48 Vintage Summer Cakes You Need to Try

Updated: Apr. 12, 2024

These cakes are bursting with old-fashioned charm, but before you get started make sure you have the right cake supplies to set your dessert up for sweet success!

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Spiced Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I often bake this beautiful cake in my large cast-iron skillet and turn it out onto a pizza pan. —Jennifer Sergesketter, Newburgh, Indiana

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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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Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

As a mother of three sons, sweets are a staple in my kitchen! I buy ripe fruit on sale and freeze it to make this cake. My banana cake with cream cheese frosting is a favorite among loved ones at my family picnics and dinners. —Bonnie Krause, Irvona, Pennsylvania
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Coconut Chiffon Cake

Toasted coconut adds visual appeal to this tall and impressive cake. With an airy texture and heavenly coconut-ginger flavor,it's a lovely end to meals throughout the year.
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Lemon Sheet Cake

Lemon pie filling lends a splash of citrus flavor to a convenient cake mix, and a rich cream cheese frosting gives it sweetness. My family likes this lemon sheet cake cold, so I cut it into squares and freeze it before serving. —Alyce Dubisar, North Bend, Oregon
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Strawberry-Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

I prepare this colorful dessert quite often in the late spring or summer when fresh rhubarb is abundant. I make this rhubarb cake with cake mix and take it to church potlucks. People actually line up for a piece. —Bonnie Krogman, Thompson Falls, Montana
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Pineapple Carrot Cake

This moist cake with cream cheese frosting is the best I've ever eaten. It's so simple, too, because it uses two jars of baby food instead of fresh carrots that need to be grated. —Jeanette McKenna, Vero Beach, Florida
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Caribbean Coconut Rum Cake

My take on those boozy treats that weigh down suitcases returning from Jamaica, this moist cake packs a rum punch. You may wish to card your guests before serving. The longer the rum soaks in, the better—overnight is best. —Jenn Hall, Collingswood, New Jersey
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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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Old-Fashioned Rhubarb Cake

My great-aunt gave me this rhubarb cake recipe. It's especially delicious when rhubarb is in season, and tastes even better with the old-fashioned milk topping. But you'll love it even with frozen rhubarb and "modern-day" whipped topping! —Marilyn Homola, Hazel, South Dakota
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Banana Pound Cake

I adapted a basic pound cake recipe from my great-aunt for this treat. It makes a moist cake that pops out of the pan perfectly. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
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Southern Lane Cake

I just love this southern-style dessert, and so do dinner guests. With pecans, cherries and raisins in the filling and topping, this version reminds me of a fruitcake—only so much better! —Mabel Parvi, Ridgefield, Washington
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Peaches & Cream Jelly Roll

Cake rolls make a lovely presentation for a party, and they are simple to cut into even slices. My father taught me how to make them, and sometimes we get together and make them for family and friends. —Malena Coleman, Rockville, Indiana
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Streuseled Zucchini Bundt Cake

Inspired by an abundance of zucchini, I found a new way to use it up in this spiced and lightly sweet cake. It even won a blue ribbon at our county fair! —Regina Stock, Topeka, Kansas
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Best Angel Food Cake

For our daughter's wedding, a friend made this lovely, airy angel food cake from a recipe she's used for decades. It really is one of the best angel food cake recipes I've found. Serve slices plain or dress them up with fresh fruit. —Marilyn Niemeyer, Doon, Iowa
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Banana Bread Snack Cakes

This banana bread snack cake doesn't need any frosting—just a dusting of powdered sugar. Guests are always amazed that I made this treat from scratch. —Denise Loewenthal, Hinckley, Ohio
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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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Mississippi Mud Cake

This cake features a fudgy brownielike base topped with marshmallow creme and a nutty frosting. Serve big slices with glasses of cold milk or steaming mugs of coffee. —Tammi Simpson, Greensburg, Kentucky
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Banana Upside-Down Cake

For a fun and distinctive way to use bananas, try this banana upside down cake. Every time I serve this treat, someone requests the recipe. —Ruth Andrewson, Leavenworth, Washington
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Cherry Pudding Cake

A cross between a cake and a cobbler, this cherry dessert is awesome. Add it to your list of trusty potluck recipes, because this one is sure to go fast. —Brenda Parker, Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Angel Food Cake Roll

There's always room for dessert—especially when it's this eye-catching angel food cake roll. We like strawberry yogurt in the filling, but different flavors work well, too. —Joan Colbert, Sigourney, Iowa
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Banana Split Icebox Cake

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

A lightly seasoned spice cake lets the wonderful flavor of blackberries shine through in this delectable blackberry cake recipe. —Diana Martin, Moundsville, West Virginia
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Hummingbird Cake

This impressive hummingbird cake is my dad’s favorite, so I always make it for his birthday. It makes a memorable dessert for any celebration and is lovely with a summer meal. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
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Apricot Upside-Down Cake

