Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


There’s always a reason to celebrate and make cake right? It’s about time I share a Yellow Cake recipe because it’s a classic we should all know how to make from scratch. This cake is soft and moist with the perfect combination of density and fluff to it, it’s somewhere just between the two. And when you top with with a rich, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate buttercream frosting you know it’s got to be good!

Slice of Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Once you make cakes from scratch you’ll realized there’s definitely no need to return to a box mix. No question, they’re just so much better. They have more flavor and I think they have a better texture. Homemade cakes are much closer to (good) bakery quality cakes than the box mixes. I love making cakes and of course I love eating them, especially this one! It’s perfectly delicious! 

Have you noticed I can’t stop swirling batters and frostings? It’s my stress reliever :). They are just so pillowy, smooth and fluffy, so how do I resist?


Yellow Cake batter from scratch mixed in bowlMixed Chocolate Buttercream Frosting in BowlHomemade Yellow Cake With Chocolate Frosting on Platge

Other Great Cake Recipes


Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

5 from 5 votes
This cake is soft and moist with the perfect combination of density and fluff to it, it's somewhere just between the two. And when you top with with a rich, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate buttercream frosting you know it's got to be good!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 14
Calories: 643 kcal



  • 1 1/4 cups (160g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups (135g) cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 2/3 cups (356g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (8 oz) buttermilk

Chocolate Buttercream ( recipe link below)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2 9-inch round baking pans, line with parchment paper and butter parchment. Lightly dust pans with flour and shake out excess, set pans aside.
  2. Sift all-purpose flour and cake flour into a mixing bowl. Add baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk 20 seconds, set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment whip together butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy (if not using a paddle attachment that constantly scrapes bowl, then stop mixer occasionally throughout entire mixing process and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl). Blend in vegetable oil. Mix in eggs one at time then blend in egg yolks. Mix in vanilla. Add in 1/3 of the flour mixture then mix just until combined, then add in 1/2 of the buttermilk and blend until combined, repeat process once more then finish by mixing in remaining 1/3 of the flour mixture. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula.
  4. Divide batter among prepared cake pans. Bake in preheated oven 25 - 29 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pans several minutes, run knife around edge to make sure they are loose, then invert onto wire racks to cool (once halfway cool I recommend wrapping with plastic wrap until completely cool). Frost with chocolate buttercream once cool. Store in an airtight container.
  5. For the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting follow link HERE.

  6. Recipe source: Cooking Classy
Nutrition Facts
Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 643 Calories from Fat 324
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 55%
Saturated Fat 23g 115%
Cholesterol 144mg 48%
Sodium 339mg 14%
Potassium 174mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 76g 25%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 56g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 20.9%
Calcium 6.6%
Iron 8.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • Brittany: This is my comfort food! Although mine usually comes from a box :) Will try this! April 8, 2015 at 12:17pm Reply

  • Tasbih @ Cleobuttera: Gosh that looks divine! I can’t get enough of yellow cakes and this certainly looks like one I’d love to devour. That light and fluffy crumb looks irresistible. Can’t wait to try it. Pinned! April 8, 2015 at 2:51pm Reply

  • Josie: OMG your cakes are drool worthy :) April 8, 2015 at 2:55pm Reply

  • Elle @ Only Taste Matters: Beautiful! I love how your have both the oil and butter. A great balance of tenderness and flavor. And the half and half in the buttercream must taste amazing! So rich and decadent! Everyone should have a go to yellow cake recipe and i think I just found mine. April 8, 2015 at 4:42pm Reply

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks: I would take yellow cake with choc frosting ANY DAY over most any other combos of cake! When it’s done right, yellow cake is amazing and you most clearly did this one RIGHT! :) April 9, 2015 at 2:42am Reply

  • Jenna: What a gorgeous classic looking cake. I bet it tastes delicious!! April 9, 2015 at 6:20am Reply

  • Amber @ The Bewitched Baker: I could not agree more: you’ve got to make cake from scratch. You just HAVE to. There’s no comparison.

