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Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

A classic homemade yellow butter cake recipe, with a homemade chocolate frosting. Bake this easy from scratch yellow cake recipe, topped with a smooth chocolate buttercream frosting for your next celebration.

A classic homemade yellow butter cake recipe, with a homemade chocolate frosting. Bake this easy from scratch yellow cake recipe, topped with a smooth chocolate buttercream frosting for your next celebration.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Grab your mixer cause we are about to make some cakes from scratch! One great tip I would like to offer is to always let your cake layers cool completely before stacking. If you have ever watched Nailed It! you will know what I’m talking about.

Also, for a more leveled cake, trim the domes of your cake down to an even layer. Giving this cake recipe a more professional bakery look. And one more thing, don’t freak out if you get cake crumbs in your frosting. Having crumbs in your frosting is the sign of a good homemade cake yall!

Yellow Cake

I think everyone needs a good old dependable yellow cake recipe in their saved recipe box. Or if you are like me, saved recipe screenshots on my phone. I love this cake recipe because it has created so many smiles for my family. It’s pretty much my new go-to for birthdays year-round. Especially mine! LOL!

A classic homemade yellow butter cake recipe, with a homemade chocolate frosting. Bake this easy from scratch yellow cake recipe, topped with a smooth chocolate buttercream frosting for your next celebration.

Yellow Butter Cake

This huge 3 layered yellow butter cake really does take the cake as they say! It’s such a soft, tender buttery cake that I honestly could just sit and enjoy it all to myself. I personally love baking and stack my cakes up to 3 tiers (layers) high. However, if you need a smaller version see the notes below on How To Make A 2 Tier Yellow Butter Cake.

How To Make A 2 Layer Yellow Butter Cake

If your first thought was WOW! That’s a lot of cake, and I only need a small one, no worries! You can easily half this recipe and make a beautiful 2 layer cake that easily feeds my family of 5.

*Please note: The original recipe calls for 5 eggs, if you are cutting the recipe in half please use 3 eggs. Since it’s almost impossible to cut an egg in half we won’t hurt our brains trying to figure this out. I have tested this recipe and you will yield the exact same flavors and textures.

A classic homemade yellow butter cake recipe, with a homemade chocolate frosting. Bake this easy from scratch yellow cake recipe, topped with a smooth chocolate buttercream frosting for your next celebration.

Yellow Cake Ingredients

To make this delicious yellow butter cake with chocolate buttercream frosting, we will need these ingredients below. If you do not have any buttermilk on hand or need to substitute the buttermilk. Please see my buttermilk notes section on how you can learn to make homemade buttermilk in just a few minutes.

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Large eggs, room temperature
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Buttermilk, room temperature

How To Make Yellow Butter Cake

Preheat your oven to 350°F degrees Then grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round baking pans, set them aside for later. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Then set it aside.

In another large mixing bowl, beat sugar and butter in the bowl at medium speed, scraping the bowl occasionally until creamy. Be sure to fully cream the butter and sugar together before moving onto this next step. Now add in the eggs 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition, then add in the vanilla.

Add flour mixture in alternately with milk, beating at low speed after each addition just until mixed (DO NOT OVERMIX). Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake for 30-34 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let them cool completely on a cooling rack before adding the chocolate frosting.

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A classic homemade yellow butter cake recipe, with a homemade chocolate frosting. Bake this easy from scratch yellow cake recipe, topped with a smooth chocolate buttercream frosting for your next celebration.

Chocolate Frosting Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter
  • Confectioners sugar
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Heavy cream or milk
  • Salt
  • Pure vanilla extract

How To Make Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Start by beating the butter on medium speed slowly increasing to high speed. Beat the butter until creamy (about 5 minutes) with a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or whisk attachment. The butter will become a pale color, fluffy and double in size.

Divide the confectioners’ sugar into 3rd’s and then slowly add it to the butter. On the last 3rd of confestioners sugar, add the cocoa powder until well blended. Now add the heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract. Continue to beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for 1 full minute. When you see peaks forming it means the chocolate buttercream is done!

