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Yellow Cake and Chocolate Frosting Recipe

Updated on July 19, 2012
A yellow cake with chocolate buttercream frosting made for my grandmother's 90th birthday celebration.
A yellow cake with chocolate buttercream frosting made for my grandmother's 90th birthday celebration. | Source
A yellow cake made for Easter decorated with mini Cadbury eggs.
A yellow cake made for Easter decorated with mini Cadbury eggs. | Source

When I realized my grandmother was approaching her 90th birthday celebration, I decided to create the perfect cake for her big day. I thought I may have spoken to soon when I came to realize that her favorite cake was yellow cake, which I had never made before. I set out to find a recipe to use, and at first I was a little baffled.

I thought a yellow cake got its color from the egg yolks used. I now realize that this is not always the case; the yellow cake generally becomes yellow from the whole eggs that are used in it, versus only the egg whites that are used in a white cake. I didn't realize this because my immediate family consists of serious chocolate lovers, and that is the personal preference around here when I start baking birthday or holiday cakes.

I came across a recipe for a yellow cake and it came out brilliantly bouncy, flavorful and browned nicely on the top.

When it came to frosting, I used my favorite buttercream frosting recipe (used traditionally on our chocolate cakes) but added cocoa to create a smooth, chocolate buttercream frosting.

To prepare and work out any possible kinks, I prepared an Easter cake for my family using all the ingredients and recipes that would be used for my grandmother's birthday cake. I did this one week prior to the big birthday celebration and the result was marvelous. Gram deserved the best possible cake in honor of her 90th birthday and I was happy to create this for her.

These two cakes are cooked perfectly according to the fingertip test for doneness, and are all ready to be frosted.
These two cakes are cooked perfectly according to the fingertip test for doneness, and are all ready to be frosted. | Source

Yellow Cake Ingredients

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


To reduce your butter intake, replace a portion with oil.

Omit 1/4 cup of the butter. Instead of 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) use 1/2 cup (1 stick), and 1/2 cup of vegetable oil.

Mix together all ingredients for the yellow cake, alternating between liquids and dry ingredients.
Mix together all ingredients for the yellow cake, alternating between liquids and dry ingredients. | Source
Split the batter evenly into two or three pans.
Split the batter evenly into two or three pans. | Source

Instructions for Yellow Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease well and flour three 8-by-1 1/2-inch layer-cake pans, or two 9-by-1 1/2-inch layer-cake pans.
  2. Sift flour with baking powder and salt; set aside.
  3. In large bowl or electric mixer, at high speed, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy - about 3 minutes - occasionally scraping side of bowl and guiding mixture into beaters with rubber scraper.
  4. At low speed, beat in flour mixer (in fourths), alternately with milk (in thirds), beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat only until smooth.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pans; bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until surface springs back when gently pressed with fingertip.
  6. Cool in pans 30 minutes. Remove from pans; cool thoroughly on wire racks. Fill as desired.
Mix the chocolate buttercream frosting until desired consistency.
Mix the chocolate buttercream frosting until desired consistency. | Source

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Ingredients

  • 3 3/4 cups Domino Confectioners Sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (more or less, depending on preference) cocoa

Use a butter knife to create smooth sides on your yellow cake.
Use a butter knife to create smooth sides on your yellow cake. | Source

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Instructions for Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • In a large bowl, with mixer at low speed, combine Domino Confectioners Sugar, butter, milk and vanilla.
  • Beat at medium speed 1-2 minutes until creamy.
  • If desired, add more milk until frosting is more spreadable.
  • Spread onto cakes.

Rate this yellow cake

4.7 stars from 3 ratings of Yellow Cake

Decorate your cake

Once your frosting is made, it is now time to decorate your cake, which for some people is considered the hardest part of making a cake. Whether you prefer homeade or store-bought icing to pipe the decorations onto your cake, a few tips will make the process easier.

  • Line three or four strips of waxed paper along the edge of the cake plate. After the cake is frosted, remove the strips and reveal a plate free of frosting debris.
  • Use a butter knife to create smooth edges on the sides and the top of the cake.
  • Briefly refrigerate the cake after applying the frosting, and before doing any cake decorations.
  • Use toothpicks to dot your outline on your cake before writing any greetings. If you mess up, although it's not easily noticeable, you can smooth it out again and re-do the dots.

Make your own cake

A yellow cake is a fun, fluffy and versatile cake to make for any occasion. Subtract the yolks from this cake and you will have a pure white cake. Add in some cocoa and you will have a chocolate cake. Convert this recipe to fit your specific needs, and enjoy!

© emilybee, 2011-2012. All Rights Reserved.

Grammie blowing out her candles :)
Grammie blowing out her candles :) | Source


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    • emilybee profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Hi cathie bridges: thank for visiting! This cake is delicious and so moist!! Enjoy :)

    • cathie bridges profile image

      Hamza Arshad 

      7 years ago from Pakistan

      yummy Thanks for sharing :)

    • emilybee profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Aww DzyMsLizzy- Thanks for sharing that memory of your mom- I agree, she's probably eating lots of yellow cake :) I try to bake with good ingredients so as it is still a cake with calories, I typically use a good portion of wheat instead of white flour and substitute some oil for butter, so indulge!!!! :) Thanks for commenting :)

    • emilybee profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Hi rebecca! Thank you! They tasted absolutely wonderful but I would like to improve on my cake decorating skills, I'm sure I will overtime :) Thanks for commenting :)

    • emilybee profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Hi Kelley-I have a really bad sweet tooth for homemade baked goods, but recently I'm trying to cut back on carbs for health reasons. I feel for you. Hope you have found some yummy things you can eat, too :) Thanks for stopping by!

