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How to Make Yellow Butter Cake From Scratch

Jan has been cooking and writing about food for over 20 years. She has cooked on multiple television stations, including the Food Network.

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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 can 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!

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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.

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 two 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

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© 2011 Jan Charles

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