9x13 Cake Recipes So Good You Might Never Make a Layer Cake Again

Strawberries-and-Cream Sheet Cake
Photo: Photo: Hector Sanchez

When it comes to Southern gatherings and celebrations, it's safe to say that bigger is often better. From your batches of biscuits to pitchers of sweet tea, more is actually just right. As much as we love our layered cakes and pies, we get a little edgy when watching the slices disappear quicker than we feel comfortable with. That's why we've come to love our 9x13 cake pan even more than our round ones. The totally underrated, no-fuss 9x13 cake deserves a little more credit, especially considering all of the delicious variations that go well beyond the basics. We're talking old-school classics like chocolate-mayonnaise and cola cakes, as well as fancy new friends like coconut-carrot and chunky apple cakes. These top-rated 9x13 cake recipes make the most of the one-layered dessert that easily feeds a crowd and wins at the cake-to-frosting ratio every time. Plus, they're tasty and pretty enough to pull out for every occasion. Here are our favorite 9x13 cake recipes of all time.

01 of 17

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Sure, as kids we gasped at the reveal that this delicious old-fashioned delicacy uses mayonnaise; but we were quick to brush it off. You can't argue with the fluffiest, most moist sheet cake ever.

02 of 17

Sweet Tea-and-Lemonade Cake

Sweet Tea-and-Lemonade Cake
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Sweet Tea-and-Lemonade Cake

You won't find anything quite as Southern as this cake's take on an Arnold Palmer. Tea-infused batter gets topped with a zesty lemonade frosting and lemon slices for garnish. Turn this into a tipsy cake by substituting up to two tablespoons of vodka or bourbon for the lemon juice in the frosting.

03 of 17

Strawberries-and-Cream Sheet Cake

Strawberries-and-Cream Sheet Cake
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Strawberries-and-Cream Sheet Cake

When you're looking for an easy cake that somehow looks even better than it tastes, this strawberry-speckled sheet cake is the way to go. It won't disappoint, especially at any spring or summer gathering.

04 of 17

Coca-Cola Cake

Coca-Cola Cake
Southern Living

Recipe: Coca-Cola Cake

You can instantly tell the difference that the sweet syrup and magical bubbly brew of carbonated cola gives to the cake batter, resulting in an insanely tender texture. We even throw some Coca-Cola in the chocolate frosting for a velvety finish!

05 of 17

Coconut Sheet Cake

Coconut Sheet Cake
Southern Living

Recipe: Coconut Sheet Cake

A towering layered cake can seem a bit daunting, but this 13x9 recipe makes whipping up a coconut cake quick and easy. It uses boxed cake mix, but adds cream of coconut and sour cream for a rich, moist texture. Topped with a coconut-cream cheese frosting, it's an absolute dream.

06 of 17

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Banana Pudding Poke Cake
Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Banana Pudding Poke Cake

You heard it here first: this poke cake made us love banana pudding more than ever before, and we've had a lot of banana pudding! The cake is rich and delicious, bursting with fresh banana flavor and soaked with homemade vanilla pudding. The toppings of banana slices, whipped cream frosting, and crushed vanilla wafers seal the deal.

07 of 17

Texas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake
Southern Living

Recipe: Texas Sheet Cake

Every old-fashioned Southern cook knows the power of a basic Texas sheet cake. One of the most versatile cakes you'll ever bake, this chocolatey cake is topped with a to-die-for Fudge Frosting. Top it off with toffee bits or toasted pecans.

08 of 17

Coconut-Carrot Cake with Coconut Buttercream

Coconut-Carrot Cake with Coconut Buttercream
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Torie Cox; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Recipe: Coconut-Carrot Cake with Coconut Buttercream

We never have to choose between carrot cake and coconut cake again with this amazing hybrid recipe—cooked in a 13x9 for ease to boot. You'll be sneaking extra tastes of the mouthwatering coconut buttercream frosting too!

09 of 17

Plum-Berry Cornmeal Sheet Cake

Plum-Berry Cornmeal Sheet Cake
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Plum-Berry Cornmeal Sheet Cake

Go ahead and line your 13x9 with parchment paper—because this plum and berry-studded sheet cake looks so happy and bright when displayed on a pretty serving tray. The vanilla-flavored cornmeal batter gives the perfect not-too-sweet base for fresh fruit, and some freshly whipped cream finishes it off.

10 of 17

Heavenly Angel Food Cake

Heavenly Angel Food Cake
Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Heavenly Angel Food Cake

It's always good to have this most versatile sheet cake up your sleeve. It makes the perfect fluffy base for desserts aplenty, whether cut into squares for tea-time petit fours or frosted generously for a portable sheet cake.

11 of 17

Pumpkin Spice-Heath Cake

Pumpkin Spice-Heath Cake
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice-Heath Cake

Pairing pumpkin spice with toffee bits and a spice cake mix couldn't be easier or more delicious. Make and serve this dessert in your 13x9 baking pan for ultimate portability for all of your fall parties.

12 of 17

German Chocolate Snack Cake

German Chocolate Snack Cake
Southern Living

Recipe: German Chocolate Snack Cake

This simple cake only calls for a whopping six ingredients, making it a no-brainer when you're craving some chocolate. Rich German chocolate cake is finished with a cheesecake topping, ready to be sliced and served.

13 of 17

Cream Soda Confetti Sheet Cake

Cream Soda Confetti Sheet Cake
Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Cream Soda Confetti Sheet Cake

Cream soda, confetti sprinkles, and a tangy-sweet frosting naturally colored with freeze-dried strawberries make this sheet cake about the most festive thing we've ever seen. It can be your easy staple cake that fits every celebration.

14 of 17

Grapefruit-Pecan Sheet Cake

Grapefruit-Pecan Sheet Cake
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Grapefruit-Pecan Sheet Cake

The nuttiness from toasted pecans perfectly complements the bright citrus notes of the grapefruit batter, as well as the classic cream cheese frosting. You end up with a totally unique take on your basic sheet cake, great for your next cookout or potluck.

15 of 17

Carrot Sheet Cake

Carrot Sheet Cake
Photo: Charles Walton

Recipe: Carrot Sheet Cake

While the perfectly spiced batter makes a great base as is, we pour a buttermilk glaze over the cake right after it comes out of the oven, letting it soak in for ultimate moistness. Once completely cooled, you get to spread the classic cream cheese frosting generously over the top.

16 of 17

Buttermilk-Glazed Cherry Sheet Cake

Buttermilk-Glazed Cherry Sheet Cake
Photo: Alison Miksch

Recipe: Buttermilk-Glazed Cherry Sheet Cake

Cherries, lemon juice, and almond extract are the stars in this not-too-sweet sheet cake that works for everything from laidback brunches to elegant afternoon teas. The buttermilk glaze works as a not overly sweet finishing touch.

17 of 17

Chunky Apple Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Chunky Apple Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting
Southern Living

Recipe: Chunky Apple Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Packed with Granny Smith apple slices and toasted walnuts—and covered with a thick cream cheese frosting—this rich sheet cake makes the most of the flavors of fall.

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