50 Luscious Layer Cakes Perfect for Any Occasion

Brown Sugar Layer Cake with Peach Buttercream
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch; Food Styling: Torie Cox

The only thing we could possibly love more than cake? Layer cake. Think about it: layers of cake, striped with filling or frosting, and that satisfying moment when you cut into something impressive like our Strawberry Dream Cake. While we love our pound cakes and our coffee cakes, there's just something about a layer cake that's supremely charming.

Of course, these layer cakes would be well-suited for any celebration, from birthdays to the holidays. But sometimes, you don't need a layer cake for the occasion—a layer cake is the occasion. We tend to err on the side of more cake, rather than less. From luscious lemon layers to jam cakes to caramel cake recipes so rich you'll need a nap after, we've collected some of our best and most impressive layer cake recipes here. You'll find the legendary Hummingbird Cake, the iconic Lane Cake, and more unexpected surprises, like the bright and fruity Strawberry-Lemonade Cake or the ever-indulgent Bourbon-Chocolate Cake with Browned Buttercream Frosting.

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Strawberry-Lemonade Cake

Strawberry-Lemonade Cake
Jen Causey

Recipe: Strawberry-Lemonade Cake

Layers of moist Lemon Cake, Strawberry-Lemonade Jam, and Strawberry Buttercream make this three-layer cake a must for strawberry lovers.

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Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
Alison Miksch; Prop styling: Mary Clayton Carl; Food styling: Mary-Claire Britton

Recipe: Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Our Southern secret to a moist chocolate cake? Duke's Mayonnaise.

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White Chocolate Poinsettia Cake

White Chocolate Poinsettia Cake
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: White Chocolate Poinsettia Cake

Petal-shaped cookies are the perfect polishing touch for this elegant layered cake.

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Mama's German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake
Southern Living

Recipe: Mama's German Chocolate Cake

Layers of fluffy, moist German chocolate cake and creamy Coconut-Pecan Frosting make this towering, triple-decker dessert an instant favorite.

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The Coconut Chiffon Cake

The Coconut Chiffon Cake
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: The Coconut Chiffon Cake

White as a Sunday glove, coconut is the doyenne of Southern layer cakes, a masterpiece of home cookery that has crowned dining room sideboards for more than a hundred years.

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Sea Salt-Caramel Cake

Gingerbread Latte Cake with Vanilla Whipped Cream Frosting
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Sea Salt-Caramel Cake

Rich caramel frosting topped with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt makes for a fancy finish.

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Coconut Cake with Rum Filling and Coconut Ermine Frosting

Coconut Cake with Rum Filling and Coconut Ermine Frosting
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Coconut Cake with Rum Filling and Coconut Ermine Frosting

Layers of tender coconut cake and a luscious rum custard are the stars of this divine dessert, but the frosting is pretty spectacular, too.

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The Red Velvet Cake

The Red Velvet Cake
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: The Red Velvet Cake

In 1989, an armadillo-shaped groom's cake in Steel Magnolias kicked off a cult following for red velvet. The craze has continued, fueled in part by the red velvet cakes that have graced the Southern Living Christmas cover three times.

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Pumpkin Layer Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting
Alison Gootee; Styling: Suzonne Stirling

Recipe: Pumpkin Layer Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting

A must-try for pumpkin spice fans, these cake layers can be made up to three days before your event.

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Triple-Layer Chocolate-Caramel Cake

Triple-Layer Chocolate-Caramel Cake
Greg Dupree

Recipe: Triple-Layer Chocolate-Caramel Cake

This creamy chocolate and caramel frosting is even better with a a splish of bourbon, but it can be left out without causing any problems.

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Best Homemade White Cake

Best White Cake
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Christina Lane; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Best Homemade White Cake

Whether you're a white cake pro or layering for this first time, this is the perfect cake to serve friends and family.

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Gingerbread Cake with Buttermilk Frosting

Gingerbread Cake with Buttermilk Frosting
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Gingerbread Cake with Buttermilk Frosting

Tangy buttermilk frosting pairs beautifully with the spiced layers of gingerbread cake in this holiday dessert.

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Butter Toffee-Pecan Layer Cake

Butter Toffee-Pecan Layer Cake
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Butter Toffee-Pecan Layer Cake

Toffee bits and chopped pecans stud these rich cake layers, and browned butter lends a special touch to the frosting on the top.

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The Lane Cake

The Lane Cake
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: The Lane Cake

In March 1966, Southern Living featured a recipe for Lane Cake in its second issue. Our latest twist? Dried peaches (finely diced and ridiculously delicious) stand in for raisins, and the traditional meringue frosting gets a spirited makeover with a triple shot of peach schnapps.

