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35 Father's Day cake recipes for the sweetest celebration

Because your dad takes the cake.
/ Source: TODAY

Forget pie and kick s'mores to the curb. For anyone who really wants to make dad feel all the Father's Day warm and fuzzies, bake a cake.

While Father's Day breakfast, brunch and dinner recipes are all equally enticing, whether it's a laid-back day by the grill or a meticulously planned meal, having a decadent cake recipe on standby is a must. Ribs, burgers and corn are all great, but we have a feeling your father (or father figure) will want to end his day on a sweet note. Maybe it's a tart lemony or fruit-forward cake that strikes their fancy. Or perhaps your dad is the can't-put-the-Reese's-down-on-movie-night kind of guy who will do a dance for a chocolaty peanut butter confection.

Whichever type of cake you know dad will love, we are here to help choose the perfect recipe. Some of these cake recipes scream summer while others call for sprinkle explosion that will adequately symbolize the warmth dad feels in his heart when he takes a bite. We've even thrown in some super easy ice cream cakes that don't take long to make and will beat store bought any day. Amateur bakers can turn to boxed cake hacks that look professional and more seasoned or ambitious folks can try their hand at multi-layered cakes with surprises inside.

On July 19, show your dad layers and layers of love.

"I love red velvet cake for the simple fact that I'm always sitting there eating it, thinking, 'What in the heck am I eating? I taste a little chocolate. I taste a little vanilla. I see a lot of red, but it ain't strawberry,' says Scotty Scott. "Ultimately, my brain is like, 'I don't know what this is, but it sure is delicious.'"

A wild streak runs through this dessert beneath a coating of rich chocolate frosting. Cut a slice and reveal zebra-like stripes of vanilla and chocolate cake. It’s a surprisingly easy trick to pull off — simply alternate spoonfuls of batter in the center of the pan and create concentric rings.

If your dad is a mint-chocolate-chip ice cream lover, this is definitely the dessert for him. To keep this recipe as simple as possible, use store-bought chocolate cookies and chocolate syrup. If you’re transporting the icebox cake to an event, let it freeze for a few hours so it will stay sturdy.

Lemon and Blackcurrant Stripe Cake

This cake is just so impressive and enchanting when you slice into it. The combination of tart lemon and sweet, dark berries coupled with the rich buttercream frosting make this a refreshing yet decadent dessert.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless chocolate cake is always one of those desserts that feels worthy of a special occasion. While some may reserve the decadent dish for dinner out, this recipe makes it simple to do the baking at home (and adjust the dark chocolate-to-sweetness to preference).

Rainbow Drip Cake

Rainbow Drip Cake

Joshua John Russell

Drip cakes are super cool and surprisingly easy to make. Adding drips to a cake can really make your work eye-catching, and it feels like a therapeutic, art experiment. It's a great way to have the kids get involved in making dad's sweet treat.

Pecan Bundt Cake

Pecan Bundt Cake

Vallery Lomas

"This is my dad's favorite recipe, and it's easy to see why: It's full of flavor like a carrot cake, has a tight crumb like a pound cake, and it comes together quickly and easily," says Vallery Lomas.

Martha Stewart's Lemon Mousse Cake

Lemon and meringue make one of the all-time great culinary duos. Here, they’re whipped up into a light-as-air cake. A Swiss meringue frosting is piped on and then toasted for a golden hue, to highlight its sensuous curves. A big pile of raspberries on top looks as if it’s keeping the whole creation from floating away.

Valerie Bertinelli's Sicilian Love Cake

The title says it all in this wonderful dessert. Store-bought chocolate cake mix and chocolate pudding mix are the secrets behind this easy cake from Valerie Bertinelli has a rich mascarpone-ricotta filling and luscious cocoa-mascarpone frosting.

Truly, madly and deeply chocolate: Pools of rich salted caramel separate layers of chocolate cake, which are then swathed with dark chocolate frosting and sprinkled with flaky salt. Prep the wondrous cake layers and caramel up to three days before assembling (chilling actually improves the texture for stacking), so you can make it look effortless.

Pancake Layer Cake

Pancake Layer Cake

Christina Tosi

This breakfast-inspired cake looks and tastes like a tall stack of pancakes. Fluffy buttermilk cake layers and sweet maple frosting pack all the flavors of the morning favorite into an impressive dessert.

Rainbow Heart Cake

Rainbow Heart Cake

Amanda Rettke

Show your dad layers of love with this stunning surprise-inside rainbow heart cake. Just follow these step-by-step instructions.

Dylan's Pistachio Cake

Dylan Dreyer's pistachio cake has a light and sweet flavor that is perfect for spring and summer occasions. It's also made from yellow boxed cake mix and instant pudding, so it's an easy endeavor in the kitchen.

This recipe doesn't add any unexpected extras or fancy new flavors. It's a traditional, straightforward red velvet cake that shows off the unbeatable flavors and textures of this iconic classic.

