Yellow cake with chocolate buttercream
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4.83 from 34 votes

Classic Yellow Cake Recipe

This yellow cake recipe has a delicate crumb and the perfect level of sweetness. It's the best cake recipe to top with your favorite buttercream. I recommend chocolate!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: yellow cake recipe
Servings: 16 slices (approximately)
Calories: 258kcal
Author: Jennifer Farley


  • 7 ounces all-purpose flour (198g or 1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon using Spoon & Level Method)
  • 2 ounces cornstarch (58g or 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup half-and-half (or 1/2 cup whole milk + 1/2 cup heavy cream)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar (341g or about 1 3/4 cup)
  • 4 large eggs


  • Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Very lightly grease the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans (do not grease the sides) and then top with parchment rounds. Place the pans on a baking sheet, if possible (this will make taking both cakes in and out of the oven at once a breeze).
  • In a medium bowl, thoroughly whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the half-and-half and vanilla. Crack the eggs into a small bowl or liquid measuring cup.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar on low speed for 3 minutes, until pale and fluffy. If there are any bits of unincorporated sugar and/or butter on the sides or bottom of the bowl, use a spatula to incorporate them and mix for an additional 30 seconds. 
  • Slowly add the eggs, one at a time, stopping to scrape down the bowl all the way to the bottom after the second and final egg. The batter may begin to look slightly broken by the end of this step; it’s ok.
  • On medium speed, swiftly alternate between adding the dry and wet ingredients, starting and ending with the dry. This shouldn’t take longer than a minute.
  • Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl, all the way to the bottom, making sure there are no hidden dry patches. Turn the speed up to medium and mix for an additional 30 seconds to help build the structure of the batter. Do not skip this step.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Use an offset spatula to even out the tops (don’t skip this step or the cake may not rise evenly).
  • Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Cool to room temperature before removing from the pan. Use an offset spatula or knife to help release the sides of the cake from the pan, then place a cardboard round or large cutting board against the cake pan and gently flip.
  • Frost with your favorite recipe! (See notes for suggestions)



For the best results, weigh your flour on a kitchen scale.
Regarding substitutions: 
  • Don't substitute different sized eggs (this includes farm eggs) without weighing them, or it will change the structure of the cake.
  • The cake will work if you use dairy with a lower percentage of fat (such as whole milk instead of half-and-half), but the results will be more dry and dense.
  • You will not get the same results from a 9-inch cake pan unless you increase the ingredients by 25%
Recommended frostings:


Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 244mg | Potassium: 90mg | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 385IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 0.8mg