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40 of Our Best Summer Cake Recipes

Slice into these summer cake recipes—filled with fresh, seasonal ingredients like berries, cherries and zucchini—and sweeten up any summer celebration.

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Best Strawberry Shortcake

For a dazzling summer dessert, you can’t beat juicy strawberries and fresh whipped cream over homemade shortcake. My father added even more indulgence to this recipe by buttering the shortcake. This is the best strawberry shortcake recipe. —Shirley Joan Helfenbein, Lapeer, Michigan.

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Margarita Cake Exps Toham20 144162 B11 06 1b 3

Margarita Cake

This margarita cake is perfect for a picnic on a warm day. You’ll be surprised at how closely it tastes like the real thing. These other margarita dessert recipes are delicious, too. ?—Dawn Lowenstein, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
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Blueberry Pudding Cake

My father-in-law has a number of blueberry bushes near his house, so I have an abundant supply every year. I’m always looking for new ways to use them. This blueberry pudding cake is one of my latest creations. —Jan Bamford, Sedgwick, Maine
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S’mores Cupcakes

Marshmallow frosting puts these cupcakes over the top. Chocolate bar pieces and graham cracker crumbs on top make them extra indulgent and even more like the real thing—but better! —Erin Rachwal, Hartland, Wisconsin
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Pineapple Pudding Cake

My mother used to love making this easy pineapple sunshine cake in the summertime. It’s so cool and refreshing that it never lasts very long! —Kathleen Worden, North Andover, Massachusetts
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Homemade Boston Cream Pie

This elegant-looking Boston cream pie is so easy to prepare. Our dinner guests always seem to enjoy it. —Jane Uphoff, Cunningham, Kansas
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Summer Squash Pound Cake

This golden brown, tender pound cake is the perfect treat to make when you have an abundance of summer squash in your garden. It’s not overly sweet, so it appeals to everyone. —Lisa Brockwell, Necedah, Wisconsin
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Pineapple RumChata Shortcakes

This deliciously different dessert is made in the slow cooker instead of in the oven. When done, add final touches to the cooled pineapple shortcake jars and serve. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Lemon Coconut Streusel Ice Cream Cake Exps Tohjj20 242458 E02 06 8b 3

Coconut-Lemon Ice Cream Cake

This lemon ice cream cake is a cool treat my family loves anytime, but we find it especially refreshing on a hot summer day. The cream of coconut and lemon juice make a delicious combo, and the streusel adds a nice crunch. You can substitute any crunchy sugar, lemon or coconut cookie in place of the shortbread, as long as each cookie is about 2 inches. —Janet Gill, Canton, Ohio
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Raspberry Moscow Mule Cake Exps Toham20 202310 B11 06 2b 2

Raspberry Moscow Mule Cake

This Moscow mule cake is my favorite cake I’ve ever made from scratch. It’s so moist and flavorful, and it reminds me of my favorite cocktail. —Becky Hardin, St. Peters, Missouri
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Lemon Layer Cake

This citrusy cake with a luscious cream cheese frosting will garner plenty of applause. The flavor, a duet of sweet and tangy notes, really sings. —Summer Goddard, Springfield, Virginia
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Grilled Angel Food Cake with Strawberries

One night I goofed, accidentally using the balsamic butter I save for grilling chicken on my pound cake. What a delicious mistake that my entire family loved! For a patriotic look, add a drizzle of blueberry syrup. —Tammy Hathaway, Freeman Twp, Maine
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Mamaw Emily's Strawberry Cake

My husband loved his mamaw's strawberry cake recipe. He thought no one could duplicate it. I made it, and it’s just as scrumptious as he remembers. —Jennifer Bruce, Manitou, Kentucky
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Coconut Pineapple Upside Down Cake Exps Tohrc20 252032 E06 23 11b 3

Pineapple Coconut Upside-Down Cake

This recipe is one of my favorites! The tropical flavors remind me of being on vacation with my family in the Caribbean—I have so many fun memories. —Stephanie Pichelli, Toronto, Ontario
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Patchwork Quilt Cake

This cake has a great homemade flavor and tender crumb. Be sure to pile on the buttery frosting, which adds a burst of vanilla. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Key Lime Pound Cake

This Key lime pound cake was inspired from a basic pound cake recipe that I like to play around with. It’s now the only cake requested at every gathering. The unfrosted cake freezes well. —Pat Stewart, Canton, Georgia
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Strawberry Ladyfinger Icebox Cake

This cake is inventive and yet familiar. Be sure to use a springform pan so you can easily remove it from the pan. If it breaks while you're transferring the cake to the serving plate, just push it back together, pressing gently. —Stella Ohanian, Porter Ranch, California
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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake

Years ago, I added some zucchini to a peanut butter bar I had created, and this time I wanted to try it with a cake. The zucchini makes it super moist but doesn’t get in the way of the chocolate and peanut butter goodness.—Marilyn Blankschien, Clintonville, Wisconsin
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Down South Sweet Tea Cake

I think this recipe combines two of the best and most famous ingredients from the South: sweet tea and pecans! Using a cake mix simplifies prep and helps ease the holiday time crunch. —Melissa Millwood, Lyman, South Carolina
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Cherry Nut Cake

