Yellow Cake

Rich and tender yellow cake is perfectly delish!! This made from scratch cake is so easy to make and tastes simply heavenly. 

Yellow cakes are often called yellow butter cakes and are ultra rich, moist, tender, and fluffy. Everyone needs a good scratch yellow cake recipe in their recipe box, and this one takes the cake! For more must-make cake recipes try Homemade Funfetti Cake, Tres Leches Cake, and Classic Carrot Cake

Yellow cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles

Yellow Cake from Scratch – Yes, Please!

I don’t know what it is, but I LOVE yellow cake! Especially when it is topped with chocolate frosting. And trust me, making it from scratch is way worth the little bit of extra effort. 

It is so soft, crumbly, and moist. And really, it’s quite simple to whip up a cake without relying on a box! 

When this is topped with sprinkles it just screams birthday to me! But don’t worry, this tasty cake can be used for any occasion. Most especially for my favorite occasion; “I’m craving some cake!”

Yellow cake batter in a mixing bowl

What’s the Flavor?

Many people ask…

What is the flavor of yellow cake? Yellow cake can be described as vanilla. There isn’t a specific flavor necessarily, but it is delicious because of the perfect fluffy texture! It goes well with any frosting you put on it because of its simple flavor.

What is the difference between yellow cake and white cake? Yellow cake is made with whole eggs and butter, which is why it looks like a pale yellow color. White cake just uses shortening instead of butter which gives it the white look.

Chocolate frosting for yellow cake recipe

How to Make Yellow Cake

PREP. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×13 inch pan with baking spray, or line with parchment paper. Set aside.

CREAM. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl with a handheld mixer, add the butter. Beat on medium-low speed  for 3 minutes or until light. Add sugar and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.

COMBINE. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla(and food coloring), mix just until combined.

MIX. In a medium mixing bowl whisk  together the flour, baking soda, and salt. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the dry ingredients. Mix on medium for 15 seconds.

BAKE & COOL. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Spread into a smooth, even layer. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top springs back when touched. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before frosting.

FAQ: Can this be made into cupcakes? Yep! Just make sure to keep an eye on the cupcakes so they don’t burn, you won’t have to bake the cupcakes for as long of a time as you have to bake a full cake. You can do the toothpick test or the finger test, if the top bounces back after you press it then they’re done!

Spreading chocolate frosting onto homemade yellow cake

The Frosting

CREAM. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl with a handheld attachment, add the butter. Beat on medium-high  speed for 2 minutes.

MIX. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt.

BEAT. Carefully bring the speed up to medium-high, beat for 2 minutes.

FROST. Spread over the cooled cake, decorate as desired.

Yellow cake from scratch with chocolate frosting on top

Changing it Up + Storing

Want to change this up? Here are a few ways to do that…

Additions / Variations:

  • With pudding mix: Adding pudding mix to your cake mix enhances the flavor of the cake and adds some extra moisture. Adding a packet of vanilla pudding mix is a great option for a yellow cake because the flavor will make a great addition to this simple cake mix.
  • With buttermilk: Instead of using plain milk you can substitute it for buttermilk. It will yield a softer crumb and make it a super soft cake!

Storing? Store your cake at room temperature while making sure that it is covered. If it is frosted then the frosting will act as a barrier against the cake drying out. The purpose of covering the cake is so that the cake is protected from dust or debris. It should keep this way for 3-5 days before the air does eventually get to it and it drys out.

A slice of moist yellow cake with chocolate frosting on a white plate

Other yummy cake recipes:

Yellow Cake Recipe

Rich and tender yellow cake is perfectly delish!! This made from scratch cake is so easy to make and tastes simply heavenly. 
5 from 3 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 45 mins
Cook Time: 22 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 7 mins
Servings: 20 slices
Calories: 424kcal
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter - (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs - room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract*
  • 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream - room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk - OR buttermilk, room temperature
  • yellow food coloring - optional
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher sea salt
For the Frosting
  • 1 cup unsalted butter - (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 4 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch kosher sea salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9x13 inch pan with baking spray, or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl with a handheld mixer, add the butter. Beat on medium-low speed for 3 minutes or until light. Add sugar and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla(and food coloring), mix just until combined.
  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the dry ingredients. Mix on medium for 15 seconds.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Spread into a smooth, even layer.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top springs back when touched. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before frosting.
To Make the Frosting
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl with a handheld attachment, add the butter. Beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes.
  • With mixing speed on low, gradually add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt.
  • Carefully bring the speed up to medium-high, beat for 2 minutes.
  • Spread over the cooled cake, decorate as desired.

Notes

  • Keep covered at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • I like to add an additional 1 tsp of buttery vanilla emulsion to this recipe

Nutrition

Serving: 20g | Calories: 424kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 144mg | Potassium: 107mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 653IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg