8 Make Ahead Summer Cakes

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Here are some fantastic summer cakes to make in advance this summer and store in the fridge. So you have less time baking and more time soaking up those sensational summer moments with your family.

Summertime and the grilling is easy! With so many of us cooking out, visiting friends, and hosting get-togethers, a cool summer cake that can be made well ahead of time is great to have on hand for a fuss-free and refreshing dessert! Today I’m bringing you a compilation of some great refrigerator summer cakes. Many of the scrumptious cakes I feature below you can easily make two or three days ahead of time.

There are lots of poke cakes with whipped cream toppings instead of buttercream and cream cheese frosting. But each of them is so delicious.

If you’re looking for more summer desserts to enjoy this summer, check out these 12 summer pie recipes.

Check out all of the great links below by clicking on the names.

8 Summer Cakes You Can Make Ahead

Twinkie Cake slice (summer cakes).

Miss Mary Anne’s Twinkie Cake

This Twinkie cake recipe truly features it all! There are layers of Twinkies, fresh bananas, crushed pineapple, and vanilla pudding. On top is whipped topping and crushed nuts. Simply refrigerate for several hours and then serve with a cherry on top!

Slice of chocolate sundae cake (summer cakes).

Chocolate Sundae Cake

 Well, that topping looks familiar! This chocolate sundae cake is for the chocolate lovers out there. It includes a dark fudgy chocolate cake that you poke with holes and cover in chocolate syrup like it’s a chocolate sundae. Then we place it in the fridge so the syrup deliciously soaks into the fluffy cake. Top with whipped topping, crushed nuts, and a cherry and enjoy every decadent bite of chocolate sundae cake.

♫ Elvis Presley Cake ♫

Elvis Presley Cake

A popular version of icebox cake, this summer cake recipe is said to have been the King’s favorite. The sweet cake is made with a yellow cake mix as well as a pudding mix to make it extra moist and tasty. Once again, you poke holes in the cake, but this time we’re pouring over a crushed pineapple mixture. On top is a pecan and cream cheese frosting.

Icebox cakes are actually the best summer cakes, as they last in the fridge so much longer than regular cakes. Check out my lemon icebox cake and icebox fruitcake as well. Our icebox lemon cake includes cream cheese, vanilla pudding, milk, lemon juice and lemon zest, whipped cream, and vanilla wafers.

Slice of Butterfinger cake.

Butterfinger Cake

Another day, another poke cake. Butterfinger Cake is a deliciously decadent dessert. It starts with a chocolate cake, which we cover in a combination of condensed milk and caramel topping. Then there’s a layer of Butterfinger crumbs, a layer of whipped cream, and a sprinkle of Butterfinger crumbs on top. 

If you like, swap the Butterfinger for your favorite candy bar, like Snickers, Mars, or Kit Kat.

Slice of coconut poke cake (summer cakes).

Daddy’s Coconut Cake

Coconut cake is a traditional Southern holiday cake. This coconut poke cake recipe needs just 5 ingredients: yellow cake mix, sour cream, whipped topping, sugar, and coconut flakes. You poke holes in the cake, layer on the creamy coconut topping, and let it sit in the fridge to soak into the cake. Coconut cake is so deliciously sweet and moist.

Cutting into Mandarin Orange Pig Picking Cake

Mandarin Orange Cake

Mandarin orange cake is a Southern classic. In fact, we call it pig pickin’ cake down South as it makes a pig out of all of us because of all that delicious summer fruit! It’s so easy to make and a frequent dessert at family gatherings, potlucks, and the like. All you need is a yellow cake mix and mandarin oranges to make the cake batter and each cake layer (I do 3). Then we add frosting between each cake layer, which includes a combination of whipped topping, vanilla pudding, and crushed pineapple. YUM!

Slice of strawberry poke cake.

Strawberry Cake

We can’t have a summer cakes post without a cake that uses fresh fruit, right? This strawberry cake is another poke cake. But this time, we infuse the white sponge cake with strawberry jello. We then add whipped cream on top and fresh strawberries. You can also adapt this recipe to suit you! Make a lemon cake with lemon jello and lemon zest on top. Use raspberry jello and fresh raspberries, or cherry jello and any fresh berries you have on hand. The choice is yours.


Key Lime Coconut Sheet Cake

This key lime is such a fresh cake to make in the summer. Its ingredients include yellow cake, sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, key lime juice, whipped cream, sugar, lime zest, and coconut flakes. So sweet, so refreshing. Don’t miss this summer cake recipe!

Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.

~Robert Schuller

Submitted by Amy. Submit your quote by clicking here.

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  1. I made the Butterfinger cake and the Easy Peasy Cherry Cheese Cobbler for a family gathering. They were all inhaled as soon as possible. I made a second cobbler with blueberries, That’s the one that the adults liked best, the kids liked the cherry one and the cake. All in all they disappeared that night.

    Thanks for the recipies…they were so easy and delicious!!!

