Basic Yellow Cake Recipe from Scratch

Looking for a basic yellow cake recipe that’s versatile enough to be frosted with chocolate ganache icing for a Boston Cream Pie, but simple enough to decorate cute cupcakes for a child’s birthday party? Even better, slather sweetened whipped cream between the layers, add sliced strawberries and decorate the strawberry shortcake with more whipped cream and perfect berries. Simply delish!

Basic Yellow Cake Made From Scratch Recipe


  • 3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk or sour milk

How To Make a Basic Yellow Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pan with shortening. Likewise, spray or butter and flour one 9 X 13 – inch baking pan, or prepare 24-30 cupcake tins with paper liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Using an electric stand mixer or a handheld mixer, cream butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down bowl.
Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and scrape once more.
Add flour mixture 1 cup at a time, alternating with buttermilk until all is combined. Do not over mix batter, just enough to remove all lumps.
Pour yellow cake batter into prepared pans and rap the pans on the counter a few times to remove air bubbles.
Bake round cake layers at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, 9 X 13-inch pan for 35 – 45 minutes, or until a pick comes out clean. Bake cupcakes for approximately 20 – 25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool 9 X 13 – inch cake and cupcakes completely on wire racks before frosting or freezing. Cool round layers 10 minutes before loosening, then carefully turn out yellow cake layers onto a sugar-dusted piece of parchment paper, and allow to finish cooling on the wire rack.
Fill and frost yellow cake layers with white buttercream frosting or chocolate icing.
Makes one 9 inches double layer cake that serves 12-14, one 9 X 13-inch yellow cake that serves 15-20, or 24-30 yellow cupcakes.

White Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe


  • 1/2 pound (1 cup) solid shortening
  • 1/2 pound (1 cup) butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup marshmallow fluff
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 lbs. confectioner’s sugar sifted (powdered sugar)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk

How To Make:

Using a high-speed mixer, cream shortening, butter, and marshmallow fluff together using the beater attachment. Add vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape bowl with a rubber spatula.
Add confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time, beating after each addition until smooth with no lumps.
Add milk a little at a time until spreading consistency is achieved. If too much is added and the frosting is loose, add a little more powdered sugar and beat again. Frosting should be totally lump-free.

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