Save on Pinterest

60 Decadent Thanksgiving Cake Recipes

Forget the pie—try Thanksgiving cake! Whether you go for flavors like pumpkin, apple, maple or spice, you can bet your guests will gobble it right up.

1 / 60
German Apple CakeThe musical "Waitress"

German Apple Cake

With the long, cold winters we have here, this German apple cake recipe has warmed many a kitchen. The cake is perfect for breakfast, dessert or as an evening snack. I've made it for many parties, and I've always received compliments on it. —Grace Reynolds, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

2 / 60
Pumpkin Spice CakeTaste of Home

Pumpkin Spice Cake

We sometimes call this pumpkin spice cake "Thanksgiving Cake" because it's a tasty alternative to pie, but we don't relegate it to just that holiday. I think you'll agree it's delicious any time of the year.—Kathy Rhoads, Circleville, Ohio

3 / 60
Apple Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

Apple Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

I am a healthy eater most of the time, but this apple spice cake is worth the splurge! Every year, I treasure the opportunity to make my own birthday cake, and I choose this. You can add a cup of raisins to the batter before baking if you'd like. —Jennifer Owen, Louisville, Kentucky

4 / 60
Pear Upside-Down CakeThe musical "Waitress"

Pear Upside-Down Cake

Using a packaged cake mix speeds up the preparation time of this tasty pear and pecan upside-down cake. This moist cake is pretty to look at and luscious, too. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

5 / 60
Apple Gingerbread Skillet CakeTaste of Home

Apple Gingerbread Skillet Cake

This gingerbread recipe came from my grandmother, and we always ate it with warm applesauce. I adapted it into a one-pan dessert by layering the apples around the bottom of a cast-iron skillet and topping them with the gingerbread batter. The skillet creates a wonderfully thick crust on the gingerbread. —Mary M. Leverette, Columbia, South Carolina

6 / 60
Frosted Harvest CakeTaste of Home

Frosted Harvest Cake

These lightly spiced pumpkin brownies are a nice change from the typical dessert. —Iola Egle, McCook, Nebraska

7 / 60
Oma’s Apfelkuchen (Grandma’s Apple Cake)Taste of Home

Oma’s Apfelkuchen (Grandma’s Apple Cake)

My husband’s German family calls this Oma’s apfelkuchen, which translates to "Grandma’s apple cake." They’ve been sharing the recipe for more than 150 years. I use Granny Smith apples, but any variety works. —Amy Kirchen, Loveland, Ohio

8 / 60
Pumpkin Cream TiramisuTaste of Home

Pumpkin Cream Tiramisu

Pumpkin isn’t only for pies. Now you can take the classic fall vegetable and enjoy it in a tiramisu-style dessert. I promise after one bite, you’ll add this recipe to keeper files. —Pam Peters, Fernie, British Columbia

9 / 60
Chocolate-Caramel Pumpkin TorteTaste of Home

Chocolate-Caramel Pumpkin Torte

I'm pretty proud to say this is one of my first experiments in the kitchen that turned out "to-die-for" delicious. The key is to let the cake cool completely before cutting and assembling with the frostings. —Lauren Brennan, Hood River, Oregon

10 / 60
Chocolate Pecan PavlovaTaste of Home

Chocolate Pecan Pavlova

This will definitely capture your taste buds! This recipe is one of my family's favorites—especially at the holidays. Although it may take a little longer to make and assemble, it is truly worth the work. It's a rich-tasting, light dessert that everyone will enjoy. I usually use pecans, but you can substitute walnuts, hazelnuts or other nuts. —Nancy Preussner, Delhi, Iowa

11 / 60
Oatmeal Cake with Caramel IcingTaste of Home

Oatmeal Cake with Caramel Icing

This oatmeal cake recipe tastes anything but light. The caramel icing sets up quick, so frost the cake immediately after it cools. —Summer Marks, Louisville, Kentucky

12 / 60
Carrot Layer CakeTaste of Home

Carrot Layer Cake

My sister gave me this recipe for what she calls "the ultimate carrot cake," and it really lives up to the name. When people taste it, they're bowled over by the tender, not-too-sweet cake and unexpected pecan filling. —Linda Van Holland, Innisfail, Alberta

13 / 60
Peanut Butter Bundt CakeTaste of Home

Peanut Butter Bundt Cake

This peanut butter bundt cake with frosting is heavenly to me. I use smooth peanut butter, but crunchy would work, too. —Karen Holt, Rock Hill, South Carolina

14 / 60
Pumpkin Pie CakeTaste of Home

Pumpkin Pie Cake

No one will guess this showstopper dessert with luscious cinnamon frosting starts with a mix! It's a year-round favorite. —Linda Murray, Allenstown, New Hampshire