My grandmother made up this recipe for her children. Using Ozark-grown cherries and walnuts, she invented one they all liked. Granny always used cream from the dairy farm near her home, but the half-and half works well and is easier to find. —Diana Jennings, Lebanon, Missouri
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Zucchini Cupcakes

I asked my grandmother for this recipe after trying these irresistible spice cupcakes at her home. I love their creamy caramel frosting. They're such a scrumptious dessert, you actually forget you're eating your vegetables, too! —Virginia Lapierre, Greensboro Bend, Vermont
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Sour Cream Pound Cake

Because I'm our town's postmaster, I can bake only in my spare time. I especially like this sour cream pound cake recipe. It tastes amazing as is, or tuck it under ice cream and chocolate syrup like a hot fudge sundae! —Karen Conrad, East Troy, Wisconsin
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Red, White & Blueberry Poke Cake

A sweet treat in the summer, this patriotic poke cake with dazzling red and blue stripes is a fun one to make with the kids. —Elisabeth Schulz, Blossvale, New York
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Root Beer Float Cake

I add root beer to both the cake batter and fluffy frosting of this summery dessert to get that great root beer float taste. Serve this moist cake to a bunch of hungry kids and watch it disappear! —Kat Thompson, Prineville, Oregon
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Cherry Cola Cake

Cherry cola and marshmallows make a zippy chocolate dessert that is scrumptious topped with vanilla ice cream. — Cheri Mason, Harmony, North Carolina
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Banana Split Icebox Cake

One day a friend showed me how to make a traditional icebox cake with just cream and graham crackers. I make it extra special with the fruit. Now everyone at the potluck can have a banana split with no fuss! —Shelly Flye, Albion, Maine
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Tropical Carrot Cake

I look forward to August because our family reunion means fun and great food, like this classic cake with the special flair it gets from pineapple. My great-aunt gave me this recipe, and I always make it for the reunion. —Victoria Casey, Enterprise, Oregon
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Lemon-Berry Shortcake

This simple lemon shortcake is tender and not overly sweet. Enjoy this summertime classic with a generous layer of whipped topping and berries. —Meryl Herr, Overland Park, Kansas
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Slow-Cooker Mixed Fruit & Pistachio Cake

This cake is easy to make on a lazy day and is a guaranteed delicious dessert that can be enjoyed for several days—if you can make it last that long. It's also wonderful for fall weather and the holidays. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Raspberry Custard Kuchen

Back where I grew up in Wisconsin, people have been baking this German treat for generations. We love it for breakfast or as a special dessert. It's no fuss to fix and impressive to serve. —Virginia Arndt, Sequim, Washington
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Chocolate-Dipped Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

Chocolate-Dipped Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

I created this recipe based on our family's love of chocolate-dipped ice cream cones. Red heart-shaped sprinkles make them fun for Valentine's Day. Vary the color to match the occasion. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan
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Summer Celebration Ice Cream Cake

I wanted to make my youngest son an ice cream cake one year for his summer birthday, as he prefers ice cream to the traditional cake. He picked the flavors and I decided to try my favorite brownie recipe as a crust. It worked! —Krista Frank, Rhododendron, Oregon
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Pink Lemonade Stand Cake

If you love a moist and creamy cake, this is it. Lemon juice and lemonade give the layers a tangy touch, and the cream cheese frosting with sprinkles makes it pretty. —Lauren Knoelke, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Fresh Raspberry Icebox Cake

Layered icebox cakes are so fun because they look impressive but couldn't be easier. Fresh raspberries make this one really special. Use Anna's Ginger Thins to get the scalloped edges, or regular gingersnaps if those are not available. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Blueberry Zucchini Squares

I saw a bar recipe on a box of muffin mix using apple and lemon zest. I tried it from scratch with shredded zucchini and fresh blueberries instead. It’s a tasty combo. —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon
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Blackberry-Orange Cake

My grandmother made luscious fruit pies and cobblers using blackberries from her garden. I decided to follow her lead and create a blackberry cake that's always lovely with a summer meal. —Lisa M. Varner, El Paso, Texas
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Lime Angel Food Cake

For my husband's family reunion, I took a store-bought angel food cake and turned it into this special dessert with a lovely lime cream frosting topped with toasted coconut. It went over big! —Nancy Foust, Stoneboro, Pennsylvania
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Fluted Lemon Cake with Fresh Fruit

This citrusy, golden-brown cake looks especially beautiful baked in a fancy fluted pan. Serve each slice with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh fruit. —Donna Pochoday, Morristown, New Jersey
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Shortcake with Fresh Rhubarb Sauce

Every spring when her rhubarb was ready, my mother-in-law chopped it up for this moist cake. If your rhubarb is too tart for the sauce, just add in some strawberries. —Rena McCalment, Sharpsville, Indiana
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Red, White 'n' Blue Torte

My guests see fireworks when I turn a frozen pound cake into a patriotic pleaser! Assemble this tempting torte early in the day and keep it in the refrigerator until it's time for dessert. —Margery Bryan, Moses Lake, Washington

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