20 Cool Cakes To Order For Delivery This Holiday Season

Get the best holiday cakes delivered to your door for under $100.

Any occasion is made special by the simple addition of cake. But have you ever tried to decorate your own boxed cake and turn it into a layered glory? It's not as cut and dry as it you might think (no pun even intended). The best cakes are works of art that take time to imagine, mix, bake, trim, frost, and decorate; as such, let's toast the hard work of the professionals who make them, and the modern technology that lets us ship the best ones from all across the country.

Here are some of the best reviewed, most creative, and most unusual scratch-made cakes you can send to family, friends, or yourself for under $100.

Daisy Cakes

Fans of Shark Tank might recognize this bakery's signature: a little daisy-shaped sugar candy on every cake in honor of founder Kim Nelson's Great Aunt Daisy, around whose recipes this mail-order shop was founded in Pauline, South Carolina. What makes these cakes great is the hand-sifted flour, which results in lighter cakes with more consistent textures.

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The classic Daisy's Coconut Cake is a Southern staple done impeccably: four fat layers of moist cake with coconut milk buttercream, hand-scattered with shredded, lightly sweetened coconut for a tropical flavor that doesn't hit you over the head. Another best pick from the collection is the Red Velvet, equally Southern and made with real cocoa, buttermilk, vinegar, and cream cheese icing with a tang that keeps the sweetness balanced.

SusieCakes

This company is also founded on family from-scratch recipes. Susan Sarich started her brick-and-mortar bakery in 2006 using 3x5 cards inscribed with her grandmothers Mildred and Madeline's baked goods recipes as her foundation. Just last year, SusieCakes started shipping nationwide, and now we can get these decadent cakes anywhere.

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The Classic Marble Cake is delicious—vanilla and chocolate cake with generous chunks of chocolate chips for added texture and more flavor. The marble swirl of buttercreams keep the super-rich flavors from being too much.

For festive season, the bakery "spruces" up the towering classic Old-Fashioned Chocolate with Christmas-colored sprinkles and a festive inscription. Dark chocolate buttercream graces this holiday version, same as the OG. The Holiday Vanilla Celebration is similarly bedecked for winter—at least on the outside. The signature aqua vanilla buttercream icing gets topped with little snowflake sprinkles, but the six layers beneath are still colorfully confettied.

If you want to go off-notecard, check out the Chocolate Candy Cane Cake, which features four layers of chocolate cake sandwiching chocolate buttercream and crushed candy canes beneath a coating of mint buttercream.

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Caroline’s Cakes

Caroline's Cakes are baked in South Carolina, and this is yet another example of how a family recipe can become a legacy. In this case, it's the 7-Layer Caramel Cake, which Caroline Ragsdale Reutter made and served at her son Richard's christening in 1982. Richard writes about remembering the time and precision it took for his mom to get that caramel icing just right. Now, it's available in a medley of combos, including holiday specials like the 7-Layer Yuletide and Christmas Caramel. But if you can't choose, this mail order-only bakery offers a sampler that gives you a quarter of the four most popular caramel cakes. And good news for those who love caramel but hate that it's often paired with nuts: These are baked in a nut-free facility, making it safe for those with allergies to go nuts for once.

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Savannah’s Candy Kitchen

Southern entertaining gets it right. So many cakes from the region started as experimental and have become iconic, like the Hummingbird Layer Cake, said to be so sweet that it attracts its namesake. It's a little tropical and a little Deep South, courtesy of the creative mix of bananas, pineapples, pecans, and cinnamon. Banana Pudding and Orange Creamsicles, on the other hand, are classic treats that this Georgian sweets company has reimagined in cake form.

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For something a little different and maybe more wintery, try the Coconut Joy Layer Cake, where chocolate cake is layered with butter "crème" and then iced with coconut frosting and shreds, like snow, then doused with dark chocolate ganache.

Junior’s

Yes, this famous Brooklyn-based bakery is so synonymous with its signature dessert that any New Yorker (myself included) will refer to it as "Junior's Cheesecake"—but it's actually just "Junior's." As evidenced by the "Fancy" section of the website, however, the bakery offers a lot more than just cheesecake.

