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Classic Dessert Recipe: Yellow Layer Cake

Whether it’s a birthday or any other celebration, one of the best ways to celebrate is with a cake. Who doesn’t like cake? One of the most classic cakes out there is the yellow layer cake. Far too often, these cakes are made from a mix, but we wanted to kick it up a notch and make a fantastic yellow cake from scratch.

To make the cake nice and fluffy, we whipped up some egg whites for volume and texture. To keep it moist, we used a combination of butter and oil, and to keep everything tender we used more sugar and added buttermilk. Subtle hints of vanilla bring the cake together and completes the flavor profile. For our favorite yellow cake recipe, keep reading below…

Classic Dessert Recipe: Yellow Layer Cake

Yellow Layer Cake


  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 10 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease two 9″ cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Grease paper rounds, dust the pans with flour, and knock out the excess. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 1/2 cups sugar in a large bowl. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and yolks.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy (about 30 seconds). While beating, gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Continue to beat until stiff peaks just form (30 to 60 seconds). Set aside.
  3. Gradually add the butter mixture to the flour mixture while mixing until it’s fully incorporated, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, stir in 1/3 of the egg whites into batter to lighten, then add the remaining whites and gently fold into the batter until no white streaks remain. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans, and tap the pans against the counter to dislodge any large air bubbles.
  5. Bake until the cake layers begin to pull away from the sides of the pans and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (20 to 22 minutes.) Cool the cake on the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Loosen the cakes from the sides of the pans with a small knife, then infert onto the greased wire rack and peel off the parchment. Invert the cakes again and cool completely on the rack about 1 1/3 hours before icing.
  6. Ice the cakes as desired.
  7. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted fromJoy of Baking

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