My Aunt Anne, who is a great cook, gave me a taste of this golden upside-down cake and I couldn't believe how delicious it was. Apricots give it an elegant twist from traditional pineapple versions. —Ruth Ann Stelfox, Raymond, Alberta
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Raspberry Cake

Jazz up plain cake with raspberry gelatin and frozen berries. Spread with a light, fruity whipped topping (or this whipped topping substitute), the festive results make a cool and refreshing dessert. —Marion Anderson, Dalton, Minnesota
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Rustic Honey Cake

When my boys were young, they couldn’t drink milk but they could have yogurt. This was a cake they could eat. And it’s one dessert that doesn’t taste overly sweet, which is always a nice change of pace. —Linda Leuer, Hamel, Minnesota
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White Texas Sheet Cake

This cake gets better the longer it sits, so I try to make it a day ahead. My mother-in-law introduced this deliciously rich sheet cake to me. With its creamy frosting and light almond flavor, no one can stop at just one piece! —Joanie Ward, Brownsburg, Indiana
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Red Velvet Pound Cake

This delicious red velvet pound cake is the perfect combination of flavors. Make sure the cake has cooled before icing it; for extra crunch sprinkle some roasted pecans on top. —Robin Smith, Old Fort, North Carolina
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Apricot Mud Hen Cake Bars

These mud hen bars have been in my family for generations. My maternal grandmother gave this recipe to my mother, who shared it with me. I’ve been told the name comes from the speckled meringue topping that resembles the coloring of hens. —Kristine Chayes, Smithtown, New York
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Kentucky Butter Cake

I found this Kentucky butter cake recipe in an old cookbook I bought at a garage sale and couldn’t wait to try it. I knew it had been someone’s favorite because of the well-worn page. —Joan Gertz, Palmetto, Florida
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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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7UP Pound Cake

My grandmother gave me my first cake recipe—a pound cake using 7UP—which her grandmother had given to her. On top of being delicious, this cake represents family tradition, connection and love. —Marsha Davis, Desert Hot Springs, California
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Cola Cake with Strawberries & Cream

We Southerners have been eating cola cake for decades. This easy version has strawberries, too. Chill it in the fridge for a dreamy summer dessert. —Peggy Walpert, Fort Worth, Texas
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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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Citrus Pound Cake

Moist and tender, this gorgeous classic has a refreshing taste of sunshine. —Lisa M Varner, El Paso, Texas
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Roasted Strawberry Sheet Cake

My Grandma Gigi loved summer berry cakes. Almost any time I’d call her during the warmer months, she’d invite me over to taste her latest masterpiece. This cake is a tribute to her. —Kristin Bowers, Rancho Palos Verdes, California
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Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

I’ve baked this cake every spring for many years, and my family loves it! As a potluck dessert it gets eaten up quickly, even by folks who don’t normally go for rhubarb. Use your own fresh rhubarb, hit up a farmers market or find a neighbor who will trade stalks for the recipe! —Helen Breman, Mattydale, New York
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Glazed Lemon Chiffon Cake

This fluffy cake is a real treat drizzled with the sweet-tart lemon glaze. —Rebecca Baird, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Plum Upside-Down Cake

Since my husband liked pineapple upside-down cake, I decided to give this recipe a try one night when we were expecting guests for dinner. Everyone pronounced this cake “Delicious!” and asked for seconds.—Bobbie Talbott, Veneta, Oregon
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Rainbow Sherbet Angel Food Cake

Talk about a dessert that pops off the plate! Sometimes I make this easy cake even more eye-catching by tinting the whipped cream. Use whatever sherbet flavor combination you like. —Bonnie Hawkins, Elkhorn, Wisconsin
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Fluted Lemon Cake with Fresh Fruit

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

This cake is inventive and yet familiar. Be sure to use a springform pan; otherwise you cannot invert the cake or remove it from the pan. If it breaks while you’re transferring the cake to the serving plate, just push it back together and press gently. —Stella Ohanian, Porter Ranch, California
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Aunt Murna's Jam Cake

I remember Aunt Murna telling me that she created her jam cake recipe as a young girl. She made improvements over the years, such as soaking the raisins in crushed pineapple. This cake is a favorite at our annual family reunions. —Mrs. Eddie Robinson, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
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Moist Lemon Angel Cake Roll

Tart and delicious, this pretty cake roll will tickle any lemon lover’s fancy. Its feathery, angel food texture enhances its guilt-free goodness. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Grandma's Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake

When my grandma served this shortcake, she usually topped it with homemade vanilla ice cream. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas
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Rich Rum Cake

We like a touch of rum for the holidays, and this orangy rum cake is decadent alone or with big swoops of whipped cream. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Lemon Meringue Angel Cake

I've been told that this dessert tastes exactly like a lemon meringue pie and that it's the best angel food cake anyone could ask for. I'm not sure about all of that, but it is delightful to serve, and each slice is virtually fat free. —Sharon Kurtz, Emmaus, Pennsylvania