had all the ingredients and it was very easy. So delicious!" writes reviewer Mary Beth.

14 of 25

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

A delightful use for ripe bananas, this 9x13 cake recipe happens to be a great snacking cake (that's a single-layer cake with little or no frosting or topping). This one should be easy to pull together any time you have browning bananas on hand because most of the ingredients are pantry and fridge staples.

15 of 25

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake III

A few Allrecipes cooks made this coffee cake recipe in a bread pan, but a 9x13 is ideal so the cake is baked throughout. "This was the best, moistest coffee cake I've ever made. so good! I'll be making this again," writes reviewer Holly Sweeney. Another cook noted they doubled the topping because their family likes it, which sounds like a delicious idea to us.

16 of 25

Salad Dressing Chocolate Cake

Salad Dressing Chocolate Cake

Thrill your guests when you reveal the secret ingredient in this unique cake: Miracle Whip. The salad dressing acts as the fat and binder (so no oil or eggs in this recipe) and manages to make this one moist, tender, and unforgettable cake.

17 of 25

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake III
Sophia Chen

Most reviewers made this carrot cake recipe as two nine-inch rounds, and you can absolutely do that. But for a 9x13 carrot cake recipe, look no further. This one is designed for a rich and luscious coating of cream cheese frosting, and you can decorate with pecans or adorable frosting carrots if you wish. This would be a great recipe for an Easter celebration so it's easier for guests to slice and serve.

18 of 25

Eclair Cake

Eclair Cake

Layer up graham crackers, vanilla pudding, and chocolate frosting for an easy, no-bake 9x13 cake that's great for picnics and summer celebrations. Home cook Miranda Evans writes, "Easy to make and inexpensive for a large family. You can do so much with this recipe. I used banana pudding. You can also do white chocolate with chocolate graham crackers. It's all so yummy!"

19 of 25

Chewy Butter Cake

Chewy Butter Cake
Chef Mo

Butter cake is a Midwest dessert classic. Though it says cake in the recipe title, these baked treats are a bit more fudgy, like a vanilla brownie.

20 of 25

Dump Cake

Dump Cake I

Add all five ingredients for this cake to a 9x13 pan, stir, and bake. It couldn't be easier, and that's why you'll keep this cake recipe in your back pocket for potlucks, barbecues, and more. Serve with ice cream for a really special finish.

21 of 25

Mandarin Orange Cake

Mandarin Orange Cake I

"This cake is a holiday favorite at my house! Because we love mandarin oranges, I mix the batter as directed BUT then add a second (drained) can of oranges & mix on low just until the oranges are coarsely chopped," writes reviewer DianaT.

22 of 25

Nina's Brazilian Carrot Cake

Nina's Brazilian Carrot Cake
Allrecipes Magazine

You've never had a carrot cake quite like this. While most carrot cake recipes are designed for tangy cream cheese frosting, this one's made for chocolate frosting. "My Brazilian boyfriend said that this recipe was perfect and ate almost the entire thing himself," writes home cook gcorcaigh.

23 of 25

Cinnamon Yum Cake

cinnamon cake in a white baking dish with pecans on top
Allrecipes Magazine

You're likely not used to seeing wine in cake recipes, but this one is so surprisingly good, you won't think twice about adding wine to your future cakes. Recipe contributor Sandy G says, "White wine keeps the cake flavorful and moist, and walnuts on top add a little crunch."

24 of 25

Old Southern Chocolate Pecan Sheet Cake

Old Southern Chocolate Pecan Sheet Cake
Kaylea Burkhart

This recipe has a lot in common with Texas sheet cake, but it's just different enough (no cinnamon, for one) that you should give it a try whether or not you like that other chocolate cake with crispy pecan frosting. "OMG ya'll!! No tweaking needed, this cake is pure chocolatey perfection that deserves 10 stars!!" writes reviewer jarrells.

25 of 25

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

layers of chocolate, caramel, and ice cream are stacked with peanuts on top on a white platter

Five ingredients, 30 minutes, one delicious dessert. You'll layer up all the ingredients in a 9x13 cake pan, and freeze again so it's easier to slice and serve.

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