Yellow Cake from Scratch with Fudgy Chocolate Icing
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.
Why You’ll Must Make
- The combination of yellow cake and chocolate frosting is classic!
- The cake is moist, tender with a fine crumb.
- A double dose of chocolate (a pound of chocolate plus Dutch-process cocoa powder) makes a dreamy, glossy chocolate frosting!
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.
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 of 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 helps 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 for about 10 minutes, then release them onto cooling racks. Peel off the parchment, then let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
Best Menu for a Baby Shower
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. Some blogger friends and I are celebrating with a surprise virtual baby shower. Here is the menu:
Appetizers & Salads:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- The Perfect White Birthday Cake Recipe from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
You’ll also love this Yellow Cupcakes Recipe for a more portable dessert!
Frequently Asked Questions
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!
The first known yellow cake came to be in the 1800s 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 on the British pound cake.
Yellow Butter Cake with Chocolate Icing
The classic combination of yellow butter cake with chocolate icing! Perfect for birthdays!
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Pour batter into prepared pans, and smooth tops with an offset spatula.
- Bake until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes.
- Let cool on racks for about 10 minutes, then remove from pans, peel off parchment and allow to cool completely.
- Make icing when the cake has cooled.
- Gently melt chocolate in the microwave, stopping and stirring at 30-second increments till melted and smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
- Stir together cocoa and boiling water till cocoa is dissolved.
- Put butter and powdered sugar in the 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.
- Frost cake while frosting if fresh for the best results.
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
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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.
25 Comments on “Yellow Cake from Scratch with Fudgy Chocolate Icing”
This is the best yellow cake recipe!
I just made the classic yellow cake with the chocolate fudge icing. One problem with the recipe that appears here. The icing calls for 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar. This must be a misprint! I added at least 2 more cups to get the right consistency. Other than that it looks great. Can’t wait to dig in.
I hope you enjoy! I just checked the frosting in Martha Stewart’s cookbook from which this cake was inspired and it is correct as written. It may be that your chocolate or butter were too warm, which made it looser than it should have been. Adding more sugar was a great way to thicken it up.
This was the driest cake I have ever made in my life. I followed the instructions to the letter. What could I possibly have done wrong?
Hi, Barbara, I would guess overbaking it. With oven temperatures varying, it may have fully baked before the timer went off. Hope that helps!
Absolute perfection, your layer cakes are always exquisite!
This is totally that go-to perfect cake for any occasion!
Liz!! This cake is just perfect! What a great dessert to celebrate Jackson! That frosting has my name all over it hahaha! Thank you so much for being a party of my virtual baby shower to celebrate Baby Jackson!!!
This is my husband’s favorite combo of cake and frosting, too! So good of you to take two for the team (one for your husband, one for Katie) to make this gorgeous cake. Pinning! (P.s. The cake is indeed perfect for a baby shower.)
Too chocolaty?! Is that a thing? I’ll happily take whatever frosting she wants to scrape off 😉 This cake looks absolutely fabulous, Liz. What a perfect shower treat!
I love a good classic yellow cake, especially if it has chocolate icing! This cake looks great, Liz!
What a lovely baby congrats! That beautiful cake looks mouth-watering Liz!!
As much as I love and over the top cake sometimes there’s nothing like a classic cake like this. I hope Katie had a fun birthday and may she be blessed with many more.
Yum!!! Looks amazing. I can see why it’s a popular cake.
You know me, I am not a huge sweet cake lover, but I have to admit that I licked my lips scrolling down your photos of that gorgeously sliced cake. I can almost taste the icing; too chocolatey, said no one, ever! The virtual shower sounds like a lovely idea, how do you take part in something like that?
I have the same issue with my fella, he just wants plain or fruit scones all the time. If I try and change them up a bit he just turns his nose up at them. I can see why your family would be such fans of this cake it looks amazing.
Many congratulations to Angie. Indeed this Classic Yellow Butter Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Icing is a perfect celebratory cake. I am so much in love with that frosting.
amazing recipe, mouth watery
thank you for sharing
I’m not sure that anything could be more perfect for a special occasion like this than a CLASSIC yellow butter cake. Ohhh, and yours looks SO MOIST, Lizzy!
You are one incredibly talented baker Liz! This is the most perfect, beautiful, yellow butter cake I’ve ever seen. How did you get it so absolutely perfect? Sharing and pinning!
I’ll certainly raise a toast with your beautiful cake and some bubbly to say congratulations on Angie’s baby boy and a very Happy Birthday to the lovely Katie. Hugs to you all from Paris, Liz.
The butter cake has such a tender, light and soft texture. And that chocolate icing…what can I say…it’s CHOCOLATE! A heavenly sweet treat, Liz.