"This is an incredibly simple way to ease into the cake-mix era in your life: a rich, very chocolaty cake that's such a cinch to make, it might become your go-to birthday cake request," says Ree Drummond.

Triple Threat Chocolate Cheesecake

This heavenly cake gets a triple hit of chocolate from the chocolate graham crust, creamy chocolate filling and rich chocolate ganache topping — plus a bonus of chocolate curls to finish! Don't wait until the very last minute to make this treat; it ideally needs to be chilled in the fridge overnight before the topping is added.

Strawberry and Vanilla Ice Cream Cookie Cake

Pre-made cookies and store-bought ice cream make a lovely and easy dessert. Just assemble it ahead of time and let it chill in the freezer until ready to serve.

Lemon Velvet Cake

Lemon Velvet Cake

April Anderson

A dense, lemony confection, this cake reminds us of spring and the end of winter. It's easy to throw together and make fancy with swirls of icing and twirly lemon rinds.

S'mores Ice Cream Cake

S'mores Ice Cream Cake

Gesine Bullock-Prado

What's incredible out this recipe is that it uses the preformed shape of a tub of ice cream to make a truly stunning dessert. With some filling, pressing, freezing and topping, the result is a decadent ice cream cake with all that good s'mores flavor.

Chocolate Chip Tahini Cake

This vegan and gluten-free cake has an unbelievably fluffy texture that's created by a combination of almond and coconut flours. The sweetness from the coconut sugar is complemented by the tahini, which totally transforms the flavor profile of this dessert.

Carrot cake is one of those cakes that satisfies a sweet tooth without feeling overly decadent. Serve this sweetly spiced dessert with walnuts, raisins, coconut and pineapple — or keep it simple with only shredded carrots in the batter.

It's hard to believe that even with baking cake layers, this dessert really only has five ingredients (not counting pantry staples like oil and sugar). Here's a little secret to pressing the ice cream into the cake pan: Slice it into slabs, cut to fit like a jigsaw puzzle and smooth the seams. Easy peasy!

Caramel Cake

Caramel Cake

Gesine Bullock-Prado

Learn how to make homemade caramel for this gorgeous cake. "That simple act of heating sugar to the point that it changes from brilliant white to slightly golden to coppery brown is my weakness," says Gesine Bullock-Prado.

Mini Conversation Heart Cakes

Talk about showing some love! These darling cakes were inspired by the Valentine's Day candy but are completely customizable so you can write your Father's Day card right on the confection.

In case there's another heat wave, make this simple yet irresistible cheesecake. It's luscious, creamy and requires no oven time at all!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake

The double-layer cake absolutely oozes rich, fudgy frosting and is filled with chocolate chips. One of the best parts of this delectable creation is that it only takes about five minutes to whip up, has five ingredients, plus frosting, and comes out of the oven fluffy yet moist.

Giant Funfetti Sugar Cookie Cake

This huge cookie-cake hybrid is packed with rainbow sprinkles and makes a big, colorful splash at any celebration. It has all the fun of a celebration cake with the buttery crisp of cookies in one special treat.

This heavenly peanut butter ice cream cake was created by Siri Daly for her husband Carson. "I tried to combine things that I know Carson loves (mainly ice cream and the chocolate/peanut butter combo) in a dessert that was very easy to pull off," says Siri. "Enter this ice cream cake (adapted from Lovely Little Kitchen): a mouth-watering crowd-pleaser that anyone can throw together, and I mean anyone (especially if you have kids willing to unwrap all the peanut butter cups in exchange for one or two or five)."

The lemon and olive oil create such a moist but not overly sweet dessert that's completed by the fragrant limoncello glaze. You might as well be enjoying a forkful of sunshine.

This frosty cake is made from just five ingredients and adds a fun and festive twist to dessert.

This is one of our favorite easy dessert recipes. It's so rich and flavorful, but still light. Also, it only has five ingredients and lasts for months in the freezer … unless it all gets eaten first!

Wine-Glazed Cake

Wine-Glazed Cake

Elizabeth Heiskell

"This cake is so good it will beckon you in the middle of the night," says Elizabeth Heiskell. "No one can resist it, no one! My children will fight each other tooth and nail over the last piece. All I can say is make this cake at your own risk, but know you have been warned."

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

Craig Strong

Coffee is the secret ingredient in this recipe for making chocolate cake super moist and flavorful. This recipe is easy to make — and the jolt of caffeine will help liven up all the Father's Day festivities.

This perfect-for-summer dessert is very versatile and is completely customizable. It takes no effort to put together, which is perfect when feeding a crowd.

Devil's Food Icebox Cake

Devil's Food Icebox Cake

Nicole A. Taylor

Father's Day coincides with summer heat. It's a time when a lot of us are trying to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible. This dessert requires minimal baking and so is perfect for the dog days of June.