I checked your schedule for next weekend, and it’s full of cake. Don’t fight it! There’s truly nothing cozier than a fall baking project.
Just imagine: you, in a soft sweater, protected by an apron because you think ahead like that. Endless whisks to lick (someone’s got to make sure the batter isn’t poisoned!). Say you have to pop out to the corner shop to pick up a forgotten frosting ingredient—that warm wall of scent you’ll hit you when you walk back in the front door.
The only question is, which cake should you make?
There are a lot of things to wonder about this cake…like, why is it so delicious? Why is it so easy? And why are we not topping all of our fall cakes with a brown sugar glaze? While you ponder these questions, start poaching the dried pitted dates and get baking!
Ground and crystallized ginger team up for this extra-spicy fall cake recipe that gets even more warmth from complementary spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg.
“When The Guardian asked Alice Waters for the one recipe she couldn’t live without, it was this simple, unforgettable cake with a crackly top and fluffed cardamom crumb from Niloufer Ichaporia King,” says our Test Kitchen editors.
Normally we think of sweet potatoes and marshmallows in the form of a pie or casserole for Thanksgiving dinner. But who said it can’t be a fall cake too? We’re all for this crowd-friendly sheet cake that may just bump your relative’s beloved pie to second place.
Ignore the word “dump” in this cake recipe and embrace the easy, breezy spirit of a one-skillet wonder made with boxed cake mix (hey, we’re not above it!).
Cinnamon, anise extra, orange zest, vanilla extract—sounds like the makings of the perfect holiday-scented candle to me! While you won’t see this on the shelves of Bath and Body Works anytime soon (or maybe you will!), it makes a fabulous combination for an easy fall snacking cake.
Chocolate and orange can be a divisive combination, but if you’re in favor of it, this light sponge cake is for you. The batter calls for both orange zest and orange extract; it’s baked into four cakes, which are then stacked and layered with a fudgy chocolate frosting.
Cardamom adds warmth to this classic carrot cake, blanketed in a cream cheese frosting.
The name sort of says it all, except for this part: “It stays fresh and gooey for days (that is if there’s any left) and it’s really very simple.” That there’s from the headnote.
“This tender and moist cake is exactly what I want to eat in fall weather,” writes its creator, Posie Brien. “Pumpkin and evaporated milk give it a delicate crumb, and lots of warm spices add layers of flavor.”
A fall bundt cake with a marmalade-like flavor, plus lots and lots of spice. Oh, and there’s an orange-vanilla glaze.
This good-looking bundt gets body from bright, citrusy coriander seed.
Here’s an especially velvety sweet potato cake recipe that calls in white rice flour to keep things free of gluten.
These fudgy chocolate cakes call in eggplant—a riff on applesauce cake—for the sort of gooey center you’ll think about for days after.
“My friends often request the Hyde Park Fudge Cake for their birthdays, which I’ve made a hundred times,” writes recipe creator nannydeb. “This variation has a yummy coconut filling and a decadent ganache that I could eat with a spoon until I’m sick!”
Meet the Hershey cake’s slightly more sophisticated cousin. Think: great in any layered situation, and always invited to a birthday party.
A rich, chocolatey cake paired with nutty tahini buttercream and toasted sesame seeds—good luck sharing.
“Meet your new go-to birthday cake, bake sale cake, dinner party cake, late night snack cake,” wrote Kristen Miglore, when she anointed this recipe Genius. “For when the fridge is at its barest and you need chocolate cake now.”
19. Funfetti Cake
Molly Yeh’s funfetti cake tastes like childhood birthday parties in the best possible way. Use the brightest sprinkles you can get your hands on.
This chocolate roulade recipe, frosted with whipped cream, can be used for a traditional shape, or a vertical roll for a twist.
This yellow layer cake swaps in white wine and olive oil for more staid cake ingredients, and is 100x the better for it.
Good luck forgetting the formula for this simple 1-2-3-4 cake…
This decadent layer cake starts with nuts toasted in melted butter, which is exactly as good as it sounds.
When you flip this cast iron–skillet cake, you’ll uncover a crown of caramelized bananas.
What to do with perfectly ripe pears? Look no further.
This Genius apple cake’s our go-to for so many reasons. Like that it’s just as good for dessert as it is for breakfast, or that you can swap in any dried fruit that you prefer.
An effortlessly cool single-layer cake, topped with fresh figs, whipped cream, and rosemary sugar.
This iconic plum cake is equal parts buttery and juicy.
“I was impressed by the simplicity of this can’t-possibly-fail poundcake that’s made with hot melted butter in a food processor,” says Alice Medrich, who shares six brilliant twists on the original.
Make our co-founder Merrill Stubbs’ applesauce cake with caramel glaze, and win at fall.
This simple cake from Emiko Davies brings together buckwheat, apple, and almond meal for a perfect fall treat.
What cake will you bake this weekend? (No cake is not an acceptable answer!) Let us know in the comments.