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The Chocolate Fudge Skyscraper Layer Cake is my favorite chocolate cake of all time, alternating fillings of fudge and thick ganache between six layers of moist chocolate cake. I also buy and freeze slices of the seasonal Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake to eat throughout the year—it's rustic yellow cake with strawberry preserves nestling a core of strawberry New York cheesecake with whipped cream, then iced in buttercream with a strawberry buttercream border. Absolutely magical. But if you can't wait for that to come into stock, the Strawberries & Cream Shortcake Cheesecake is pretty close.

Lady M

Looking for a classy gift or an easy way to impress a group? Well, Lady Luck will be on your side when you come bearing Lady M, the NYC luxury confectionery that created the viral Mille Crêpes cake. This dream treat is exactly what it sounds like: uncountable layers of paper-thin, fluttery-edged French crepes with the slightest bit of cream to hold it all together. It's light, rich, and filling, and comes beautifully packaged in a branded insulated tote, along with a special cake slicer and toppings.

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The Pistachio is my go-to, and people are obsessed with the Green Tea variety, but for the holiday season, Lady M is selling the limited-editions Butter Pecan, with roasted pecans on top and candied pecans tucked into the layers, and Marron, named for its roasted glazed chestnuts and chestnut cream. These bigger 9-inch cakes will put you over budget, but the 6-inch ones will give you plenty of wiggle room.

Joe Gambino’s Bakery

This Crescent City bakery is absolutely legendary, and I'm saying that as a fact, not as a proud Tulane grad. It's here that Beulah Ledner, the "Doberge Queen of New Orleans," created an American version of the classic Hungarian showstopper Dobos torte, one with buttermilk cake, custard filling, and a fondant drape. And when Ledner sold the business to the man whose name now fronts the bakery, it became one of the premiere king cake providers in the city. Now Gambino's has added a tri-color almond flavored Christmas Parfait Cake and Christmas Kringle Cakes, both of which are dramatically festive additions to your holiday revelry.

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Chesapeake Bay Gourmet

Recently, at an exceptional seafood restaurant in Atlanta, I found myself Googling "What's a Smith Island cake?" It's a dessert named after Maryland's only inhabited island in the Chesapeake Bay, and their official state cake (the coastal connection is why I encountered it at the seafood restaurant). It turned out to be delicious, characterized by nine thin layers of yellow cake with chocolate icing in between. In other words, it's yet another variation of the Hungarian Dobos torte. From Chesapeake Bay Gourmet, you can get modern takes on this cake: a Funfetti-inspired riot of color, carrot cake, cookies and cream, and chocolate peanut butter.

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Lithuanian Bakery

Here's another for fans of European-style confectionery, this one from Omaha, Nebraska. And if you click on the link, you can see the bakery clearly continues to do things real old-school—and Old World, for that matter. The business has become famous for its Napoleon Torte, a rather unusual (to us Americans) cake that takes three days to assemble. It's flaky, like the "cake" layer of Napoleon pastries, but instead of a tower of cream between the puff pastry wafers, this delicacy holds a more measured amount of vanilla and lemon buttercream, with a middle layer of apricot for good measure. It also comes in Chocolate Raspberry, which adds crushed nuts and densely packed chocolate sprinkles, all for the same price as the original.

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PieCaken Bakeshop

Who hasn't heard of the Original PieCaken, a beast of a Thanksgiving treat featuring pecan, pumpkin, and apple pie flavors mashed up with spice cake to earn its patchwork name? But they're not a one-holiday gimmick. There are different versions for several seasons and holidays, making it possible for you to drop jaws year-round. Right now, you can order The Christmas PieCaken, which stacks chocolate pecan pie, cherry swirl cheesecake (a switch from last year's eggnog), and red velvet cake together with cream cheese buttercream (taking the place of amaretto buttercream) as the glue.

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Come spring, there's the PassCaken for Passover: matzo-crusted coconut macaroon pie, flourless chocolate cake, raspberry mousse, and a crumble of gold-coated chocolate and sea salt matzo. Personally, I'm waiting for the summer Strawberry Lemon, with lemon cake, strawberry swirl cheesecake, lemon frosting, and a full strawberry rhubarb pie on top.