    My mother made a cake just like this for birthdays while my brother and I were growing up, and I’ve made the same cake for my friends and family. You’re right when you say there’s always something to celebrate. :)

    Thanks for sharing! Every basic cake recipe out there encourages people to try the “from-scratch” method! :) April 9, 2015 at 6:57am Reply

  • Deb: Looks so yummy! Great pics! April 9, 2015 at 7:11am Reply

  • Annie @ Annie’s Noms: This is just perfection! So, so pretty. I adore getting back to basics sometimes and making good old fashioned, traditional recipes. Always so satisfying! April 9, 2015 at 9:51am Reply

  • Gracious Store: The sight of this cake is very appetizing, I’ll try it out April 9, 2015 at 7:03pm Reply

  • Diana Brodeur: One of my favorite flavor combos! Going to make it this weekend. Thanks so much! April 10, 2015 at 7:52am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you love it Diana! April 10, 2015 at 9:55pm Reply

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci): This is the prettiest yellow cake I’ve ever seen, and that buttercream is just the best! April 10, 2015 at 8:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Laura :)! April 10, 2015 at 9:55pm Reply

  • Laura Dembowski: Such a gorgeous cake! So grear to have a classic recipe like this. April 15, 2015 at 6:44am Reply

  • Meriem @ Culinary Couture: Using both butter and oil is super smart! Cant wait to try this! April 15, 2015 at 11:16am Reply

  • Stephanie Munas: I’m making this for my boyfriend this weekend! How should I store it to keep it tasting the best? Just in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge? May 21, 2015 at 11:24am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes I like to store this cake at room temperature. Some people do prefer to store them in the fridge then let them rest at room temp about 45 minutes before serving, either way will work fine as long as it’s in an airtight container. May 22, 2015 at 9:00pm Reply

  • Good: Thank you ,I will try to do it.

    I have never tried vanilla cake , These vanilla cake looks awesome! June 3, 2015 at 9:51pm Reply

  • Leslie: looks amazing!! I was wondering if I can substitute the buttermilk with something else, we are allergic to dairy. Maybe coconut milk or lactaid?? July 9, 2015 at 9:59pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Any non-dairy milk should be fine but I would replace 1 Tbsp with vinegar or lemon juice to give it that acidity buttermilk has. I think lactaid would be the best flavor-wise for this. July 11, 2015 at 1:58pm Reply

  • aneesa: If I don’t have all purpose then how much cake flour would I use for this cake? August 18, 2015 at 1:51pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: 1 cup + 2 Tbsp cake flour per 1 cup of all-purpose flour. So basically 2 1/2 cups + 2 heaping tbsp total. August 18, 2015 at 6:21pm Reply

  • Nahilani: looks amazing! Will this work as a cupcake recipe? August 18, 2015 at 3:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t tested yet but it should. August 18, 2015 at 6:20pm Reply

  • sara: I really want to make this tonight but don’t have any cake flour. What do you suggest? August 18, 2015 at 5:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You could use 1 cup all-purpose flour + 2 Tbsp cornstarch, it won’t be quite as light and fluffy but it’s the most common substitute for cake flour. August 18, 2015 at 6:19pm Reply

  • claudia: has anyone made this recipe? August 23, 2015 at 11:44am Reply

  • dkei: in the buttercream recipe, what does 3-5 tbsp HALF AND HALF MEAN? September 5, 2015 at 7:12am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It is just a mixture of 50% cream 50% milk so you could easily make your own. September 9, 2015 at 4:42pm Reply

  • Celia: I baked this recipe today, sadly it was not how I expected to come out. The cake was very dense and dry. I’m not sure if I did something wrong in the process of baking this cake because the picture looked quite scrumptious. I was very disappointed with this recipe. :( September 8, 2015 at 8:06pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I sounds like your batter may have been over mixed or the butter sugar mixture wasn’t mixed long enough. This isn’t the same as a box cake if that’s what you were hoping for, it should be somewhat dense with some structure to it. And if it was dry it was probably over-baked. Sorry it didn’t turn out for you!! September 9, 2015 at 4:27pm Reply

  • claudia: Didn’t like this recipe. I tried it because i wanted to make yellow cake from scratch as the one thing i do make from a box is cake with “butter in the mix” because those are amazing. Box was much better than this cake. I will look further to find a better one to make from scratch. September 30, 2015 at 3:36pm Reply

