8 Layer Cake Recipes That Are Tiered Temptations

Is there a better time to make a layered cake than for a party, pot-luck, or other large gathering? These stacked sweets can feed the masses and have a stunning effect when presented to party-goers. What the desserts do not have to be is difficult; whether you want to go semi-homemade or take your baking to a height worthy of your cake’s stature by making it from scratch, we’ve discovered the eight recipes you need to have. Now all you need is an occasion to make one of these beauties.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/inspirekelly/

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/inspirekelly/

1. Strawberry Shortcake

Real Simple is indeed keeping it simple with a recipe for a layer cake that utilizes a box mix and dresses it up with fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream. Any fresh fruit will be phenomenal with this simple cake, so make the most of what happens to be in season and available if you do not want to use strawberries.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
  • 3 pints strawberries, stemmed and sliced
  • 3 cups heavy cream

Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, and oil along with the amount of water called for by the package directions. Beat until well-combined. Divide the batter between the pans. Place in oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let the cakes cool for at least 10 minutes before removing them from the pans. Cool completely before assembling the shortcake.

Meanwhile, sprinkle ½ cup of the sugar over the strawberries. Set aside at room temperature until the berries release their juices, about 30 minutes. About 15 minutes before serving, combine the cream and the remaining sugar in a medium bowl, and whip by hand or with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Place one of the cake layers on a serving platter. Pile on half the strawberries and half the whipped cream. Top with the remaining layer, the rest of the whipped cream, and the remaining strawberries. Serve immediately.

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/epw/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/epw/

2. Carrot Cake

A well-made carrot cake will always be a hit, and Fine Cooking has stayed traditional with this carrot cake and vanilla cream cheese frosting combination. You can also prepare the entire cake ahead of time, because it can be stored in the fridge for two days, and the cake will develop stronger flavors as it sits. It will serve between 12 and 14 people.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup canola, corn, or vegetable oil; more for the pans
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pans
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon table salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 ½ cups lightly packed, finely grated carrots
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Frosting

  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon table salt

Directions: For the cake, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil and flour the sides of two 9 x 2-inch round cake pans, tapping out any excess flour. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the oil, eggs, carrots, brown sugar, walnuts, raisins, and vanilla on medium speed until well-blended, about 1 minute. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just blended, about 30 seconds. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.

Bake until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly pressed and a cake tester inserted into the centers comes out clean, 28 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pans on a rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pans to loosen the cakes, invert them onto the rack, remove the pans, and carefully peel away the parchment. Set the cakes aside to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter with the mixer on medium speed until very smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat on medium high until blended and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Cover the frosting and set aside at room temperature until the layers are completely cool.

To assemble, carefully set one cake upside down on a large, flat serving plate. Using a metal spatula, evenly spread about 1 ½ cups of the frosting over the top of the cake. Top with the remaining cake layer, upside down. Spread a thin layer (about cup) of frosting over the entire cake to seal in any crumbs and fill in any gaps between layers. Refrigerate until the frosting is cold and firm, about 20 minutes. Spread the entire cake with the remaining frosting.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/theliteraryomnivore/

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/theliteraryomnivore/

3. Triple Stacked Cupcakes

You’ll still have dessert for a crowd, but on a smaller scale when you follow this recipe from Betty Crocker to make layered cupcakes. The original recipe makes red velvet cupcakes, but you could use the method described for any kind of layered cupcake you desire. It makes 16 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box German chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 bottle (1 ounce) red food color (about 2 tablespoons)

Frosting

  • 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 to 5 teaspoons milk or water
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups. In large bowl, beat cupcake ingredients on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (about two-thirds full.) Bake 18 to 23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate uncovered 1 hour.

In large bowl, beat marshmallow creme, butter and 3 teaspoons of the milk with electric mixer on high speed until fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk until smooth and spreadable. To assemble, remove paper baking cups, and cut cupcakes in half horizontally. Set aside 16 cupcake tops. Pipe about 1 tablespoon frosting onto cut side of 16 cupcake bottoms; top each with another cupcake top or bottom. Pipe about 1 tablespoon frosting on each cupcake. Top with reserved cupcake tops. Pipe frosting on cupcake tops. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Store in refrigerator until serving.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/caitlinator/

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/caitlinator/

4. Boston Cream Pie

Don’t let the name fool you — this classic cake may have pie in the title, but it is definitely a cake. Shorter in stature than some other layered cakes, the Boston Cream pie was created at the Omni Parker House in Boston by a French pastry chef. But you don’t need to be French, in Boston, or a classically trained chef to follow this recipe from Saveur which serves 10 people.

Ingredients:

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
  • 1 ½ cups flour, plus more for pan
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk

Filling and Glaze

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces 60-percent bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside. In another bowl, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed of a hand mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each, until smooth. Alternately add dry ingredients and buttermilk in 3 batches, beginning and ending with dry ingredients; beat until just combined. Pour into pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes, and then invert onto a wire rack; let cool completely.

For the filling, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla seeds in a 4-quart saucepan; add yolks, and whisk until smooth. Stir in milk, and place pan over medium heat; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and add butter one cube at a time, whisking until smooth; stir in vanilla extract. Transfer pudding to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; chill until firmed, at least 2 hours.