  2. I have only had your book a few weeks and have already tried at least 10 or more recipes from it! Each one just gets better and better! My Grandson loved making some butter! I have collected recipe books for many, many years and this is by far the best one I have had! Keep them coming…….

  3. After reading today’s issue of Southern Plate… my mouth is drooling with the cake recipes!… but back to the issue… after reading today’s issue, I just HAD to come here and find the comment from anonymous… if your looking for it too, you have to click on the “older” comments.

    I won’t condemn anonymous for his/her comments, as he/she was just trying to put others onto a healthier way of eating. Now why would I say that? Well, when I first signed up for Southern Plate, I had some major medical issues, but none involving cholesterol or heart problems or diabetes. But back in February, I was diagnosed with diabetes. For those of you who don’t really know this disease, it’s one of the WORST FRICKIN THINGS TO GET. You have to not only stab yourself for blood up to 5+ times a day to test your glucose (sugar) levels, but you have to change your whole way of eating. Meaning… everything you love to eat is either off your menu list or you can have it, but in the tiniest teeniest portion, like only being able to have 1/2 a serving of a SMALL French fry, or 1/2 of a hamburger bun, etc. Who can eat 1/2 of a SMALL ORDER OF FRIES? I can’t, so now I just don’t have them. Your doctor normally sends you to a NUTRITIONIST AND A DIABETIC NURSE, where you are then instructed on how to EAT HEALTH SO AS NOT TO HAVE SOME OF YOUR LIMBS CUT OFF OR DIE.

    I don’t want any limbs cut off and I just had my 1st grandchild, so I don’t want to die either… so now I watch every morsel put into my mouth. Why did I become diabetic? It could be a “gene” thing passed on from family, but my personal belief is that it is because I ate anything I wanted to eat at any time. I put on 45 pounds doing that over a 4 year period. But now that I’ve lost weight by watching what I eat, my blood sugar levels are becoming more normal. Will I ever be free of diabetes? NO! ONCE A DIABETIC, ALWAYS A DIABETIC.

    So even though I really shouldn’t eat most of what is published here, I can eat it but in the smallest of small portions. I have learned PORTION CONTROL. Instead of pigging out & eating an entire dessert in 2 – 3 days, I now make that dessert last me a week or more.

    So as to anonymous, I agree, yet disagree, but none of us should condemn he/she. My diabetes has shown me that. I wish no ill health concerns on any one. If your healthy now but eat like a pig, or don’t care about what your eating, you’ll pay for it in the end. The question is, IS IT WORTH IT? Enjoy the recipes here, BUT IN MODERATION! And for your children’s sake, keep all of this info in mind. No one should wish any health problems on their children, so by teaching yourself and your children how to eat healthy, you will ALL be healthy. (my friends daughter was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes at age 12… she died at age 16 and now I understand what she went through)

    POINT: What we eat now can kill us later. Make the recipes here, but substitute some ingredients with healthier stuff, such as I now don’t buy sugar, I buy Splenda which tastes just like sugar but which is so much more expensive, but that’s my fault for giving myself diabetes.

    Christy, don’t be mad at me or anonymous for our comments. Maybe anonymous is like me… healthy at first, but ate foods that contributed to something like heart disease or diabetes. I not only subscribe to Southern Plate, but to numerous other food websites, including ones for diabetics that shows us how to convert a recipe such as some here at this website, to healthier versions for us diabetics. But I honestly think you don’t want to hear that. Sorry, no offense is sent your way, but I do see a resentment in your words in your articles for those who make any attempt to mention how un-healthy a recipe of yours maybe. If I didn’t want your newsletters, I’d unsubscribe, but I haven’t, because I’ve learned how to convert your recipes into healthier ones for myself and my family and friends. And honestly, healthier substitutes make the recipe taste just as good. So Southern Plate can not only have delicious recipes, but healthy ones, for those of us who care about our bodies. Going to go slap myself now for posting this… OUCH.

    Oh, and I’m going to make the Chocolate Sundae Cake using sugar free chocolate syrup and sugar free Cool Whip and egg beaters for any eggs, and I guarantee you nay sayers that it will taste the same as the original version. By doing that, I will be able to have 2 to 3 servings of it per day, versus no servings of the orignal recipe. That makes me happy. So now let the condemnations begin.

  4. Thanks so much for posting these recipes even if they are of the DEVIL!! That is what my friends and I call sinful cakes!!lol….I will be trying that twinkie cake. Miss Mary Ann looks like someone who knows her way around a kitchen!!!

  5. Your brother has made a lunchroom size butterfinger cake for my daughter for her last two birthdays. I just put one in the frig! After getting your update in my email today, I went to the store and bought the stuff for the cake and the pizza rolls. My daughter had a pizza roll for lunch and declared it delicious! Now I am anxiously awaiting the cooling of the cake! Love your blog and your fabulous recipes!

  6. Oh my golly, I have died and gone to heaven and added 15 pounds since I’ve been following your site. Yum, Yum!!!

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