  • Lisa: I made this cake last night, cooled and wrapped in plastic wrap as you’d suggested. Seemed very moist this morning and the frosting was DELICIOUS! It will be my new go-to chocolate frosting recipe for sure! I made a printable Happy Birthday banner and secured it to 2 skewers for decoration…all in all, great cake and frosting recipe. Thanks for sharing! October 4, 2015 at 4:24pm Reply

  • Karen Merson: Excited to finally try this recipe. Can you provide estimated baking temp & time for cupcakes? October 29, 2015 at 4:22pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: The temp should still be about the same and time would probably be about 18 – 23 minutes. October 29, 2015 at 5:11pm Reply

  • Marla: I’ve been searching for a while for a really good classic yellow cake recipe and it looks like I have found it! ‘Thanks so much — can’t wait to try it.
    Your cake also looks so beautiful and even. Do you trim the layers before frosting? Do you stack the layers bottoms together (bottom layer upside down) ot both layers right side up? Thanks again November 5, 2015 at 2:43pm Reply

  • Marla: I’ve been searching for a really good yellow cake recipe and this looks like it could be the one. Can’t wait to try it — thanks!
    The cake also looks so beautiful and even. Do you trim the layers before stacking and do you stack them bottoms together (bottom layer upside down) or both layers right side up? Thanks again ! November 8, 2015 at 12:11am Reply

  • Kelsey: I made this cake for a friend’s birthday yesterday. The frosting was delicious, but the cake was dry unfortunately. I won’t use this recipe again. January 16, 2016 at 1:37pm Reply

  • Krystal: My frosting is coming out to runny. Any ideas how to fix it? January 22, 2016 at 7:43pm Reply

  • susan: i bake from scratch all of the time and have been searching for the perfect yellow cake, This was not it, It was wet in the midde when i tested it at 29 minutes (in all of my40 years of baking I have never baked a cake for that little time. I gave it 2 more minutes-toothpick still not clean. Gave it another 2 minutes -too dry. Any suggestions?? want to give it a second try today. If anyone could get back to me today that would be great. lots of time-blizzard!! Thank you January 23, 2016 at 9:55am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Try adding a quarter cup less flour or a little extra milk and that should help. January 23, 2016 at 9:07pm Reply

  • Sue: Can I use whipping cream instead of half and half? January 25, 2016 at 5:02pm Reply

  • Kristin H: This is the best yellow cake from scratch I’ve ever had! It’s always been difficult to find a yellow cake recipe that has a fine enough crumb, without being dry and/or flavorless. The crumb was really tender even though half of the flour was all-purpose. It was moist and just delicious. I also loved the beautiful, but simple way you decorated the cake with the rainbow nonpareils. This is a keeper! Thanks so much for all your hard work in sharing your recipes with us. :) February 22, 2016 at 6:50pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Kristin! Glad you loved it! February 22, 2016 at 7:06pm Reply

  • Trisha: I made this cake and it turned out phenomenal. The cake turned out moist and fluffy and it was definitely the best yellow cake I’ve ever made. This recipe is a keeper and now my go to yellow cake recipe. Going to try this recipe as cupcakes. March 1, 2016 at 7:43am Reply

  • Beth: Hi! This recipe looks perfect and I intend to try it out for my sister’s birthday, but I don’t have round cake pans (I lost mine and haven’t replaced them yet), can you provide any insight as to how I would adjust baking time to bake in a 9×13? Maybe 5 mins longer? Thanks for this recipe!! March 10, 2016 at 1:43pm Reply

    • Cindy: Please reply! I’m also interested,thanks May 10, 2017 at 3:40am Reply

  • Lori: I’m new to cakes from scratch. I’m wondering why the 2 different types of flour? How does that affect the cake? April 9, 2016 at 11:18am Reply

  • Devon: So this yellow cake was delicious. Can this batter be made as cupcakes? April 9, 2016 at 3:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes you could also use it for cupcakes. Glad you liked it! April 9, 2016 at 4:18pm Reply

