Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

March 10, 2018  ·  Published April 8, 2015

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Yellow Cake is one of those classic recipes 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. 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

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Once you begin making 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 too. 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 homemade yellow cake! 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 Ingredients

Making yellow cake from scratch is much simpler than you’d think! It only requires a handful of pantry staples.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this moist yellow cake recipe:

  • All-purpose flour and cake flour
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Salt
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsalted butter
  • Vegetable oil
  • Egg and egg yolks
  • Vanilla extract
  • Buttermilk
  • 1 batch homemade chocolate buttercream frosting

Scroll below for printable recipe.

Yellow Cake batter from scratch mixed in bowl

How to Make Yellow Cake From Scratch

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line pans, butter and dust with flour.
  • Sift flours then whisk in add baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment whip together butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Blend in vegetable oil.
  • Mix in eggs one at time then blend in egg yolks and vanilla.
  • Mix in flour alternationg with buttermilk.
  • Divide batter among prepared cake pans and bake until set.
  • Cool in pans briefly, loosen from pans then invert onto wire rack to cool completely.

Can I Freeze Yellow Cake?

Yes, you can freeze the unfrosted homemade yellow cake. Wrap it in a few layers of plastic wrap and foil or store in a freezer bag. You can also make the chocolate buttercream and freeze it in a separate container.

Can I Make This Yellow Cake in a 9×13-Inch Pan?

I think it would be a bit too much batter. Maybe 2/3 or 3/4 of the recipe would be a good fit.

Mixed Chocolate Buttercream Frosting in Bowl

Can I Turn This Yellow Cake Recipe Into Cupcakes?

I haven’t tested this exact recipe as cupcakes before, but I’m sure that’d work fine! You’d likely need to bake the cupcakes for 18 – 22 minutes.

Can I Bake This Yellow Cake as a Bundt Cake?

I’m sure you could! Just don’t fill your bundt pan more than 2/3 full (you can use any extra batter for cupcakes).

Do I Have to Use a Blend of Flours?

If you don’t bake a lot, I can understand why using both cake flour and all-purpose flour in this recipe may seem unnecessary. But trust me, you need the blend of flours to create a fluffy yellow cake!

Can I Use Another Type of Frosting?

Of course! This yellow cake recipe would pair nicely with a classic buttercream, as well as a strawberry buttercream frosting. Or a different flavor entirely!

Homemade Yellow Cake With Chocolate Frosting on Plate

Tips for the Best Yellow Cake

  • If you only have salted butter on hand, scale back the amount of salt you add to the cake batter.
  • Let the yellow cake layers cool completely before topping them with chocolate frosting.
  • Store this cake in an airtight container to keep it from drying out.

More Easy Cake Recipes You’ll Love:

4.95 from 20 votes

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

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!
Servings: 14
Prep15 minutes
Cook30 minutes
Ready in: 45 minutes


Yellow Cake:

  • 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


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 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.
  • Sift all-purpose flour and cake flour into a mixing bowl. Add baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk 20 seconds, set aside.
  • 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.
  • 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. 


Recipe source: Cooking Classy
  • Let the yellow cake layers cool completely before topping them with chocolate frosting. 
  • Store this cake in an airtight container to keep it from drying out. 
Nutrition Facts
Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 643 Calories from Fat 324
% Daily Value*
Fat 36g55%
Saturated Fat 23g144%
Cholesterol 144mg48%
Sodium 339mg15%
Potassium 174mg5%
Carbohydrates 76g25%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 56g62%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 1045IU21%
Calcium 66mg7%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.


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  • Vicky

    I always get rave reviews when I make this cake for my kids’ birthdays. I was wondering though – how far in advance can it be made? If I need it for a Saturday, but have to start icing on Thursday, would it be ok to make it on Tuesday or would I need to freeze it? I don’t normally need to make it this far in advance!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I would recommend freezing it. I’m happy to know it’s gotten rave reviews!

  • Colleen

    I was just wondering what size cake pan you used. I couldn’t find it anywhere on the recipe and apparently mine must’ve been slightly smaller than yours. Because the cake is coming up and over the sides. I will say that I have never seen a fluffier cake dough. I will come back on and review it after we have eaten it. I still have to make the chocolate cream frosting.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I used two 9 by 2-inch round pans. Sorry to hear it gave you trouble!

      • Colleen Richardson

        Thank you Jaclyn. I will measure my pans next time and not put as much cake in if not big enough. The cake was good, the frosting was delicious!

  • Stephanie Willis

    I absolutely love this cake! I first made it at Christmas time as I offered to bake the family a cake and it definitely pleased everyone. I’ve made it again several times since (including only yesterday and will be again next week; husband & daughters birthday and they both requested it). I’ve also made this recipe into cupcakes too, just as great and easy to share out as it made circa 30 cupcakes. I’ve paired with your chocolate buttercream each time so far, my son loves to eat it directly out of the bowl when I’m done. I will try one of the other buttercream flavours soon. Definitely my go to recipe! I’ve now seen your chocolate cake recipe so I will be trying that one next.

  • Lorene Holderfield

    Great and easy recipe! But I was curious, what do we do if we don’t have cake flour on hand? X_x Is there a substitution for it? Is there a way to make a yellow cake without cake flour?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Yes you can make homemade cake flour by mixing 2 Tbsp cornstarch with 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, so for this recipe you would need 2 cups + 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour and 5 Tbsp cornstarch. It’s not quite as light and delicate but works in a pinch.

  • Maggie Pinque

    This is light and OH so delicious. It was tasty on the birthday evening and equally tasty for breakfast.

  • rayna

    True yellow cakes can be so finicky, and one person’s definition of perfection might be too dry or too moist for someone else. I followed this recipe to a T and found it to be simply perfect. A nice balanced crumb and not overly sweet. I used powdered buttermilk mixed with water for the buttermilk, and also used your buttercream recipe to finish it. Exactly the kind of comfort we’ve been craving right now! Thank you!

  • Jackie

    I made your chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream last week and it was delicious! I am looking to make a sheet marble cake now. Do you happen to have a recipe for marble cake? Or do you think I could combine 1/2 of your chocolate cake batter with 1/2 of this batter to make one? Also, I don’t have cake flour so I’m wondering if it will ruin my cake if I use just all purpose flour.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Unfortunately I don’t have a marble cake but I don’t know that I would recommend blending these two because one is so much runnier than the other.

    • Molly

      I subbed cake flour by taking two tablespoons of AP flour out and replacing with 2 tablespoons cornstarch and it worked fine for me but I’m also not super picky so I’m not sure of the quality difference.

  • Johnita Skinner

    Was wondering if I could use a Bundt pan? It’s all I have and I don’t go out unless absolutely necessary!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      That should be just fine as long as you don’t fill more than 2/3 full (use any extra batter for cupcakes).