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Eggnog Spice Cake with Bourbon Custard Filling and Eggnog Buttercream

Gingerbread Latte Cake with Vanilla Whipped Cream Frosting
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Eggnog Spice Cake with Bourbon Custard Filling and Eggnog Buttercream

Slightly boozy and decorated with a festive, zigzag frosting, guests are sure to enjoy this layered take on Christmas eggnog.

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The Lemon Cheese Layer Cake

The Lemon Cheese Layer Cake
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: The Lemon Cheese Layer Cake

Expecting a twist on cheesecake? You're in for an even sweeter surprise. These layers are filled with a buttery rich lemon curd instead.

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Peppermint Cake with Seven-Minute Frosting

Peppermint Cake with Seven-Minute Frosting
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Peppermint Cake with Seven-Minute Frosting

Peppermint-vanilla cake and fluffy pink buttercream make a merry combination in this layer cake full of Christmas spirit.

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The Jam Cake

The Jam Cake
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: The Jam Cake

The origins of jam cake lie deep in Appalachia where store-bought sugar was once scarce. Cakes were often sweetened with homemade jams, filled with wild berries and mountain fruits. The payoff for the genius swap? Rich, dense cake layers with a depth of flavor sugar alone can't deliver.

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Caramel Cake

Caramel Cake
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Caramel Cake

This old-fashioned cake will seal your reputation as a baker.

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Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Hummingbird Cake

This is the ultimate recipe for Hummingbird Cake. It's the most requested recipe in Southern Living magazine history and frequents covered dish dinners all across the South, always receiving rave reviews.

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Strawberry Dream Cake

Strawberry Dream Cake
Photo: Greg Dupree

Recipe: Strawberry Dream Cake

You'll fall in love with this too-good-to-be-true strawberry cake. Fluffy whipped frosting made with marscapone cheese, sugar, whipping cream, and vanilla and almond extracts is the perfect finishing touch. We love the presentation of cake slices with upright strawberries between the layers. When it comes down to the details, this sweet confection takes the cake.

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Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse Cake

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse Cake
Photo: J. Savage Gibson

Recipe: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse Cake

Starting with a boxed cake mix makes this cake both easy and delicious. Kids and adults alike will love the creamy peanut butter mousse between layers of chocolate cake. Garnish with chopped roasted peanuts and serve with a scoop of ice cream.

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Lemon-and-Chocolate Doberge Cake

Lemon-and-Chocolate Doberge Cake
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Cindy Barr; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Lemon-and-Chocolate Doberge Cake

Black and white and lemon all over. This striped cake is a thing of beauty.

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Chocolate Strawberry Cake

Chocolate Strawberry Cake
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Melissa Gray; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

Recipe: Chocolate Strawberry Cake

Skip the store-bought chocolate-covered strawberries in favor of something a little more decadent, like this Chocolate Strawberry Cake.

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Blueberry-Lemon Cake

Blueberry-Lemon Cake
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Blueberry-Lemon Cake

Blueberry and lemon are a match made in heaven, and this recipe is all the proof we need.

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Lemon-Cheese Layer Cake

Lemon-Cheese Layer Cake
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch

Recipe: Lemon-Cheese Layer Cake

This mile-high cake packs 8 layers of cake into one towering package.

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Eggnog Layer Cake with Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

Eggnog Layer Cake with Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Torie Cox; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Eggnog Layer Cake with Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

Deck the halls with this stunning layer cake, which is packed with plenty of eggnog flavor.

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Bourbon-Chocolate Cake with Browned Buttercream Frosting

Bourbon-Chocolate Cake with Browned Buttercream
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop styling: Lydia Pursell

Recipe: Bourbon-Chocolate Cake with Browned Buttercream Frosting

This cake combines two of our favorite things in the whole wide world: bourbon and chocolate.

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Mint Chocolate Chip Cake

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake
Southern Living

Recipe: Mint Chocolate Chip Cake

This Mint Chocolate Chip Cake is pretty in green. If you love everything mint chocolate, you'll adore this cake.

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Chocolate Peppermint Cake

Chocolate Peppermint Cake
Victor Protasio, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist: Kathleen Varner

Recipe: Chocolate Peppermint Cake

If you like Peppermint Patties, you'll love our Chocolate Peppermint Cake.

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Lemon Raspberry Cake

Lemon Raspberry Cake
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Melissa Gray; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

Recipe: Lemon Raspberry Cake

Lemon and raspberry work together in this stunning two-layered cake.

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Red Velvet Layer Cake

Red Velvet Layer Cake
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Red Velvet Layer Cake

If red velvet is your thing, look no further than our classic Red Velvet Layer Cake recipe.

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Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake with Caramel Buttercream

Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake with Caramel Buttercream
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake with Caramel Buttercream

Stack those layers tall and don't bother frosting the sides: you'll want to show off all the goodness that awaits inside these layers.

