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 is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Made this cake & was excited about it, but it was a bit of a disappointment. Not nearly as yellow & appealing looking as the picture, a little dry & tasted like it needed some butter extract or some other flavoring. I would use more oil & some butter flavor as well as more vanilla
    I would also use a little yellow food coloring, as mine looked almost white inside & we taste with our eyes first. I bake a lot & this one was not it for me. Mediocre at best.3 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy this cake. It is well loved by us and many readers. Did you use the extra egg yolks? Did you use a full tablespoon of vanilla? Thanks for trying it Colleen.

      1. Hi Rebecca,

        Yes, I did use 2 extra egg yolks & a tablespoon of good real vanilla. I will may try it again with the tweaks I mentioned above. But thanks for responding. It is appreciated.

  2. Thanks for this recipe, looks delicious! Do you know if I could substitute Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour here?

    1. Thank YOU! I’ve never tried this recipe with gluten free flour Alex, but maybe some other readers can help answer that.

  3. Hello! I’m about to try this recipe for my birthday! And it says to use two eggs and 2 egg yolks! Are those separate? Or do I only have to use 2 egg yolks? Can’t wait to try! Hope someone can reply!

  4. OMIT the kosher salt. Don’t use ANY salt.. Unfortunately, I didn’t see the warning until my cake was actually baking.4 stars

  5. I baked this cake for my mother’s 97th birthday, which was Feb. 4, 2021. It came out so good. This will be my go to yellow cake recipe. My brother and sister raved about it. It was moist, light, just the perfect amount of crumbly. I made a caramel icing as my frosting which was a great compliment to the cake. My brother said its good enough to sell. He said there is a bakery in Atlanta, called “Slice of Cake”, this cake remained him of their cakes. The only thing, I think I can use a larger cake pan, because my 8″ cake pan was a little too small for the amount of my batter, the cake ran over a little, but I just trimmed it. I’m going to make it again for my sister’s birthday and try using a 9″ pan to see if it’s enough batter. I come from a family of bakers, my grandmother, mother, aunts and cousins are great bakers, so I know a cook cake when I taste it. This is a great moist yellow cake.5 stars

  6. Loving this cake, and my family is, too. It is sooooooo good. Paired it with the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. Absolutely delicious! Thank you!5 stars

  7. Delicious! I followed the recipe as written except used gluten free flour (King Arthur brand) and doubled the baking powder. I also added 1.5 teaspoons of imitation butter flavoring (to enhance the butter flavor). The gluten free cake came out moist and light and with great butter flavor!!!5 stars

  8. Hello!
    I’m going to try this recipe for my daughter’s birthday in a few weeks! I have one major question: Do I relaly need a stand mixer or hand mixer? Or does it just make baking easier? I’m a pretty good baking myself, but don’t have any mixers. One downside I think of not having a mixer is when beating butter with a whisk the butter always gets stuck in the whisk. So could you answer my questions?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Samantha, I think it depends on how much you plan to use the mixer, what you’ll use it for and how much baking you do. If baking cakes or making simple dishes, I most often use a hand mixer because I find it easy to pull out and clean.

      I find a stand mixer handy with things that take a long time like bread dough (where it kneads for a long time), whipped egg whites (so you don’t have to stand at the mixer for a long time) or recipes where the butter needs quite a while to mix.

      I agree, the butter can get stuck in the beaters or along the bowl. With a stand mixer you can buy beater attachments that run along the side of the bowl and once you add more ingredients, it does seem to get most of the butter out. I hope that helps!

  9. If I’m making two different recipes(one chocolate and one yellow) can I substitute all purpose flour for cake flour? I really don’t want to buy 2 different flours if I don’t have too.

    Thank you!

    1. We have only made this as written, I can’t say for sure how it will affect the texture of the cake. Let us know how it works out for you!

    2. I found you can substitute all purpose flour for cake flour as follows: 1 cup flour, remove 1 Tbsp and replace with 1 Tbsp of cornstarch.

  10. Yaaaassss! I love this recipe! I made this for thanksgiving and it is moist! I loved that if you follow the recipe and fold the dry ingredients with the wet, it prevents you from over mixing the batter. It was soft and pillowy. I actually made a cake from scratch!!! Thank you for sharing!5 stars

  11. I’ve been looking for a perfect yellow cake recipe for a while now and this is it! Exactly what I want in a yellow cake: perfect texture, moist and perfectly sweet. This will be my staple recipe for life! Thank you so much! I was out of vegetable oil so I used coconut oil instead, still turned out amazingly delicious!5 stars

  12. Hi there,

    I am hoping to make this cake for my partner this weekend for his birthday. I am curious, I live at 5,000 ft., are there any adjustments to the recipe that you would recommend? Thanks!5 stars

  13. Hi! I’ve made this recipe before and I LOVE IT!! It’s so moist! I want to make it again today but I’m curious if I could make it in a bundt cake pan and what the adjustments would be?5 stars

  14. I made this cake yesterday for a dear friend’s birthday. It was my first time baking a yellow cake from scratch and I was really nervous about it. No worries! It was fabulous! I used a different frosting recipe for the chocolate frosting because I didn’t have all the ingredients for the one posted. My cake pans measured 8 3/4” and it turned out perfect! I will definitely make this again and highly recommend this recipe. Thanks!5 stars

  15. Just made your yellow cake and it is by far the best yellow cake I have ever had; and, I have made and eaten lots of yellow cakes through my 68 years, especially because it is my husband’s favorite! This past year I have tried at least 5 different yellow cake recipes and some were very good, but this yellow cake beats them hands down. I don’t have to ever look for another yellow cake recipe again. Yippee!5 stars

  16. I just made this cake. I have finally found the yellow cake I’ve been looking for! The only thing I will say is, make sure your salt is fine or at least no more coarse than table salt. My kosher salt is way to large and didn’t dissolve. But it’s moist and delicious! The picture doesn’t do the cake justice.5 stars