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Moist Yellow Cake Recipe (Old Fashioned)

Moist Yellow Cake Recipe (Old Fashioned)

Why does yellow cakes give folks such a hard time? It’s one of those cakes that if you find a great yellow cake recipe, you stick with it! I’ve been testing out yellow cake recipes off and on for awhile now.

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The problem with homemade yellow cake is:

1.) It’s hard to find a from scratch yellow cake recipe that has the texture of a fluffy box yellow cake but that buttery, homemade taste of a scratch-made yellow cake. I can’t tell you how many dry, crumbly and/or eggy tasting yellow cakes I’ve had in the past.

2.) Um…I can’t think of anything else right now.

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I’m here to tell you that YES YOU CAN have a scratch made fluffy, moist, yellow cake with a beautiful crumb texture. YES YOU CAN have that classic buttery-vanilla taste of a homemade yellow cake WITH simple ingredients. YES. YOU.CAN!!! YES. YOU. CAN!!! Sorry I’m literally sitting on the couch watching Nutty Professor  while I write this blog post. Remember that part?

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Anyways, I’ve been fortunate to come across some really good yellow cake recipes, but something in me just can’t seem to stop searching, kinda like with macaroni and cheese. Never satisfied even when you’re satisfied. Well today I want to share the homemade yellow cake recipe I’ve been making for years.

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It’s that classic, old fashioned yellow cake recipe with simple pure ingredients. No butter flavored shortening (which I normally put in cakes) or sour cream or yogurt (which I also love to put in cakes). It’s the kind of yellow cake I grew up eating, with homemade chocolate butter cream frosting, sprinkles and candles (yes yellow cake taste best with  candles. I don’t know why but it just does!)

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 This yellow cake recipe is the stuff old school birthdays were made of. You know, when most moms actually made every birthday cake from scratch. Wait, am I telling my age?? I digress…

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This yellow cake recipe bakes up super moist, fluffy and velvety soft without the eggy taste that really irks me. My grandmother occasionally adds in butter flavoring to take the buttery taste over the edge, but I never seem to have that stuff on hand so I don’t add it in. I think it taste great without it. Although, if you really like the taste of boxed yellow cake, you may want to add that butter-flavored extract to replicate the taste.

homemade yellow cake recipe

Watch me make this moist, homemade yellow cake from start to finish!

4.6 from 43 reviews
Fluffy, Moist Homemade Yellow Cake Recipe
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, room temperature
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
  4. Add in egg yolks and vanilla, mixing until fully incorporated. Set aside.
  5. In a seperate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  6. Gradually add dry ingredients into wet ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk.
  7. Mix until batter is fluffy.
  8. Beat egg whites until foamy and thick.
  9. Fold egg whites into batter and mix until incorporated.
  10. Pour batter into prepared pans and spread into even layers.
  11. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and let cake cool in pans until pans are warm to the touch.
  13. Carefully remove cakes from pan and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  14. When cakes are completely cooled frost with chocolate buttercream frosting.


  1. It wasn’t the prettiest cake I ever made, but it was one of the best! My surly teenager loved it, my picky 9 year old loved it, too. I was worried about the delicateness of the cake, but it was so perfect. Fluffy, moist, just everything you expect a scratch made cake to be. I used Bakers one bowl frosting recipe, but a fluffy buttercream is definitely a better choice as it’s lighter. Love this recipe. It’s a keeper!

  2. I made this cake today. It is not the prettiest cake I ever made, but it is certainly on of the best. It is everything you want a scratch made cake to be. Light, fluffy, moist, melt in your mouth. I used bakers one bowl frosting and frosting it was a delicate undertaking but so worth it! This recipe is going into the rotation.

  3. I followed this recipe step by step and not only was it undercooked, the cakes sank in the center. They even stuck to the pans and fell apart. :(

  4. Wow. This recipe is really fantastic. I’ve been searching for a from-scratch cake recipe that mimics the lightness and tenderness of a boxed cake, but with the bragging rights of having made it yourself. Not only does this meet those requirements, it’s also incredibly delicious. Thank you so much for posting!!

  5. I love making different desserts for my family Sunday or holiday dinners. I’ve been searching for the perfect yellow cake. My search is over, thanks divascancook, I have found it. Didn’t change a thing, cake is so moist & scrumptious with cream cheese chocolate icing.

  6. I made this recipe over the weekend, but did cupcakes instead. Most of my cupcakes fell in the center, similar to comments from others before me about their cakes. It still tasted great though!

  7. I have made this cake twice now and it tastes AMAZING! I can barely keep my husband from eating the actual cake before I frost it. BUT, each time I have made this cake, it falls in the center the minute I open my oven. I have put in the egg whites, like one poster said (not to forget), I have watched the video and I don’t know what’s going wrong…Any suggestions?

  8. This was a fantastic scratch yellow cake recipe. Most recipes I have tried have been too dense or too dry. The buttermilk and egg whites really kept it light, moist and fluffy. You won’t be dissapointed!

  9. Will this recipe work for cupcakes?

  10. Hi Ms Diva I will absolutely try this recipe beacause other yellow cake recipes I’ve tried have came out horrible. Thank you thank you thank you! And also would I be able to substitute AP Flour for the cake flour?

  11. I made this cake over the past weekend for my daughter’s birthday party. I have made other cakes from scratch but never yellow cake. After reading the comments, I cut the sugar down to 1.5 cups, and I was sure to watch the video. I frosted the cake with homemade cream cheese icing. The cake came out awesome! It was flavorful and moist and was really a hit. I even enjoyed it, and I’m not a big cake fan. Thanks for the recipe!!

  12. This cake was yummient! My family loved it! My cake did sink a little and I read that could be from over mixing or old baking powder. I think the next time I bake it I will line the pans with parchment paper & add an extra egg. Definitely a winner! :)

  13. I made this recipe and I must say the cake tasted AMAZING!!!… The cake was soo moist that it kind of fell apart while trying to remove from the pans :( ( I made the buttercream icing and used it as glue lol) All the recipes I have made from this site have been nothing short of amazing and have gotten me so many compliments!…Monique, youre gonna help me snag a man girl, thanks for all the great recipes !! :)
    P.S…Im crossing my fingers that you will post a caramel cake recipe soon !

  14. This cake was amazing! So moist and flavorful. It was perfect. Thank you so much!!!

  15. :-/ my cake fell in the center and I went back to read the comments to see if I was the only one having this problem. That’s when I realized I forgot the egg whites. Don’t forget to fold them in! On a positive note, the cake still tastes amazing. Buttery and fluffy, most successful attempt at home made cake to date. I’ll be trying this again.

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