59 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.

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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

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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 an evening snack. I've often made it for parties, and I've always received compliments on it. —Grace Reynolds, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
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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
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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
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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
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Frosted Harvest Cake

Craving brownies but want something a little bit different? Indulge in a fall-flavored version topped with a cream cheese frosting. —Iola Egle, Bella Vista, Arkansas
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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
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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
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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
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Oatmeal Cake with Caramel Icing

This lightened-up version of a classic dessert is full of flavor. The icing sets up quickly, so make it right before you frost the cake. —Summer Marks, Louisville, Kentucky
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Double Butterscotch Coconut Cake

I got this recipe from a co-worker years ago, and then I changed it a bit by adding a family favorite: butterscotch. It is super easy to throw together and is a perfect accompaniment to coffee or tea. —Marina Castle Kelley, Canyon Country, California
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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
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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
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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
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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 if you have a real sweet tooth. —Catherine Hahn, Winamac, Indiana
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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. —Jeanette Hoffman, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
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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
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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.
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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.”
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Coastal Coconut Cream Cake

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

Everyone loves the rich flavor in this decadent cake made with four types of chocolate. —Anna Hogge, Yorktown, Virginia
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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
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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. Looking for birthday cake ideas for this season? Here’s our list of fall birthday cakes.
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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 recipe one that we treasured. Even though I've lightened it up, it's still a family favorite. —Lauris Conrad, Turlock, California
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Maple Walnut Cake

This maple-flavored cake with candied walnuts honors beloved my grandpa, who made maple syrup when I was a child. It honors his memory and has proven to be a favorite with family and friends throughout the years. —Lori Fee, Middlesex, New York
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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. It 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
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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
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Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Cake

Use your slow cooker as a cake maker for a seriously yummy dessert that is easy enough for any weekday and tasty enough for a holiday meal. It frees up oven space, too. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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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
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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
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Ellie Martin Cliffe
Ellie has spent almost 20 years writing and editing food and lifestyle content for several well-known publishers. As Taste of Home's content director, she leads the team of editors sharing tasty recipes, cooking tips and entertaining ideas. Since joining Taste of Home 13 years ago, she has held roles in digital and print, editing cookbooks, curating special interest publications, running magazines, starring in cooking and cleaning videos, working with the Community Cooks and even handing out cookies and cocoa at local holiday events. Gluten- and dairy-free since 2017, she’s a staff go-to on allergy-friendly foods that actually taste good. If she's not in her plant-filled office, find Ellie in her family’s urban veggie garden, in the kitchen trying new GF/DF recipes or at a local hockey rink, cheering on her spouse or third grader.