Yellow Cake


Cut layerFor some reason, yellow cake was always my nemesis.  I just couldn’t find one I really liked and I couldn’t come up with one.   I just skipped yellow cake every chance I got.  One day, I decided enough was enough and started experimenting. By the time I was done, I had a yellow cake to be proud of and proud I was!

This yellow cake is very tender, light and stays moist for days.  It is easily scaled up and accepts any number of fillings.  This is a thick, velvety, luxurious batter.

The mixing of this yellow cake is interesting.  Where I spent a lot of time creaming the butter and sugar, this one does none of that.  It is basically two steps after assembling the ingredients.  It is not only the best yellow cake I have ever made, it is the easiest.

See if you don’t agree that this is yellow cake at it’s best.

Yellow CakeIngredients 4 large egg yolks (68 grams or 2 1/4 ounces)
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (225 grams or 8 ounces)
1 cup sugar (200 grams or 7 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (170 grams or 6 ounces), softened (See Softened Butter)

Line the bottom of of the cake pans with parchment (see Cake Pan Prep or How to Get Flat Cake Layer.)  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk the yolks, one fourth of the buttermilk and vanilla in a bowl.  Liquid Ingredients in bowl

Liquid Ingredients mixed

Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and whisk briefly to blend. Dry Ingredients whiskedPlace the dry ingredients in a mixer bowl and add the butter and the remaining buttermilk.  Dry Ingredients, milk and buttermilk in mixing bowlMix on low speed until the ingredients are moistened, Mixture is moistenedthen raise to medium and beat for 2 minutes.   Batter mixed (1 of 1)Scrape down.Batter scraped down  Add the yolk mixture in thirds, beating about 30 seconds after each addition.Adding liquid

Finished Batter

Scrape down between additions.

Divide into the desired number of layers or cupcakes.Batter Divided

Level the batter in the pans.  Spreading batterBake as called for or until a tester comes out clean or it springs back when the center is lightly touched.  The cake should not pull away from the sides of the pans.Baked Layers

Cool in pans, release and use as desired.  To see how to release the cakes from the pan go to Cake Pan Prep or How to Get Flat Cake Layer.

The batter weighs approximately 790 grams or 27 3/4 ounces.

2 –  9″ layers = 390 grams each or 13 2/3 ounces each. They are about 1 inch tall. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes.

3 – 9″ layers = 265 grams each or 9 1/3 ounces each. They are about 2/3 inches tall.  Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.

4 – 9″ layers = 195 grams each or 6 3/4 ounces each. They are about 1/2 inches tall.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

18 to 20 regular size cupcakes with a #16 scoop, well scraped off.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Pastry has not only been my profession, but my passion. If there is anything in particular you would like to see or any questions about baking or pastry, please let me know. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a post!
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16 thoughts on “Yellow Cake

  1. Mary Soucy

    Many years ago (about 40 or so), I had a piece of yellow cake that was absolutely delicious. I remember it very well, it was so buttery and delicate of crumb. I didn’t dare ask for the recipe, but when someone else did, they were not so gently rebuffed. I have been on the hunt for a cake to fit the bill for 40+ years. Might this be it????? If not, I am sure it will far surpass the yellow cakes I have tried since that day so long ago. I can’t wait to put this together! When I do make this, I will write back and let you know how close to my original memory this brings me.

    Thank you….. :)

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Mary: I remember going on a tour of the houses we used to live in with my brother. I remembered the one we grew up for many years. I remembered it as so large and spacious on a big lot with those marvelous flowers, snowballs growing over our fence from the yard next door. Well, when I saw it, it was so small on a tiny lot and my beloved snowball bush was no more. Being so small, it seemed like a giant house to me.

      I will be anxious to see how this compares…..

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Hillary: Tomorrow, I will be posting the “Lamington Torte” using this yellow cake. It is a new one I have just come up with and raspberry and chocolate mingle with toasted coconut and this yellow cake. The frosting we used at the shop with this cake was called the Spirited Chocolate. It contains creme de cocoa and is a very simple but really good buttercream. This frosting goes first and foremost with the Spirited Chocolate cake, which I will post fairly soon.

  2. Joyce

    Helen, yellow cake has always caused me problems too. I’m looking forward to trying this one. Love the column!

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Thanks Joyce. I am surprised that so many others have had the same problem with yellow cake. But satisfying for me as I love company.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Bob – thanks for letting me know I didn’t put the size in. It said two 9 inch pans earlier. Since I included other options, I meant to erase only the two but took out the 9inch also. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I”ll fix it as soon as I get home.

    2. Bob Spena

      Thank you for your quick and positive reply. It’s great (and and honor) to be heard and receive a respectful reply from you. BTW, I was totally intrigued by your suggested method of how to prepare a baking pan, namely by not using a fat to coat the pan. Looking forward to trying your method. Again, thank you. Bob

      1. hfletcher Post author

        Hi Bob: I thank you for reading my blog. I love teaching, I love sharing and I love my blog. It is people like you that make sharing so important to me. Helen

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