Montilio’s Baking Company

While this bakery has been beloved in Boston since 1947, among its biggest claims to fame is that it made one of President John F. Kennedy's favorite cakes: JFK's Wedding Cake, served at both his wedding and his Inaugural Ball. It was later served at the inaugurations of both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, giving it the alternate name of Presidential White Cake. Now you, too, can celebrate like a head of state, with three fluffy layers of white cake, raspberry preserves, sweet raspberry frosting, and vanilla buttercream.

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If the occasion calls for something a little more down to earth, the classic Italian Rum Cake is one of Montilio's biggest hits. This features rum-soaked sponge cake with a top filling of vanilla custard and a bottom one of Italian chocolate (visible through its naked edges) and whipped cream on top—and it'll hit the spot, no matter how unpresidential you are.

Carousel Cakes

Carousel bills itself as a "bakery to the stars" on Goldbelly—a bold claim, even for cakes that made it to Oprah's List of Favorite Things. But this Nanuet, New York business founded by Martin Lefkowitz in 1965 has certainly graced many a celebratory table by way of wholesale trade to over a thousand well-known restaurants and venues.

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The most famous cake is the Memphis Drizzle, a vanilla cake with banana custard, peanut butter buttercream, chocolate ganache, then more peanut butter. The velvet cakes are also a good bet, and just in time for holiday potlucks: green-and-red combos, with special decorations, and blue for Hanukkah, a nice nod to the fact that this bakery is also kosher-certified. And don't think the Birthday Giggle Cake is just for birthdays. Who can suppress a smile as they crunch through a dense coating of nonpareils?

Magnolia Bakery

Speaking of "bakeries to the stars," are there any that have entered pop culture zeitgeist as hard as Magnolia Bakery? While this spot is rightfully lauded for its exemplary banana pudding, it became famous for the cupcakes, that signature swirl now as much a status symbol among Manhattan's elite as a Starbucks cup.

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So just imagine those cool, fluffy handhelds as towering slices. Buttery vanilla with baked-in candy confetti; extra-rich chocolate on chocolate; and a fully loaded carrot cake with pineapple, coconut, raisins, and walnuts are all now shippable nationwide from Magnolia Bakery. But while you're at it, look for the banana pudding in seasonal flavors, too! They're best in a multipack: red velvet, chocolate hazelnut, and classic.

Milk Bar

Enough about bakeries for celebrities—let's jump into celebrity bakers. Christina Tosi, the two-time James Beard Award-winner we can thank for the existence of naked cakes and wild cereal mashup cookies, is the talent behind Milk Bar. If you want to celebrate in the most extra way possible, get you one of these towering babies.

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The Birthday Cake that started it all is a gourmet Funfetti with three layers of cake and equally thick layers of frosting topped with sprinkles and a ring of crumbs. It also comes in chocolate, if you don't mind not seeing those rainbow splots. Then there are the fun seasonal creations, like the Pumpkin Coffee-Cake Cake, which straddles vanilla cake with "cinnamon goo" and pumpkin cheesecake filling and frosting (plus extra crumbs), and the Peppermint Bark, whose chocolate cake is soaked in peppermint, slathered with chocolate fudge and creamy peppermint icing, then sprinkled with crushed candy canes and cocoa crumbs for a refreshingly wintery bite.

Carlo’s Bake Shop

Another celebrity baker, this one still fancy but less frou-frou, Buddy Valastro, the Cake Boss himself. Watching Valastro and his team create custom confectionery is as enticing as the cake itself, and naturally, Carlo's has expanded to nationwide shipping to bring the TV experience home.

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The Rainbow Cake, with its six layers of bright color, is as fancy as you can get from your couch. On the opposite end of the spectrum, channel your dark side with the four-layer, super-rich Chocolate Fudge Cake. If you buy from Goldbelly, you can get both—Carlo's has a perennial pick-two promo that includes carrot, red velvet, black and white, confetti, and others.