*Note: Add 1/4 cup more confectioners’ sugar or cocoa powder if frosting is too thin or another Tablespoon of cream if frosting is too thick. 

A classic homemade yellow butter cake recipe, with a homemade chocolate frosting. Bake this easy from scratch yellow cake recipe, topped with a smooth chocolate buttercream frosting for your next celebration.

More Frosting Recipes

If you love this chocolate buttercream frosting then you will love some of my other popular frosting recipes. Like my Honey Cream Cheese Frosting, Salted Caramel Frosting, and my famous Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting.

Why is this cake called Yellow Butter Cake?

Yellow butter cake uses whole eggs, giving the batter and cake take on a pale yellow color. The batter is made with whole eggs and real butter which both help to achieve the yellow coloring. Yellow butter cake is light and fluffy with a very mild custardy flavor.

A classic homemade yellow butter cake recipe, with a homemade chocolate frosting. Bake this easy from scratch yellow cake recipe, topped with a smooth chocolate buttercream frosting for your next celebration.

Can I Substitute the Buttermilk?

I do not recommend substituting the buttermilk in this recipe. The purpose of the buttermilk is to add depth in flavor which you can’t achieve with any other milk. However, if you have an allergy and are unable to use buttermilk, any other milk substitute should do the drink. The only difference will be in the flavor.

If you are like me and many other bakers, sometimes you don’t have buttermilk on hand and can’t make it to the store just yet. While this is a quick fix substitute it surely doesn’t replace the authentic store-bought buttermilk in the dairy aisle.

Homemade Buttermilk Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1 cup whole milk

How To Make Buttermilk Substitute

Add the two ingredients together, stir well. Then set it aside for 5-10 minutes before using in your recipe, Need another solution? You can also use cream of tartar and milk!

A classic homemade yellow butter cake recipe, with a homemade chocolate frosting. Bake this easy from scratch yellow cake recipe, topped with a smooth chocolate buttercream frosting for your next celebration.

Why are there so many eggs?

As you may have read earlier yellow cake or yellow butter cake uses a lot of eggs. This is what gives it that beautiful iconic yellow color, and also adds more fat to the cake batter. Which in turns gives us a very tender and fluffy cake. Without the eggs this cake would lose it’s color and soft fluffy like texture.

More Cake Recipes

Yield: 12

Yellow Butter Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

A classic homemade yellow butter cake recipe, with a homemade chocolate frosting. Bake this easy from scratch yellow cake recipe, topped with a smooth chocolate buttercream frosting for your next celebration.

A classic homemade yellow butter cake recipe, with a homemade chocolate frosting. Bake this easy from scratch yellow cake recipe, topped with a smooth chocolate buttercream frosting for your next celebration.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

Yellow Butter Cake

  • 3 and 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 and 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream or milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Yellow Butter Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round baking pans. Set aside.
  2. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. Beat sugar and butter in bowl at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until creamy.
  4. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating at low speed after each addition just until mixed. (DO NOT OVERMIX)
  5. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake 30-34 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow them to cool in the pans for at least 10 minutes on cooling racks, before removing them from the pan.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  1. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter on medium speed slowly increasing to high speed.
  2. Beat the butter until it has a creamy consistancy (about 5 minutes) with a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment.
  3. The butter will become a pale color, fluffy and double in size. Divide the confectioners’ sugar into 3rd’s, slowly adding it to the butter. On the last 3rd add the cocoa powder until well blended.
  4. Now add the heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for 1 full minute.
  5. Peaks should start to form letting you know that the chocolate butter cream is done! *see notes section on how to adjust the consistency of the buttercream*

Notes

  • To adjust the consistency of the buttercream frosting add 1/4 cup more confectioners’ sugar or cocoa powder if frosting is too thin or another Tablespoon of cream if frosting is too thick.
  • Try not to rush removing the cake layers from their pans. If you remove them too soon and they are still too warm, you could risk breaking the cake layers. And no one wants a broken cake.

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