6 Quick and Easy Snacking Cakes To Make Tonight

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Looking for a quick and easy baking project to serve after school, enjoy after dinner, or just for fun? Snacking cakes are the answer! Made with just a few ingredients, with no mixer needed, and baked in an 8-inch square or round pan, these are the perfect cakes for any day of the week.

a fork in a piece of One Bowl Chocolate Cake

Snacking cakes are the name of the game for busy home cooks who love a quick baking project (*raising my hand*). These are the best sort of cakes that requires minimal effort to mix up after school or pop in the oven while eating dinner. Want to bake one today? We’ve got you covered with chocolate, vanilla, applesauce, pumpkin, and peanut butter versions!

What Is a Snacking Cake?

Snacking cakes are the simplest of cakes that are baked in an 8-inch square or round cake pan. They are mixed up in a bowl or two, don’t require a mixer, use pantry staples, and need little more than a dusting of powdered sugar to finish (though frosting is always welcome). They aren’t overly sweet, making them perfect to have with a mug of coffee or tea, as an afternoon pick-me-up, or as an easy dessert.

I created my first snacking cake recipe back in 2013 it’s been updated since) and rarely make any other type of cake. This category of baking has really had a moment, and Yossy Arefi even published a cookbook on the subject. It’s a great cookbook too!

See below for a snacking cake to serve every taste!

1. One Bowl Chocolate Snacking Cake

a slice of Chocolate Cake on a white plate with a fork

This super simple chocolate cake is a one bowl cake. It’s dairy-free and the result is rich, moist, and even better a day or two after baking. I love to stir mini chocolate chips into the batter – they melt right in and give it big chocolate flavor. 

2. Vanilla Snacking Cake

vanilla snack cake on a white plate

This Easy Vanilla Snack Cake makes a celebration possible any day of the week with just a little bit of effort! This is a not-too-sweet cake that comes out tender and soft. We often stir sprinkles right into the batter for a Funfetti version. 

3. Applesauce Snacking Cake

Applesauce Cake cut into squares

Feels like fall! Applesauce and a small amount of oil make this a tender, moist cake. On its own or with a light dusting of powdered sugar, Applesauce Cake makes a great addition to a breakfast or brunch spread. Add vanilla frosting, and it’s a dessert that’s easy enough for a weeknight.

4. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

a piece of pumpkin snack cake on a white plate with a fork

This super soft pumpkin snack cake has a hint of pumpkin pie spice with chocolate chips in every bite. Chocolate chips make it sweet enough for dessert but it is light enough to enjoy with a late afternoon cup of tea.

5. Semolina Yogurt Cake

semolina yogurt cake topped with whipped cream and berries

Semolina Yogurt Cake is made with semolina flour and yogurt and is a one bowl cake. A simple syrup poured over the top keeps the cake moist for days after baking. 

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars stacked on a white table

Okay, okay, so this one isn’t technically a cake, but if you are looking for another treat to bake in an 8×8 pan, this one deserves a mention. My six-year-olds just saw this picture and asked if I could make them again this week. These bars are soft, rich, and absolutely packed with peanut butter cups. 

Frosting to Serve with Snacking Cakes

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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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    1. Hi Ruby – just click the link on each cake listed in the post and it will take you right to the recipes!