17 Gorgeous Layer Cake Recipes Everyone Can Make

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Layer cakes, with their alternating tiers of moist cake and creamy frosting, are downright impressive. They can also be a little intimidating if you don’t have a lot of practice under your belt. Good news, though — you don’t have to be a pro to bake a totally awe-inspiring and delicious layer cake.

Whether you’re just getting the hang of cake baking, you’ve got a few basic cakes under your belt, or you’re a seasoned pro, there is a recipe that’s just right for you. From a one-bowl naked cakes and an easy birthday cake to a classic red velvet and a stacked chocolate-coconut number, here are 18 layer cake recipes to help you get started.

Easy Layer Cakes to Get You Started

If you’re brand new to baking layer cakes, these are the easy and approachable recipes that will help you get started. Some come together in a single bowl (bonus points for easy cleanup), many require just basic pantry ingredients, and, to keep things easy, every cake in this lineup skips frosting the sides. Grab your mixing bowl — you’ve got this!


If you have your cake basics down, and you’re ready to step up your game, these are the recipes for you. Each of these cakes start with two rounds of cake (although the funfetti cake gets fancy by slicing each one in half for a total of four layers!), and a single frosting that doubles as filling and a delicious, decorative swirl over the outside of the cake.

Layer Cakes for the Skilled Baker

Ready to put your skills to the test? These deliciously impressive layer cakes go big, building a dessert with at least three layers, a sweet frosting for the outside, and a different filling to be nestled between the layers. Some of these cakes also let you put your decorating skills to the test.