1. Faith Durand’s Dark Molasses Gingerbread Cake
Blackstrap molasses makes this rich and complex — like gingerbread should be.
2. Spiced Dulce de Leche Banana Icebox Cake
Our old favorite has gussied herself up with dulce de leche and bananas and now she’s ready to party. This fancified icebox cake is ready for your weeknight celebrations.
3. Sufganiyot (Jelly Donut) Cake
What do you get when you take a jelly donut and make it huge? This.
4. Carrot Cake with Cardamom
The yogurt and carrots give the cake moisture, and the hint of cardamom makes it shine. We ended up adding the sugar in the frosting to taste; if you prefer your frosting on the not-so-sweet side, you should do the same.
5. Roberta’s Parsley Cake
If we can put rosemary in our frozen yogurt and thyme in our cookies, what’s stopping parsley from dessert domination? This green cake might look Seussian, but it’s not only edible — it’s delicious.
6. The Walnut Variation: A Cake
This cake is a total show-stopper. It’s dramatic and showy, and it tastes that way too.
7. Tomato Soup Cake
Just what it sounds like: Cake, with a can of tomato soup in it. We dare you to try it.
8. Double Layer Cranberry Ginger Upside-Down Cake
This one packs three punches with cranberry, ginger and raspberry preserves.
9. Chocolate-Mashed Potato Cake with Ganache
Yeah, you read that right. The potato adds a certain moistness that chocolate cakes can lack — without seeming too starchy or savory. Plus, the edges of the cake that touch the bundt pan get crackly: a perfect contrast to the soft cake inside.
10. Grape, Almond, and Olive Oil Cake
Thin, fast-baking, and elegant, this is the perfect dessert for last-minute company.
11. Gingerbread Beer Bundt Cake with Chocolate Glaze
The unusual ingredients in this cake (mustard, sorghum, beer) combine to make one of the most complex, nuanced chocolate cakes you’ll ever try.
12. Nigel Slater’s Extremely Moist Chocolate-Beet Cake
Step aside, red velvet. It just so happens that the deep pink earthiness of a beet is surprisingly well suited for bittersweet chocolate.
13. Nutella Crêpe Cake
Use your favorite crêpe recipe for this cake. You can layer them with Nutell, jam, or be super classy and do brown butter with lemon juice and powdered sugar.
14. Brown Sugar Apple Upside Down Cake with Apple Cider Caramel and Spiced Walnuts
The caramel and walnuts make an already-special apple cake even better.
15. Alsatian Gingerbread
A single low-slung, honeyed loaf that’s as enticing as it is delicious.
Sarah Jampel is an editor for the community-based recipe website Food52, where you can find lots more recipes, cooking advice, and kitchen products.