5 spring cakes for any occasion

As we enter into spring, our calendars begin to fill up with graduations and holiday celebrations, and what’s a better way to celebrate than with a cake! Here are 5 of our favorite go-to recipes, perfect for any celebration, or none at all.


lemon bundt cake

lemon bundt cake

A classic bundt cake infused with bright lemon flavor both in the cake and in the glaze on top. As with most baked goods, it’s best served the same day it’s made.

  • Cooking spray, for greasing

  • 1 1/2 cups flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 3 large eggs, beaten

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • Juice from 1/2 lemon

  • Glaze

  • Juice from 1/2 lemon

  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Grease a 10-inch tube pan evenly with cooking spray, making sure to get into crevices. Dust pan well with flour, shaking out excess. Set aside.

  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

  4. In a large bowl, add yogurt, olive oil, and sugar and whisk together until combined. Add eggs, lemon zest and juice and mix until combined. Slowly stir in flour mixture. Transfer to prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 35-45 minutes, rotating once halfway through cooking.

  5. Remove cake from pan and allow to cool for about 10 minutes in pan. Carefully remove sides of pan (keeping cake on its base) and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  6. Meanwhile, make glaze. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice and confectioners sugar. Set aside.

  7. Once cake has cooled completely, place over wire rack set over baking sheet. Pour glaze slowly over top of cake, spreading out to cover top entirely, allowing some of it to drip down sides. Allow to set for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serves 12.


pistachio olive oil cake

Our simple lemon glaze on top gets even better when pistachios are added to the center of the top of the cake for added crunch before serving. Both the olive oil and yogurt help keep this super easy cake moist.

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for greasing

  • 1 1/4 cups roasted shelled pistachios, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 3 large eggs, beaten

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • Glaze

  • Juice from 1/2 lemon

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Grease an 8-inch springform pan evenly with butter. Cut a piece of parchment to cover bottom of pan and grease top of it with additional butter, making sure all sides and bottom of pan are completely coated. Please pan on a large baking sheet and set aside.

  3. Place pistachios in bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer 1/2 cup (for garnish) and set aside.

  4. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

  5. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, olive oil, and sugar until well combined. Add eggs and lemon zest and mix until combined. Slowly stir in flour mixture, followed by 3/4 cup pistachios. Transfer to prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 30-40 minutes.

  6. Remove cake from pan and allow to cool for about 10 minutes in pan. Carefully remove from pan (keeping it on its base) and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  7. Meanwhile, make glaze. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar. Set aside.

  8. Once cake has cooled completely, pour glaze slowly over top of cake allowing some of it to drip down sides of pan. Top cake with reserved pistachios and serve.

Serves 12.


buttercake

Slightly more tender than a pound cake, this cake highlights butter in the most sinfully delicious way. There’s butter inside the cake, and then it’s drizzled with an addictive butter glaze before serving.

  • 9 ounces unsalted butter, divided, at room temperature

  • 3 cups flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • Butter Sauce

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 2 ounces butter, cubed

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Confectioners’ sugar, for serving, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-inch tube pan well with 1 ounce butter, making sure to get into crevices. Dust pan well with flour, shaking out excess. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

  3. In bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream remaining 8 ounces butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and cream again for another 1-2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.Stir in vanilla.

  4. Add 1/3 flour mixture and stir until combined. Add 1/2 of buttermilk and stir. Add another 1/3 flour mixture, followed by remaining 1/2 of buttermilk, then finishing with remaining 1/3 flour mixture. Beat well after each addition.

  5. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and smooth out top of batter. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, make butter sauce. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, butter, and water. Cook over medium heat just until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

  7. Poke holes in top of warm cake (this will actually be bottom of cake once you flip it). Spoon about 1/2 of sauce over cake. Allow to soak into cake until sauce is absorbed. Repeat again until all of sauce is used. Allow cake to cool completely.

  8. Run a knife around edges and center tube of pan. Place a serving plate over cake and carefully invert cake onto plate. Dust with confectioners’ sugar (if using).

Serves 16.

cook’s note: For the glaze, you can either pour it onto the cooling cake in the pan, making the glaze form a layer on the bottom, or you can invert the cake and pour the glaze over the top (which is more traditional). It’s a personal preference, but if you are at all unsure about unmolding the cake in one piece, opt for glazing the cake after it’s unmolded to cover any parts that may have stuck.


cinnamon crumb coffee cake

From the moment the aroma of cinnamon begins to permeate the air, I start to imagine the taste of this cake; it's soft, buttery texture layered with sugary bursts of cinnamon crumbs. It's perfect served for company, or left on the counter for tempting, afternoon slices. As with most baked goods, it's best enjoyed the day it's made or shortly thereafter.

  • 1 1/2 sticks plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided, at room temperature

  • 2 1/2 cups flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 3 extra large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream

  • Streusel

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 3/4 cup flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-inch tube pan evenly with 1 tablespoon butter. Dust with flour, coating evenly over buttered pan, shaking out any excess flour. Set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

  3. In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment (or by hand), cream together remaining 1 1/2 sticks butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and well combined. Add eggs, vanilla and sour cream. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing after each addition. Mix until just combined.

  4. Make streusel. In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Using a pastry cutter, fork or by hand, cut in butter until coarse crumbs form.

  5. Spoon half of batter into prepared pan, carefully spreading out into an even layer (run spatula under warm water to help spread it out if necessary, mixture will be thick). Scatter half of streusel topping evenly over top, followed by remaining half of batter. Spread it out evenly to cover streusel topping. Finish with remaining half of streusel topping. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before removing from pan. Allow to cool completely to room temperature before serving.

Serves 8.

This recipe is from The Coastal Table: Recipes Inspired by the Farmlands and Seaside of Southern New England, published by Union Park Press.


rhubarb country cake

When rhubarb makes its first appearance at the farmers market, this cake is a must. Hints of ginger and cinnamon are balanced nicely with a bit of lemon throughout the cake. Be sure to top it with the brown sugar mixture on top for added sweetness in every bite.

  • Cooking spray, for greasing

  • 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger, divided

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup light brown sugar, divided

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

  • Zest from 1 lemon

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 2 cups diced rhubarb (from approximately 2 large stalks)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Coat top of paper and all sides of pan with cooking spray. Place pan on a baking sheet and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt.

  3. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup light brown sugar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon ginger, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside.

  4. In a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together butter, remaining 3/4 cup light brown sugar, and sugar. Add eggs and lemon zest and mix until incorporated. Slowly add 1/3 of flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of yogurt. Add another 1/3 of flour mixture, followed by remaining yogurt. Add remaining 1/3 flour mixture and mix until just combined. Remove bowl and fold in rhubarb.

  5. Pour batter evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle top of cake evenly with reserved brown sugar mixture.

  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in middle of cake comes out clean. Allow to cool to room temperature before slicing.

Serves 8-10.

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