Yellow Cake

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

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 125 votes
Review Recipe

Yellow Cake

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 12 people
Author Rebecca
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!


  • 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

Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest


  • 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.

Recipe Notes

  • Nutritional information does not include frosting.

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.)

Keyword yellow cake, yellow cake recipe
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Recipe Adapted from Rock Recipes.

Piece of Yellow Cake on a plate with a title
Slice of Yellow Cake on a plate with a title
Yellow Cake with a title
About the author


pinterest facebook twitter instagram

I’m Rebecca, and Sugar & Soul is where I blend my traditional roots and millennial imagination. I’m a self taught baker, photographer and traveler with a business degree and a dream. I’m married to my high school sweetheart, Matt, and currently reside in Central Maine. I’m so glad you stopped in and I hope I can inspire you to bake a batch of cookies or head off on a new adventure!

More Posts by Rebecca

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


    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!

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.