You’ve officially found the BEST Yellow Cake Recipe on the internet! My version is incredibly moist and SO easy with just one bowl (and no mixer!). Recipe includes a how-to video!
The BEST Yellow Cake Recipe
If you’ve been on the hunt for a good recipe for yellow cake, it’s time to call off the search. My yellow cake is soft, plush, has a fine light crumb, and is moist enough to melt in your mouth. It’s perfectly balanced with just the right amount of sweetness and vanilla flavor, and it’s SO easy to make (one bowl and no mixer!). Every box is checked with this one! ✅
This recipe is made similarly to my chocolate cake; it’s not traditional creaming and it’s not quite reverse creaming but is more similar to that method – only easier. Because of this method there is low risk of over-mixing (but it’s not impossible!). It’s great for beginner bakers and even easier than my vanilla cake.
Recently I’ve actually been favoring this cake over my vanilla recipe (though both are simple and delicious, this one is just fun and new for me!). You can even make this cake into cupcakes as I demonstrated earlier this week with my chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream post (I actually like them better than my classic vanilla cupcake recipe! 🤯).
What makes my recipe the best:
- A true one-bowl recipe 💛
- Incredibly moist and perfectly yellow without food coloring!
- Pairs well with pretty much any frosting, but chocolate fudge frosting is my personal favorite.
- NO mixer required (thanks to melted butter!).
- Can handle sprinkles for a bit of funfetti flair.
What You Need
Several carefully selected ingredients make this the best yellow cake recipe out there:
- Butter. I really recommend using European butter if you can; it will provide the best yellow color and flavor. If you can’t find that, regular butter will still work just fine!
- Oil. Using oil and butter makes for the most flavorful AND moist cake! I like to use canola oil.
- Cake flour. Cake flour provides the best crumb, though all-purpose can be substituted in a pinch (instructions below!). Make sure you know how to measure flour properly, or you could risk drying out this super moist cake.
- Eggs + egg yolks. Extra egg yolks add moisture, tenderness, and a beautiful yellow color.
- Sour cream. Where my vanilla cake uses buttermilk, this cake uses sour cream. While the two are similar, sour cream is a bit richer, which is exactly what this cake needs!
SAM’S TIP: This yellow cake recipe has a tendency to dome, so you will have to level your cakes before frosting. Do this after the cake has fully cooled!
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make It
- Combine the dry ingredients and sugar in a bowl, then stir in the melted butter and oil.
- Add the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla and stir until fully combined.
- Add the milk and stir until the batter is fully cohesive/uniform.
- Pour into your prepared cake pans and bake for 32-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist/fudgy crumbs.
- Let the cakes cool in their pans for 10-15 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Once cooled, level your cakes if needed. I find this cake tends to dome a bit and always need to level it — I’ll link to my leveler in the recipe card if you’re in need of one!
- Place one layer on your serving tray and top with frosting.
- Add another layer, top with frosting, and enjoy!
SAM’S TIP: If you notice holes/tunnels in your cake when you level it, don’t panic! You may have just mixed it a tad too much. Don’t worry, with this cake (unlike many others!) you usually can’t tell in the final texture or when you go to cut into it–it’s very forgiving! I was a bit too vigorous in my video trying to show how this yellow cake recipe can’t really be over-mixed that I left mine with tunnels, but the end result was still delicious melt-in-your-mouth perfection.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is not too much difference between a classic vanilla cake and a yellow cake, but since I’ve had readers specifically ask me for a recipe for yellow cake, I wanted to make one.
Compared to my vanilla cake recipe, my yellow cake recipe has a tighter crumb, a more intense yellow color (thanks to extra egg yolks and European butter), and uses more butter than oil. If you love my vanilla cake, definitely give this one a try!
You can, but keep in mind that cake flour will provide the best texture here. I include instructions for substituting all-purpose flour in the recipe notes.
My yellow cake recipe is designed to be incredibly moist, so if yours is dry, a mistake was most definitely made. The most likely reason is over-baking the cake (make sure your oven isn’t running hotter than it lets on!) or over-measuring your flour; I highly recommend using a kitchen scale to measure your ingredients to avoid this.
After so many reader requests for a recipe for yellow cake, I can’t wait to hear what you think about this one!
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Yellow Cake Recipe
- 3 cups (335 g) cake flour
- 2 ¼ cups (450 g) granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ tsp table salt
- 12 Tablespoons (177 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until no longer warm to the touch see note
- ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
- 1 cup (226 g) sour cream
- 2 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup (118 ml) whole milk
- 1 batch chocolate fudge frosting
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C), grease two 8” round pans with baking spray and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and whisk well to combine.3 cups (335 g) cake flour, 2 ¼ cups (450 g) granulated sugar, 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ¾ tsp table salt
- Add melted butter and vegetable oil and stir well until thoroughly combined.12 Tablespoons (177 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until no longer warm to the touch, ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
- Add sour cream, eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla extract and stir well.1 cup (226 g) sour cream, 2 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Stir in milk until completely combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula and stir again to ensure the batter is uniform.½ cup (118 ml) whole milk
- Divide into prepared 8” pans, and bake on 350F for 40 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched and a, toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs (not wet batter).
- Cool cakes in their pans for 10-15 minutes, then run a knife around the sides to loosen from the pan and carefully invert onto a cooling rack (don’t forget to remove the parchment bottoms) and allow to cool completely before decorating.
- These cakes typically bake up with a dome so I recommend leveling with a cake leveler (linked in equipment section above) or serrated knife before decorating.
- Decorate using desired frosting. I like to use my chocolate swiss meringue buttercream or chocolate fudge frosting.1 batch chocolate fudge frosting
FlourCake flour is best/recommended for this recipe, it yields the lightest, most tender crumb. However, you may substitute all-purpose flour in a pinch – you’ll need 2 ⅔ cup (335g)
ButterFor a richer yellow color, I recommend using European-style butter if you can find it. It will also make the cake a bit more moist and tender. However, if you can’t find this style of butter or don’t have any on hand, don’t worry, regular butter will work just fine and I often make my yellow cake with regular butter, too!
StoringCakes can be made a day in advance, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and stored at room temperature for 24 hours before assembling. Cakes may also be tightly wrapped and frozen for several weeks before or after assembly. Once cake is assembled, store at room temperature for up to three days in an airtight container (assuming your frosting can withstand room temperature for this long) or in the refrigerator for up to a week (note that the refrigerator will dry out the cake some).
CupcakesThis recipe will make approximately 31 cupcakes. Fill liners ⅔-¾ full and they will need to bake 17-19 minutes on 350F (175C).
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.