When Bill’s birthday rolls around, he invariably requests my Best Yellow Cake Recipe paired with a dreamy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting!
Homemade Yellow Cake from scratch is tender, moist and so much better than a box mix. It’s perfect for any occasion!
Why You Should Make this Yellow Cake
This Perfect Yellow Cake Recipe with Chocolate Buttercream was hubby’s birthday cake again this year. Even though he is a chocoholic through and through, he picks a cake he knows Miss Katie would love. It’s no wonder she has a sign above her bed that reads “The Queen’s Bed” in curlicued calligraphy.
- I used Smitten Kitchen’s moist yellow cake recipe.
- Made with buttermilk, it’s sweet and tender with a fine crumb.
- Paired with chocolate frosting gave the chocoholics their fix without having to make a chocolate cake.
- My whole family gave this rave reviews!!
Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Whenever I make a yellow cake, it must be paired with a rich, chocolate buttercream frosting! Chocolate rules for the majority of the family and, to tell the truth, this is a magical pairing. So if you have a birthday celebration on the horizon, I recommend this terrific combination, the perfect yellow cake recipe with a fudgy frosting!
Frequently Asked Questions
A yellow cake has whole eggs so the yolks give the cake extra richness along with its yellow color. A white cake typically contains only egg whites. Both are flavored with vanilla.
Many ingredients contribute to the moistness of this cake. Besides adding flavor, the butter slows down gluten formation and provides moisture. Sugar also breaks up gluten and helps absorb liquids. Plus, the eggs provide fat which also adds moisture to the cake.
Once it’s cut, the exposed cake should be covered with plastic wrap so the cake does not dry out. The cake can be kept at room temperature for 3-4 days.
Leftover cake slices can be wrapped well or placed in an airtight container and frozen for a month or two. Freezing a whole frosted cake is not advised, as the frosting will most likely not fare well with moving, freezing, and thawing.
Tips for Making a Layer Cake
Making a layer cake can be daunting. First, there’s dividing the batter in half, then hoping the layers bake up flat, and finally trying to frost it so it looks like it came out of a bakery! Here are a few tips to get you started:
- PRO-Tip: I like using a kitchen scale to divide my cake batter so that the layers are even.
- If the tops of your layers are rounded, trim the tops off so you’ll have a flat surface to frost.
- If you trim the cakes, put the bottom side up so you’ll have less crumbs to deal with as you frost.
- You can also do a crumb coat, which is a thin layer of frosting over the top and sides of each layer. Chill so the frosting hardens a bit, then frost as desired.
- Make sure your layers are completely cooled before frosting.
- Using cake flour and buttermilk both contribute to making this a tender cake.
- PRO-Tip: If you don’t have any buttermilk on hand add one tablespoon of lemon juice or white or cider vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Fill to the one cup make with whole or 2% milk. Give it a stir and let rest for a couple of minutes then use in place of store-bought buttermilk in equal amounts.
- PRO-Tip: If you don’t have any cake flour on hand, measure out a cup of all-purpose flour. Remove 2 tablespoons, then sift together the 14 remaining tablespoons of flour plus 2 tablespoons of corn starch 3 times. Use this mixture instead of cake flour.
- I place the bottom layer of the cake on the serving plate, then I like to tuck little strips of parchment or wax paper around the perimeter to catch any frosting drips that might land on the cake plate.
More Recipes for Birthday Cakes You’ll Love:
- Birthday Cake Roll from Crazy for Crust
- Birthday Cake Brownies from Back for Seconds
- Birthday Cake Mix Cookies Recipe from Crunchy Creamy Sweet
- White Birthday Cake
- Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake
- Angel Food Cake Recipe
For the cake:
- 4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups buttermilk
For the frosting:
- 1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks), at room temperature
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line with circles of parchment paper, then butter parchment (I use an oil/flour cooking spray like Bakers Joy)
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In your stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, then mix in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Mix in buttermilk until just combined (will not be smooth). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix as this will toughen cake and cause big air bubbles.
- Spread batter evenly in cake pan. Drop the cake pans onto the counter from a few inches up to release any air bubbles, 2 or 3 times. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then invert, remove cakes from pan and let finish cooling.
- To make frosting, place the cocoa in the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix with whisk attachment to remove lumps. Add the butter and cream until smooth.
- Alternate the powdered sugar and milk by adding about a cup of powdered sugar and a tablespoon of milk, mixing, then repeating until all is incorporated.
- Add vanilla and mix to combine. You may adjust the powdered sugar and milk if you need a thicker or thinner frosting.