  • Jamie: I was very excited to find this recipe and went to work making the chocolate buttercream. It was smooth and creamy and looked delicious. The frosting may be perfect for some people’s taste, but I found it to be bitter and leave a bad taste in my mouth afterwards. This is my first attempt at a chocolate buttercream, so maybe this is just the way they taste, but I won’t be making this recipe again…unless there are suggestions on how to get rid of the bitterness? April 14, 2016 at 9:59am Reply

    • Jamie: I need to update! I’ve no idea how or why, but I tasted the frosting two days later and there is not even a hint of bitterness. It is just delicious and creamy. Maybe I’d eaten it when it was too fresh and the flavors hadn’t had time to mingle. Whatever the reason, I need to say this frosting is wonderful. April 15, 2016 at 5:42pm Reply

  • Jessica: This may be a dumb question…the buttercream does it need to be powdered or liquid? I have both, but I wasn’t sure if it mattered which one you used.
    I’m planning on making this cake for my daughter’s 2nd birthday. I am doing a lemonade theme and was thinking of adding lemon extract to the cake batter. Do you think it would turn out good? Or is it just best to keep it as a yellow cake? Thank you so much for sharing your recipe! I look forward to making it! April 22, 2016 at 11:49am Reply

  • Kendra: I made yellow cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday and wanted a chocolate buttercream to frost them. This is IT!!! I took a teaspoon full to my husband and asked if he wanted to taste something divine. Absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing. April 25, 2016 at 9:51am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for reporting back Kendra, so glad you and your husband loved them! April 25, 2016 at 9:53am Reply

      • Jessica: Do you use the liquid or powdered buttermilk? I’m assuming liquid, but I’m not sure. April 25, 2016 at 9:55am Reply

        • Jaclyn: I used liquid. If it’s powdered you’d need to reconstitute it with the listed amount of water, but since you have the fresh I’d definitely just go with that. April 27, 2016 at 12:22am Reply

  • Jessica: This may be a dumb question…the buttercream does it need to be powdered or liquid? I have both, but I wasn’t sure if it mattered which one you used. April 26, 2016 at 11:58am Reply

  • Erika: I made this and had half of the flour mixture left over. I’d that normal? I added in three 1/3 increments of flour as stated above. May 11, 2016 at 3:32pm Reply

    • Nicole: I’m not sure if this answers your questions, but I think you misread. You separate the flour mixture into thirds and put in 1/3 of the mixture (not 1/3 cup) at a time. Hope that helps! July 9, 2016 at 7:07pm Reply

  • samantha mcmay: wow it was so tasty June 3, 2016 at 8:00am Reply

  • Melita: Oh My Goodness…I made this cake yesterday afternoon — in one of those “I need to make a cake” moods — and this off the chain good! Thank you so much for such a great recipe! My husband’s family said it tastes like cakes their mom use to make – score! July 25, 2016 at 8:39am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you loved it Melita! July 25, 2016 at 10:44am Reply

  • Margo: Can I ensemble the cake the day after I make it? August 24, 2016 at 6:07pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes that would be just fine. I hope you love it! August 24, 2016 at 7:47pm Reply

  • laurie: You say 3/4 cup butter (6 tablespoons) – but 3/4 cup butter is 12 tablespoons – which one is it? October 20, 2016 at 10:38am Reply

  • Meagan T: This is by far THE BEST chocolate buttercream recipe I have tried! The cake was delicious also! So glad I found it!!! November 2, 2016 at 3:20pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Meagan! November 5, 2016 at 8:16am Reply

  • Taylr Mason: Have you ever made this cake into cupcakes? How many would you get full size? Mini? Cooking time?

    Thank you December 6, 2016 at 10:27am Reply

  • Nicole: Can you substitute buttermilk for milk? I don’t have any on hand..thanks! December 23, 2016 at 11:12am Reply

  • Juliana Ramsey: Hi Jaclyn,

    I am wondering if this cake will hold up for a novelty cake? Or is it pretty moist and delicate? No matter if it is or isn’t I’ll still make it! Just want to know if it can hold up. January 7, 2017 at 11:02pm Reply

  • Juliana Ramsey: Also if I made this in 6” pans, how many pans do you think I’ll need? Thanks ‘Dessert Boss’ ;) And how long would you do for the baking time? January 7, 2017 at 11:06pm Reply

  • Juliana Ramsey: Also I was wondering if I could use whipping cream in the frosting? In place of half and half. January 10, 2017 at 11:59am Reply

