If you’re looking for the perfect celebratory cake, this Yellow Cake from Scratch is a tender, buttery cake with glossy, decadent frosting. It fits the bill for any special occasion!

Baked up for my daughter’s birthday, this Yellow Cake Recipe is doing double duty as part of an online baby shower for a sweet blogger friend, Angie of Big Bear’s Wife.

Classic Yellow Butter Cake with chocolate Icing on a white plate with a red handled fork

Two Layer Yellow Cake from Scratch

This combination of the best yellow cake recipe and fudgy chocolate icing is a frequent birthday request around here. Last time, I tried to dissuade the hubby when he yet again suggested this combo (I am a food blogger for Pete’s sake, who cannot be making the same recipe again and again!).

I was then told I would get a chainsaw for my next birthday if he didn’t get his cake! After a bit of back and forth and a case of hiccups from hysterical laughter on my part, I gave in.

Then fast forward to 2017 and Katie requested this cake for her birthday. I have to admit, this yellow cake recipe, with its glossy chocolate icing, is worth making at least once a year, and maybe even twice!

Katie thought the frosting was a bit too chocolaty with the pound of chocolate plus Dutch-process cocoa powder, but I let her know I’d make the sacrifice and eat her share. It’s really fabulous. The yellow butter cake is moist and tender, so the pairing works together deliciously!

Classic Yellow Butter Cake with Chocolate Icing on a cake platter

Perfect Dessert for Any Celebration

But besides Katie’s birthday, there is something more to celebrate.  My blogger friend, Angie, gave birth to a precious baby on Wednesday. Her adorable son was welcomed to the world by her parents with much joy.

Angie was one of the bloggers I met at my first ever blog conference and she’s as sweet as can be. I’m joining in on a surprise virtual baby shower to sprinkle Angie, her husband, Thomas, and baby Jackson with love. This tender yellow butter cake with the fudgy, uber chocolaty icing is definitely worthy of this very special baby shower!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Flavor is Yellow Cake?

With the flavorings of butter and vanilla, a yellow cake has a mild, almost neutral taste as far as cakes go. The eggs make it richer than a white cake and may give it a subtle vanilla custard flavor. This is why it pairs so well with chocolate frosting!

When Was the Yellow Cake Invented?

The first known yellow cake came to be in the 1800’s after baking powder and baking soda were introduced as alternatives to yeast and eggs to help cakes rise. First called a celebration cake, it may have been based off of the British pound cake.

Tips for How to Make a Yellow Cake

There are a few tips that will help make a beautiful layer cake. You want a fine, tender crumb, even layers, and a marvelous frosting. 

  • Start by prepping your pans correctly, so your cakes won’t stick. Butter your pans, then line with a round of parchment paper and butter the top the parchment, too.
  • Use a kitchen scale to divide the batter evenly between the pans, so your layers will be the same depth.
  • When mixing the batter, use the paddle attachment. That prevents excess gluten formation which can make a less tender cake, plus prevents the aeration of the batter and helping to make a finer crumb.
  • The wet and dry ingredients are alternately added. This allows the flour to envelop the fat particles, making a more tender cake.
  • Bake just until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Baking too long will dry out the cake so start checking a few minutes before the timer goes off.
  • Let the cakes cool about 10 minutes, then release onto cooling racks. Peel off the parchment, then let the cakes cool completely before frosting.

Best Menu for a Baby Shower

Baby Blue Punch from Or Whatever You Do.
Easy Fall Party Punch from Miss in the Kitchen.
Simple & Fun Mimosa Bar from My Life Well Loved.

Appetizers & Salads:

Creamy Grape Salad with Toasted Pecans from Unsophisticook.
Mini Chicken and Waffles from Sweet Beginnings.
Pimento Cheese Stuffed Buttermilk Biscuits from It’s Yummi.
Spicy Southern Deviled Eggs from This Gal Cooks.


American Pierogi Casserole from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen.
Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Butter Sauce from Culinary Adventures with Camilla.
Pimento Cheese Tomato Ham Sliders from Honey and Birch.


Banana Pudding Layered Dessert from High Heels and Grills.
Brookies from Baked Bree.
Caramel Corn from The Redhead Baker.
Caramel Pecan Cheesecake from Cooking with Carlee.
Chocolate Chip Clouds from All Day I Dream About Food.
Lemon Donuts with Raspberry Glaze from Ashlee Marie
Mickey Mouse Candy Pops from The Decorated Cookie.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars from The Bitter Side of Sweet.
Small Batch Rhubarb Strawberry Jam from The JavaCupcake Blog
Classic Yellow Butter Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Icing from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.
Yellow Cupcakes with Peach Cream Cheese Frosting from Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt.
The Perfect White Birthday Cake Recipe from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Curd Filling from That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Bake One Layer Yellow Cake from That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Classic Yellow Butter Cake with Chocolate Icing | Perfect cake for any celebration!

Yellow Butter Cake with Chocolate Icing

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield 12

The classic combination of yellow butter cake with chocolate icing! Perfect for birthdays!


For Cake:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), at room temperature plus more for greasing pans
  • 1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting pans
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups milk

For Frosting:

  • 1 pound semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa
  • 6 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Butter two 9 inch cake pans, line bottoms with parchment. Butter parchment, then dust with flour; set aside. In a bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer fit with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then mix in vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat until combined after each addition.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pans, and smooth tops with an offset spatula.
  4. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes.
  5. Let cool on racks about 10 minutes, then remove from pans, peel off parchment and allow to cool completely. Make icing.
  6. Gently melt chocolate in microwave, stopping and stirring at 30 second increments till melted and smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
  7. Stir together cocoa and boiling water till cocoa is dissolved.
  8. Put butter and powdered sugar in bowl of mixer fit with a paddle attachment. Beat till fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla and mix. Add cooled chocolate and mix till well combined. Add cocoa mixture and beat into frosting.
  9. Frost cake as desired.


Adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 821Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 32gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 166mgSodium: 557mgCarbohydrates: 87gFiber: 3gSugar: 55gProtein: 8g

Thatskinnychickcanbake.com occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although thatskinnychickcanbake.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on thatskinnychickcanbake.com recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.


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