23 Easy Cake Recipes for Beginner Bakers

Beginner baker (or just looking for something simple)? These easy cake recipes use basic techniques to deliver on over-the-top flavor.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Poke Cake

When in doubt, top a simple recipe with your favorite flavor combos. This quick chocolate cake gets a major upgrade thanks to crumbled peanut butter cookies and peanut butter cups. While you’re at it, check out what our favorite peanut butter cup is—the result of our taste test will surprise you.

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Hazelnut Cake Squares

This one-bowl recipe makes use of a few packaged ingredients, like Nutella (yum!) and a box of cake mix. There’s no shame in using this shortcut when you’re just starting to bake or don’t have the time to whip up something from scratch. Just be sure you’re using a good cake mix like our Test Kitchen’s favorite.
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Coconut-Layered Pound Cake

If you’re truly a cake novice, it’s OK to skip the baking altogether. This delicious dessert makes use of a pre-made pound cake and some extra fixings to make a treat that tastes just like one of our favorite candy bars.
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Carrot Sheet Cake

No need to make a fancy layer cake when you’re just developing your craft. Classic recipes, like carrot cake, can be made easily in a sheet pan. Just bake and frost with a layer of cream cheese icing.
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Easy Pistachio Tube Cake

This impressive, five-star bundt cake starts out with two packaged mixes (cake mix and instant pudding). Once you’ve gussied these shortcuts up, you’ll have a show-stopping dessert to show off to friends and family. The only tricky part about this basic recipe is greasing the pan. Follow our guide to get it right.
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Cream Cheese Sheet Cake

As a baker, there will be a time when someone calls on you to bake a birthday cake to feed a crowd. This easy sheet cake is tender and moist. Topped with a simple chocolate frosting and a generous dash of sprinkles, you’ve got a festive cake to feed more than two dozen (and you won’t even break a sweat making it).
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One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

When it comes to easy cake recipes, you can’t beat a delicious (and top-rated) one-bowl recipe. This cake doesn’t require any special tools—just a good 13×9 pan and 15 minutes of prep time.
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Lemon Pound Cake Loaves

Having a good pound cake recipe to turn to is a must for any baker. We love this recipe because it’s simple and refreshing, thanks to all that lemon zest. What’s more, it tastes just like Starbucks’ lemon loaf.
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Best Red Velvet Cake

Believe it or not, this iconic cake recipe is simple to pull together with a bit of patience. Avoiding these common pitfalls will ensure you get a gorgeous and delicious cake deserving of a special occasion.
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Icebox Cake

Sometimes a great cake isn’t really a cake at all. This icebox cake uses chocolate wafers and whipped cream to get a cakey texture. This is a great easy recipe to have on hand for when it’s too hot to turn on the oven.

If icebox cakes are your thing, you can also make Ina Garten’s mocha chocolate icebox cake.

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Cherry Pudding Cake

This pudding cake is truly a no-fuss dessert. Mix your ingredients in one bowl then top with tart cherries. To give it a professional touch, dust with powdered sugar.

If you like trying unique cake recipes, also try making Faith Hill’s coca-cola cake!

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Kentucky Butter Cake

A basic butter cake is a must-have recipe, even for newbie bakers. This recipe uses buttermilk—a baker’s secret weapon when it comes to adding rich flavor to basic recipes.
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Pineapple Upside-Down Dump Cake

Looking for the ultimate beginner cake recipe? You’ve found it! This dump cake requires you to just dump all the ingredients into a slow cooker. Then you get to walk away for two hours as it turns into an easy tropical dessert. Once you’ve mastered this recipe, try these other slow cooker desserts.
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Classic Chocolate Cake

Every baker—novice and pro—needs a staple chocolate cake recipe. This one is a reader-favorite but is simple enough for new bakers to tackle with ease.
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Raspberry Custard Kuchen

An impressive-looking dessert that’s secretly simple? That’s music to any baker’s ears (especially for newer ones). The fresh fruit in this German-style cake really makes the dessert pop.
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Blueberry-Lemon Upside-Down Cake

Gain a little confidence in the kitchen and you’ll want to start turning things upside down. There’s no reason to fear these topsy-turvy cakes. Just have a big enough pan to turn your cake out and be quick!
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Yellow Cake with Buttercream Frosting

It’s always smart to have a good vanilla cake recipe in your arsenal. This one is very easy—just beat your wet ingredients until fluffy and stir in the dry. Once baked, top it with a fluffy frosting. As always, be sure to avoid these cake mistakes.
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Fresh Raspberry Icebox Cake

Icebox cakes give you the texture and wow-factor of cake without the work. This stunning version piled high with fresh berries is just as gorgeous as any layered cake, but it doesn’t require any special skills. All you need to know is how to whip cream—and we’ve got you covered with this how-to.
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Contest-Winning Moist Chocolate Cake

This rich cake is another one-bowl wonder. You just need 15 minutes to stir up the batter. Plus, you can dress up the look of this cake with a variety of fluted cake pans.
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Pineapple Sheet Cake

This cake might look complicated, but it couldn’t be easier. Add all the ingredients to one bowl in a single step and mix. Spread that into a sheet pan and bake for a tropical-inspired dessert. This one is a great place to start for beginners (and a good recipe to have on hand for experienced bakers who are short on time).
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Malted Milk Cake

When you’re just starting to bake, having an arsenal of versatile recipes is key. This easy cake can go from a 13×9 recipe to a cupcake variation in a snap—just swap the pans!
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Peanut Butter Sheet Cake

Another simple sheet cake recipe! This one stretches beginning baking skills with a creamy, peanut butter glaze (don’t worry—it’s easy to get the hang of).

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is a former Taste of Home editor and passionate baker. During her tenure, she poured her love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa also dedicated her career here to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.