  • Brenda: I thought this was THE cake for us. The flavor is delicious but the bith times the cake fell in the middle and was more brown looking than yellow, definitely not something I can serve. Both times I adjusted for high altitude and had no difference in the look, flavor or color of the cake. I’m so disappointed that I didn’t get a better result. 😔 February 18, 2017 at 5:00pm Reply

  • Aileen Bluhm: Agh! My did I do wrong? My cake is super dry! I tried baking for 25 mins but the center was still raw. I ended up baking it for the full 29 mins and it’s dry. And one of the cakes sank in the middle. I’m so disappointed! My father in law requested this cake for his birthday and it’s ruined! 😔 May 7, 2017 at 4:22pm Reply

  • Hannah: Not sure how people are getting dry cake! This recipe is sooo good. I multiplied the recipe by 1.5 to make 3 8inch layers. I baked them much longer, more like 35 min. They came out fluffy, buttery, and delicious! December 4, 2017 at 4:06pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Hannah! December 5, 2017 at 10:35am Reply

  • Cornelia Cottrell: I made the frosting today and used a chocolate cake recipe. The frosting was delicious! I’ll be saving this one. Thanks December 22, 2017 at 10:49pm Reply

  • Sara: Can this be made in a 13 by 9 pan? February 11, 2018 at 3:38pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think it would be a bit too much batter. Maybe 2/3 or 3/4 of the recipe would be a good fit. February 19, 2018 at 11:38am Reply

      • Cindy: Wow, I think I asked this question a year ago! I’ll have to see if I can even find the recipe to follow your advice February 19, 2018 at 12:24pm Reply

        • Jaclyn: Lol sorry, I have 1,300+ recipes and I can never keep up with questions on all of them and I feel like if I hired someone to do it there guess would be about the same as another readers. I’m unable to answer at least half and hope that other readers may be able to help! February 19, 2018 at 12:25pm Reply

  • John: Cooking Classy indeed! this recipe is superb. The cake turned out exactly how this classic cake should. Moist, fluffy but firm and the chocolate icing is to die for. Thanks for such a great birthday cake for my partner. February 20, 2018 at 9:27pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad it was enjoyed! Thanks John! February 21, 2018 at 10:32am Reply

  • Lakeisha Desir: Love it love it love it! I just made this recipe and it came out beautifully! I’ve never made a yellow cake from scratch but this cake was very easy to put together. I definitely will be making again in the future! Thank you for the wonderful recipe. March 29, 2018 at 10:39am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re welcome! So glad you enjoyed it! April 2, 2018 at 3:11pm Reply

  • Valerie Brewer: i was looking for another yellow cake recipe aside from the classic better homes and gardens one i’ve used before. (i feel a sacrilegious just for typing that)(sorry, mom) ‘self, this one has buttermilk’; how interesting. so, i made it. because i broke my ankle two days ago and didn’t want to be up and down as much as i would need to be for 8″ rounds, i poured it all into a 9×13″ and hoped for the best. (this is what happens when you don’t read the reviews far enough down to get past all the folks talking about how good it looks to the ones by the folks who have actually made it.) jaclyn has it right when she said it makes too much batter for a 9×13″. because i had to bake it much too long to get the center set, the outsides of the cake were a little dry. (the chocolate frosting is good, no one complained) if you plan to make this in 9×13″, follow jaclyn’s recommendations. thanks for the recipes! April 29, 2018 at 2:19pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your feedback Valerie! May 1, 2018 at 12:48pm Reply

  • Eudora: This cake came out sooooo moist and perfect! I made an extra round for a total of 3 layers and OMG the whole cake was GONE in 15 min. Flat! The buttercream frosting was to die for and the cake was beyond perfect. Everyone LOVED it! May 21, 2018 at 3:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad to hear it! Thanks for letting me know it was enjoyed! May 23, 2018 at 2:51pm Reply

  • Melissa R Krufka: Could I make this if I don’t have an electric bowl mixer, just the handheld kind? June 5, 2018 at 10:22pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes definitely. It will just take a few more minutes in whipping the butter and sugar together. June 9, 2018 at 12:49pm Reply

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