    • emilybee profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Hello Ruchira!! It's super easy, whip it up in only a few hours :) Let me know how it turns out for you. Thanks for reading, the votes and the share!!

    • emilybee profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      You are funny Victoria, nothing funny about my cake :) Homemade cakes are the way to go. The store bought ones don't taste good and the frosting is way too sweet and a strange texture. This buttercream frosting is simple to make, and thanks, the cadbury eggs were an easy way to decorate for the Easter holiday :) Thanks for the nice comment!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      8 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Oh, my--this brought a slight tear to my eye. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting was my mother's all-time favorite. Now that she's on the other side, I bet she can have all she wants with no worries over calories! ;-)

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      8 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Yellow cake with chocolate frosting is my favorite.Your cakes look yummy!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      My prediabetic years i would have tried this in a heartbeat! Thanks for sharing this yunmy treat! Take care, Kelley

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Oh, emilybee, you had me at chocolate! I love buttercream frosting, which we always made as a kid, usually chocolate, but sometimes not. I like yellow cakes, too. I love cakes from scratch. They're so much better--moist! Hey, I love your mini cadbury egg cake. I think you must be a cake maker after my own heart. Love this hub. Voted up and everything but funny. There is nothing funny about this cake. It is serious and delicious! Love this. Sharing!

    • Ruchira profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      wow emily such easy recipes. Gotta try them, my friend!

      Thanks and voted up and sharing it across!

    • emilybee profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Ardie- it IS easy!! I had many cooking mishaps when I was younger- so I've got it down to a science now. The thing to do is just use a really simple recipe, thus why I used this one which includes whole eggs instead of just the yolks, That would confuse me way too much lol. Give yourself plenty of time, and bake a cake when you are in a good mood. Don't try making one when you're in a bad mood, it won't turn out well :-) You can do it!!!!! Thanks for commenting !!!

    • Ardie profile image


      8 years ago from Neverland

      I am so hungry for cake now! You made this look so easy - yet I know just how it would turn out if I made it. Hey - I have an idea...can I just come to your place and eat cake?

    • emilybee profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Hi Jlava!! Awesome- I know you will love it. It is very simple to make - trust me - not all of my cakes come out as amazing as this one did, so I think the recipe had something to do with it :-) Thanks for commenting and reading!!!

    • emilybee profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      hello yowe! This cake will make you hungry when it arrives on your plate :) It is so satisfying though, one large piece should suffice :-) Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Jlava73 profile image

      Jennifer Vasconcelos 

      8 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

      Hi Emily,

      The cake looks awesome and really easy to make. I'll try it out this weekend :).

    • yowe521 profile image


      8 years ago from chicago

      I feel a little hungry now...:-)

    • emilybee profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Hi Laura! This cake is very delicious and so easy. I think the chocolate frosting is perfect for it, but you can use buttercream frosting if you'd like. Thanks for stopping by!

    • LauraGT profile image


      8 years ago from MA

      Looks delicious! I'm always looking for great cake recipes. Will bookmark for future use. Thanks for sharing!

    • emilybee profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Hi Christy! Thank you! It was awesome for this hub because I made two of these cakes- so I had a whole assortment of photos to use from each one. It's so delicious....I spent a good amount of time on it and in a matter of seconds every last slice had vanished at my grandmother's party. It was a hit I guess! Thanks for the comment!

    • emilybee profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Hi HawaiHeart! It's true-this recipe IS super easy to make. The simplicity of the whole eggs rather than only the yolks, makes this cake easy to make in no time! I hope you can make it sometime. I know you will not be disappointed!!!!!

    • HawaiiHeart profile image


      8 years ago from Hawaii

      I never made a cake from scratch! This recipe looks easy enough for me to try =).

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      8 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Okay one word: yummm! I love that you used your own photos and told your experiences along with the recipe. I vote up for sure.

    • emilybee profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Hi alocsin! This cake is very moist, delicious and light, too, so you can have a pretty large piece :) It's easy to make, too, with only 3 whole eggs in it. I hope you get to taste some soon!!! Thanks for reading and commenting!!

    • emilybee profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Hi Billy!! I did not know you were such a diehard chocolate eater!!! That makes two of us! Originally I was going to make this cake with vanilla buttercream frosting but I couldn't do it!! I needed to have some chocolate in it- the chocolate buttercream frosting provides a good amount :-) Now that I know this, I'll have to keep providing you with chocolate recipes :-) Thanks for stopping by!

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      8 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I love cake, so this recipe sounds delicious. Now I have to get breakfast. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Emily, you show me a recipe with chocolate in it and I'll vote you up and awesome every time. :) I am now starving for some cake thanks to you!


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