15 / 60
Sour Cream Streusel Coffee CakeTaste of Home

Sour Cream Streusel Coffee Cake

I like that I can use delicious Wisconsin sour cream in this recipe. This coffee cake tastes wonderful and feeds a crowd, so it's perfect for a morning meeting or for breakfast with overnight company. —Sandra Munyon, Watertown, Wisconsin

16 / 60
Black Forest Upside-Down CakeTaste of Home

Black Forest Upside-Down Cake

The divine flavors of this simple Black Forest cake will impress your guests and leave you with many requests for the recipe! —Kimberly Campbell, Wheeling, West Virginia

17 / 60
Double Butterscotch Coconut CakeTaste of Home

Double Butterscotch Coconut Cake

I got this recipe for coconut cake from a co-worker years ago, then I changed it up a bit by adding a family favorite: butterscotch. It's super easy to throw together and it makes a perfect accompaniment to coffee or tea. —Marina Castle Kelley, Canyon Country, California

18 / 60
Miniature Pumpkin Cake Towers

Miniature Pumpkin Cake Towers

I make these pumpkin treats every autumn and they are gone in minutes. The spice combination is perfect for fall, and it is all wrapped up in a pretty little cake.—Deb Lyon, Bangor, Pennsylvania

19 / 60
Wonderful Carrot CakeTaste of Home

Wonderful Carrot Cake

This healthy carrot cake recipe is moist, tender and delicious. Kids will love it because it's sweet, and you'll love it because it's packed with good-for-you carrots. —Brenda Rankhorn, New Market, Alabama

20 / 60
Three-Layer Chocolate Ganache CakeTaste of Home

Three-Layer Chocolate Ganache Cake

This decadent triple-layer beauty is pure chocolate indulgence. The cake layers can be frozen prior to final assembly; in fact, they're easier to work with when frozen. —Kathleen Smith, Overland, Missouri

21 / 60
Pear Olive Oil CakeTaste of Home

Pear Olive Oil Cake

This flavorful cake is a lovely, understated way to finish your grand meal. It doesn't take a lot of time to prepare, which is a bonus during the holidays. —Andrea Potischman, Menlo Park, California

22 / 60
Contest-Winning Chocolate Potato Cake

Contest-Winning Chocolate Potato Cake

I won grand champion honors in a potato festival baking contest with this moist chocolate cake. The icing recipe can be doubled for real sweet tooths. A great-grandma, I've spent over 85 years on the farm.

23 / 60
Sour Cream Pumpkin CakeTaste of Home

Sour Cream Pumpkin Cake

The nicely spiced streusel in the center of this cake is a marvelous surprise and complement to the cinnamony pumpkin cake. It's delicious for breakfast or dessert. —Elaine Holmberg, Norfolk, Nebraska

24 / 60
Toffee Poke CakeTaste of Home

Toffee Poke Cake

This toffee poke cake recipe is a favorite among my family and friends. I love making it because it is so simple.—Ms. Jeanette Hoffman, Oshkosh, Wisconsin

25 / 60
Italian Cream Cheese Cake

Italian Cream Cheese Cake

Buttermilk makes every bite of this awesome Italian cream cheese cake recipe moist and flavorful. I rely on this recipe year-round.—Joyce Lutz, Centerview, Missouri

26 / 60
Pumpkin FruitcakeTaste of Home

Pumpkin Fruitcake

I make this fruity cake many times between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The dense cake has wonderful pumpkin flavor and is flecked with pecans, dates, raisins and cherries. —Janet Hradsky, Three Rivers, Michigan

27 / 60
Butter Pecan CakeTaste of Home

Butter Pecan Cake

My husband has a sweet tooth and I enjoy making great desserts like this cake for him! We have two farms - both of which are wonderful - but I also love being in the kitchen. I collect cookbooks and have written one myself.

28 / 60
Coconut Fudge CakeTaste of Home

Coconut Fudge Cake

“A big piece of this moist cake is a chocolate and coconut devotee's dream," notes Johnnie. "You should see my husband, children and grandkids smile when I serve it.”

