Our Community's 5 Sweetest, Most Show-Stopping Layer Cakes

Peep the finalists from our latest recipe contest, and share a slice with your friends and family this weekend.

March 23, 2022
Photo by Mark Weinberg

In our latest recipe contest, we reprised our very first Food52 contest: Your Best Layer Cake. The original contest brought us just three entries, but each one has become a Food52 standard: Amanda's mother's Chocolate Dump-It Cake, Abs' Not Red Velvet Cake With Fudge Icing, and Eric Liftin's Lemon Birthday Cake.

For this round, we asked our community members to bring us some more creative flavor combinations. We had high hopes for this Redux, and you delivered. From pistachio-lychee-rose cake to a mascarpone whipped cream-topped stunner, we loved the creativity this contest brought out in our talented community members. And we especially loved trying so much cake!

1. Pistachio Cake with Confiture Ispahan and Strawberry Swiss Meringue by GML

You will thank yourself for taking the time to source some lychee with this beautiful layer cake. We loved the combination of the cake and pistachio flours for a light yet nutty texture, and the thoughtful directions on the Swiss meringue. The rosewater adds an elegant touch to the confiture Ispahan (that classic French jam)—make some extra and enjoy on your breakfast toast for another special treat.

2. Coffee Mascarpone-Filled Fudgy Olive Oil Cake with Almond Praline Mascarpone Topping by AntoniaJames

This cake will not be one that you whip up on a random workday, but do not let that dissuade you. Your next dinner party guests will be wowed by the dense fudginess of the cake, the elegance of the two mascarpone topping flavors, and the beautiful praline topping. AntoniaJames brought us a truly newfangled and super-creative layer cake.

3. Wild Blueberry Orange Ricotta Cake with Mascarpone Frosting by Henrie Marie

Henrie Marie gives us a thoughtful and delicate blueberry layer cake perfect for the spring. The orange zest and extract brightens up the cake that pops with pretty little pops of wild blueberry. The frosting has the perfect amount of mascarpone cheese that gives it richness that is just right.

4. Black Forest Chocolate Cake by Boulangere

Boulangere has created for us a simply perfect black forest chocolate cake—no tweaks required. Given the current scarcity of cherries, we really appreciated Boulangere's use of cherry preserves and kirsch. Plus, those cherry preserves really give a more intense cherry flavor than what you would expect in a typical Black Forest chocolate cake. We liked this cake even more after it had a nice rest in the refrigerator.

5. Crushed Velvet Cake by Aargersi

We have seen a lot of red velvet cakes, but this one is in a class by itself. Aargersi elevates the traditional red velvet by using olive oil and orange zest in the batter, adding orange marmalade to the baked cakes, and finishing things off with a tangy crème fraîche frosting. This cake whips up with ease and you will want to put it on regular rotation for all birthday celebrations at home.

Give one or all of these recipes a try in your kitchen and let us know your thoughts! Just remember: Voting for the final two recipes will open April 1, 2022 at 12 p.m. EDT here.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“Congratulations to the 5 semi finalists what a delicious line up of layer cakes!”
— sdebrango

May the best recipe take the...well...cake!

What's your favorite layer cake recipe? Let us know in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • sdebrango
  • jeh
  • AntoniaJames
  • boulangere

Written by: meganvt01



sdebrango March 24, 2022
Congratulations to the 5 semi finalists what a delicious line up of layer cakes!
AntoniaJames March 24, 2022
Thank you, Suzanne! I am truly honored to be among the five. They all look amazing. ;o)
boulangere April 16, 2022
Thank you so much, Suzanne, for giving BFCC a second glance. You e done a masterful job of breathing life back into contests.
sdebrango April 16, 2022
Thank you Cynthia your cake was wonderful, a classic and always one of my favorites. I love our community and would love to see everyone as involved and excited as we were when F52 started. I cherish the friendships❤️❤️❤️❤️
jeh March 24, 2022
Wow! Yummy!