Last, make the glaze and assemble cake. Place chocolate in a bowl. Bring cream to a boil in a 1-quart saucepan over high heat; pour over chocolate and let sit for 1 minute. Slowly stir chocolate and cream until smooth and shiny; set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Using a serrated knife, split cake horizontally into two layers so that the top layer is slightly smaller than the bottom. Spread chilled pudding over cut side of bottom layer and cover with top layer; pour chocolate glaze evenly over cake, letting it drip down the side of the cake. Refrigerate cake until glaze is set, at least 30 minutes. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattwagers/

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattwagers/

5. Lemon 1-2-3-4 Cake

When you’re making Martha Stewart‘s lemon flavored 1-2-3-4 cake, you cut a few corners by using ready-made whipped cream and lemon curd. An entirely homemade cake is possible, too, by following the recipe links included below.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 3 cups lemon curd
  • Sweet whipped cream
  • 12 ounces assorted fresh berries
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange two racks in center of oven. Butter two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper. Dust bottoms and sides of pans with flour; tap out any excess. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium speed until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating on medium speed until lightened, 3 to 4 minutes; scrape down sides once or twice. Drizzle in eggs, a little at a time, beating after each addition until batter is no longer slick, about 5 minutes; stop once or twice to scrape down sides. On low speed, alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, a little of each at a time, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat in vanilla and lemon zest.

Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake 25 minutes, then rotate the pans in the oven for even browning. Continue baking until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, 10 to 20 minutes more. Transfer pans to wire racks to cool, 15 minutes. Turn out cakes; set on racks, tops up, until completely cool.

Remove the parchment from bottom of each cake. Using a serrated knife, slice each layer in half horizontally. Set aside the prettiest domed layer for the top of cake. Place another domed layer, dome-side down, on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup lemon curd over surface to within 1/2 inch from edges. Place second cake layer over the first, and spread another 1 cup curd over top. Repeat with third cake layer and remaining cup curd. Transfer partially assembled cake to the refrigerator. Just before serving, place reserved dome on top of cake. Spoon sweetened whipped cream over the top. Sprinkle with mixed berries, and dust with confectioners’ sugar through a fine sieve.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuart_spivack/

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuart_spivack/

6. Banana Cake With Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Garnishes aren’t the only way to add fruit to a cake, and carrots are the only produce that bakes into a tiered dessert. Southern Living‘s banana cake is a moist, decadent cake that gets a healthy dose of cream cheese frosting, which you can give a hint of coconut flavoring to, if desired.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups plus 5 ½ tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 cups)
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk

Frosting

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 ½ cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups sweetened flaked coconut

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift together cake flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in bananas at low speed. Increase speed to medium, and gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. As the cakes are baking and cooling, make the frosting. Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add confectioners sugar alternately with milk, beating at low speed until blended. Add vanilla; beat until smooth. Stir in coconut. Spread coconut cream cheese frosting between layers and on top and sides of cooled cake.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuart_spivack/

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuart_spivack/

7. Baked Alaska

Tempt friends and family with the classic combination of cake, ice cream, and meringue with this baked Alaska recipe from Food Network. Using a store-bought pound cake for the base means that you can devote your energy to other aspects of the cake, like the ice cream and meringue layers. You can also make the ice cream cake up to two days in advance.

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • 1 pint raspberry, passion fruit or other sorbet, softened
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 1 quart chocolate ice cream, softened
  • 1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs (about 17 crushed wafers)
  • 1 loaf pound cake

For the Meringue

  • 1 cup egg whites (about 6 large), at room temperature
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar

Directions: To make the ice cream cake, brush a 3-quart metal bowl with vegetable oil; line with plastic wrap. Fill the bowl with scoops of the sorbet, vanilla ice cream, and half of the chocolate ice cream, alternating small and large scoops to create a mosaic of colors and shapes. Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the ice cream; press down to close the gaps between scoops and even out the surface. Remove the plastic wrap, sprinkle the ice cream with the wafer crumbs and re-cover with the plastic wrap, pressing gently. Freeze until set, about 30 minutes.

Remove the wrap and spread the remaining chocolate ice cream in an even layer on top of the crumbs. Cut the pound cake into ½-inch thick slices; completely cover the ice cream with the slices, trimming as needed (you’ll use about two-thirds of the cake.) Cover with fresh plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Make the meringue by whipping the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until foamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar on high speed until the whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap, then invert the cake onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. (If necessary, let the cake stand overturned until it slips out.) Remove the rest of the plastic wrap and cover the ice cream completely with the meringue, making the dome-shaped top slightly thicker than the sides. Form swirly peaks in the meringue using the back of a spoon. Freeze for at least 3 more hours.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the cake until the meringue peaks are golden, about 4 minutes, or brown the meringue with a blowtorch. Let the cake soften at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Freeze any leftovers.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thedugger/

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thedugger/

8. Tiramisu

Last, but certainly not least, is AllRecipes.com’s tiramisu. This cake made from ladyfinger cookies is an ideal way to use up leftover egg yolks, and doesn’t require any baking.

Ingredients:

  • 6 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound mascarpone cheese
  • ¼ cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages ladyfinger cookies
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions: In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well-blended. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator 1 hour.

In a medium bowl, beat cream with vanilla until stiff peaks form. Whisk mascarpone into yolk mixture until smooth. In a small bowl, combine coffee and rum. Split ladyfingers in half lengthwise and drizzle with coffee mixture. Arrange half of soaked ladyfingers in bottom of a 7 x 11 dish. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers, then half of whipped cream over that. Repeat layers and sprinkle with cocoa. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours, until set.

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