29 / 60
Coastal Coconut Cream CakeTaste of Home

Coastal Coconut Cream Cake

This is my son's county fair cake. He was awarded a top-10 prize and auctioned his coconut cream cake off for big bucks! —Amy Freeze, Avon Park, Florida

30 / 60
Chocolate-Covered Cherry Pudding CakeTaste of Home

Chocolate-Covered Cherry Pudding Cake

Growing up, I remember my grandfather cherishing the chocolate-covered cherries we’d bring him for Christmas. He passed away this past year, and I came up with this rich recipe in his honor. It’s delicious served with whipped topping. —Meredith Coe, Charlottesville, Virginia

31 / 60
Cranberry Layer CakeTaste of Home

Cranberry Layer Cake

I adapted a Bundt cake recipe to create this layer cake. Cranberries, walnuts and homemade frosting make it taste so delicious that you'd never guess it starts with a convenient cake mix. —Sandy Burkett, Galena, Ohio

32 / 60
Lemon Ginger Icebox CakeTaste of Home

Lemon Ginger Icebox Cake

Everyone searches for grand desserts that have easy ingredients and minimal effort. My lemony ginger icebox cake is the answer. It’s a holiday lifesaver. —Suzanne Banfield, Basking Ridge, New Jersey

33 / 60
Decadent Fudge CakeTaste of Home

Decadent Fudge Cake

Everyone loves the rich flavor in this decadent cake made with four types of chocolate. —Anna Hogge, Yorktown, Virginia

34 / 60
Praline Pumpkin TorteTaste of Home

Praline Pumpkin Torte

Homemade pralines, big poufs of whipped cream and spiced cake make this torte decadent to the last bite. It's perfect for an autumn day. —Esther Sinn, Princeton, Illinois

35 / 60
William Tell's Never-Miss Apple CakeTaste of Home

William Tell's Never-Miss Apple Cake

I bake my family-favorite fall cake to usher in this abundant season. It looks so luscious that eating one piece is nearly impossible. —Jamie Jones, Madison, Georgia

36 / 60
Gran's Apple CakeTaste of Home

Gran's Apple Cake

My grandmother occasionally brought over this wonderful cake warm from the oven. The spicy apple flavor combined with the sweet cream cheese frosting made this dessert a treasured recipe. Even though I've lightened it up, it's still a family favorite. —Lauris Conrad, Turlock, California

37 / 60
Pear Bundt CakeTaste of Home

Pear Bundt Cake

Next time you make cake from a mix, try my easy and delicious recipe. The pears and syrup add sweet flavor and prevent the cake from drying out. And since there's no oil added to the batter, this tender fall-perfect cake is surprisingly low in fat. —Veronica Ross, Columbia Heights, Minnesota

38 / 60
Grandma Pietz's Cranberry Cake PuddingTaste of Home

Grandma Pietz's Cranberry Cake Pudding

For generations, our family has handed down this cake recipe starring cranberries. Simple and unusual, it remains a treasured family heirloom. —Lisa Potter, Camp Douglas, Wisconsin

39 / 60
Sparkling Cider Pound CakeTaste of Home

Sparkling Cider Pound Cake

This pound cake is incredible and completely reminds me of fall with every bite. Using sparkling apple cider in the batter and the glaze gives it a delicious and unique flavor. I love everything about it! —Nikki Barton, Providence, Utah

40 / 60
Butter Pecan Layer Cake

Butter Pecan Layer Cake

Pecans and butter give this cake the same irresistible flavor as the popular butter pecan ice cream flavor. —Becky Miller, Tallahassee, Florida

41 / 60
Rum-Glazed Pumpkin CakeTaste of Home

Rum-Glazed Pumpkin Cake

For years, my co-workers were taste testers as I worked on a recipe for pumpkin cake. This version wins, hands down. —Gilda Smith, Santee, California

42 / 60
Mrs. Thompson's Carrot CakeTaste of Home

Mrs. Thompson's Carrot Cake

I received this recipe from the mother of a patient I cared for back in 1972 in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was, and is, the best carrot cake I have ever tasted. It’s requested for many family gatherings and celebrations. —Becky Wachob, Kelly, Wyoming

43 / 60
Maple Walnut Cake

Maple Walnut Cake

This maple-flavored cake with candied walnuts honors my grandpa, who made maple syrup. —Lori Fee, Middlesex, New York

44 / 60
Walnut Pumpkin Cake Roll

Walnut Pumpkin Cake Roll

This is one of my family's favorite dessert recipes, especially for holiday gatherings. —Mary Gecha, Center Rutland, Vermont

45 / 60
Carrot Cake with Pecan FrostingTaste of Home

Carrot Cake with Pecan Frosting

My husband constantly requests this homey, old-fashioned version of carrot cake. The frosting is still tasty even without the pecans. —Adrian Badon, Denham Springs, Louisiana

46 / 60
Breakfast Apple CakeTaste of Home

Breakfast Apple Cake

Baked in a pretty tube pan and drizzled with icing, this breakfast cake will be a highlight of your holiday menu. I adapted the recipe from one of my grandmother's. —Shaunda Wenger, Nibley, Utah

