How to Make Yellow Butter Cake from Scratch

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 . . .

The Recipe!

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


  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.

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.

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Comments 26 comments

Sara 5 months ago


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

Juanita Seals 10 months ago

Can you use ap flour

dandelionweeds profile image

dandelionweeds 11 months ago

Thanks for sharing this recipe.

Natalie 12 months ago

Can you make this in a bundt pan

Courtney 14 months ago

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

sye 17 months 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 20 months ago from London

It looks delicious!

Rachel L Alba profile image

Rachel L Alba 21 months 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 21 months ago from Jacksonville, FL

Looks great!

Sir Took profile image

Sir Took 21 months ago from Rowland NC/United States

I love Cake .This cake looks moist and tasty.

Dee 2 years ago

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

Holly 2 years ago

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

Laurel 2 years ago

You should use pictures of the cakes YOU made rather than steal them from other websites, such as bakerella's 14=layer cake!

What other sites have you stolen pictures from?

Sharon Skelton 2 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.

Elena 2 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.

kathreen 2 years ago

What happens if I use regular flour?

Judy 2 years ago

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

Jill 2 years ago

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

Carolyn 2 years ago

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

ngloekler 2 years ago

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

Claire 2 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..

Jackie 3 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

DixieMockingbird 4 years ago from East Tennessee Author

It is! Hope it suits!

simone 4 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

DixieMockingbird 4 years ago from East Tennessee Author

Thank you! It's one of my favorites!

sestasik 4 years ago

This looks delicious!

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