31 Fancy Cake Recipes That Will Steal the Show
There are cakes, and there are fancy cakes. Some occasions call for the latter — like birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, graduations, or really any time you want to treat yourself to a bakery-quality cake at home. And if you're looking to stretch yourself beyond your go-to cakes, these recipes will help you develop new baking skills and techniques. From rich chocolate cakes perfect for date night to rainbow-colored birthday cakes and multi-layered cakes filled with custard and draped in a decadent ganache, any of these fancy cake recipes will make a statement at your next celebration.
Dark Chocolate Cake I
This dark chocolate cake with a cream cheese, cocoa, and cinnamon frosting will quickly replace your current favorite chocolate cake recipe. Take it from reviewer ZZZORBA who says, "I am a pastry chef, and this is the only chocolate cake that I will make from now on. I separated the eggs and whipped the whites separately with some of the sugar, then folded it all together to make it extra airy."
Pistachio Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream
For a lighter, moist cake that's not overly sweet, this pistachio layer cake with cream cheese buttercream icing is an excellent choice. Plus, the layers can be made ahead of time and frozen for up to a month in advance according to John Somerall from the Allrecipes Test Kitchen. "The presentation with the swirled top and pistachio-coated sides make it a real showpiece," says John.
White Almond Wedding Cake
Sour cream is often used in baking to yield a more moist, slightly more flavorful result, and it does just that in this leveled-up cake mix cake: "A secret ingredient of sour cream makes this cake so moist, dense, and delicious! I use this recipe for my kids' birthdays, but it's a favorite for wedding cakes, too!" says recipe creator CUPYCAKESMURF.
Prinsesstarta (Swedish Princess Cake)
This popular Swedish cake is a guaranteed showstopper, and a great way to practice your baking skills. It's made up of layers of white sponge cake with a raspberry jam and pastry cream filling, all of which are draped in a green, almondy marzipan.
Vanilla Chai Cheesecake
Vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom give this cheesecake it's chai-inspired flavor, and the gingersnap and amaretti cookie crust puts it over the top. For an elegant presentation, drizzle the cheesecake in jarred caramel sauce.
Banana Layer Cake
Eclair Cake with Chocolate Ganache
Champagne Funfetti Ice Cream Cake
From-scratch Champagne confetti cake is layered with ice cream, topped with whipped cream, and drizzled in caramel to create a dessert that's fitting for any celebration. Serve with leftover Champagne, of course.
Smith Island Cake
Southern Red Velvet Cake
Banana Cheesecake with Banana Cream Pie Topping
Rainbow Pinata Cake
Prepare for the "oohs" and "aahs" when you cut into this rainbow layer cake that is overflowing with assorted candies and sprinkles. "This was an absolute hit at my daughter's birthday party," says reviewer BRADLEY LATOUR. "Was a lot easier to make than I thought it would be."
"Based on the Hungarian Dobos torte (pronounced Do-bash), this cake was developed in New Orleans and is now a staple throughout Louisiana," says recipe creator metread. This is definitely a special occasion dessert — layers of white cake and custard filling are covered in a chocolate buttercream and chocolate ganache.
As the predecessor to the Doberge cake (see the previous slide), this traditional Hungarian dessert is named for its creator, Hungarian pastry chef Josef Dobos. Chocolate buttercream is sandwiched between layers of sponge cake and topped with a caramel glaze.
Chocolate Unicorn Cake
Don't be fooled by the adorable unicorn, this recipe uses a from-scratch, dark chocolate cake with homemade vanilla frosting, meaning it tastes as good as it looks. Reviewer Lisa describes the cake as, "Deep chocolate flavor not too sweet and perfectly moist."
Triple Chocolate Roll Cake
"A chocolate cake is wrapped around alternating stripes of white chocolate whipped cream and a whipped dark chocolate mousse for not only great flavor, but a striking presentation as well," says recipe creator Kim. "Make sure to really chill your fillings before whipping--overnight would be best--or they won't fluff up properly. This takes some time and patience to make--so plan ahead when making this cake!"
Rainbow Citrus Cake
A rainbow of citrus flavors — orange, lemon, and lime — alternate with a lemon custard filling and are topped off with an orange cream frosting. "It is definitely fun and pretty, and you can clearly taste the distinct flavor of each of the lime, lemon, and orange layers, each as delicious as the next," says reviewer naples34102.
This Italian-inspired cheesecake takes from its namesake with ingredients like ricotta cheese, mascarpone, and chocolate chips. To keep the top of the cheesecake from cracking, try turning off the oven when the cheesecake is done and leaving the door cracked for about an hour, as John Somerall from the Allrecipes Test Kitchen suggests.
Easy Six-Layer Rainbow Cake
This bright and cheery rainbow layer cake has a mascarpone frosting that helps to hold the cake together and preserve it for next-day enjoyment.
Apple Frangipane Cake
Strawberry Lemonade Cake
A favorite summertime beverage is transformed into a frosted layer cake. Some reviewers suggest adding a little red food coloring to the strawberry reduction for a stronger presentation.
Sometimes fancy means new and innovative, and sometimes it means classic and elegant. This decadent caramel cake with caramel icing can definitely be described as the latter.
Mexican Tres Leches Cake (Pastel de 3 Leches)
White Wine Pound Cake
While you might not typically include pound cake in a collection of fancy recipes, this is not your typical pound cake recipe. This cake starts with yellow cake mix, but the addition of white wine to both the batter and the glaze takes it up a notch.
Extreme Chocolate Cake
White Tres Leches Cake
Traditional tres leches cakes are soaked with milk (three kinds: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream). This version uses the same ingredients to create a mousse-like mixture, resulting in a cake that holds up better to frosting and other decorations.
Tiramisu Layer Cake
This is one cake to make when you're looking to stretch yourself in the kitchen: "I first tried this at baking school, and I became addicted to it...it is a layered dessert of a thin cake with ground almonds, filled with ganache and coffee buttercream, and topped with more ganache. It's a lot of steps, but well worth the effort," says recipe creator Giselle. The best part is, you can make the individual components in advance and assemble them later.
Compared to its sponge cake counterpart, genoise sponge cake is a little more crumbly and less springy. A traditional sponge cake has just three ingredients: flour, sugar, and eggs; but the genoise sponge cake gets its denser texture from the addition of butter.
Russian Honey Cake
"The tiny amount of bitterness we get from the burnt honey really is the secret here, and the slightly tangy whipped cream frosting provides a bit of acidity and lovely light texture; and unlike other frostings, it's not too sweet," says Chef John of this towering layer cake.
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