Homemade Yellow Cake


It may seem simple, but there's nothing more exciting than the possibilities that lie ahead when it comes to a yellow cake. This classic cake lends itself to all sorts of festivities and frostings. Want to celebrate a birthday? Top it with a whipped cream frosting and cursive birthday wishes and you're ready to add in candles. Dress it up for a wedding with layers covered in buttercream and fresh blooms. Name the occasion, and a classic yellow cake is always the right choice.Our Yellow Cake comes from the Southern Living recipe achieves, and it's just as tasty today as it was when grandma made it decades ago. If you're looking for a little variation on this ready-for-anything, timeless cake, just make a few adjustments. You can turn it into a spice cake simply by adding a few spices, like ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon. Ground cloves, and ground allspice. Or, turn it into a chocolate treat by beating unsweetened chocolate squares into the batter. Any way you make it, you're sure to have guests asking for a second slice.

Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
2 cake layers
Homemade Yellow Cake
Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Ana Kelly Prop Stylist: Kay Clarke


  • Cooking spray

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 cup (8 oz.) unsalted butter, softened

  • 5 large eggs

  • 3 cups (about 12 3/4 oz.) all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more for pans and work surface

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt

  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Coat 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; dust with flour. Beat sugar and butter with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

  2. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl until combined; add to butter mixture alternately with milk in 2 batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating on low speed until incorporated after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

  3. Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pans. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean, 25 to 28 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove layers from pans, and let cool completely on a wire rack, about 30 minutes.


Spice Cake: Prepare recipe as directed, stirring 1/2 tsp. each ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground allspice into flour at beginning of Step 2.

Chocolate Cake: Prepare recipe as directed, beating 3 (1-oz.) unsweetened chocolate squares, melted, into butter-sugar-egg mixture at end of Step 1.

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