How to Make Yellow Butter Cake From Scratch

Updated on August 31, 2017

Homemade Yellow Butter Cake

I don't think anything is more homey than a big fat piece of yellow cake slathered with chocolate frosting. This is the kind of cake your granny gave you, quite possibly set on a paper towel, and sent you out to the back porch so she could make a telephone call in peace. If you got lucky you got a big mug of icy milk with it. If not, you did what every other red-blooded American kid did and grabbed a drink out of the water hose. The only thing that could make that kind of afternoon more perfect was if your brother came around the corner of the house without looking and got into range of the hose without noticing you standing there. Better still, you got the last piece of cake and sprayed him with the hose. Not that I ever did such a thing.

Whether you got your yellow cake from granny, got squares of it off a church potluck table out of one of those oblong cake carriers, mixed up your own as a kid out of the red box, or don't even remember, there isn't anything better than yellow cake from scratch. It's delicious, moist, the perfect delivery vehicle for chocolate frosting, and gives cows a reason for making milk. It's also simple to make. That's a win-win bombshell.

Tip: If you don't have cake flour, don't worry. I almost never do. Simply measure out all-purpose flour as normal, and for each cup of all purpose flour, remove two tablespoons and replace them with two tablespoons of cornstarch. Make sure you shift the dry ingredients well, and you're golden!

Hey, my brother is coming over this afternoon. I think I'll make him one. And find the hose . . .

If You Don't Have Cake Flour...

No problem if you don't have cake flour. You make make a great substitute in less time than it takes to run to the store.

For each level cup of all purpose flour, remove two level tablespoons of flour. Replace those with two level tablespoons of cornstarch. Whisk the two together well, and you're good to go!

Yellow Butter Cake Recipe Ingredients

You'll Need:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Creaming Together Butter and Sugar

Creaming together butter and sugar.
Creaming together butter and sugar. | Source

Not Sure How to Prep Your Cake Pans? Check it Out!

Yellow Butter Cake Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. With butter, grease and flour 2 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy.
  4. Mix in egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as you work. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour in three additions, mixing until just incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl again, and mix for another few seconds.
  6. Pour batter into the prepared pans, diving between pans evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until tops of the cakes are golden and spring back when pressed very lightly or a cake tester or skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Allow cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes. Turn them out onto wire racks to finish cooling completley. Frost with chocolate frosting.

Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1
Calories 346
Calories from Fat153
% Daily Value *
Fat 17 g26%
Saturated fat 11 g55%
Carbohydrates 42 g14%
Protein 5 g10%
Cholesterol 186 mg62%
Sodium 256 mg11%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Questions & Answers

    © 2011 Jan Charles


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      • profile image

        Beverly A Holland 5 months ago

        This cake remind me of the time me and my mom would be on the kitchen making this for Christmas the smell . Bring back memories.

      • DixieMockingbird profile image

        Jan Charles 8 months ago from East Tennessee

        Thank you Lesia!

      • profile image

        lesia Mojica 8 months ago

        this cake looks delicious, I can not wait to made it. thanks a lot FOR the good. recipe.

      • profile image

        Kristie 9 months ago

        If i want to make this a marble bundt cake, how much cocoa powder do i need to add? And do I need any extra moisture?

      • profile image

        Annie 9 months ago

        This is my go to recipe I love it.

      • profile image

        Lorraine 10 months ago

        Where did you find the chocolate frosting for the yellow butter cake from scratch?

      • profile image

        Cynthia Williams 10 months ago

        Great recipe . I will use it again.

      • profile image

        enaennah 11 months ago

        thank for this recipe

      • profile image

        Sara 24 months ago


        Can i half the ingredients to make one cake, will it work?

      • profile image

        Juanita Seals 2 years ago

        Can you use ap flour

      • dandelionweeds profile image

        dandelionweeds 2 years ago from Canada

        Thanks for sharing this recipe.

      • profile image

        Natalie 2 years ago

        Can you make this in a bundt pan

      • profile image

        Courtney 2 years ago

        definitely need 9 x9. First time making this as a cake, normally as cupcakes and it's almost overflowing

      • profile image

        sye 2 years ago

        I made this yellow cake for Mother's Day with strawberries, bananas,and a cream filler. I've tried a number of yellow cake recipes but they can't compare to yours. 2 thumbs up, I will always use this recipe as my new go to recipe. Thanks a lot!

      • Iulia Boariu profile image

        Iulia Boariu 3 years ago from London

        It looks delicious!

      • Rachel L Alba profile image

        Rachel L Alba 3 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

        I gave your recipe a thumbs up. I love home made cakes, but sometimes do come out a little dry. Yours looks so good and I am going to make it for sure. I will be looking at all your hubs. Thanks for sharing.


      • Jicotea Kinsella profile image

        Jicotea Kinsella 3 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

        Looks great!

      • Sir Took profile image

        Alfred Miller 3 years ago from Rowland NC/United States

        I love Cake .This cake looks moist and tasty.

      • profile image

        Dee 3 years ago

        Almond milk is not the same fat content as regular milk.

      • profile image

        Holly 3 years ago

        I tried this with almond flour and almond milk and it fell :(

      • profile image

        Sharon Skelton 3 years ago

        Google very moist yellow cake and try it. It's the one that says it is a combination of pound cake and regular cake recipe. It's very very good.

      • profile image

        Elena 3 years ago

        I want to try this. If it comes out well i might make it into a pb cake. Not many good pb cake recipes.

      • profile image

        kathreen 3 years ago

        What happens if I use regular flour?

      • profile image

        Judy 3 years ago

        This cake is so good that you could eat the batter. I DID!

      • profile image

        Jill 4 years ago

        Any different to do if you wanted to make it cupcakes?

      • profile image

        Carolyn 4 years ago

        Made the cake. Like all of my yellow cake recipes, it fell. Have yet to find a good recipe for high altitude .

      • profile image

        ngloekler 4 years ago

        Looks relish..can't wait to bake..thank you!

      • profile image

        Claire 4 years ago

        What happens if you don't sub the cornstarch and use all regular flour?oops. (White/wheat flour actually). Made this last night and am worried that I botched it and not sure if I should ditch it and try again for 9yr old bday..

      • profile image

        Jackie 5 years ago

        If I add 1/2 C of Peanut Butter to this recipe, do I need to up the amount of liquid as well?

      • DixieMockingbird profile image

        Jan Charles 5 years ago from East Tennessee

        It is! Hope it suits!

      • profile image

        simone 5 years ago

        hi, yes the cake does look delicious. does the recipe for this cake look like the picture of the first cake? im really cautious now since i've been searching and have yet to find the perfect yellow or sponge if the answer is yes i will try this immediately..

      • DixieMockingbird profile image

        Jan Charles 6 years ago from East Tennessee

        Thank you! It's one of my favorites!

      • profile image

        sestasik 6 years ago

        This looks delicious!