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German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake with Coconut-Pecan Frosting
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: German Chocolate Cake

Sometimes, you just want to stick to the classics, and we'll admit, we do the classics quite well.

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Buttermilk-Chocolate Cake

Buttermilk-Chocolate Cake
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas: Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Buttermilk-Chocolate Cake

Buttermilk brings extra tenderness and moisture to this chocolate layer cake.

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The Ultimate Carrot Cake

Ultimate Carrot Cake
Alison Miksch

Recipe: The Ultimate Carrot Cake

Complete with candied carrot curls, this carrot cake truly is the ultimate.

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Blackberry Jam Cake

Blackberry Jam Cake
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Cindy Barr; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Blackberry Jam Cake

Blackberry jam brings just enough fruity tartness to this layer cake.

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Praline Layer Cake

Praline Layer Cake
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Praline Layer Cake

The praline is one of the South's most beloved sweets, and, in this show-stopping layer cake, it certainly does not disappoint. Candied pecans add a toasty crunch to the top of the cake, while the soft layers are held together with a dark, nutty filling and a silky buttercream frosting. Pecans are great all year long, but there is something about the Fall season that makes you want to bake and bake a lot. This cake will truly satisfy your sweet tooth.

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Chocolate Layer Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Layer Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Southern Living

Recipe: Chocolate Layer Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

This "choco-licious" dessert temptation is impossible to resist. The addition of hot tap water at the end makes for an exceptionally moist cake.

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Toasted Almond-Butter Cake

Toasted Almond-Butter Cake
Southern Living

Recipe: Toasted Almond-Butter Cake

This buttery, moist cake has the perfect hint of almonds and coconut. A sweet Cream Cheese Frosting makes it an even more outstanding way to end the meal.

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Chocolate-Praline Cake

Chocolate-Praline Cake
Southern Living

Recipe: Chocolate-Praline Cake

This chocolate cake is off-the-charts rich. If you like pralines, you'll love this candy-like frosting.

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Gingerbread Cake with Stout Buttercream

Gingerbread Cake with Stout Buttercream
Southern Living

Recipe: Gingerbread Cake with Stout Buttercream

The bold flavor of a stout complements the spices in the German-inspired gingerbread cake. Spread a simple buttercream icing over the cake and garnish with toasted pecans.

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Lightened Hummingbird Cake

Lightened Hummingbird Cake
Southern Living

Recipe: Lightened Hummingbird Cake

We lowered the fat and calories by substituting applesauce for some of the oil, using less butter and sugar, fewer eggs, and substituting light for regular cream cheese.

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Blackberry-Raspberry Truffle Cake

Blackberry-Raspberry Truffle Cake

Recipe: Blackberry-Raspberry Truffle Cake

Lavish amounts of semisweet chocolate and sour cream give rise to these luscious cake layers. No one will ever guess the recipe begins with a mix. A simple coating of coarsely chopped pecans and a handful of colorful berries will send this towering treat to the table in high style.

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Four-Layer Coconut Cake

Four-Layer Coconut Cake
Southern Living

Recipe: Four-Layer Coconut Cake

Layer upon layer of tropical coconut and soft whipped cream topping make this a year-round favorite indulgence.

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Coconut-Almond Cream Layer Cake

Coconut-Almond Cream Layer Cake
Beth Dreiling Hontzas / Styling Rose Nguyen / Food styling Marian Cooper Cairns

Recipe: Coconut-Almond Cream Cake

This decadent layer cake is deliciously rich as well as moist. For a colorful presentation, garnish with kumquats, currants, and fresh mint sprigs.

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Chocolate Italian Cake

Chocolate Italian Cake

Recipe: Chocolate Italian Cake

Finely chopped pecans and a hint of cinnamon in the Chocolate-Cream Cheese frosting gives this chocolate spin-off the classic Italian Cream Cake that something extra. Garnish with pecan halves for a pretty presentation.

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Bourbon-Chocolate Cake With Praline Frosting

Bourbon-Chocolate Cake With Praline Frosting

Recipe: Bourbon-Chocolate Cake With Praline Frosting

Chocolate Ganache smoothed between layers of rich chocolate cake topped with Praline Frosting and a warm Bourbon Glaze make this recipe fit for special occasions. Serve alongside a warm cup of coffee or tea.

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Best Carrot Cake

Best Carrot Cake
Tina Cornett

Recipe: Best Carrot Cake

Make this classic favorite for a crowd and you might not have any leftovers to bring home. Simply adding a can of crushed pineapple and the luscious Buttermilk Glaze makes this truly the Best Carrot Cake.

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Brown Sugar Layer Cake with Peach Buttercream

Brown Sugar Layer Cake with Peach Buttercream
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Brown Sugar Layer Cake with Peach Buttercream

This warm brown sugar-peach cake celebrates everything we love about the Southern summertime.

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