47 / 60
Carrot FruitcakeTaste of Home

Carrot Fruitcake

Even those who don't care for fruitcake love this special holiday dessert. It's a fun way to "dress up" that old favorite, carrot cake. Try it—your friends and family will agree. —Ann Parden, Chunchula, Alabama

48 / 60
Spiced Devil's Food CakeTaste of Home

Spiced Devil's Food Cake

One of my mom's friends gave her this recipe when I was a child, and it has been a family favorite ever since. When your chocolate sweet tooth acts up, this really hits the spot! —Linda Yeamans, Ashland, Oregon

49 / 60
Peachy Gingerbread Cake Roll

Peachy Gingerbread Cake Roll

My father loved gingerbread so I combined two or three recipes to create this one for him. This fruity, spiced cake roll gets kudos every time I serve it. —Dawn DePew, Blacklick, Ohio

50 / 60
Pumpkin-Citrus Tube CakeTaste of Home

Pumpkin-Citrus Tube Cake

I was determined to make a healthier version of this pumpkin- and spice-laden cake. Judging by the compliments, it worked. Even a picky 4-year-old eater asked for more.—Krista Frank, Rhododendron, Oregon

51 / 60
Citrus-Kissed Sweet Potato CakeTaste of Home

Citrus-Kissed Sweet Potato Cake

I came up with this spiced cake to use up leftover sweet potatoes after Thanksgiving. Cover the grated sweet potatoes with a damp paper towel to prevent discoloration.—Deborah Biggs, Omaha, Nebraska

52 / 60
Hot Chocolate Pumpkin CakeTaste of Home

Hot Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Hot chocolate is my go-to winter indulgence. To go with it, I like this moist pumpkin cake dusted with cocoa for an extra chocolate boost. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia

53 / 60
Mocha Hazelnut TorteTaste of Home

Mocha Hazelnut Torte

I make this cake on birthdays and other special occasions because it looks and tastes so amazing. The combination of mild hazelnut and coffee flavors is impossible to resist. —Christina Pope, Speedway, Indiana

54 / 60
Pumpkin Cake with Whipped Cinnamon FrostingTaste of Home

Pumpkin Cake with Whipped Cinnamon Frosting

My mom made this for me, and one bite can completely take me back to my childhood. You can easily convert it into a great carrot cake recipe: just use grated carrots in place of pumpkin and add raisins. —Melissa Pelkey Hass, Waleska, Georgia

55 / 60
Orange Cornmeal CakeTaste of Home

Orange Cornmeal Cake

This cake bakes up tender and light with a subtle orange taste. It tastes rich but is comparatively low in saturated fat. Serve the cake as is, or dress it up with a dollop of whipped cream and strawberries or raspberries. The cake is wonderful warm, but the flavor improves as it sits, so make it a day or two before you plan to serve it. Store the cake at room temperature. —Leigh Rys, Herndon, Virginia

56 / 60
Pecan Cake with Cookie Butter FrostingTaste of Home

Pecan Cake with Cookie Butter Frosting

My mom and I bought a jar of cookie butter to try it out, and we fell in love with it. I knew the flavor would go well with maple syrup and pecans, so I came up with this cake. I like to make a pretty design on the top of the cake with pecan halves. —Natalie Larsen, Columbia, Maryland

57 / 60
Caramel Pecan Pumpkin CakeTaste of Home

Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Cake

Think slow cooker as a cake-maker for some seriously yummy dessert that is easy enough for Sunday brunch and tasty enough for Thanksgiving Day—and frees up oven space on holidays, too. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland

58 / 60
Ginger-Glazed Lemon BundtTaste of Home

Ginger-Glazed Lemon Bundt

Tangy ginger, tart lemon and puckery cranberries make this melt-in-your-mouth cake as crisp—and gorgeous—as autumn. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

59 / 60
Ginger-Walnut Tube CakeTaste of Home

Ginger-Walnut Tube Cake

My husband, Ken, loves this tube cake with its bits of crystallized ginger. Feel free to drizzle it with a lemony glaze. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, NJ

60 / 60
Caramel-Pecan Mocha Layer CakeTaste of Home

Caramel-Pecan Mocha Layer Cake

My version of a prize-winning chocolate cake is irresistible, especially when the rich caramel sauce oozes down the sides. —Judy Castranova, New Bern, North Carolina

Ellie Martin Cliffe
Now a deputy editor at Taste of Home, Ellie has been writing about food and parenting for the last decade. When she isn't at TOH HQ, she's likely trying gluten- and dairy-free recipes, canning whatever's in season, listening to anything with a fiddle, or playing Uno with her family.

Popular Videos