Header image: White Cake with Lemon Lime Curd Filling from CHOW

Think vanilla cake is boring? Think again. With the right frosting and filling, you can impress your friends with some serious bakery-worthy results, even if you aren’t a master baker. Just follow the recipe! Here are 9 basic cake recipes that are anything but vanilla.

1. Moist Yellow Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate Frosting


Yellow cake with chocolate frosting is a dessert with staying power – we’ll love just as much decades from now. This version is a perfect riff on the classic with a moist, delicately crumbed yellow cake and a dark, bittersweet chocolate frosting. Get our Moist Yellow Cake recipe.

2. Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake


Berries and cream go together like Prince William and Kate Middleton: that good. This cake makes the most of both by pairing whipped cream and fresh strawberries with an ethereal, airy yellow cake. Get our Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake recipe.

3. White Cake with Lemon-Lime Curd

Citrus is the perfect partner for white cake. A tangy homemade lemon-lime curd filling makes this cake habit-forming (just try and eat only one slice). The frosting is a lightly sweetened whipped cream: easy to make and only three ingredients. Get our White Cake with Lemon-Lime Curd recipe.

4. Easy Berry Butter Cake


For any baker intimidated by frosting and decorating cakes, this recipe is for you. Simply fill the cake layers with a tangy mascarpone frosting and fresh berries, and don’t even worry about frosting the sides. It’s rustic-looking in the very best way. Get our Easy Berry Butter Cake recipe.

5. Cake Pops


Cake is good, but cake on a stick is even better. Cake pops have gained wild popularity in the past few years, and we’re happy to hop on the trend. These pops – made from cake crumbs and dunked in frosting and sugar – are perfect for a bridal shower or birthday party. Get our Cake Pops recipe.

6. Boston Ice Cream Pie Cake


The traditional flavors of Boston cream pie shine in this cake recipe. Start with layers of yellow cake and chocolate ganache, then swap custardy vanilla ice cream in for the pastry cream layer. Now you can have your cake and eat your pie (and ice cream) too! Get our Boston Ice Cream Pie Cake recipe.

7. Funfetti Cake

Sally's Baking Addiction

Prepare to be the hero at the next birthday party you attend, and bring a funfetti cake. Everyone’s childhood favorite, funfetti is just as easy to make at home as it is to whip up from a mix. Just toss some sprinkles in the batter and you’ve got yourself a killer (and colorful) dessert. Get the recipe here.

8. Vanilla Cake with Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting


We were sold at “whipped vanilla bean frosting”, and this recipe only gets better from there. The vanilla cake base is perfect: delicate, tender, and finely crumbed. Although the flavors are vanilla on vanilla, this dessert is anything but ordinary. Get the recipe here.

9. White Velvet Layer Cake with Strawberry-Raspberry Mascarpone Frosting

Wicked Good Kitchen

Move over, red velvet. There’s a new cake in town. This white velvet cake is also made with buttermilk, giving it a tangy flavor, but has a hint of vanilla and almond extract for added flavor. A bright pink berry-flavored frosting is (truly) the icing on the cake. Get the recipe here.

Posie Harwood is a New York City-based writer and photographer. She grew up on a farm and likes raw milk, warm bread with butter, and plenty of fresh air. Follow her on Instagram, and her blog 600 Acres.
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