6 Easy and Elegant Cake Recipes That Taste Incredible
A cake is perfect for almost any occasion — birthday parties, get-togethers, holidays, and of course, when you simply want to enjoy a divine dessert. The only downside to this dessert is that many cakes often come with recipes that are complicated and time consuming. For occasions when you want an elegant cake but don’t have the patience or energy to prepare one that is too intricate, we recommend making any one of these six cake recipes; thanks to their easy-to-follow instructions, you can prepare stunning cakes using minimal effort.
1. Ricotta Cake
Martha Stewart delivers a cake that is soft, creamy, and light. You’ll appreciate the notes of vanilla and cinnamon radiating throughout this dessert, and an easy sauce made of strawberries adds fresh, vibrant flavors. While your cake is in the oven, set aside a little time to whip up Martha Stewart’s strawberry sauce; it only requires three ingredients!
- 1 quart whole milk
- ¾ cup arborio rice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- Unsalted butter, for pan
- All-purpose flour, for pan
- 3 pounds fresh ricotta cheese, drained 3 hours or preferably overnight
- 3 large whole eggs plus 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- Strawberry Sauce
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring milk to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in rice, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla bean. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until rice is very tender and has absorbed all liquid, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Stir in ¾ cup granulated sugar. Cover; let cool, stirring occasionally. Discard vanilla bean.
Butter and flour an 8-inch springform pan. In a large bowl, combine the rice mixture, ricotta, whole eggs and egg yolks, and remaining ½ cup sugar. Pour into prepared pan. Bake until golden on top and almost set in the center, 65 to 70 minutes; cover with foil if starting to brown too much. Transfer pan to a cooling rack. When cake has completely cooled, run a knife around edge to loosen. Gently remove ring; transfer cake to a serving platter. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, and serve with sauce.
2. Pecan Cake with Rum Frosting
Bursting with nutty flavors and a rich rum frosting, Real Simple’s cake is the perfect addition to your dessert table. Once you grind your pecans and other dry ingredients, you’ll use an electric mixer to beat your butter, sugar, and eggs. Then combine the two mixtures, stir in buttermilk and vanilla, and your cake is ready to bake! Once it’s cooled, don’t forget to top with the thick, creamy frosting, which is a combination of butter, sugar, rum, and vanilla.
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
- 1¼ cups pecans
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon dark rum
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. In a food processor, finely grind 1 cup of the pecans. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and pulse to combine; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 stick of the butter with the brown and granulated sugars until light and fluffy, 5 to 6 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Gradually add the pecan mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Stir in the buttermilk and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining butter with the confectioners’ sugar and cream until fluffy. Beat in the rum and the remaining vanilla. Spread on cake. Chop the remaining pecans and sprinkle on top.
3. Layered Toffee Cake
Store-bought angel food cake makes Taste of Home’s recipe a breeze to prepare. Cut your cake horizontally into three layers, cover each layer with frosting, reassemble your cake, and garnish with the remaining cream and pieces of a Heath candy bar. This impressive dessert will make it seem as though you’ve spent all day in the kitchen, when in reality, it only takes 20 minutes to prepare! The recipe yields 12 to 14 servings.
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup caramel or butterscotch ice cream topping
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 prepared angel food cake (8 to 10 ounces)
- 9 Heath candy bars (1.4 ounces each), chopped
Directions: In a bowl, beat cream just until it begins to thicken. Gradually add the ice cream topping and vanilla, beating until soft peaks form. Cut cake horizontally into three layers. Place the bottom layer on a serving plate; spread with 1 cup cream mixture and sprinkle with ½ cup candy bar. Repeat. Place top layer on cake; frost top and sides with remaining cream mixture and sprinkle with the remaining candy bar. Store in the refrigerator.
4. Chocolate Eclair Cake
Create a lovely layered cake using graham crackers, creamy vanilla custard, and a rich chocolate glaze. In addition to tasting delicious, Allrecipes.com delivers a dessert that is extraordinarily easy to prepare. Requiring only 20 minutes of prep time, you’ll quickly find that the hardest part of this recipe is practicing patience while it sets in the fridge!
- 2 (3 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
- 3 cups milk
- 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1 (16 ounce) package chocolate graham crackers
- ¼ cup milk
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions: In a large bowl, combine pudding mix and 3 cups milk; mix well. Fold in whipped topping and beat with mixer for 2 minutes. In a buttered 9-by-13 inch baking dish, spread a layer of graham crackers on the bottom of the dish. Spread ½ of the pudding mixture over crackers, then top with graham crackers.
Spread remaining pudding over crackers; top second pudding layer with another layer of crackers. To make topping, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine ¼ cup milk, cocoa, and sugar and allow to boil for 1 minute; remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Mix well and cool. Pour sauce over graham cracker layer and refrigerate until set; serve.
5. Raspberry Poke Cake
A store-bought cake mix, raspberries, gelatin, and whipped topping work together to create Tablespoon’s simple — yet stunning — cake. Make sure you poke plenty of holes in your cake after you’ve baked it; it will enable the raspberry gelatin to absorb into the dish, giving it a beautiful red hue and fresh-tasting flavors. The recipe yields 12 servings.
- 1 box super moist white cake mix
- 1 box (4-serving size) raspberry-flavored gelatin
- 1 cup boiling water
- ½ cup cold water
- 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
- Fresh raspberries, if desired
Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Make and bake cake as directed on box for 13-by-9-inch pan. Cool completely in pan, about 1 hour. Pierce cooled cake all over with fork. In small bowl, stir gelatin and boiling water until smooth; stir in cold water. Pour over cake. Run knife around sides of pan to loosen cake. Refrigerate 2 hours. Frost with whipped topping; garnish with raspberries. Store covered in refrigerator.
6. Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cake
MyRecipes’ chocolate chocolate-chip cake will quickly become your go-to dessert. German chocolate cake mix ensures this treat is easy to make, while pudding and a chocolate glaze add decadent flavors throughout. The recipe yields 12 servings and only requires 15 minutes of prep time.
- 1 box German chocolate cake mix
- 1 (3.9 ounce) box instant chocolate pudding mix
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup heavy cream
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan. Whisk cake and pudding mixes in a large bowl. In another large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat sour cream until lightened, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs until well combined. Add oil and ½ cup warm water; beat until smooth. Reduce speed to low. Beat in cake mix mixture in 2 batches until no lumps remain, about 3 minutes.
Stir in 2 cups chocolate chips. Bake until a tester inserted into cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cake cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and allow to cool completely on wire rack. Make glaze: Stir together heavy cream and remaining ½ cup chocolate chips in a microwavable cup. Microwave for 1 minute at 50 percent power. Whisk until smooth. Pour over cake. Serve.