A classic Yellow Cake recipe is something everyone should have in their arsenal. This old fashioned cake is made with a rich blend of butter, eggs, and buttermilk for a tender butter cake that’s perfect for birthdays and everyday celebrations!

You can frost this homemade Yellow Cake in Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, Cream Cheese Frosting, or even Lemon Buttercream!

Close up photo of a slice of yellow cake with chocolate frosting on a white plate.

What Is Yellow Cake?

This classic yellow cake might be the most traditional of them all. It’s a simple and rich recipe made with butter and whole eggs which yields a golden crumb and tender cake.

This particular yellow cake recipe also adds in egg yolks, a bit of vegetable oil, and uses buttermilk to bring this moist yellow cake recipe to life! If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, feel free to use my easy buttermilk substitute.

Overhead photo of yellow cakes in cake pans cooling on a wire rack.

How To Make Yellow Cake

It is super easy to make this yellow cake from scratch, but it’s VERY important to make sure that ALL ingredients are room temperature before beginning.

  1. Preheat the oven, and grease and line your cake pans with parchment paper. This makes removing the cake from the pan easy.
  2. Sift together dry ingredients into a medium bowl to make a lighter cake.
  3. Cream butter, sugar, oil, and vanilla together and mix the eggs in one at a time so that all ingredients are well combined.
  4. Fold in dry ingredients with a rubber spatula, alternating with the buttermilk. Folding the ingredients in helps keep the cake light and fluffy.
  5. Divide evenly between the cake pans and bake! Easy, right?

Fork being plunged into a slice of yellow cake with chocolate frosting on a white plate.

Can You Freeze Yellow Cake?

Yes, you can and freezing this yellow cake makes assembly quick and easy when a special occasion pops up!

To freeze it, bake and cool according to the recipe directions. Once the cake has cooled completely, wrap each layer with plastic wrap, then wrap each layer with aluminum foil, then place each layer in a large freezer bag. Freeze for up to three months.

When ready to use, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 30 to 60 minutes while still wrapped, then remove and use.

Assembling the cake when the layers are still partially frozen will actually make it a little easier and will result in clean cuts once the cake is sliced.

I’m sure you’ll agree that this is the best yellow cake recipe you’ve ever made!

More Delicious Cake Recipes

Close up photo of a slice of yellow cake with chocolate frosting on a white plate.
4.92 from 180 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Yellow Cake

A classic Yellow Cake recipe is something everyone should have in their arsenal. This old fashioned cake is made with a rich blend of butter, eggs, and buttermilk for a tender and butter cake that's perfect for birthdays and everyday celebrations!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 12 people
Author Rebecca
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  • 2 ¾ cups cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • cup vegetable oil
  • cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk room temperature


  • Preheat your oven to 325°F and spray two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl with a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream together the sugar, oil, butter, and vanilla.
  • Add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time beating after each addition just until combined.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients in 3 parts alternating with the buttermilk in 2 parts. Begin and end with the dry ingredients. Gently fold until only very small lumps remain. DO NOT use an electric mixer for this step.
  • Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. A toothpick should come clean from the center when done.
  • Transfer the cake pans to a wire rack and allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely (about 1 hour) before frosting. Once cooled, frost and assemble the cake as desired.


  • Nutritional information does not include frosting.
4.92 from 180 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 385 | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 286mg | Potassium: 136mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 448IU | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Recipe Adapted from Rock Recipes.

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Slice of Yellow Cake on a plate with a title
Yellow Cake with a title


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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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4.92 from 180 votes (143 ratings without comment)

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    1. To replace 1½ cups of buttermilk, add 1½ tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Fill to 1½ cups with milk, stir and let rest for 5 minutes.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, I haven’t tried with this recipe so I can’t say for sure, but that should work well.

  1. This is a great yellow cake recipe! Moist and with great flavor. Goes well with the chocolate buttercream recipe. I’ll definitely be making this one again!5 stars

  2. Best cake recipe! I brought the cake to my boyfriends job because I have been wanting to try this for so long, but did not want it haunting me at my house. They all loved it and so did I. I will definitely be making this again. I used the buttercream recipe on here and it was the perfect pair. Going to try it with the chocolate frosting next time.5 stars

  3. So so so good. Followed this recipe to a T and it came out so amazing. It was fluffy, buttery, and moist packed with vanilla flavor. Best yellow cake recipe out there!!!5 stars

  4. I’ve made this before and it was awesome so I tried last night as cupcakes. They all sunk in the middle. What did I do wrong? Not a beginner at this btw. Thanks

  5. I made this cake yesterday for my coworkers birthday and it was a hit! I used the batter for cupcakes and they turned out perfect. For reference, I baked them a touch above 325 for 25 minutes. I used a chocolate ganache buttercream for the frosting. This cake is the best yellow cake I’ve ever made, and ever had! Thank you for sharing this recipe with the world 5 stars

  6. Texture was fluffy and wonderful but the flavor was WAY to salty. The kosher salt didn’t dissolve so you get salty bits in the cake. Needs 1/4 cup more sugar in my opinion and only 1/2 tsp table salt. But the texture is spot on and worth making again with these changes and some more vanilla and vanilla bean paste. So flavor was lacking but texture is delightful.3 stars

    1. I am glad you enjoyed the texture, Erin! If using salted butter, I would reduce the overall salt added. But thanks for sharing your tweaks! :) I look forward to hearing how they turn out for you.

  7. This recipe is definitely not for beginners and the instructions were unclear in a few spot which messed up the process definitely not the best2 stars

    1. Hi Mary, we haven’t tried this recipe as a sheet cake before but would love to hear how it turns out for you!

  8. Mine are not yet finished baking so I can’t comment on texture or flavor, but I baked in 5 smaller pans and I am going to be baking them for at least 40 minutes total because they are still liquid after 30. They bubbled up and overflowed in the pans so I can only hope once I scrape and carve them that they’re fine. I followed every instruction and triple checked my process so I haven’t got a clue what went wrong.1 star

    1. Oh no, sorry to hear that Kristen! We baked this recipe in 2-8inch pans and had great results. Hopefully, they turn out well for you in the end.

      1. This recipe has only been made as written so I can’t say for sure. To work in a 9×13 pan, I would suggest about 35 min or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let us know how it goes!

  9. I LOVE this recipe! Made it for my great niece’s birthday party and It came out moist, light and delicious. Everyone loved it. Great flavor! It is now my “go to” recipe for yellow cake. I used fluffy milk frosting, which complements it beautifully and is not too sweet. Thank you for sharing this!5 stars

  10. Decided to try something new for my kids. This is honestly the best cake I’ve ever eaten- and I’m a baker who doesn’t like cake! My only issues is that I tried to make it into cupcakes. HUGE flop. They didn’t poof up and just flattened onto the pan. Any suggestions?5 stars

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Jennifer! Sometimes when the batter is overmixed it can flatten in the oven due to there being too much air in the mixture.

  11. Was not a good recipe. Heavy, texture was poor. Lots of work only to be disappointed with outcome.1 star

    1. That’s disappointing Louise. We’ve had great success with this recipe. Did you measure the flour with fluffing and spooning it into the measuring cup? Did you cream the butter well? Did you fold in the flour alternating with buttermilk? These are some things that may cause a more heavy cake.