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The Perfect Yellow Cake

Freshly baked sponge cake in a round baking tin

When you see a slice of cake with that tell-tale beautiful golden-yellow hue, you just know it’s going to be good. Yellow cake is named for its signature color and we have always just loved its buttery, vanilla flavor. Our version here is just right: moist, fluffy, easy as can be, and absolutely delicious. There isn’t really anything more you could want from a slice of cake. We daresay this one might be just about perfect.

Preparing a cake

The allure of boxed cake mix is understandable. The taste is predictable and you know it will come out right. But there’s just nothing like a homemade cake… maybe it’s the love that goes into it! We promise this classic yellow cake is almost just as quick as using a mix and it comes out perfect every time. And with that wonderful buttery flavor, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be mixing this one up from scratch. A box just can’t capture that.

Layer cake

This cake is so versatile because it pairs so well with so many different flavors. We love it with raspberry, peanut butter, or a fluffy vanilla frosting, and we’re sure you have your favorites too, but the absolute classic combination is with a rich chocolate frosting. Our Chocolate Fudge Frosting is the perfect option. We also use this recipe for cupcakes all the time, they just need a little bit shorter baking time. ‘Cause who doesn’t love a cute little cupcake?

Cupcakes

Classic Yellow Cake

40 minutes to prepare serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
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Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and mix to combine.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix on low until just incorporated. Add buttermilk and beat on low until combined, then for 3 more minutes on medium until fluffy.
  5. Pour batter evenly into the two prepared pans. Place pans in oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. (If making cupcakes, shorten baking time to 15-20 minutes.)
  6. Remove cakes from oven and let cool 10 minutes in pans, before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.
  7. Frost with your favorite frosting, and enjoy!

Adapted from Add a Pinch.

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