We Take the Cake

Fans of Food Network might recognize this Fort Lauderdale-based mail-order bakery; it's been featured on three different TV series there. Lower key, like Carousel Cakes, WTTC also supplies nationally recognized brands, caterers, and events producers. Now, through Williams-Sonoma, you can bring the party to your door.

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The holiday cakes are just stunning: a dreamy illustration of leaping reindeer on a buttercream canvas over a Dutch cocoa cake and chocolate cream cheese filing; a four-layer White Holiday Tree with metallic dragées, edible gold-painted stars, and snowflake sprinkles; and snowy-themed winter landscape cakes that alternate chocolate and vanilla inside. Of course, there are always the ever-popular rosette-encrusted cakes with cream cheese frosting and fresh strawberries or chocolate, too.

Bake Me a Wish

Ordering a cake is a nice treat for yourself and whomever you're sharing it with. But when you buy from Bake Me a Wish, it's also a nice thing to do for a stranger. This bakery donates 5% of every order to BMAW Cares, which funds financial contributions to various nonprofit organizations throughout the year. The brand also partners with Soldiers' Angels for "OPERATION: Birthday Cake" to send cakes to deployed soldiers and those in U.S. veterans hospitals.

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But BMAW really made a name for itself with next-day nationwide delivery and an on-time arrival guarantee, which is clutch if you need something good and fancy fast, like this entire birthday box full of goodies, a pink Champagne-flavored cake with raspberry cream filling and Champagne icing, Strawberry Funfetti Cake for a twist on a classic, or something more seasonal like a chocolate peppermint ring cake. Cute packaging and award-winning recipes mean no one has to know it was a mad scramble for an overnight delivery.

Harry & David

Yes, this brand is famous for its outstanding pears, but as anyone who has ever worked a corporate office job can tell you, the gift baskets are just as good. And Harry & David can also send a cake to keep that party going.

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Harry & David has its own bakery where it makes treats like the Ultimate Chocolate Cake (a New York cheesecake on top of a brownie fudge cake topped with fudge and pecans) and lemon-infused Limoncello Cake (mascarpone and white chocolate). For the holidays, there's the dramatic Peppermint Bark Cake, which has both chocolate and white cake layers held together with peppermint and regular buttercream.

Carvel

Okay, here's a wild idea: Send yourself an ice cream cake. Or send somebody an ice cream cake. Either way, ice cream cake. I grew up with this brand, and with Carvel's 195 locations across New York, I defy you to find a single Long Islander who wouldn't be delighted to see Fudgie the Whale on any occasion.

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The inventor of soft serve is now shipping cakes via Harry & David. While you won't find Fudgie on the menu here, it's what's inside that counts: those chocolate crunchies. (#IYKYK) Go maximalist on this very important element with the Double Crunch, which plops a bunch of crispies between layers of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, then coats the normal whipped dairy dessert frosting with even more crumbles. Or, for the holidays, sacrifice the extra dose of crunchies for the cute aesthetic of this lil' snowman. And with this football cake, Carvel might be sparking my interest in the NFL for the first time ever.

Nothing Bundt Cakes

These aren't your conventional layer cakes, but not everyone is all about piles of frosting, and that's where this chain comes in. The bakery makes bundt cakes in all different sizes (like Bundtlets and even littler Bundtinis) and various flavors (lemon, red velvet, strawberries and cream, white chocolate raspberry, and carrot are some of my faves). But did you know you can customize how it's frosted, too? Nothing Bundt Cakes can apply thinner streams of its "signature frosting petals" (really just stripey gobs, but hey, they do the trick) and also add drizzle if you want more. You can also ask for a nakie bundt with no frosting, presumably so that you can call it a muffin and eat it for breakfast.

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Nothing Bundt Cakes offers designs for every holiday and occasion; right now, you can get Merry and Bright with poinsettia, Baking Spirits Bright with reindeer antlers the kids will love, a snowman, or a Hanukkah cake. Granted, it's not necessarily mail-order since you have to be close to a shop to be eligible for delivery, but since this is a franchise with over 500 locations in 40 states and Canada, your odds are pretty good.

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