Yellow Cake is an old fashioned cake made with a rich blend of butter, eggs, and buttermilk for a tender butter cake that’s perfect for birthdays and everyday celebrations!
This Yellow Cake Recipe was originally published on Spend With Pennies where I am a contributor.
When I was growing up, Birthday Cake meant Funfetti Cake, but to my husband, it was Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting. I’ll admit, yellow cake is not my favorite, but my husband requested it this year for his birthday so I set out on a mission to make the perfect one!
What Is Yellow Cake?
This classic cake recipe might be the most traditional of them all. Unlike white or vanilla cake, this is a simple and rich recipe made with butter and whole eggs which yields a golden crumb and tender cake.
This particular yellow cake recipe also adds in egg yolks, a bit of vegetable oil, and uses buttermilk to bring this moist yellow cake recipe to life!
How To Make Yellow Cake
It is super easy to make this yellow cake recipe from scratch, but it’s VERY important to make sure that ALL ingredients are room temperature before beginning.
- Preheat the oven, and grease and line your cake pans with parchment paper. This makes removing the cake from the pan easy. Sift together the dry ingredients into a medium bowl.
- Cream butter, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract together in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer.
- Mix the eggs in one at a time so that all ingredients are well combined.
- Fold in dry ingredients with a rubber spatula, alternating with the buttermilk.
- Divide evenly between the prepared pans and bake until a cake tester or toothpick comes clean from the center.
- Allow the cakes to cool for a few minutes before turning out on cooling racks to finish cooling.
Yellow Sheet Cake
You can make this recipe as both a layer cake and a single layer sheet cake. To make a sheet cake, just grease a 9×13-inch cake pan, add the batter, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool, frost, and serve from the pan.
I’m sure you’ll agree that this is the best yellow cake recipe you’ve ever made! And there are a few tips to help you make it!
Tips For Making Yellow Cake1. Make sure all ingredients are room temperature before you begin mixing.
2. Make sure you use cake flour and not all-purpose flour. This will make for a better cake.
3. If you do not have cake flour on hand, you can make a suitable substitute from all-purpose flour and cornstarch.
4. Sifting the dry ingredients helps to remove lumps and aerates the mixture allowing it the blend better with the wet ingredients and resulting in a lighter and finer crumb after baking.
5. Folding in the dry ingredients instead of mixing helps keep the texture of the cake light and fluffy.
6. Use Bake-Even Cake Strips on round cakes for even layers.
Why Do Cake Ingredients Need To Be Room Temperature?
Room temperature ingredients blend together better to create an emulsion that traps air and results in a lighter and fluffier texture when baking. It takes most ingredients about 30 minutes to come to room temperature once removed from the fridge.
Butter: At room temperature, butter creams better with other ingredients. When mixed with sugar, like in this recipe and many others, the sugar creates air pockets in the softened butter which allows the yellow cake to bake evenly and turn out fluffy.
Eggs: When eggs are room temperature they create more volume when whipped than cold eggs. Adding cold eggs can also resolidify the fat in the butter resulting in clumps. This recipe calls for additional egg yolks and it’s important to note that eggs are easier to separate when they are cold.
Buttermilk: Again, it’s important that this ingredient is room temperature mostly so that it doesn’t cause the butter to cool when added. Using room temperature buttermilk will help the emulsification process and result and in a tender cake.
Can You Freeze Yellow Cake?
Yes, you can and freezing this cake makes assembly quick and easy when a special occasion pops up!
To freeze it, bake and cool according to the recipe directions. Once the cake has cooled completely, wrap each layer with plastic wrap, then wrap each layer with aluminum foil, then place each layer in a large freezer bag. Freeze for up to three months.
When ready to use, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 30 to 60 minutes while still wrapped, then remove and use.
Assembling the cake when the layers are still partially frozen will actually make it a little easier and will result in clean cuts once the cake is sliced.
More Delicious Cake Recipes
- Hummingbird Cake – A delicious sheet cake version of the classic layer cake!
- German Chocolate Poke Cake – An easy chocolate cake with delicious layers.
- Nutella Cake – A yummy layer cake of chocolate hazelnut perfection!
- Tres Leches Cake – A deliciously sweet cake made with three different kinds of milk!
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- 2¾ cups cake flour1
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter2 room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks room temperature
- 1½ cups buttermilk room temperature
- Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting3
- Preheat your oven to 325°F and spray two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper and set aside. You can also bake this as a sheet cake in a 9×13-inch pan, there is no need to line the sheet pan.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.4 Set aside.
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream together the sugar, oil, butter, and vanilla.
- Add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time beating after each addition just until combined.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients in 3 parts alternating with the buttermilk in 2 parts. Begin and end with the dry ingredients. Gently fold until only very small lumps remain. DO NOT use an electric mixer for this step.5
- Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. OR add the batter to the prepared 9×13-inch pan6 and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. A toothpick should come clean from the center when done.
- Transfer the cake pans to a wire rack and allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely (about 1 hour before frosting). Once cooled, frost and assemble the cake as desired. If making as a sheet cake, leave the cake in the pan and frost it.
- Make sure you use cake flour and not all-purpose flour. This will make for a better cake.
- Make sure all ingredients are room temperature before you begin mixing.
- You can frost the cake with your desired flavor and frosting recipe, although I highly recommend my chocolate frosting. Please note that the nutritional information is an estimate that is only for the cake, not the frosting.
- Sifting the dry ingredients helps to remove lumps and aerates the mixture allowing it the blend better with the wet ingredients and resulting in a lighter and finer crumb after baking.
- Folding in the dry ingredients instead of mixing helps keep the texture of the cake light and fluffy.
- If making in a 9×13-inch pan, this recipe will make 15 to 20 servings depending how it’s cut.